Robot Wars (1993)

Robot Wars (1993)
AKA Robot Jox 2, Robot Jox 2: Robot Wars

Starring Don Michael Paul, Barbara Crampton, James Staley, Lisa Rinna, Danny Kamekona, Yuji Okumoto, J. Downing, Peter Haskell, Sam Scarber, Steve Eastin

Directed by Albert Band

Expectations: Moderate. I loved Robot Jox, but Crash and Burn really soured me on other Full Moon movies trying to recapture some of that glory.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Many moons ago, Uncle Jasper and I tag-teamed two of Full Moon’s three giant robot movies. Robot Jox, the first of these, was incredible. It was so incredible in fact that it bankrupted Empire International, and directly led to the genesis of Full Moon as a company. A few months later, Full Moon came out with Crash and Burn, to decidedly less satisfying results. Due to that film’s paltry offerings in the way of giant robots duking it out, I shelved Robot Wars for a later date; I just couldn’t bear to be disappointed again so soon. While Robot Wars definitely doesn’t live up to the incredible, hulking battles of Robot Jox, it does follow in its footsteps enough to be called something of a sequel.

But don’t get too excited: the “robot wars” are really only one battle at the end of the movie. Instead, I think the robot wars of the title are more a reference to the battles in Robot Jox than anything else, because in this timeline there’s only one remaining giant robot. I guess all those political struggles hashed out through robots bashing their fists into each other ended up working themselves out, as this sole remaining robot is now used as a tourist attraction ferrying tourists back and forth between a 1993 ghost town.

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Ghoulies II (1988)

Starring Damon Martin, Royal Dano, Phil Fondacaro, J. Downing, Kerry Remsen, Dale Wyatt

Directed by Albert Band

Expectations: Low. There’s no way this can live up to the first one.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:
threehalfstar


Ghoulies II is a film working against the odds. The first Ghoulies is a cult horror/comedy masterpiece (if you go for those sorts of things) and generally sequels to such fare are always inferior. I am happy to report that Ghoulies II is an exception to the rule. When four minutes in there’s a man with a groaning, wriggling sack over his shoulder being chased by three guys in blood-red satanist robes, you know you’re in for something…might be special, might be shit, but it’s definitely not gonna be middle of the road.

Apparently these satanists summoned the Ghoulies and the guy with the sack is making off with them to kill them. He runs into a gas station garage and throws the whole bag into a steaming toxic waste barrel. I’ve never seen a toxic waste barrel spewing fog at my local garage, but this is Ghoulies II so we’re just gonna go with it. Needless to say, the toxic waste has zero effect on the Ghoulies. They jump out and stop-motion their way over to a parked diesel rig. Soon, we’re all on our way to the carnival via the truck carrying the Satan’s Den attraction and our lovable Ghoulies.

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