Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Robot Holocaust

Robot Holocaust is a 1986 post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Tim Kincaid, who is better known for his many "adult" films directed under a different name. There are robots and bikini-clad warrior women in this one. I spent the 80's focused on my children and didn't keep up with popular culture. It's looking like 1980's pop culture was a good decade to skip.

Ah, another voice-over narration:
The last city still stood. The remaining home of what was left of the civilization of New Terra. The society had been all but destroyed by the Robot Rebellion of ’33. When the Robots had turned on their masters by the billions, the ensuing chaos had led to a radiation spill, far more deadly than any nuclear warfare. The world had been brought to its knees by the [dramatic pause] Robot Holocaust.
There's a scene of a couple of guys wrestling for a small gathered crowd. A robot pickpocket is taking advantage of their rapt attention to the boring fight. The voice continues:
The remaining citizens of New Terra are known as air slaves. As far as they know, the only other inhabitants of the planet that remain are the forces of the Dark Lord, the evil being that controls the very atmosphere that sustains them. But there are rumors, stories of Nomads, who roam the wastelands on the outskirts of the city -outlaws, loners, a legendary breed, who have somehow acclimated to the poisonous air.
The info-dump continues through a conversation between the robot pickpocket and a man who has some kind of power to shut him down. This takes up the first 6 minutes of the movie. It doesn't look like it gets better...

Looks like we're going to wander through New York's grassy wasteland a while. We get a "fair fight" with one of the warrior women and then there's a cut to a woman in shiny high-heeled pumps and some kind of black fishnet wrap walking slowly through the fog. More voice-over narration. Oops. Say good-by to the fishnet and hello to extended shots of upper-body nudity from all angles A women and a man, both naked from the waist up, hold up a plasma ball while the first woman rotates. Slowly. With occasional close-ups. I remember plasma balls. One of my kids got one for Christmas one year. The plasma ball is gone now, and the pair that was holding it are dancing, writhing? in front of the first woman who continues to rotate. Slowly. With more close-ups. The Dark One is calling it a "pleasure machine". As the movie continues it's obvious that scene was thrown in for reasons having nothing to do with plot or character development. I'm glad this director gave up science fiction films to go back to his first love.

I had no idea there were so many contenders for the worst movie ever made. I'm giving up on this one. I did skip to the end where there's a scene at what must be the power station. A man is fighting one of the robots. The robot has a long pipe and the man has a sword. It's a big sword, and the man is fending off the pipe by holding the hilt with one hand and grasping the naked blade with the other. No gloves. Ouch! But he has sustained not even a scratch.

I don't understand how shutting off the air causes all the air slaves to collapse so quickly and, no matter how much time has passed, turning the air back on revives them immediately. Maybe if I'd struggled through the whole thing the ending would have made more sense, but I've got a closing voice-over to help:
With the Dark One destroyed, the air slaves were free at last. Neo returned to his people to bring them to the last city. Together they would rebuild New Terra.
Man and robot walk into the sunset.

Hulu has it online with commercials. [update: no longer available, but youtube has the MST3K version here.]

Million Monkey Theater calls it a "legendary crappy post-apocalyptic movie". The DVD the reviewer had didn't have a working sound track, so the review has its limits, but does conclude:
even without sound I can tell that these are some of the worst actors ever in the history of humanity. They just look so stilted and clunky, I'm kinda glad now that I can't hear their line-reads.

3/22/2009: SFSignal has this film for their Sunday Cinema post.

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