Friday, October 17, 2014
The Texas Robocop Knockoff Massacre: Rifftrax vs. R.O.T.O.R (Plus Holiday Offerings)
It's the usual thing: someone makes a successful movie, and a hundred guys try to make their own version. Sadly, this includes some guy named Cullen Blaine.
Shortly after Robocop reached theaters, Blaine made his own Texas BBQ-ed version called ROTOR. It's like Robocop made with a budget of 24 bucks. Rifftrax recently had its take on the movie, and described it as The Room meets Cybercop 2. It's about a computer expert named Coldyron (which is Texas for Rowsdower) who invented a cop of the future called Robotic Officer of the Tactical Operations Research...or Reserve.
Naturally, the robot goes nuts and kills people. He also clobbers guys who are completely delusional about how macho they are.
The movie also includes a janitor named Shoeboogie who claims he's Native American but looks more like Bruno Mars, and a sarcastic robot who's more interesting than most of the human cast. Here's a short trailer, thanks to Rifftrax:
What's really strange is how the story is told. A couple heads for a weekend trip to the lake, and see an explosion, followed by a dead woman on the road (Kevin Murphy: "My poor brave wife. She died trying to save our meth lab."). Then we see Coldyron about to be arrested, then "officially unofficially" interrogated by a couple of cops. (Bill Corbett: "His acting coach was Al Gore"). Then we get a long flashback that begins with him sharing a massive cup of coffee with his horse. As soon as he gets to the Dallas PD, seeing Shoboogie dancing with Willard the Robot, he gets a call from the police chief telling him to get ROTOR ready or else in 60 days. Coldyron decides to quit, because he thinks it'll take years to get ROTOR on duty. The project is given to some guy named Houndling, who thinks he can get ROTOR going. As he tells Willard, "what do you think this is, some low-budget sci-fi flick?" Of course, that's too much of a trick question to get a response.
It takes a really stupid accident involving Shoeboogie's headphones to awaken ROTOR, who wastes no time following his prime directive, "to judge and execute." It's also considered the state motto of Texas. It wastes no time pulling over a bickering couple who broke the speed limit. It shoots the driver while his girlfriend...who may look familiar to those who paid attention...tries to get away. She has two things against her: the Dallas police doesn't care, and ROTOR can see 30 seconds into the past to find the girl. He's also described by Kevin as "John Hodgman with a leather fetish". Its only weakness is a loud car horn, but that only slows him down a little.
Coldyron decides to ask for help from a fellow computer scientist in Houston...who's he never met...and looks like Luna Vachon but slightly more attractive. Her hair color is less to be desired, though. They talk about how they made a robot that was made for the lawless future, not 1987, and that they have to stop him.
What's really absurd about this movie is how it tries to set up a sequel. To say that it's done very clumsily would be an understatement. Not only that, the credits reveal that Coldyron's voice was dubbed, and that one of the songs from the soundtrack was done by "Larry's Dad". It's no wonder why this has become a Rifftrax essential in lousy film making.
Prepare for riffs on Alan Jackson, Madonna, Dinosaurus, Texas in general, the iPhone 7, Larry the Cable Guy, Coronet films, Denny Terrio, and Small Wonder.
You can click here to get ROTOR, and here to see a "summary" of the movie on YouTube provided by a Rifftrax fan.
Also, Rifftrax decided to riff on part of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Here's what they did:
There's a tweet on the Rifftrax page that suggests they may do more Peanuts specials, but we'll see about that. It would be something if they did the early ones, like A Charlie Borwn Christmas or He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown.
Finally, Rifftrax announced it will do a Thanksgiving film that makes "A Visit To Santa" look like "The Empire Strikes Back". It's called Fun in Balloonland, and it's the worst Macy's Parade film ever.
It's so awful it would make a great feature for the Rifftrax Christmas show. However, it will be available on the website in a few weeks.