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Robot Jox

tn_robotjoxStuart Gordon’s ROBOT JOX is the timeless story of some Robot Jox. It’s a post-apocalyptic world where the surviving factions of humanity fight over territories in sanctioned robot-on-robot battles. During the time of this story the Americans and Russians are fighting over Alaska. So this is the story of those robot battles and of the jox that jock the robots.

The robots aren’t alive, they are controlled by jox. Robot jox, if you want to be specific about which type of jox they are. These robot jox train in the martial arts and what not to prime their bodies to do moves that will be duplicated by the robot body around them. They have teams of course to build their robots and work on new weapons and help train them. So it’s like a futuristic cross between UFC, NASCAR, and war.

They had to change ROBOTJOX to two words because of ROBOCOP. But they were pissed about it.
They had to change ROBOTJOX to two words because of ROBOCOP. But they were pissed about it.

The American fighter is called Achilles, he’s played by Gary Graham (the main earthling cop from the ALIEN NATION tv series). He has a fat old redneck in his corner named Tex Conway (Michael Alldredge), a guy that used to be the champ and wears a cowboy hat with his futuristic jumpsuit. One more fight and Achilles gets out of his contract, and that’s a good thing. Robot jocking is dangerous and he’s getting old and obsolete. They got these new kids that are test tube bred for robot fighting. He doesn’t understand them because they don’t think like humans.

Let me give you an example. In his fight with the Russian (Paul Koslo from MR. MAJESTYK and OMEGA MAN) the other robot fires its arm as a projectile. Achilles sees that it’s heading right for the spectators, so he walks into it, tries to block it. But it knocks his robot into the stands, many people are killed and it’s a huge tragedy. He’s traumatized and refuses to re-do the fight, causing a scandal and branding him a coward across the world.

Afterwards, in a bar, the test tube robot jox tell him they don’t understand why he tried to protect the fans. The people who sit in the stands sign liability waivers, so why would he care? It just doesn’t compute for them, this trying to save human lives business.

So it becomes a reluctant fighter story. He eventually decides to help train this new test tube girl Athena (Anne-Marie Johnson). There is some intrigue about who’s leaking intel about their new weapons, and some question about who will actually fight. It’s a nice lean story, short and simple and classically entertaining, using a cool concept to good effect on a super low budget.

The futuristic sets are cheesy but the robot fights hold up better than I expected. They’re done with stop motion and I think miniatures that are actually pretty huge. (They’re miniature in the sense that they’re not really giant robots, just regular sized robots.) They move really slow, they don’t zip around like the Transformers, so they really seem to have some weight to them.

The tone of the movie is like a non-sarcastic STARSHIP TROOPERS – kind of naive and rah-rah ready for adventure. Gordon actually wrote the script with the esteemed science fictional novelist Joe Haldeman, whose book “The Forever War” I am very familiar with, not in the sense that I’ve read it or know what it’s about but in the sense that the Ain’t It Cool boys have name-dropped it about a thousand times over the years to show that they used to read books. I think Ridley Scott is making a movie out of it. Anyway, Haldeman didn’t see eye to eye with Gordon on the movie, and compared his script being rewritten by Gordon to his child getting brain damage. Gordon later realized that Haldeman thought they were making a movie for adults and Gordon thought it was for kids. Whoops.

I read in the book Filmmaking on the Fringe: The Good, the Bad and the Deviant Directors [shameless capitalistic link] that the movie was kind of a disaster for Gordon. The production company went under after filming but before doing the robot stuff. He had to wait around for the new overlords to decide if they even wanted to finish it. Then when they did it took way longer than expected. By the time it was out it was 2 years later and they’d missed the transforming robot toy fad they wanted to cash in on. But it did good on video.

Gordon says it was made for 10 year old boys, and sure enough it has a PG rating. But I gotta admit – I enjoyed it. Still, this is the rare movie that I’d actually like to see a remake of. I think with today’s technology and a mid-sized budget and (here’s the hard part) a tasteful, competent director this could be incredible. Get into way more detail on the fights – the same lumbering, hulking style but with the robots strategically taking each other apart piece by piece, still functioning with broken pieces hanging off. Kind of like an MMA fight. If they want to they can work in some out-of-robot fighting, since the jox are martial artists anyway, it’s already set up in the premise. If they need the story to be bigger that can be arranged too. There’s a whole post-apocalyptic landscape to explore. Maybe he’s transporting his robot somewhere and gets into some scrapes along the way. Or he could start as a scrappy small time fighter with a home made rig before he fights his way to the big time and the glorious job of securing ownership of the Alaskan territories.

If people are actually excited for a new TRON movie then I say there’s room for something like this too. I don’t know. All I know is that the world is ready to start saying the phrase “Robot Jox” again.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 11:01 am and is filed under Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

59 Responses to “Robot Jox”

  1. I know I saw this movie like a million times when I was a kid, but I only have vague memories of it now. I remember that he refrains from killing the bad guy at the end and offers his hand to help the guy up. I seem to recall some sort of joke (?) where the main characters friends are all excited that they have meat to serve with their dinner, and it’s just like one hot dog in a pot of beans or something. And I remember that you see that one girl’s ass, which was very exciting to me when I was 7 or whatever.

    And that’s about it. Can anyone here fill me in on the context of my fragmented ROBOT JOX memories?

  2. I think you just described that Hugh Jackman movie they started making. Boxers get replaced by robots, so the boxers start making their own ‘bots, and making money that way. Sounds like a cool premise (and is based off a Richard Matheson story!) and Hugh is obviously going to be good, but they hired the fucking Night in the Musuem guy to make it. Come on, was he really the ONLY guy they could find to make a movie about robots punching each other?

  3. As it happens a couple of my friends were big into this when I was 10, but it had a 15 certificate in the UK so I had no idea it was an actual kid’s film. I’ve never seen it but have wanted to for about 12 years. I also remember there was a sequel or something called CRASH AND BURN

  4. I’d never heard of a sequel to ROBOT JOX. It turns out that’s because there really isn’t one, at least according to a cursory glance at Wikipedia:

    “Despite the title, same opening theme, and involvement of Charles Band, the plots of ROBOT JOX 2: CRASH AND BURN and ROBOT JOX are completely unrelated.”

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crash_and_Burn_%28film%29

  5. I seem to remember there being a sequel or prequel or something, called “robot wars” that adopted a similar premise and although my memories are vague, I believe there are cross-references somewheres linking the two plots together. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107979/

    I believe there’s an ass in this one too, Dan. Such a formative scene… sigh.

  6. Vern, are you psychic or do you have more ties to the Hollywood machine than you let on?


  7. Never heard of this one. May look it up some day when I’m old and cynical.

    Be careful what you wish for, Vern. I wanted to see remakes of “Friday 13th” and “My Bloody Valentine” because I thought the many things wrong with those films might be “fixed”. Rookie mistake.

  8. Crash and Burn wasn’t a sequel, but the trailer appeared before the movie on VHS. And all the best scenes (ie, every moment with a stop-motion-robot) were in that trailer. The film itself was a messy terminator rip-off. The giant robot appears for about 2-3 scenes tops.

  9. Ahh , good old Robot Jox ! I remember renting this VHS over and over when I was a kid and loving every minute of it. If you wanted some robot-on-robot live action movie magic, this was the only thing around for some time . I think I actually prefer the concept of men piloting giant robots , instead of the Transformers approach of having thinking robots.In that way the robots are just tools , and the danger is more authentic for the people inside , the drama is more human .Plus , the robots in this movie are actually transforming and flying all over the place , an effect done well and with a guerrilla budget ! Extra Plus : Jeffrey Combs ! I’ve seen the “sequel” , but it’s not as good as this , but , Vern , if you want another similar movie there’s “Robo Warriors”(1996) with James Remar ! That’s right , Ajax from “the Warriors” kicking ass piloting giant robots !

  10. Mr. M – Wow Petersen, haven’t seen that name since his career went down with the ship in POSEIDON.

    How can the director of great thrillers like DAS BOOT and IN THE LINE OF FIRE, good fucking movies regardless of genre….go to dreck like AIR FORCE ONE and TROY? What the hell Wolfgang?

    Yes I think AFO is skippable. I said it mother fuckers.

    Also OUTBREAK sorta sucked. For a movie about an apocalyptic virus, when the thriller climax is a stupid helicopter chase…you’re fucked.

  11. I feel bad for Peterson. Because of DAS BOOT, he got stuck directing all the water-themed movies that no one else wanted to do because shooting on the water fucking sucks. The studios are like, “Eh, Wolfgang’ll do it. Wolfgang likes the water, don’t you, Wolfgang?”

    Then they noogie him until he agrees.

    Then again, he always could have said no. Then he wouldn’t have the reputation as being the guy whose crap is 85% soggier than 95% of the other crap out there. But at least we’ll always have THE NEVERENDING STORY.

  12. Mr. Majestyk – Wolfgang could have said no. At this rate I honestly don’t think he really gives a shit.

    I mean BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, that would have been terrible if it had gotten the greenlight instead of getting fucked by Jude Law and Colin Farrell refusing sequel clauses in their contracts.

    Yes Law as Superman, Farrell as Batman.

    Next time some of you fuckers bitch about TDK or BEGINS sucking, I’ll remind you all about this alternative reality.

  13. …and since we’re talking about robot arena fights , I will mention a movie I used to watch with Robot Jox : the 1989 movie called “Arena”. It’s about an intergalactic fighting tournament in the future , like “The Quest” from JCVD , only with rubber monsters and good old school effects . Also , there’s a guy punching robots and aliens…in the face.

  14. Loved this one. And agree that a careful remake could be fantastic.

    Anybody remember a somewhat similar movie called Arena (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101366/ ) ? It was a human vs alien mma/gladiator type dealie. DTV in the UK – another candidate for lower budget genre remake goodness.

    Also – I have always thought that a return to Champion based conflict resolution would do humanity a lot of good. Anyone agree? Wouldn’t everyone be happier if we could sort out our geo-political differences and issues with a nice, non-lethal one-on-one scrap? After debate and negotiation falls through, naturally.

  15. This movie still is awesome. Rather than remake it thought why not just stop fucking around and do a Gundam movie?

    If they do remake Robot Jox then they should steal from G-Gundam and have all the robots done up to visually represent the culture they are fighting for (Mexican robot has a Sombrero, U.S. robot has a surfboard & football helmet, etc). That could be pretty rad.

  16. Hmmm this one’s been sitting on my dvd shelf… got a freebie copy from work some time ago. Guess I’ll have to finally give it a go because now I’m sure I’ve never seen it – prior to reading this I thought I had for some reason… must be thinking of something else.

  17. telf – The only thing I really remember about Arena is that, during the fight scenes, the majority of the crowd were people-shaped cardboard cutouts with t-shirts draped over them. Also, Arena was released on 21st Century Home Video here in Australia, as was Robot Jox. And Carnosaur, if I’m not mistaken. I was working in a video store at the time and would take home pretty much anything that they distributed. Almost all of it was amazingly awful.

  18. I was going to chime in and thrash Wolfgang along with everyone else but I forgot that he did Enemy Mine and as such has a lifetime pass that cannot be revoked. Sorry I don’t make the rules, I just follow them

    RRA- A Superman vs Batman movie would be fucking awful no matter who makes it or who is cast in it. Those are two characters who really do not belong in the same universe and it always takes me out of the story when they try and make them interact. Yes, I’m aware that they can and have existed in the same universe for almost a century now. Still doesn’t make it right.

  19. When you first mentioned remake Vern, one name popped into my head, even though I temporarily forgot it, and then had to really try and remember, Neil Blomkamp. Proven record with robots and political subtext. I think I would dearly love to see a Neil Blomkamp remake of this film “Robot Jox” you speak of.

    Also Walsh, don’t forget it was 21st Century who brought “Hard Boiled” to Australia as well. I’ll love them forever for that and even saw my VHS copy earlier today, and was tempted to put it on, even though I’ve got it on DVD now.

  20. I’ll defend Wolfgang. The only movie of his that I saw and didn’t really care for was Troy.

    I loved Neverending Story, Outbreak, and Enemy Mine.

    Posidon, Air Force One, and Perfect Storm, while not GREAT are still movies I’ll hang with if I come across it on T.V. I don’t remember In The Line of Fire but I don’t recall hating or disliking it.

    So what is that, An 87 percent ratio of good movies to bad? You could throw a rock and find a worse director.

  21. I had no problem with a Robot Jox remake, btw. The world of movies is big enough for more than one with giant robots. Especially since Transformers is more on the goofy (or should I say bizarre?)side. So why not have a serious giant robot movie, maybe directed by Kathryn Bigelow? (I don’t trust Neil Blomkamp yet, although I’m sure he would make an impressive looking movie.)
    And why stop here? After Transformers and the Robotjox remake, we could also start to parody giant robots by making a Megas XLR movie, maybe directed by Adam McKay, who not just knows how to handle comedy, but also proved with Talledega Nights that he can direct action!
    And I’m not even on the cynical side here, because giant robots rule and there are not enough live action movies with them!

  22. BTW, now I heard from MANY people that the director’s cut of Troy is awesome and almost a completely different movie than the theatrical cut. I don’t know for sure, because I haven’t seen either version, so don’t hurt me if it’s wrong.

  23. Kermit – good call out to Arena, that was a class “martial arts tournament – in space!” movie.

  24. Holy shit – I only just realized Kermit and I made the exact same association at the exact same time (more or less). I think this synchronicity demands recognition – in the form of an Arena review by Vern. Please.

    Walsh – re. Cardboard crowds: I know! Maybe they were a race of incredibly flat aliens, jealously obsessed with watching more 3 dimensional species beat each other to death for their entertainment.

    I guess that’s one area of vfx where CGI really does trump practical…

  25. Yeah, I remember ARENA too, another one some friends of mine really liked but I never saw. Why my friends we’re watching so many low budget kid/early teen 80s films in the late 90s I don’t know.

    Anyone remember A.P.E.X.? A low budget TERMINATOR/UNIVERSAL SOLDIER wannabe, but a lot of fun.

  26. yo Vern, if you want to watch an awesome Stuart Gordon movie, then check out Dolls, it’s a movie about killer porcelain dolls (done with stop motion effects) and is quite scary, but with plenty of funny moments too

    anyway I saw Robot Jox a while back once, I loved the out of left field ending (“WE CAN LIVE!!!”), also if this is a movie for kids why do they show Anne-Marie Johnson’s butt? (I see some people have already mentioned that)

    and while we’re on the subject of giant robot movies, they should finally make that fucking Evangelion movie that’s been talked about for ages

  27. p.s. Wolfgang Peterson gets a lifetime pass for Neverending Story and Enemy Mine for me

  28. Not alot of love for Das Boot around here, its only one of the best war movies ever made.

    I remember renting Robot Jox, Arena, and some other giant robot movie back in the day, but i can’t remember a damn thing about them(not even the ass!).

  29. Holy Fuck , telf ! That’s some mental coordination right there !

  30. …and I agree , a review of Arena is a good idea ! After all , Vern loved all the crazy puppets in Nightbreed , and Arena is basically a tournament of plastic puppets in space !

  31. I never watched Arena, but I remember that that big green/grey monster thingy on the VHS cover creeped me out as a kid.
    It’s also impossible to find clips of it on YouTube, because Arena is such a generic title that you get a million videos that are about everything else.

  32. Cool, thanks, the first footage I ever saw of that movie. Interesting enough, it would already look like an episode of Babylon 5 without Claudia Christian! (And was that Marc Alaimo? I really have to dig this movie up somewhere.)

  33. Higharolla Kockamamie

    June 29th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    You heard right Mr. Holden, the director’s cut of Troy is genuinely a good movie, at least in my estimation. It’s sort of like Kingdom of Heaven in that way, the regular movie being largely unsatisfying followed by a director’s cut that renders the regular cut of the thing completely unnecessary and a waste of time.

  34. Back to Robot Jox….
    I actually really like the idea of a remake with a moderate budget and a director with a love for the material . Vern’s take is good , with the guy working from a simple piece-of-junk robot to the Major Leagues , and the idea of robots strategically targeting different parts , causing damage piece by piece is awesome. My idea for a sequel was to give the pilots themselves some weapons , like a pistol and a rocket launcher , so , in the ending fight , after destroying the robots , they have a gunfight using the broken pieces of the robots as cover .
    Then , when they’re out of bullets , it’s time for martial arts !

  35. patrick Boivin should do the remake!!


  36. “Stuart Gordon’s ROBOT JOX is the timeless story of some Robot Jox.”

    No need to read any further.

  37. – CallMeKermiT

    That sounds like a great movie. It would be awesome if you never see the main bad guy, only his massive robot, and in the end, when they have trashed each others robots and have to go man-o-man, the bad guy jumps out of the cockpit and… He`s a dwarf! And our hero KICKS his ass with kung-fu!!! Or maybe our hero should be a midget. I dunno. I think Warwick Davis. Maybe they are both midgets. Tom Cruise vs Warwick David. Ker-ching!

  38. man, i think wolfgang petersen sucks. he may have made some good movies back in the day (i haven’t seen THE BOAT, but i assume it lives up to its stellar reputation), but everything he has made in the last 15 or so years has been mediocre to atrocious, he has long outlived his goodwill. haven’t seen THE NEVERENDING STORY since i was a kid, really, but i suspect nostalgia may cloud my judgment of it (and possibly the judgment of other posters on here). never saw ENEMY MINE unfortunately, but definitely want to. IN THE LINE OF FIRE was certainly entertaining, thanks mainly to the two lead actors, but you have to admit it was kind of stupid. it was also one of those hollywood movies with that kind of anti-intellectual bent, where the hero is kind of a jock and the villain a smarty pants (i especially like the exchange where malkovich goes on a lengthy monologue deconstructing clint’s psychology and analyzing his guilt over not protecting JFK or something like that, and clint responds with, “sounds like you need to get laid, pal”). AIR FORCE ONE was laughably bad. it would almost work as an unintentional comedy if it didn’t make me so embarrassed to be american. THE PERFECT STORM was painful to sit through. it was one of the very, very few instances in my cinema-going life where i actually felt cheated out of my money as the credits began to roll. TROY (theatrical) was a boring mess – i am not a fan of this recent quasi-trend of turning mythological epics into gritty, pseudo-historical dramas (see also: KING ARTHUR). i avoided POSEIDON, which is clearly one of those movies that we can all have a pretty good idea of its low-quality without having seen it. to sum up, i haven’t seen the two of the three of his movies that people here seem most to be lauding (my bad), but they were all made early in his career. what have you done for me lately, wolfgang? the last decent movie he made was IN THE LINE OF FIRE, and that was no classic, AND it was back in 1993! one nice thing i can say about him: having just perused his imdb filmography, he does have the awesomely-titled I WILL KILL YOU, WOLF on his early resume.

    so, i cannot muster any enthusiasm for any new announced projects of his, and rock ’em sock ’em robots is no exceptions. stuart gordon’s ROBOT JOX sound cool, though. i’m not sure if i had ever heard of it before this review, or if i did, i am not sure i was aware it was an actual movie (which is kinda weird, seeing what a great part it seemed to have played in many of your childhood’s in the 80’s). oh, but i loved the casual nudity in 80’s family flicks! see also: CLASH OF THE TITANS (original) and SPLASH.

  39. Let’s say that Poseidon isn’t THAT bad, although it adds absolutely nothing to the disaster movie genre. And to be honest, that’s what made me kinda like it. I’m a sucker for old school disaster movies. If you liked Daylight, you could also enjoy Poseidon. (You can decide for yourself what that means. ;) )
    But to be honest, Poseidon is worth watching for scene with Kurt Russell alone:




    Kurt dies in the end and this happens to be the most painful to wach drowning scene ever put on film! I’m glad that they out it near the end of the movie, because if a disturbing scene like that had happened earlier, nobody would have been able to pay attenion to whatever comes afterwards.

  40. I actually saw POSEIDON in theaters back in 2006

    it’s not a terrible movie, but not a very memorable one either, it adds nothing to the original save for a modern setting and lots of CGI. Kurt Russel and Richard Dreyfus were good in it at least

    also Virgin Gary, it’s hard to believe there was time when a “family flick” would actually have nudity

  41. I love most of Stuart Gordon´s movies, including this one.

  42. this is off topic, but the Back To The Future trilogy has officially been announced for blu ray

    God is in his Heaven, all is right with the world

  43. Griff,

    That’s awesome. Now all they need to do is release ALIENS on blu ray and my essential 80’s collection will be complete. Say hi to your grandpa for me.

    Virgin Gary,

    Not sure if I see your point about IN THE LINE OF FIRE having an anti-intellectualism slant, what with them establishing Clint’s character as having a secret, sensitive, piano-playing side and all that. I think the scene you’re referring to is more of an example of the “cut through all the bullshit” attitudes we love in our action hero, not a slam on the bad guy for being a smarty pants.

  44. Dan – well, it’s been a while since i’ve seen it, but at the time i felt like it definitely fit the pattern of hollywood action movies/thrillers having the villain be a highly intelligent (often foreign, though not in this case – yet, malkovich is kinda foreign-seeming, if that makes sense) person, often a genius, and the hero is an american tough guy who prefers to fight physically than with the mind. in fact, i often think of it as one of the primary examples of this phenomenon. btw, i should mention that i no longer get upset by this kind of thing (like i did back then when i was a nerdy teenager), but i do find it funny. though it’s not so funny when i think of how it relates to whenever there is a u.s. presidential election and certain candidates (gore, obama) are criticized for being “too intellectual,” and people seem to praise the simple “folksiness” (read: unintelligent/uneducated) of guys like GWB.

    but yeah, the piano playing is classic badass juxtaposition (i’m guessing a clint contribution to the movie).

    griff – dude, the 80’s was chocked full of wonderful nudity for the whole family!

    also, apparently the BTTF blu-ray release is actually gonna contain (probably very brief) snippets of some of the scenes shot with eric stoltz! for those of you who don’t know, eric stoltz was originally cast as marty mcfly, as first choice michael j. fox was tied up with “family ties” (no pun intended). they shot about 5 weeks with stoltz (on third of the whole movie!), but the story goes that producer spielberg found him to be “too intense,” so they fired him and figured out a way to get fox by having him shoot “family ties” during the day and BTTF at night. this piece of movie trivia served as the basis for my almost certainly unproduceable movie idea THE POWER OF STOLTZ, which involved eric stoltz travelling back in time to 1984 to prevent michael j. fox from replacing him.

  45. hey Virgin Gary, the movie is not exactly family friendly, but one of my favorite movies as a kid was Maximum Overdrive, I used to rent it a lot, it wasn’t till watching it again years later that I noticed a scene with a bunch of nude women posters on the wall, strangely enough I never noticed that as a kid!

  46. Gary,

    I’ll definitely agree that it has been a theme in certain American action movies, I’m just not sure IN THE LINE OF FIRE is a great example. Clint does too much investigation and whatnot, and gets too much good banter with Malkovich to be considered one of those blunt object type of action heroes.


    I also used to rent MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE a lot when I was a kid (and eventually I think I taped it) but don’t recall the naked women on the wall. Maybe it wasn’t as apparent in the VHS version? My parents, for whatever reason, didn’t care about all the violence and profanity in the movies I watched as a kid, but didn’t like me to see anything with sex and nudity, so I’m guessing they didn’t notice either.

  47. Someone mentioned Charles Band – I would love to see Vern review Trancers.

  48. i’ve always loved Robot Jox. such a good movie.

  49. I liked that POSEIDON was a genuinely lean, 90 minute blockbuster. And the scene with Dreyfus and the waiter was fairly ballsy

  50. I also had no idea that Stephen King both wrote and directed MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE till years later, despite the fact that he himself ha a cameo

  51. Porkchop express

    July 5th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I’m still waiting for a takeshi kitano blowout!!!!!!!!!

  52. Guess I have to give this another chance. I remember being unimpressed in 1990 but I have an adult perspective and Vern’s guidance now. Wasn’t there a sequel to this too?

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  54. Paulo Cezar Ribeiro

    November 12th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I remember when i was a kid, this movie was the best ever for me, and it still the best….

  55. ROBOT JOX was filmed in 1987 and finally released in 1990. You’ll see wildly varying years attached to it depending on the source: 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991. It looks mid-eighties, and Gary Graham looks younger than he does in ALIEN NATION, so I kind of want to say 1987.

    Re: Josiah: There was never a true sequel to it. The closest we got was ROBOT WARS (1993), which was presented as a sequel and shares the element of a futuristic setting where fictional nations are rivals (in the case of JOX, the Market and the Confederation; in WARS, the North Hemi and the Eastern Alliance), plus duelling mech pilots. If you try really hard, you might be able pretend that the two movies take place in the same universe.

    Re: Pacman + Mike + Kermit: CRASH AND BURN (1990) was not related at all, aside from being a Charles Band movie with a brief appearance by a giant robot. ROBO WARRIORS (1996) was not related either and should not be considered “ROBOT JOX 3.”

    Re: Kermit + Telf: ARENA (1989) never caught my interest, because it looked depressing. IIRC a bottle-blond James from TWIN PEAKS plays the human gladiator. Based on this thread I may have to give it a chance.

    Re: Marlow: For live-action GUNDAM, you’ve sort of got that with the mechas in PACIFIC RIM (2013).

    Re: Odo: And if Batman and Superman are in the same universe, they should be friends, not opponents or rivals. Frank Miller ruined everything.

    Re: Pacman: I remember A.P.E.X. (1994)! I have it on VHS, rescued from a video store that went out of business. It’s not great, but it has its moments.

    Re: Gary: Malkovich’s character learned how to make his undetectable plastic gun by joining a model-making club, which could be considered a little nerdy. But then without people who devote themselves to making models, we wouldn’t have ROBOT JOX!

    In conclusion, I like ROBOT JOX.

  56. RIP Gary Graham. I just rewatched Robot Jox last week on Amazon and was surprised how well it held up, and how great Graham was in it. He had the legit rugged tough-guy badassness of Scott Glenn, but also this goofy self-deprecating softer side that you don’t see much in leading men. I may have to search out the Alien Nation TV Show now because I really liked his performance here.

    Re: Robot Jox: the hand to hand fight scenes, which I don’t even remember being in the movie, were surprisingly well shot and choreographed, the low budget FX are still cool to look at, the satire is handled just right, and yes, the Anne Marie Johnson ass shot burned into my childhood brain still delivered. Definitely deserving of its cult classic status.

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