Mill Creek Sci-Fi Invasion: ROTOR (1987)

A little Terminator, some Judge Dredd, some RoboCop throw them all together and you get ROTOR, which really means Robotic Officer of the Tactical Operations Research/Reserve Unit. Far from defunind the police, this future cop is the dream of Captain J.B. Coldyron, a scientist who runs the police robotics lab. He also manages a ranch, because, well, I have no idea how he can afford that on a police scientist salary, but here we are in the said future.

Anyways, Earl G. Buglar, Coldyron’s commander in the police department, has been stealing money for the ROTOR project and now has to have something to show to corrupt senator Donald D. Douglas — who sounds like a Stan Lee character name — before election time. Seeing as how all J.B. has to show for himself is a goofball prototype and a ripoff of Johnny 5*.

That’s when ROTOR gets activated and goes on the loose, killing off fiancees and stalking their women. J.B. finds the woman who made the chassis of this killing machine and together, they try to stop him. You know what his weakness is? Loud noises. So how does he fire his gun or use his car’s siren?

This movie pretty much has a Mad Max ripoff poster going for it and not much else. Seriously, even for someone like me that can smile through the worst Italian cinema has to offer can find little joy within this movie, especially when one of the robotic advancements is a TOMY toy made five years before this movie.

*That robot is named Willard and was played by APD2, a robot purchased in 1986 by the police department of Addision, Texas. Other than the IMDB notice that APD2 led the Christmas parade that year, there’s no mention anywhere of him on the web, a curious thing when you think that a police department had an actual robot in its employ and no one talks about it. Also, Texas is the first state to use a bomb carrying robot to kill a criminal. On July 8, 2016, that robot ended a standoff with a heavily armed suspect following the shooting of several Dallas police officers at a protest march.

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