DVD Review: Giant Robot Action Pack

Giant Robot Action Pack

Robot Wars and Crash and Burn


Shout Factory




Robot Wars and Crash and Burn are two cheap sci-fi movies that were made for the direct to video market.  It’s hard to find something to say about either of them, they’re just kind of… there.

I guess Crash and Burn is the better of the two.  It takes place in the near future.  After an economic collapse, an evil mega corporation called Unicom takes over.  They’ve banned the use of computers and robots, but that doesn’t stop a resistance movement from fighting back.

Most of the story takes place inside a TV studio (which I guess is one way to save on set design costs).  The hero is a delivery boy from Unicom, joining him are the station manager, his teen daughter/computer expert, a fat, lewd talk show host, a teacher, a maintenance man, and two hookers.

They all get trapped in the building as a ‘thermal’ approaches, which is some weather phenomenon that makes it too hot to go outside.  Apparently, Unicom knows that the station manager is sympathetic to the resistance, and has placed a humaniod synthetic robot mole in their midst, but who?

It’s kind of like the Terminator, except that the person playing the robot acts and sounds like a 90’s era Jim Carrey.

The movie’s kind of like a murder mystery.  It’s not that complex, but it gives what would otherwise be a low-budget action movie some direction.

Robot Wars feels a lot like an episode of a mediocre television show.  It runs 71 minutes, seven of which are taken up with credits.  It’s about the last mega-robot, the MRAS-2, which is now used to ferry tourists to a 1990’s ghost town.  A Chinese dignitary shows up, wanting to buy one for his country, or so he says.

The Chinese guy hijacks the robot, so the robots old pilot, his mechanic, and an archeologist (who thinks there’s more to that ghost town then they’re letting on) have to track down another mega robot, the MEGA-1, to fight off the MRAS-2.

The movie is competent, but not long enough to really develop a world or its characters.  It does have a lot more robot action than Crash and Burn, though.

The robot effects in both movies are done with stop motion animation, which actually works out quite well.  The inherent jerkiness of the method lends itself to mechanical movement.

Both films are presented on the same disc, in 4:3, which is likely the original aspect ration, as they both look like they were shot on video.  There are no extras at all.



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