My introduction to this Robocop ripoff was a clip of its titular super-officer walking through rows of chairs set up in a parking garage because of deep and meaningful reasons only known to the writers. I expected R.O.T.O.R. to be bad in the usual dull sense of nonexistent filmcraft, though perhaps with another amusing reference or two to share with those in the know.
I was so very wrong in the best possible way.
R.O.T.O.R. nails the fundamentals of filmmaking ineptitude – wooden dialog awkwardly spoken, nonsensical plot points, stock footage clashing with the narration, scenery and people and lighting warping around from shot to shot. It distinguishes itself with a unique and pervasive absurdity, from the nuances of said ineptitude to cringeworthy one-liners. Topping this off is a twist either pulled out of some highly unrelated ass or generated via randomizer – almost amazing in its senselessness.
I read that R.O.T.O.R. was originally written as a parody, which does explain a fair amount of its quirks. It still holds up as if it had been serious business unintentionally gone in all other directions instead.
To give a sense of what makes R.O.T.O.R. so special, let’s have some introductions.
I watched R.O.T.O.R. without the benefit of comedic commentary. Twice. It even dethroned my old favorite cheesefest of Jingle All the Way. Yes, even that part where Arnold fights a warehouse of counterfeit toymaking Santas.
Horribly Amazing Films review – A lovingly detailed recap with images galore.
Rifftrax commentary – One of their best, and not just due to my personal affection for its target.