Sunday, 9 February 2014

88 Films DVD Review: Robot Wars (1993, Albert Band)

"First there was ROBOT JOX..."

 It feels good to get back in to the groove of actually reviewing stuff up on the blog for a change. The kind folks at 88 Films sent me a few discs recently. The first of the trio of titles I am going to be looking at over these next few days is the 1993 Albert Band directed, Robot Wars. When I was quickly skipping through the titles when I first received them, this flick looked so fantastically bad that I had to watch it first. What did I think of this robotic romp in the desert? Well let me tell you bub!

Basically all you need to know about the actual story is this synopsis taken from the 88 Films website itself:

"Toward the end of the 21st Century two great powers dominated the world, a division that resulted from a 30-year war known as the War of the Hemispheres. The war came to an end with the creation of giant, indestructible mega-robots, the MRAS-2, designed for military missions and balance of power.
 Recently, the mega-robot has become a tourist attraction and is used for tours through the wasteland. While on one such tour, the MRAS-2 is attacked by an extremely violent terrorist group known as the Murdaggians. Their leader turns out to be a frequent passenger on the mega-robot, Professor B. Wa-Lee, who hijacks the MRAS-2. The only hope to stop the Murdaggians is Lane Drury, the robot's pilot. But can he do it in time..."

Yeah, that's a bit of a cop out me literally copying and pasting but it sums up the film much better than I could and lets face it, you don't really watch this sort of cheese for the story.... Right? Guys? Where are you going!?

The biggest draw to this film is obviously the giant robots kicking the living crap (or the robotic equivalent) out of each other. The practical effects and the stop motion in this film are fantastic. Sure, elitists will laugh and mock but you know what? There's actual hard work gone in to these effects, and I have the say the jerky stop motion movement of the robots is downright creepy but that's just me. Watching the making of included in the disc, it's great to see how it was all put together. Now as much as I loved these scenes, I do have a big problem... WE NEEDED MORE!!!! I could have spent the whole film focused on these action sequences because I loved them.

The characters in the film itself are likable (which is actually never a problem with me in films... sometimes directors don't want you to always get to know the character properly you know). I especially loved Don Michael Paul who was cheesy, funny and all round the star of the show. His interactions with Barbara Crampton were funny and cringe worthy but again, what do you expect from a Full Moon sci-fi flick from the 90's? Speaking of Barbara Crampton (...and cheesy 90's Full Moon sci-fi), unfortunately for you sleazehounds out there, there's no boobage on show... it is a PG rated film you know, sickos. Why that would ever be a problem for some of my viewers... I... erm... will never know.

Overall, the film itself was enjoyable but I am genuinely disappointed that there wasn't more emphasis on the robots battling. In terms of special features you do get the making of which is worth a watch especially if you want to learn about the special effects. You also get a trailer as well as 10 other trailers for other 88 Films titles which is a nice treat because I do appreciate a good trailer (although I don't think I will be purchasing any of Charles's lack luster trailer compilations). You also get reversible artwork which is always nice. For the price, it's a nice little investment but I wouldn't say it's for everybody. 88 Films have done another nice job with this one.

If you want to know more about this film head on over to the 88 Films page, IMDB and Wikipedia pages. The film will be released on the 17th of February and can be ordered here.

Hopefully you will join me for the next review...
You know what? If you don't, I'm going to get my giant kick ass robot scorpion!


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