I do love it when you stumble across a film that so blatantly rips off another and more popular series, and I love it even more when that films comes across as a clumsy, yet enjoyable mess like this one.

The fact that James Cameron didn’t sue someone for Robotrix is remarkable, it’s similarities to the Terminator series are startling. It’s probably no coincidence this was originally released in 1991 too, the same year Terminator 2: Judgement Day hit out cinema screens.

Perhaps he didn’t want to admit watching it, perhaps he saw the trailer and decided to concentrate on other things, like making a movie about a boat or some blue people on a distant planet instead.

Or perhaps he saw it and was won over by Robotrix cheeky charm in the same way I was.

I wouldn’t say the film is a masterpiece and there’s quite a bit in the film that some people would find a little disturbing.

But beneath the two dimensional characters and gratuitous nudity, I found myself quite enjoying the Robotrix.

For starters, it’s actually quite funny, in a daft self mocking way. Despite some very awkward dialogue in places, the script features enough humour to give the viewer a warning to not take things too seriously.

Secondly, the moments when the film is not trying to be funny, it somehow still is.

Maybe that is the secret to exploitation films, but it seems to have something about it that Russ Meyer regularly tapped into and that many others in recent years (I’m looking at you Robert Rodriguez), have valiantly attempted but not quite achieved.


Set in a 1990s future, where cyborgs and CRT monitors exist in the same universe, Robotrix is basically about a team of female robot cyborgs that are helping the police track down a male cyborg that is raping and killing prostitutes in all sorts of grisly ways. The fact he has kidnapped a rich sheikh’s son doesn’t help matters either.

I could go on about the music and cinematography, but there really is no point. As a film that describes itself as a “science-fiction exploitation that combines kung-fu action with erotic fantasy”, none of that really matters.

Essentially, all that matters is whether the cast are any good at martial arts and how they look naked (a shallow point of view, but this is a shallow film). With kick boxing champ Billy Chow and Hong Kong adult movie star Amy Yip in the cast, these areas are safely covered.

Amy Yip in Robotrix

As I said earlier, the film lifts many of its cues from the Terminator series.

The villains struts around the place sporting a leather jacket and sunglasses, yet retains some individuality by wearing a pair Cuban heals (it’s the little things that sets us all apart I guess).

There’s also the obligatory moments where we see the cyborgs working on their robotic limbs, that look like something straight out of the Stan Winston special effects workshop and even (spoiler), the penultimate death scene where we see one of the cyborgs crushed – which is merely missing Sarah Connors “you’re terminated” quip (end spoiler).

It sounds like I’m nitpicking, but I honestly did enjoy this movie purely because a lot of it has to be seen to be believed.

There’s not many films where you can witness someone getting decapitated with a wicker basket and I suspect there are even fewer films that claim you can reconstruct the image that a dead person saw shortly before drawing their last breath by removing their eyes and plugging them into a computer. Speaking of breath, it’s also worth noting that the corpses in this film are still breathing.

It’s a stupid and chronically daft film that does exactly what it says on the tin and definitely one for those that enjoy their cult classics with gore, poor acting and nudity.

Extras: audio options, subtitles and trailer

Verdict: 3 out of 5

Robotrix is out in the UK for the first time on DVD on 25th November 2013.


About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.