What It’s About: Dr. Coldyron (Richard Gesswein with the voice talents of Loren Bivens) is a maverick Texas rancher, health nut, and robotics scientist working on the R.O.T.O.R. (Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research), a cyborg intended to solve society’s crime problems. Unfortunately the man in charge of the research, Buglar (Michael Hunter), is skimming money off the project for his own use, and when his corruption is in danger of being uncovered, he demands Coldyron complete his work in sixty days or get out. Coldyron quits and his responsibilities are given to his comic relief underling and a comic relief “robot”, and the truism that putting a sophisticated robot crime fighting machine in the hands of an idiot and his wise cracking robot will inevitably result in disaster is proven true. When a “comedic” janitor ‘s Walkman somehow manages to activate R.O.T.O.R., will Dr. Coldyron be able to stop it?
Why Watch it Today?: Robocop was released on this date in 1987, spawning a legion of rip-offs (as well as cross pollinations with The Terminator, whose success was undoubtedly helpful in getting Robocop made) that clogged video store shelves with enticing covers that the films rarely (if ever) lived up to. R.O.T.O.R. is one of the most unintentionally hilarious of these knock-offs, made in Texas on a thrift store budget and featuring non sequiturs like it’s rancher/robotics genius who removes stumps by lassoing them with ropes of C4 and then detonating them (I’m sure that won’t come up in the climax). You can read our full review here.
You can find the trailer and more on the review page. Here’s a clip of one of the many scenes that pad out the film-Coldyron foils a half-ass convenience store robbery with panache that will make you long for Mitchell.