Running time: 94 minutes approx
Selena Lam - Chikako Aoyama
Joe Chow - Jamie Wu
Anna - Amy Yip
Sara - Hiu-Dan Hui
Sakamoto robot - Billy Chow
Nobody can accuse the Hong Kong exploitation movie business of letting an opportunity go begging. So, only two years after ROBOCOP was a huge success, this oriental version of the story emerged and a more different version you could not get.
A mad scientist downloads his thought patterns into a robot and kidnaps a visiting sheikh's son in order to finance his dream of a robot army. Whilst waiting for a response, he takes the robot out for a spin in the prostitute area and finds that he can't get no satisfaction in that respect. A policewoman he murdered is reborn into a new robot body and teams up with an earlier model to take down the new killer whilst also dealing with her boyfriend.
When Hong Kong does exploitation, it leaves no stone unturned and so this film gets it all. There are some low level, but surprisingly effective, robot effects, madcap humour, female full-frontal nudity from the outset, soft core porn, outrageous bloody death and hyperkinetic martial arts action. All of which makes it sound better than it actually is.
The film works best when it is dealing with its subject is a straight fashion, but its need to wrangle in ineffective humour, usually at the expense of naked women and leering men, is outdated and doesn't translate well either. One minute it's asking us to leer at top-heavy topless babes and then the next take them seriously as robot kung fu masters. The juxtaposition doesn't work and the comedy just is really, really, really not funny.
If you really want to do a bit of leering then Amy Yip is very attractive, but a little shy on baring all. Chikako Aoyama and lots of extras are a lot more forthcoming. When they're not flashing what they've got, the lead trio of actresses do pretty well and are certainly much better than the hapless band of comedy cops, led by Jamie Wu. Billy Chow scowls for his life as the one expression villain.
The plot makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, which is not unexpected for an exploitationer like this, and the police tactics make less sense as they go along. Some of the action hasn't stood the test of time very well, but the martial arts sequences are pretty good.
ROBOTRIX is a film that might be remembered with fondness from a time when this was all the sex you could get on VHS and Hong Kong's style of exploitation was still new and exotic enough to excite no matter how inept it was. A new viewing on the shiny disc format might leave those memories tarnished.