BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Robowar (1988)

I think that I was completely unfair to Robowar the first time I reviewed it. Or maybe the fact that I’m doing an entire week of Bruno Mattei movies has caused me to reevaluate things. On second viewing, I loved every single moment of this film.

Vincent Dawn — my favorite Mattei alter ego — worked with Claudio Fragasso and Rosella Drudi to not only rip off Predator, but also The Terminator and Rambo while they were at it. Major Murphy Black (Reb Brown!) leads a squad of commandoes who have given themselves the name  The B.A.M. (Big Ass Motherfuckers).

The team includes Pvt. Larry Guarino (Massimo Vanni, Rats: The Night of Terror), Cpl. Neil Corey (Romano Puppo, who was Trash’s father in Escape from the Bronx), Quang (Max Laurel, Zuma himself!), Soony “Blood” Peel (Jim Gaines, who was in nearly every movie Mattei made in the Phillipines) and Arthur “Papa Doc” Bray (John P. Dulaney, Just a Damn Soldier).

They’ve been sent to the jungle to rescue civilians like Virgin (Catherine Hickland, Witchery) from a guerrilla force, but after wiping out the bad guys, a robot named Omega-1 begins picking them off one after the other. Soon, one of their men named Mascher (Mel Davidson, Strike Commando 2) tells Black that he’s only there to view the battle between Murphy and the killer bot, it’s final field test before it becomes government issue.

And yes, that’s Claudio Fragasso as the killer robot.

Just when you think you’ve kept track of all the ripoffs, Mattei and Fragasso confront you with one more: Omega-1 the Hunter is a human/machine hybrid with organic parts that include the brain of Black’s old friend, Lt. Martin Woodrie. Yes, they went even further and used RoboCop!

I was wrong and apologize for the prior review. After further study, this just may be the third best Predator movie ever made. It’s certainly better than the AVP films. I mean, it starts with a helicopter blowing up real good and that’s where most movies end. All it wants to do is entertain you.

You can get this from Severin or watch it on Tubi.

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