Robot Holocaust (1986)

Robot Holocaust

Written and Directed by Tim Kincaid

Tagline: “It’s machine vs. man in the ultimate battle for the future!”

Run Time: 79 min


I just want you to know that I came back from vacation yesterday and here I am writing about an absolutely terrible movie called Robot Holocaust…what the hell is wrong with me?

The movie itself is another entry in a long list of crappy 1980’s Mad-Max-Fall-Of-Civilization films, however Robot Holocaust manages to plunge deeper into the crap pile than all of its peers. The plot? A group of savage humans fights to overthrow their cyborg masters. The rag-tag group of rebels include a muscle-bound "Conan" type, a telepathic "leader" and an Amazon woman, along with a cast of other discardable characters. Oh yes, there’s also a gut-wrenching robotic comedy relief "C-3PO" rip-off that tags along and will have the viewer shouting "WTF?!" more than once.

Oh yeah, and the evil overlord, creatively named Dark One, looks like an avocado.

Writer/director Tim Kincaid is actually a fairly prolific porn writer and director. Often using the moniker "Joe Gage", Tim has directed not a few "truck stop" (!) themed adult films including El Paso Wrecking Corp, Truck Stop I-95, Orange Hanky Left and a series of four Joe Gage Sex Files films. What demons possessed him to attempt a sci-fi flick is beyond me.

The production values in this movie are bottom of the barrel. Most of the interior shots take place, yes, in a giant factory of some sort full of pipes and steam. Scenes requiring exterior shots were mostly taken in a park (complete with still serviceable walking paths and trimmed plants). The "ruins" are in fact a long shot of the New York City skyline filmed from behind a pile of dirt in order to hide automobile traffic. For example:

Robot Holocaust

Robot Holocaust

Robot Holocaust

Boy, that really gives you a sense of desolation and ruin, doesn’t it? I especially like the well maintained foot path through the "wastelands" in the bottom picture.

The Cast:

Norriss Culf Neo (Norriss Culf)

The hybrid Nomad who saves New Terra from the terrible Dark One, and ends up stuck with Klyton as a side-kick for all eternity. Kind of makes you feel sorry for the guy.
Norriss Culf appeared in 2 other films, both in 1986: Another Tim Kincaid bomb Breeders, and as a "Cult Member" in Necropolis

Rick Gianasi Torque (Rick Gianasi)

Since Torque is the only robot that actually has a firearm in this strangely gun-free post-apocalyptic world, he is certainly the one-eyed king in the land of the blind. Ranking just below Valaria in the Dark One’s evil hierarchy, Torque runs back and forth pulling levers and escorting prisoners. However, he does deliver a pretty decent ass-whooping to Neo at the end of the film.
An interesting side note: The actor who plays Torque, Rick Gianasi, starred as Harry Griswald in the hilarious Troma Team spoof: Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D (1991). It’s a small world…

Joel von Ornsteiner Klyton (Joel von Ornsteiner)

And the Oscar for The Most Idiotic Robot of All Time goes to…
The actor who portrays Klyton has also appeared in another Tim Kincaid DTV cheese-fest, Mutant Hunt (1987) (credited as Cyborg Fighter). He has also shown up as another of the "Cult Members" along with Norriss Culf (above) in Necropolis (1986). Joel’s last appearance is noted as "Hog’s Man Green Eyes" in an Amish post-apocolyptic thriller entitled Deadly Reactor (1989). Wow.

Angelika Jager Valaria (Angelika Jager)

The Dark One’s right-hand man, woman, er robot. (Ooops! Did I give something away?)
Angelika Jager has got to be the worst actress I have ever seen in my life. However, I give her some bonus points for being pretty hot.
Robot Holocaust was Angelika Jager’s first and only film appearance. Ouch!

As is typical for crappy films, we begin with wads of exposition via an unseen narrator:

"The last city still stood.
The remaining home of what was left of the civilization of New Terra.
The society had been all but destroyed by the Robot Rebellion of ’33.
When the Robots had turned on their masters by the billions, the ensuing chaos that led to a radiation spill,
far more deadly than any nuclear warfare….
The world had been brought to its knees by the…

ROBOT HOLOCAUST"

Keep in mind that this narration is played over shots of the, *ahem*, ruins of civilization, such as construction areas, knocked over houses, and so on. Basically, it would appear that the cameraman took a day touring the city and shooting quick footage of anything that looked "futuristic" and "ruined".

We’re off to a great start I tell ya!

Robot HolocaustAfter the opening credits, we segue from a scene of a partially demolished parking ramp, er, I mean apocalyptic desolation, to a shot showing 2 topless barbarian men in a hand-to-hand battle to the death. Surrounding the fighting area is the usual crowd of Apocalyptic Survivors, all of which are oddly very well groomed and muscular, given the fact that this is, after all, after the fall of civilization. For some reason, one of the barbarians is clutching a burlap sack filled with God-knows-what while watching the proceedings. Man, the future is going to be hell, I tell ya!

The two combatants "struggle" for their lives as the evil robot Torque looks on with approval. Another robot, Klyton, a robot that you will soon wish you could banish to Hell, roams through the crowd pick-pocketing the unwary people in the crowd. (Since all of the people seem to be wearing nothing but loin clothes, I’m not too sure what "pocket" Klyton is "picking"…I’ll leave that up to the viewer’s imagination.)

Just when you thought you were safe, our helpful Narrator rejoins us with more exposition: "The remaining humans of New Terra became known as ‘Air Slaves’ [!]."

You know, quoting crappy narration is not my idea of fun, so I’m going to just cut to the chase. The Dark One, "an evil being", controls the air inside the city while the air outside the city is poison. You see? Inside city: Good. Outside city: Bad. This really isn’t rocket science, you know…

Robot HolocaustThere are legends of humans outside the city that have "acclimated" themselves to the poison air and can somehow breath it with no ill effects. (How the hell they "acclimated" themselves to a toxic atmosphere is anybody’s guess.) Ah yes, right on cue. Down a flight of steps wanders one of these nomads. Klyton the Funny Pick Pocket Robot makes his way to the stranger and tries to relieve him of what looks like a set of .50 caliber bullets that are stuck in his belt. (Apocalypse!!!)

The nomad, Neo, grabs Klyton’s arm at the same time he deftly taps a "deactivation" switch on the back of the bumbling robot’s neck. Using telepathy (How hcould you communicate with a robot using telepathy?), Neo inquires as to the proceedings taking place in the pit below.

Klyton explains that once a month the Dark One sends out a robot slave-driver to pick the two strongest slaves and have them fight to the death. The winner is taken to the Power Station for his "reward". As you may have suspected, the reward is death. "In this way the Dark One can prevent the Air Slaves from developing leaders who could lead a rebellion." Oh Dark One, you are so clever! I can’t help but think that people would get a little suspicious if the monthly "winner" simply disappeared after being escorted to the Power Station for his "reward". Wouldn’t that just encourage the Air Slaves to appear as weak as possible in order to avoid being picked out as one of the strongest? (Stupid movie.) And why do these "fall of civilization" movies always have a host of muscle-bound warriors? Where do they get the food to support such a physique? Don’t body builders have to consume thousands of calories per day to maintain their form?

Klyton continues by saying that he is just a "poor free-bot"…forced to pick pockets in order to pay for his own upkeep. Gee. OK, well that explains that plot hole! Thank God!

Robot HolocaustCut to lousy matt painting of the so-called Power Station. It sort of reminds me of the cover for a Queen album I once saw, but I may be wrong. OK, fine. Power Station it is. Housed in this mighty edifice is the machinery responsible for cleansing the air in New Terra. Pretty exciting, eh? Gee, I wonder if this building is full of huge pipes, steam, and generators, exactly like, say, a modern day power plant?

Next shot…inside the Power Station. Hey! It’s full of huge pipes, steam, and generators! Damn, I’m good! Out of one particularly large cloud of steam walks our Eeeeevviillll mistress, Valaria. (Played by actress Angelika Jager who speaks with such a thick accent (Italian? French? German?…) that most of her lines are incomprehensible. Joel and the Bots had a blast ripping her diction to pieces.)

Valaria, sporting a golden spandex leotard, riding crop, and floor-length feathered boa (!) makes her rounds while Dark One speaks to her via voiceover. (Whether Dark One is telepathic or just uses some sort of loudspeaker system is unclear…and irrelevant when you think about it…and really, you shouldn’t think about this movie too much.) Apparently the Dark One senses an intruder in the amphitheater (better know to us as The Place Where The Shirtless Guys Are Fighting To The Death).

Back at said amphitheater, the two barbarians are still fighting each other. For some reason, Torque decides to speed things up (Thank you, Torque!), hands a knife to one of the combatants and orders him to kill the other. The crowd shouts their disapproval of the unfair advantage given to the fighter. ("No! He’s our brother!" one peasant shouts. So what is it that they are upset about? That one guy is going to kill another? I hate to point out obvious, but this is a Death Match, so you have to expect that, you know, somebody is going to die…am I right?)

Robot HolocaustAnyway, the crowd begins to shout "No winner! No winner!" I assume they are referring to the fact that they don’t approve of the death match and that they’re not commenting on the quality of the film. Back at the Power Station, Valaria overhears the commotion via some sort of big yellow ball and sends toxic air rushing into the amphitheater in order to quell the uprising.

The toxins quickly knock the crowd to the ground, who begin clutching their throats in agony. Neo is unaffected by the poison, and remains standing. Oddly, an attractive young woman, Deeja, and her father, Jorn, also appear to be unaffected. Jorn wisely tells his daughter to play possum, and she reluctantly falls to the floor, feigning suffocation. (How Torque failed to notice their immunity to the gas for so long shows just how idiotic these robots are. I mean, they were standing an entire 5 feet in front of him.)

Torque suddenly notices that, hey!, Jorn is still standing. "Who stands against the forces of the Power Station?," says Torque. (I guess Torque can’t see Klyton and Neo because they are in the shadows or something. It’s really a sign of a great movie when the viewers have to figure this kind of thing out for themselves.)

"Restore the atmosphere and I will identify myself!" says Jorn.

Torque contemplates this offer for a second and answers, "Very well." (These robots are supposed to be our masters?!) The air is restored, or cleaned, or whatever, and Torque zaps the two death match fighters just to reiterate that he’s in charge. (You know, don’t mistake kindness for weakness…Whatever, Torque…whatever.) OK, fine. Deeja hides herself in the crowd while Torque escorts Jorn to the Power Station for interrogation.

Man oh man, I know nominate Robot Holocaust for this year’s Golden Exposition Award. Now it’s Deeja’s turn to explain…and explain…and explain. Deeja explains to Neo that her father is a "scientist" (of course), and he’s developed a "small device" which "subverts the Dark One’s atmosphere control." (Yes, I know this makes no sense, let’s just go with the flow.) Well, duh, Deeja’s father only made 2 such devices.

Deeja does in fact give us a quick glimpse of this "device" nestled in her ear. Hmm. An atmosphere filtration device that you stick in your ear?

Neo’s turn:

"I have been sent here by the Rebel Society from what you call The Wastelands". (A "Rebel Society"? Isn’t that an oxymoron?) Blah blah…and man, that’s not a cop out of typing up this review. These guys just talk and talk and talk. I’m doing you a favor by summarizing…a huge favor!) Look, Neo has a "friend" in the Power Station that can help them overthrow the Dark One. With the help of some Air Slaves (equipped with breathing devices), Neo and his new gang can sneak their way into the Power Station, find his friend, and then start the rebellion.

There. You owe me a big favor for that.

So, let’s see where we are at. Neo, Klyton, Deeja, Dorky Air Slave Guy #1 (DASG1) , and Dorky Air Slave Guy #2 (DASG2) all head out into the, *ahem*, wastelands on their journey to the Power Station. (Wait a minute. How do those 2 Air Slaves survive out here? Isn’t the air poison? Man, this is great continuity.)

Robot Holocaust

Dorky Air Slave Guys 1 and 2

After awhile, and again, there is no indication to how long they have actually traveled, the group enters some sort of mutant infested wilderness. (This wilderness is in fact a park, which can easily be discerned by the foot paths threading through the neatly cut grass.) As luck would have it, the party is surrounded by a bikini-clad Amazon tribe. (Upon seeing the Amazons, Klyton the idiot robot freaks out, makes a "beep-boop-beep" noise and takes refuge in a tree! Comedy!)

Robot HolocaustThe Amazon leader, Nyla, decked out in a white vest, leather bikini, and furry white knee-high boots demands to know what Deeja is doing in the "She-zone" in the company of "male scum". Neo jumps in to answer but is quickly ‘hushed-hushed’ when Nyla insists on speaking only with Deeja.

"I walk on a mission with these men to save my father," says Deeja. After a bit of wrangling over the trustworthiness of men, one of the Dorky Air Slave Guys snidely asks, "Then how can your tribe survive [without men]?"

"We use men to breed with us to create future warrior women…then we dispose of them." (Hey, I can think of worse ways to go. Also, isn’t this sentence a bit ambiguous? Do they dispose of the women warriors or the men?) Nyla points in the direction of the last man that "ventured into our territory." Yes, it’s a buff dude in a loin cloth named Kai, bound between 2 trees.

When Nyla remarks that the Amazons are finished breeding with Kai and he is scheduled to be destroyed, DASG1 asks, "And he has nothing to say about this?"

Ummm, since Kai is bound to a tree awaiting execution, I would venture to say that NO, he does NOT have a say in all this.

"The first thing we do when we find one of you [males] is to remove your tongue…men chatter so," says Nyla. ("Men chatter so"…I wonder if people in an apocalyptic wasteland will be speaking like that.)

"You cowardly bitch," growls DASG1 as he pulls his sword. Nyla pulls her sword and a fight appears imminent. Just as all hell breaks loose, Neo uses the old I Wouldn’t Do That Because There’s A Laser Pointed At Your Head trick. Nyla falls for it, puts away her sword, and grants Neo a "fair fight".

Once again, I assume they will be fighting for Kai’s release, but really, why does the viewer have to figure this out?

Ho hum. Over to the "fair fight". As an Amazon woman places a knife in the ground our narrator informs us that "A knife is placed in the ground." Ah yes. Thank you. So that’s what she was doing when she was placing the knife in the ground. DASG1 and Nyla tussle a bit while "exciting" music reminds the viewer that this is in fact "exciting". After a few seconds, DASG1 wrests the knife from Nyla’s hands and tosses her to the ground. Just as he is about to cut her throat, Neo jumps in and stops the battle.

"By the rules of our tribe, I belong to you to do what you will with me," says Nyla. (Hey! When do I get to live in an apocalyptic wasteland?!)

"What do you suggest?" asks Neo.

"Kill me," replies Nyla, "because if I get the chance I will kill you." (This last statement seems to contradict the whole ‘Now I Belong To You’ laws of the tribe, but anyway…)

The astute viewer may have been wondering how the Amazons can breathe the poisoned air. Good question. "Your people are like me," says Neo. Well, that’s good enough for me. Another plot hole patched! Now I’m getting a little pissed. The script goes to the trouble to mention the "poison air" but then whenever characters are required to live in the polluted atmosphere, they just say that their "people" have developed a natural immunity. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

"You can help lead us to the Power Station," suggests Neo to Nyla. (Umm, really, why bother? Neo was perfectly capable of leading them before they met the Amazons, and even worse, Nyla has stated that she intends to kill them when she gets the chance. So what’s the point of dragging her along? Oh yeah, The Script Says So.)

Nyla agrees but adds, "Once my debt is paid then I will kill you." (See previous comments about bringing her along.) Neo orders Kai to be released and the rebels continue their journey to the power station. (Why does Nyla agree to release Kai? That was not part of the deal…or was it? Stupid movie.)

Robot HolocaustCut to "deep in the Power Station," as our narrator informs us. We see an odd device that looks a bit like a phone booth but is referred to as "the Pleasure Machine", so I guess we have to go with that. Stepping inside the Pleasure Machine is Valaria, who whips off her top while a naked man and woman stand outside holding one of those glowing plasma balls that you can purchase in any novelty store. (Super-Duper-Futuristic!) Valaria dances and touches the plasma ball while the Machine does its business. Moving right along…

The Dark One interrupts this lovely scene by saying, "The Pleasure Machine is for reward…not for habit." While an abashed Valaria exits the Pleasure Machine, the Dark One reminds her that their are "other matters" to attend to. Yes, I suppose ruling a planet would require a little paper work every now and then.

Robot HolocaustEnter Torque and Jorn who stand quietly while the Dark One commands Valaria to interrogate the prisoner. "Torque…free this man from his bonds," orders Valaria in what is one of the most wooden deliveries I have ever witnessed. The interrogation continues as Valaria tries her best to be Eeevvviilll, but boy, is it excruciating to watch. I almost feel embarrassed for the actress…almost. Hell, everybody involved with this shit sandwich is just going to have to take a bite.

Getting to the heart of the matter, Valaria gives Jorn a choice: either explain how he is "impervious to our atmospheric controls" or be exposed to "worlds of pain beyond your imagination." (Ouch!) Jorn refuses to divulge his secret and as a result is taken to "the Crystal."

A yes, about time for some narration:

"At the Crystal, Jorn can see that the Dark One is aware of the rebels every move." This seems an odd statement since the Crystal is just a plastic ball with a pulsating green light in it. Well, yes, since the Script Says So, Jorn "sees" that the Dark One knows of his daughter and the rebel band heading to the Power Station. Regardless of the risk to his daughter, Jorn refuses to talk. "She would have wanted it this way," says Jorn. (Um, if you say so.) Fed up with Jorn’s insolence, Valaria orders Torque to take Jorn to the Room of Questions. (Alright already! Just pull out his fingernails and get on with it!)

Meanwhile, the rebel band has reached the "caverns". These caverns look strangely like a pedestrian tunnel in a park, but let’s just suspend disbelief for a moment, shall we? Why enter the tunnels? To avoid the Dark One’s surveillance, and probably to see some really cool monsters. (Well, don’t count too much on the second one.)

Robot HolocaustAs the band enter the tunnels we learn via our beloved narrator that "The mutants continue to follow the rebels even as they enter the underground cavern." Well, gee. Isn’t that so scary. By the way, these "mutants" look a lot like the extras from Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" video, spooky stuff. The video, not Michael. OK, yes, actually both.

Robot HolocaustNyla leads the rebels into the mouth of the cave. Silence is required since the caverns are full of "sewage worms". (So is this a sewer or a cave?) These blind, pink, buck-toothed worms are attracted to sound, so every step has to be made with complete silence. Oh brother, try not to notice that these "worms" are simply hand puppets stuck through holes cut into the "cave" wall. This is utter crap here, folks.

After a failed attempt to sneak past one of the worms, Neo declares, "There’s only one way…we chop our way through!" (OK, somebody do something for cripes sake! Let’s go!)

Great plan Neo. Just as they take their first tentative steps, DASG1 gets chomped in the neck. (No great loss, I admit, but still, this plan just doesn’t seem too hot.) After some pretty lousy fight scenes which make both rebels and worms look completely ludicrous, the rebels escape the caves and take refuge in an "oasis".

(Do worms eat mutants? How are the mutants going to get through the caverns and attack the rebels? Ooops! Didn’t mean to give that away!)

By the way, to all you fans of Dorky Air Slave Guy #1, he survived the bite to his neck and is straggling along with the rest of the rebels.

At the oasis the rebels bend down to take a drink of water, but quickly back away upon seeing bubbles seeping up to the surface from the murky depths. When Nyla is asked what is making the bubbles she replies, "You don’t want to know." Well, I did want to know, but we never find out, so that was that. I assume the producers ran out of F/X money and decided to drop the whole subject.

Great stuff.

Back at the Power Station, the Dark One informs Valaria that the rebels have been spotted again. (Which makes me wonder why they left the caves in the first place…isn’t that why they went in there? To escape surveillance?) No matter, a group of Transbots are en route to intercept them. But wait, Nyla and her Amazons have had no problem smashing Transbots to pieces before, so Valaria suggests sending the mighty Torque to deal with the rebels himself.

Robot HolocaustHaving had enough chit chat with the Dark One, Valaria heads over to check on Jorn’s interrogation. "His will is strong!" Torque reports. When Valaria asks how much power has been used on the prisoner, Torque replies that they’ve taken him up to "Level 7". (Ohhh! Not Level 7!)

"Take him to nine!" commands Valaria. Apparently Level 9 involves enveloping the prisoner in cartoon electrical beams. Alas, Jorn survives. Seeing that Jorn has a natural resistance to cartoon special effects, Valaria tries a psychological attack and mentions that Jorn’s daughter, Deeja, will be the first one that Torque will kill upon finding the rebel group. (Man, rub it in a bit, will ya? Sheesh!)

Meanwhile, the rebels make their way through the, *ahem*, wastelands. DASG2 notes that DASG1’s neck wound is infected. At that moment, out leaps the group of mutants that have been following the rebels since the beginning of their journey and a wild melee ensues.

Let’s see if I can simply summarize the events of this epic battle: Mutants clobber and kill the infected DASG1. Mutants throw rocks, rebels swing their swords. Oh wait, Klyton the Idiotic Comedy Relief Robot tries to shoot a mutant but his gun "jams". Ha ha! Comedy! Oh yeah, somebody pulls a sword "out" of a mutant’s "side" leaving a long bloody "wound" (strawberry jelly). Man, I hate this movie.

Robot HolocaustJust as things are looking pretty grim, Klyton activates his force field, "…my only power as a free-bot!" (Huh? What the hell is he talking about? Why couldn’t he have activated the force field in the tunnels so the worms couldn’t bite them?) Funny how the force field looks exactly like the cartoon electric "beams" used to torture Jorn in the previous scene. Amazing. Klyton’s force field manages to hold back the remaining mutants long enough for the rebels to flee deeper into the wilderness.

As the rebels get within eyesight of the Power Station, the narrator tells us that they will experience another example of "the Dark One’s cruelty." No, it’s not the cruelly terrible matte painting of the Power Station. It’s the rotting bodies crucified on inverted crosses. "These are the ‘winners’ of the Air Slave battles," Klyton helpfully exposits. (Pretty nice that Klyton knew that. Thanks for filling us in.)

Neo walks over to one of the ‘winners’ and removes a ring from a rotten finger. Klyton breaks in again by noting Neo has finally found who he was searching for…, "It was his father…" (Beating a dead horse here, but how the hell does Klyton know that?!!)

Back in the Power Station, Valaria decides to show Jorn the Dark One. As the camera does a slow zoom into Jorn’s face, we hear Darth Vader-like breathing. But don’t worry. You don’t get to actually see the Dark One because it probably would have cost too much money to create. Thanks again, guys!

Robot HolocaustOutside, the rebels have reached the Super Secret Entrance to the Power Station. How secret is it? Well, it’s nicely labeled with a big red sign just to make sure the rebels don’t miss it. This movie really makes a guy think. Yeah, I’m thinking right now: "What the hell am I doing watching this crappy movie."

The entrance leads, three guesses now, to what appears to be a Huge Room Filled With Giant Pipes. As the rebel band presses onward, Nyla stops and says that this is the furthest she’s ever been. Somehow, and who knows how, Klyton knows that this tunnel is called the "Vault of Beasts".

Ohhh! Are you scared yet? Gee, I hope those no more of those super-scary mutants or those super-mean pink hand-puppet sewage worms down here!

"The Dark One has installed a series of traps," continues Klyton, "designed to ensnare those who would try to invade his domain." I think it would have been easier to just take down the big red sign outside the tunnel entrance, but what do I know? Despite Klyton’s warnings of the, er, dangers that lie ahead, the rebels press on. Well, I guess they have to don’t they? Either that or the movie would have to end now. Well, a guy can dream, can’t he?

Back in the "amphitheater" the Air Slaves are busy at work fueling "the Dark Ones power supply." One of the Air Slaves decides to sabotage the works, noting that if the Dark One is monitoring the rebel’s progress towards the Power Station, then they can’t be monitored at the same time. Yes, the Dark One’s surveillance system has 1 channel. Once again, these guys rule us? Anyway, the plan is to fill sacks with sand instead "fuel" or something. That way the Dark One’s power cells won’t be refueled but it will still look like they’re working.

Look, if you can explain that plan better than me, then feel free to watch the movie yourself. I dare you.

Meanwhile, Torque is observing the rebels progress through the Vault of Beasts. At an opportune moment, Torque pulls a level and opens a pit right in front of DASG2. Pretending not to see the pit, the actor does his best to appear startled as he helpfully topples into the 3-foot deep abyss. So, yeah, it’s like falling from the top of a child’s bunk bed. No, maybe not that high up. Needless to say, Neo has no problem hopping down into the hole and helping DASG2 up and out again.

Back with Valaria, Jorn still refuses to talk. Now the Dark One pulls rank and decides that the only way that "he can know" is to "join" the Dark One himself. At this point, I’m willing to join the Dark One if it could get things moving! C’mon! How freakin’ long can it take to get somebody to talk around here? Get medieval on his ass already!

Oh man, here we go, back to the Vault of Losers. Nyla stumbles across a dead body. "We are not alone!" Klyton says, stating the obvious yet again. Neo gives the order to draw weapons, astutely noting that "We could be next," and they move on. (Wow! I guess that’s why he’s the leader.)

As Neo and the ragtag rebels continue onward, Valaria and Torque are discussing their next move. "I’ll lead them to The Beast of the Web," says Torque after the Pit of 3-Feet Depth failed to kill anybody. "Your programming is more advanced than I thought," Valaria replies.

I wonder if they show movies in Hell…if they do, I’m pretty sure Robot Holocaust will be one of them.

OK, now I guess we can finally see The Beast of the Web. I’m all a-twitter with anticipation.

The group comes to a halt and begins to discuss whether or not the Dark One knows they are immune to the poison gas. DASG2 notes that, in fact, he and Kai are not immune, to which Nyla the Amazon Woman slams them for being weak men.

Robot HolocaustSounds like a pretty contrived conversation, even for this film, doesn’t it? Well, the whole point of this "diversion" is to give Deeja the opportunity to walk away and get trapped in a web. It’s fun to note that there is no possible way Deeja could ever become entrapped in this web. First, it’s right in front of her. Second, when we see that she is trapped, she’s in fact trapped on the other side of the web, so she would have had to walk around the web and then throw herself into the strands from the back side.

Oh yeah, The Beast of the Web. Well, we only get to see one big, hairy, leg, half-heartedly grasping at Deeja while she screams for help. Neo and the others run up and stab around the corner where the Beast is supposedly "standing". (Once again, never shown). Eventually, the stage hands get tired of waving the leg, oops, I mean Neo kills the Beast, and Deeja is freed.

Well actually, it looks like Klyton pointed his finger at the Beast and a bunch of sparks shot out. So you can give Klyton credit for the kill if you’re keeping score.

Oh wait. The Beast isn’t dead after all. The stage hands simply dragged the prop back into the dry ice fog.

Meanwhile, the Air Slaves who are busily pouring sand or something into the Dark Ones power cells (?) are going over their plan one more time. I’m not sure why they explain yet again what they are doing, but there you go. Yes, put sand in the power cells. Yes, deny the Dark One his power so the rebels have a better chance to succeed. Yes, it’s risky. Yes, yes, yes. Already: YES! I got it!

Back in the Power Station, Neo and the others are cooking dinner over a camp fire. I’m not exactly sure where they find wood for a fire, but we’ll just overlook that for now. (Yeah, like that’s the biggest plot hole in this film!) Nyla is eager to attack now that night has fallen. As Neo explains that he wants to wait until morning, Klyton notes that the Power Station can’t track them at night, which would seem to be a pretty damn good argument for going along with Nyla’s plan and attacking at night. "Sleep," suggests Neo, "They don’t even know if we are alive."

First, how the hell does he know that? Second, well, if they don’t even know if you are there or not, then attack! Deeja sides with Neo and agrees that a bit of sleep would be in order so they can be refreshed when morning comes. (Yes, and also when the Power Station’s tracking systems come back on line. Good plan.)

Later that night, Kai wakes up and notices that DASG2 is missing and awakens Neo, who concludes that Bray has went ahead alone. Bray! Bray! Dorky Air Slave Guy #2 is named Bray! Thank you for telling me that 2 minutes before he dies. (ooops!) The commotion wakes up the others, including Klyton (a robot that lays on the floor and sleeps?!!) who immediately remarks, "He is heading towards the Power Station." Oh dear, not again, but, how the hell could Klyton know that? (Klyton must be one of those Plot-Hole Patcher 9000 models…I mean, he knows everything.)

Alas, the movie continues, along with my agony.

Valaria asks Torque if he has released the Surveillance Drone. (I’m surprised they didn’t call it The Drone of Surveillance…stupid movie.) "Yes," answers Torque, "It has been caged for sometime now." (Uh, ok. Is that a bad thing? Does that really matter?) "It should be very hungry," Torque adds. Whatever, dude. Valaria orders Torque into the tunnels as well in order to destroy the Drone in case it attacks Deeja. Huh? I thought they wanted Deeja dead. Oh wait. That was several minutes ago. Apparently the film makers have forgotten that plot point.

Robot HolocaustAnyway, DASG2, no wait, Bray, has in fact went ahead into the Power Station alone. Why? Because the script says he has to. Well, he turns a corner and out pops the Surveillance Drone. Alert viewers, hell, even a viewer that is merely awake, will immediately notice that the Drone is simply one of those stupid sock-puppet Sewage Worms with springs (!!) attached to its head in order to give it a ‘mechanical’ appearance. To say that this particular prop is not terribly convincing would be an understatement.

Ok, fine. Bray screams and dies. I assume. In keeping with this movie’s precedence of never showing any type of special effect requiring expenditure of money, we don’t actually see the Drone kill Bray. I think that if you imagine a pink sock attacking somebody you’d pretty much be visualizing what’s taking place.

Back upstairs, or wherever the hell Valaria is, she contacts the Dark One and reports that the rebels have reached, are you ready….The Chamber of Despair. (Oh buh-rother!!!) The Dark One is not impressed with Valaria’s performance, but she reassures him that they will all soon be dead. (Yeah, and I will soon be asleep if this doesn’t pick up real soon…) Once again, Valaria assures the Dark One that Deeja will be captured alive. Why? Who the hell knows.

Ok, back downstairs.

Man, this movie sucks. Upstairs to Valaria…downstairs to rebels…upstairs to Valaria…downstairs to rebels…COME ON! LET’S GET THIS OVER WITH! AYEEEE!!!!

Nyla spots Bray’s lifeless body leaning against a wall. Anybody watching this movie (and brother, I salute you if you made it this far!) will immediately notice that the, ahem, actor portraying Bray is sitting behind a cardboard wall with his head stuck out through a hole. A "body" is placed under his head so that…oh…I don’t know…something can pop out of his chest? The angle of Bray’s head is so impossibly incorrect that you can actually see places where his shoulders aren’t even attached to his neck.

Oh boy, big surprise. Out of Bray’s chest pops a sock with springs attached to it. Sorry, I mean the Surveillance Drone. Neo rushes over and chops it to pieces. Do you think you would actually get to see that? Nope. No way. He just hacks at something just off the edge of the shot. Yippee! Another beer please and I think I can finish this review.

After hacking the Drone to pieces, Neo hands Bray’s sword to Klyton. Gee, I wonder if there’s going to be any hilarious comedy relief scenes involving Klyton unskillfully wielding the sword against a superior opponent? I’m all a-twitter, I say!

The next obstacle in this seemingly endless succession of ineffectual barriers called The Vault of Beasts is an electric fence. As the group comes to a halt, Nyla inexplicably walks over and touches the fence. A huge shower of sparks explodes from the contact and Nyla runs like hell off scene. (I suspect that the actress was either genuinely freaked out by the explosion or was in fact injured.)

Robot HolocaustThe contact with the electric fence sounds an alarm and Valaria orders the ‘Guard Bots’ to their stations. (Hilariously, the most Guard Bots you ever see at one time is 2…no money for any more costumes than the pair that are suppose to represent a ‘horde’ of killer robots.) Understandably, the Dark One is finally fed up with Valaria’s incompetence. As Valaria tries to reassure the Dark One yet again that everything is in control, the Dark One zaps here with a bunch of cartoon electric beams, that yes, are exactly the same as those used by Klyton against the mutants, and yes, exactly the same as those used to torture Jorn.

Following the films pattern of switching back and forth between Valaria and the rebels, we, yes, switch back to the rebels to see how they are coping with the electric fence. Not too good actually. However, Klyton suggests that he can "re-adjust his circuits" to match the fence’s frequency. (Or some other load of crap like that.) When Klyton touches the fence, a Roman candle goes off, sorry, I mean a huge shower of electrical sparks erupts from the fence. Unfortunately for Klyton, the electrical surge fries his circuits and he runs around like an idiot until Deeja deactivates him (to my great relief).

As expected, we switch back to Valaria and Torque. The unfortunate droid is getting an earful from Valaria for letting the rebels "get past the gate." Well, Valaria, I haven’t you do squat yourself, so maybe you should cut old Torque some slack. At least did something when he opened the Pit of 3-Feet Depth under DASG2.

"Activate the power in all sections of the stations," commands the Dark One. Valaria proceeds to do so but discovers that the Power Station is running at "only one-fourth percent of capacity." Now, 1/4th percent is 0.0025 of full capacity, something that I would think would have been spotted long ago. I’m pretty sure the actress meant to say "one-fourth of capacity" and simply blew her lines and added the "percent" on her own. Valaria commands Torque to “Go to the master monitors and report to me the level of energy storage accumulated from the Air Slaves.” Yup, that sounds like a good place to start.

Meanwhile, Neo and the others have managed to repair Klyton. (Yippee!) This was pretty fortuitous because the rebels have come across an iron wall with no apparent way through. (Well, it looks like a door actually.) Thankfully, Klyton the Plot-Hole Patcher just happens to have explosives stashed in his throat. Gee, that was lucky! Klyton places the explosives in the upper corners of the door and they quickly explode. For some reason the door doesn’t blow inwards as it would in any normal universe. Instead, it slides upward, the rebels rush through, and then the door quickly slides back down behind them. Cinema magic!

"What is to stop them now?" demands the Dark One. "The Guard Bots will contain them," replies Valaria. We cut to see 2 bots standing around. Upon seeing the rebels rushing at them with swords drawn, the droids look at each other and simply run away. (Har dee har!) (And by the way, where the hell are the other robots? There was a robot revolution, wasn’t there? Billions of robots, if I remember correctly from the opening narration…) In one last effort to appease the Dark One, Valaria reminds the evil overlord that there is, (sigh), one last obstacle remaining that will surely destroy the rebels.

Robot HolocaustThis "final" obstacle consists of a bomb with a bunch of highly-visible wires strung across the hallway with the bomb itself also in plain view. Since this "trap" is completely visible, the script requires Kai to turn around for no reason and take a couple steps backwards in order to entangle himself in the wires. (Quality film.)

"I’ve seen these devices before," says Neo, "at the edge of the wastelands." Well, I feel safer already. As the tension builds (not!), Neo talks Kai through the defusion procedure, step by excruciatingly boring step. You know, I want to tell any future film makers that it’s not exciting to watch somebody defuse a bomb in step by step. Sorry, it’s just not. Maybe if they had just cut to the always-exciting "Which wire do I cut…the red or the green" scene it would have been ok. But when Neo tells Kai to raise his hands (Kai raises hands), unscrew the lid (Kai unscrews the lid), lift the detonator (Kai lifts the detonator)…get my drift?

Here we go again. Yes, back with Valaria and Torque. The Dark One is finally fed up with Valaria’s incompetence."One more chance!" warns the Dark One. (Oh man oh man oh man oh man….is this movie taking forever or what?!) Eager to please her master, Valaria commands Torque to summon the Guard Bots. (Who? The ones that ran away? Good plan.)

The Guard Bots, one wielding a sword and the other twirling a spiked ball attached to a chain, move into position. (Here’s a hint to all you future Evil Overlords: Equip your Guard Bots with GUNS. Not swords. Idiots!)

Robot HolocaustWell, the melee begins. Nyla takes on Ball-Swinging Bot and quickly dispatches it by simply crouching down and stabbing it in the stomach. Klyton takes a few perfunctory swings, staggers back from the impact, and somehow manages to "entangle" himself in a metal wheel. (Comedy! Comedy! Comedy from Hell!) When I say "entangle", I mean he has one of his arms stuck through the spokes and can’t figure out how to free it. Here’s a hint: pull it out and walk away, you freaking moron!

Never before have I hated a robot as much as Klyton.

Neo decides to tangle with Torque because, well, he’s the hero I suppose. Torque quickly gets the best of him, and tosses Neo against a wall. Let’s see…who’s missing here…oh yeah, Valaria.

There she is! Out of the dry ice fog jumps the evil Valaria! Deeja, who was walking backward (!), is quickly corralled and lead away by a triumphant Valaria who presents her to the Dark One. "See," Valaria gloats, "I told you I would get the girl." The Dark One is grateful for Deeja’s capture, but notes that Valaria’s usefulness has come to an end. “Life isn’t always fair…Especially when one isn’t really alive!" says the Dark One.

Valaria turns and runs in an effort to flee from the Dark One’s wrath. She scurries past a huge machine which sets off another Roman candle, oops, I mean an electrical charge. The sparks, or whatever they hell they are, burn off Valaria’s face, revealing…are you sitting down…really…this is quite a shocker…Valaria is a robot!

"Dark One, can you hear me?" Valaria shouts in a completely different voice than she had before. Strange how burning the skin off her face has also given Valaria a different voice. Now Valaria’s pissed. In a vengeful rage, Valaria reaches out and pulls the Handy-Dandy Super-Self-Destruct-Lever. Valaria informs the Dark One that the timer is set to blow in 5 minutes (Would she really need to tell him that? I mean, he is The Dark One…) , which is odd since the countdown clock shows 30 seconds, but anyway…(By the way, give yourself 2 points if you guessed the "countdown clock" is a standard darkroom clock used to control photo enlargers.)

The battle with the robots continues. Kai is chopped down by a Guard Bot. Klyton gets off his butt (a little too late!) and pounds the murderous bot to bits with a big pipe. Hey, where were you 5 seconds ago when Kai was alive? Thanks for nothing, Klyton!

Meanwhile, the Dark One interrogates Deeja regarding her and Jorn’s immunity to the toxic atmosphere. "I don’t know," replies Deeja to the Dark One’s queries. Pretty exciting stuff, eh?

Cut to Torque and Neo who continue to fight it out, and I have to say in all honesty, Neo is getting his ass kicked. After a short tussle, Torque tosses Neo against a wall and takes aim with his laser gun. Just as Torque fires, Nyla jumps in front of the beam and absorbs the entire cartoon…sorry…laser blast. In a most incredible stroke of luck, as Nyla falls to the floor her hand brushes against the Self-Destruct Deactivation Switch and stops the countdown exactly one second before detonation. I wish I were making all this up. And yes, I know that Nyla the Man-Hating Amazon died protecting a Man…blah blah. The irony…oh, the bitter irony.

Now that Nyla is dead, Torque takes aim at Neo once more. Well, he’s the hero, so he can’t die, so just as Torque is about to pull the trigger, the Dark One orders him to the Room of Questions. Whew! That was close! (What the…!?)

Seeing that her plan to blow up the Power Station has been foiled, Valaria reappears beside Deeja and reminds the Dark One that she could force the Air Slaves to start working again, thus replenishing the power cells. "How?" asks the Dark One. In reply to this fair question, Valaria states that Deeja has the answer. (OK, I’m really confused here, and there really is no way in hell I’m going back to try and figure all this out. Maybe I blacked out for a few seconds somewhere along the line.) Just one comment, if the Dark One wants to force the slaves to work, can’t he just poison their air? I mean, hasn’t he been doing that all along? Great story!

Valaria figures that by showing Deeja the fate that has befallen her father, she will be shocked into revealing the secret of forcing the slaves back to work. As two massive metal doors slowly open, the narrator rejoins us with the following words:

Robot Holocaust“All that remained of Jorn was his head. The rest of his body was completely engulfed…by the Dark One.” To see Jorn’s head perched atop what looks like a giant avocado is probably one of the most stunningly hilarious scenes I have ever witness in any movie…ever!

I mean, you’ve got to shake your head and think, "You’ve got to be f…ing kidding!"

Now Valaria gloats to Deeja that since her father is (partially) ingested by the Dark One, the evil overlord has all the information he needs. So, please, if I may ask: Why the hell did they need Deeja alive? What is going on here?!

OK, Neo is still fighting with Torque, and as usual, getting his ass kicked. This time I suspect Neo will defeat Torque because the film’s runtime is almost to an end. (How sweet that will be!)

Robot HolocaustValaria now says that the Air Slaves can be disposes since they "have all the information they need to power the station from within." (Huh?) With that, Valaria throws a lever and poison air floods the Air Slaves living areas. On cue, the slaves clutch at their throats and roll on the floor as you might expect.

Now we are starting to wrap things up here. Klyton takes aim with his crappy laser gun, fires, but the gun won’t shoot. "Not again!" Klyton exclaims, because, well, that was supposed to be funny. Maybe in Hell that’s funny. Klyton fires again and this time the gun works, emitting a cartoon laser beam directly into Valaria who collapses to the floor.

Meanwhile, Neo is still fighting with Torque.

COME ON ALREADY!!!!

Neo chokes Torque with a chain, (Choke a robot?), jumps around, runs away, hides, jumps back out, and manages to defeat Torque with a series of sword blows that before had no effect on Torque, but now are lethal. Go figure.

Almost done.

Realizing that life as an avocado is not for him, Jorn begs for Deeja to finish him off. Deeja refuses because she loves him so much. Whatever. Klyton gives Neo his laser gun and Neo heads over to zap Jorn and the Dark One once and for all. "No! We can rule New Terra together!" the Dark One grovels in an attempt to save his life. Thankfully, Neo ignores the pleas and fires the laser gun. We now see yet another shower of sparks from behind Jorn as the Dark One howls in agony and dies. I guess. Jorn looks dead at least, and there were a lot of sparks, so I guess that’s bad for the Dark One.

Yes, well, time for one more stupid scene. Klyton finds the lever used to turn back on flow of fresh air to the Air Slaves. Gee. I’m so relieved.

As ’emotional’ piano music plays, Neo explains to Deeja that her father would have wanted it this way. Deeja is still rather irritated at Neo since he, you know, killed her father. But he was an avocado, so I think she should cut him some slack for that. Deeja remarks that she’s going to return to "her people" and finish the work her father started. "Leave me alone!" Deeja suddenly shouts at nothing in particular, indicating a possible blown line. Neo, fed up with Deeja, walks away leaving the grieving daughter alone in the Power Station to fend for herself.

As the narrator jumps in for one final load of narration about Neo returning to his people to bring them to the "Last City". Blah blah blah blah We see Neo and Klyton in one of those "Walking Off Into the Wastelands To Meet Their Fate" type scenes.

The kind of scene you see in a lot of cool post-apocalyptic movies.

Except this one sucks.

Dennis Grisbeck (September 2005)

Afterthoughts

There really aren’t that many movies that are as patently bogus as this one. The story is contrived and lends itself to far too many hopeless plot holes: holes that are simply patched over with narration, Klyton’s amazing ability to know everything, or in cases where the holes are too big, simply ignored. The acting is nonexistent, and in Valaria’s case, is more of "anti-acting" from an alternate universe where the term "acting" suggests something completely different from what we are familiar with.

The special effects are cheap, hokey, and lazy. I can forgive effects for being low-budget if the film makers at least try, but execution of the special effects in Robot Holocaust is disgraceful.

Overall, a contemptible movie. Stay far away from this one unless you are a post-apocalyptic completist/masochist. This is one really, really, bad film.

Read more about Robot Holocaust at

IMDB

12 comments to Robot Holocaust (1986)

  • VINNIE

    ANGELIKA ALSO STARED IN DANCE OF THE DEAD

  • oneeye

    I’ve actually watched this twice now, and I know what you’re thinking, but it wasn’t the pleasure chamber scene that drew me back in. I simply love the part with the sewage worms! It actually inspired me to start a short story called ‘the sock puppet of doom’. Not to mention, the whole production gives me hope that someday, I too, can grab a camera and shoot a post apocalyptic movie, in my backyard or local park.

  • Yeah, as somebody once said about another bad movie: “To say it was shot on a shoe string budget is an insult to shoe strings”

  • Brian

    Say what you will about the quality of this film, but given the nature of it and the filmmakers themselves, the implementation of the sewage worms reveals that SOMEBODY involved actually had an imagination (even if it was hokey). Unfortunately, that is the only time you get that impression.

  • Rummy Dummy

    I have to disagree that the sewage worms are indication of imagination. Who hasn’t put a sock on their hand and pretended it some sort of critter?

    On a purely prurient note, it’s unfortunate that her outfits never allow us a clear view of Jager’s surely magnificent hinder.

  • Yeah, sock-puppets don’t really cry out, “Wow! I wish I had thought of that!”

    Regarding Jager’s physical attributes, I think there’s a different cut of this film out there where the viewer is treated to Jager’s boobs in the “Pleasure Chamber”. If you’re interested, knock yourself out and find it… 🙂

    I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but a long time ago I actually received an email from Andrew Howarth, the dude that played the mute, muscle-bound “Kai”. He seemed rather indignant that I made so much fun of the movie since, after all, it never aspired to more than it was. I wrote him back and reiterated that it was all in good fun and, by the way, can you tell me anything more about Angelika Jager since her IMBD bio is so paltry. But I never heard anything back from him,..(sigh)

  • guts3d

    Sock puppets scare the heck out of Homer Simpson! Nice review, Dennis! I think I remember this stink fest from loooong ago, some of the scenes strike a memory bell. I think I’ll look into my MST3K collection and see if it is there.

  • Good luck finding it. I think it’s one of the older ones with J Elvis as Tom Servo if I remember right…

  • guts3d

    I bought all the episodes including the KTMA episodes from some guy on DVD’s a long time ago, the video quality is ok, sound is poor, but they are watchable. It is just a matter of finding that episode!

  • Ironychan

    Made by a porn producer? Really? As in somebody who’d made movies before? Huh. I was sure this movie had been made by a bunch of LARPers who just filmed one of their campaigns.

  • g alexander

    Where the other film with Jager? Dance of the Dead (2008)??? That’s Angel Jager.

  • JayJay

    My husband and I just watched this film for fun. As I was looking up one of the characters, and we stumbled upon your review. We decided to watch the movie first, then read on. I read this aloud, and boy, we have never laughed so damn hard before! Hilarious stuff. Absolute gold! We would just like to thank you for taking the time to suffer through the film, and give us this brilliant review. I’ve downloaded it so I may read it again, and again, and again.

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