What does some Terminator or Robocop ripoff like Rotor have in common with my childhood? Well, apparently the director of Rotor (fuck that R.O.T.O.R. time wasting title) also directed a pretty average episode of Pink Panther called Pink Piper. It was a take on the Pied Piper of course, who leads mice away from the besieged village. I loved that show as a kid, and apparently, that director went on to do this movie. Good job, guy.
Despite that cool factor, Rotor is a very traditional, average, and quite slow ripoff of Terminator. Some movies are known for having ripoffs. Everyone can name tons of 80's horror rip offs, but as a genuine sci fi fan, I have to say I didn't know there were so many Terminator, Alien, and Robocop rip offs out there in the wide world of cinema. This is another one, and I'm not going to link the others I've reviewed. You've got a mouse, use it.
The beginning title card and information crawl informs us, very slowly, that the Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research is building robots which are going to be elite crime fighters, that know martial arts and have a bevy of useful skills which can be used in the heat of battle. Ridiculously named Barrett Coldyron must pursue Rotor after it is determined to be on the loose killing people. The bodies accumulate, and various things happen as the movie goes from there.
Not a lot of real effects in this one. There's a claymation robot thing doesn't appear much beyond the introduction piece. Usually the robot is played by a quiet, large musclehead (sound familiar?) who hunts down his kills without much in the way of dialogue or apparent skill despite being hard to kill. Seriously, this robot moves so slowly, and doesn't seem to have any real power despite the fact that it's hard to destroy. Bullets don't stop it, obviously, Beating it up doesn't do jack shit. So it's really a question of how they'll destroy it.
The movie goes, it's very average. It's easy riff fodder, in fact I watched this on Rifftrax with my buddy before I ever saw it as a real movie. In comparison, it's a pretty entertaining film either way, it's just that at this point I've seen it all before. Nothing this movie had brought anything new to the table, but then again it wasn't any worse than anything else.
I might sound confused here, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not prime hunting ground for a cult movie night, or a drunk high experiment, or anything of that sort. However, it's regular 80's sci fi fun, and you certainly shouldn't discount it for any reason. If you want a prime slice of regular, by the numbers cheap thrills, this could very well fit the bill.
3 stars. And also, it's on the sci fi invasion boxset.