Monday, 19 March 2012
Robowar (1989) Bruno Mattei
There was very little chance of this film not being supremely badass. A combined rip-off of Predator and Robocop directed by hack trash grand wizard Bruno Mattei and starring veritable Colossus of kick-ass charisma Reb Brown in the Arnie role, along with Massimo Vanni looking like Chuck Norris and the always reliable Jim Gaines, and a script by husband and wife super-scribes Claudio Fragasso (Troll 2, Zombie 4: After Death)) and Rosella Drudi. Oh and our Claudio is also the guy in the robot suit, credited under his regular pseudonym of Clyde Anderson. Anybody reading this already knows whether this film is for them or not, people generally are either Mattei fans or have shitty taste. But for your sake dear reader I shall go on, lest you not be quite convinced. The pacing is the only drawback here, the film takes a little while to really get into the groove so during the first third there's mostly the dialogue to go on. Fortunately the dialogue is worthy of Mamet, my favorite line being probobly "You walk like a ruptured duck" . Clearly a film that should be shown to screenwriting classes as an example of how to get this sort of thing right. The action is pretty steady when it gets going though. Things tend to alternate between people and trees being shot up real good, and trees and huts being blown up real good, with occasional people being blown up real good for varieties sake. Oh and there is a bit of knife work, but I don't know that I'd describe it as real good. It's ok though.Basically if you like films full of people walking around in the jungle and shooting at trees with occasional explosions and a robot that speaks in comically mangled digital gibberish then this is a film for you. I like all of these things, so Robowar was definitely a film for me. It even musters up occasional pockets of genuine excitement and suspense in amongst the hilarity and repetition, with a climax that is more affecting than one might expect. There's no gore other than mangled corpses and a severed limb, and no sleaze which definitely hurts things, but as far as goofy action trash aimed at the undemanding goes this is definitely a winner. Not as good as the classic Strike Commando mind you, but in Mattei rip off terms this is pretty darned decent. Way better than Shocking Dark at any rate. So watch it folks!