Robotrix (1991)


Robotrix (Nu Ji Xie Ren)

Hong Kong. 1991.


Director – Luk Kim Ming, Screenplay – Luk Kim Ming & Siu Man Sing, Producer – Choy Lam, Photography – Jim Yeung, Music – Siu Hung Yeung, Art Direction – Lui Choi Hung. Production Company – Paragon Films Ltd


Aoyama Chikako (Selena), Amy Yip (Anna), Hui Hiu Tan (Dr Sara), Billy Chow (Sakamoto Android), David Ng (Joe), Woo Fung (Commissioner), Ken Goodman (Oil Sheik), Chung Lam (Ryuichi Sakamoto)


Scientist Ryuichi Sakamoto is upset when an oil sheik rejects a proposal to fund his robot designs and commits hara kari. He then transfers his thoughts into an android body and abducts the sheik’s son. To combat this, the robotocist Dr Sara transfers the mind of the bodyguard Selena, who was killed during the abduction, into a robot body as well. Selena and another android Anna join the police force and set out to track down Sakamoto as he starts killing prostitutes.

Robotrix is no more than an X-rated version of RoboCop (1987). It is RoboCop remounted as even more of a comic-book and an exploitation film than the original was. There are a good many naked girls and a high degree of gore and violence. This was something that had Robotrix cut and banned in some countries – the version seen here is clearly missing at least one scene where the android rapes the scientist and some of its gore effects. Some entertaining gore effects still remain – a cop getting crushed between two cars, a thrown knife impaled in a guard’s mouth.

It is all very silly and intended only as a comic-book romp, nothing more. There is much giddy Hong Kong-styled slapstick. However, it is all fairly haphazard. The action often veers away from the main menace of the Sakamoto robot and throws in gratuitous scenes designed to get the actresses naked – in particular a comic subplot about Amy Yip going undercover at a brothel only to find the entire police department lined up as customers. The Sakamoto menace is entirely forgotten about during these scenes.

Most of the martial arts sequences are mediocre and the film gives the impression of having been hurriedly slung together. The action scenes do perk during a super-powered fight in a quarry with the combatants bashing each other with pipes, drums and blowing up propane canisters; and a moderately entertaining climax where the evil android dispatches one android woman with a power drill through her chest before he is eliminated in a junkyard with a crane magnet and a trash compactor.

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