In order to round out a gestating Wired essay, I spent a good chunk of this past week drumming up examples of celluloid robots. One invaluable resource that I relied upon was this excellent Wikipedia entry, which mentions a number of B-movie ‘bots that vanished from my memory banks. Perhaps the most laughably cheesy of those humanoid machines is Mandroid, the star of this week’s Bad Movie Friday honoree: 1986’s Eliminators.
The trailer above really speaks for itself, and comes highly recommended. (Also worth two minutes of your time: this motorcycle battle scene, which culminates with a clever manipulation of laser physics, followed by a fat dude’s promise of revenge.) But if you’re in an office where video is verboten, just check out this fine review. My favorite snippet:
Somehow, with an entire globe to search, Mandroid finds Col. Hunter, only to discover that it is Denise Crosby. Hunter is a robotics whiz, and recognizes most of Mandroid’s outfitting as derived from her work. She has also created an odious little sub-Black Hole droid that bleeps like R2-D2, flies around, and can turn into a cartoon that zips about at a Speedy Gonzales clip. Hunter patches up the Mandroid, and they set out for Mexico.
Once there, they must find a guide, as the Mandroid’s memory chips were shot up. Hunter does this by striding into a bar and saying, “I want the toughest guide in the place,” which sets off a monumental bar fight. The actual winner of the fight is a diesel dyke named Bayou Betty, but she is coldcocked (so to speak) by wily lovable rogue Harry Fontana (Andrew Prine, in a role which cries out for Tim Thomerson). In the trip down the river, they must not only deal with the vengeful Bayou Betty, but the Overweight Head Thug and his Raul Julia Clone.
Additional Eliminators fun fact: the Mandroid was played by tobacco heir Patrick Reynolds, who has since turned against the sot-weed in dramatic fashion.