R.O.T.O.R. (1987) Reviews and overview

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‘Judge, jury, and executioner.’

R.O.T.O.R. is a 1987 American action science-fiction feature film about a prototype robot intended for crime combat that goes on a killing rampage.

Directed by Cullen Blaine from a screenplay written by Budd Lewis, based on an original story idea by Blaine, the movie stars Margaret Trigg, Richard Gesswein, Jayne Smith and James Cole.


“This film is a straight Robocop imitation, that also manages to rip-off The Terminator, Short Circuit and Judge Dredd – none successfully. There’s some funny sight gags and some funny sci-fi dialog. The star also produced and the screenwriter also did the production design; it shows.” Down Among the Z Movies

” …R.O.T.O.R. takes forever to get going, throwing out some liberal fascist ideas about “protecting society from itself” (“Either we control society, or it destroys us,”), in between these weird, long vanity montages of Gesswein getting up in the morning and making his coffee, or having lunch with his girlfriend.” DVD Drive-In

“It’s amateur hour across the board in terms of acting and filmmaking, and if anything deserves to be the next Room/Troll 2/Miami Connection bad movie phenomenon, it’s R.O.T.O.R. The only thing that might be holding it back is that those other films are utterly sincere in their misguided cluelessness, but there’s enough weird, goofy sht in R.O.T.O.R. to suggest that it’s fully cognizant of its own shttiness.” Good Efficient Butchery

R.O.T.O.R. is not good, but the concept resonates. The incredible painting on the movie’s VHS cover burns the eyes like the classic Mad Max poster. But this artwork is far more entertaining than the bucket of bolts movie inside.” Mike “McBeardo” McFadden, Heavy Metal Movies

Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

“There’s also a lot of product placement for Coca-Cola products in the film. The pacing is off, the music doesn’t suit the tone or vibe of the film at all and long stretches of dialogue go nowhere. Clearly nobody here really knew what they were doing, but they did it anyway.” Rock! Shock! Pop!

“The actors went to the school of bad acting. The pacing is odd and the music choices in the first half are weird. The dialogue contains such silliness that the makers clearly had their tongues in cheeks. For some reasons, the main characters are dubbed by other voice actors.” Shameless Pile of Stuff

“It’s one thing for the dialogue and plot to not make sense, but for a bad movie to be fully enjoyable, you need to be able to make heads or tails out of the action scenes. To make matters worse, the film’s lone well-choreographed Kung Fu scene takes place far off in the distance! And the way R.O.T.O.R. is killed is just bizarre.” The Video Vacuum

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Blu-ray release:

Shout Factory released R.O.T.O.R. on Blu-ray on a double-bill with Millennium on February 23, 2016

Cast and characters:

Margaret Trigg … Sony Garren
Richard Gesswein … Barrett Coldyron
Jayne Smith … Doctor Coren Steele
James Cole … Greg Hutchins
Stan Moore … Houghtaling
Nanette Kuczek … Penny Gayle
Brad Overturf … Moulie / Gas Station Cashier / R.O.T.O.R. / Diner Toughguy
Shawn Brown … Mokie Killion
Michael Hunter … Earl Buglar
Victor Kwasnick … Grotes (as Victor Kawasnick)
Ron Baker … Glorioso
Diana Hurd … Kipster
Bill Blair … Statum
Bob Lennard … Fisherman
Janiece Stamper … Waitress

Filming locations:

Dallas, Texas

Technical details:

90 minutes

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