Sunday, October 23, 2011

Robotrix (Jamie Luk, 1991)

Dust off your soldering gun and start rifling through your mother's lingerie drawer, because it's time to watch the only film to combine kung-fu fighting robots with bra-challenging boobies. Yeah, that's right. I said, "boobies." You got a problem with that? Okay, I'm sorry about that, I have a tendency to get a tad defensive whenever the subject of breasts is brought up. While everyone the world over seems to worship at the alter of the bouncing mammary glands, whether they be large or small, lopsided or symmetrical, I have chosen to pretend that I am completely immune to their numerous charms. Misguided as that may sound, it has given me many opportunities to flaunt a smug air of superiority (if you listen carefully, you can hear people muttering, "there goes the guy who's chilly towards tits," under the breath as I walk down the street). However, as I inexplicably sat and gazed in the general direction of Robotrix (a.k.a. Nu Ji Xie Ren), the sex-filled robot romp/softcore action thriller directed Jamie Luk (seriously, I have no idea how this film and my face ended up on a collision course), I thought to myself, "Hmmm, these jiggly lumps of flesh aren't that bad. In fact, they're kind of awesome." Disenchanted by the fake boob free for all that was 1990s, I decided to protest this obsession with chest-based forgery by shunning boobs altogether. I know what you're thinking, only real boob would shun all boobs (talk about your rash decisions). Well, some twenty odd years later, I think my faith in titties has been finally restored. And it's all thanks to a 5' 4¼" dynamo named Chikako Aoyama, the poster girl for wielding authentic boobs in a sci-fi universe where shapely cyborgs in skintight outfits do battle with the memories of a dead mad scientist.

When you see the adorable little scamp lying on a laboratory slab, there's no doubt that her breasts are real (her fatty tissue and skin fall to the side like nature intended). Why is she lying on a slab in a laboratory setting, you ask? I'll get to that in a minute. I just want to reiterate how happy I am to be back in the breast appreciation game. Of course, there will be those out there who will say that I'm only back in the b.a.g. because the breasts were Asian. Huh? You see, my exposure to Asian boobs, which, I'll admit, is somewhat limited when compared to other types of boobs, will cause some people (and I won't name names) to think that I lack the boob-evaluating skills necessary to properly admire a well-formed pair of Asian titties. Well, let me assure you, my admiration has nothing to do with the race of the breasts. The way they laughed in the face gravity exceeded the narrowly defined confines of race.

Now that that's settled, let's move on to something a little less bosomy for a second, shall we? Ooooh, I know. How about attractive female robots who fight other robots in tight clothing? Yeah, that's pretty good start. But don't you think the chances you might veer of into booby territory again are quite high? I mean, you did mention "tight clothing." You're absolutely right. Tight clothing and juicy melons go hand in hand. But then again, so what; obsessing over a woman's breasts never killed anyone.

The film, which is set in a pre-handover Hong Kong (government buildings are adorned with flags bearing the Union Jack), opens in a spa, where see a Middle Eastern man being showered with affection by four giggle-prone women wearing see-through robes. What's weird about this scene is not fawning ladies, but the fact he's being followed by eight or so blazer-wearing security guards. Making their way to the pool, the unnamed man, who, despite having a hairy ass crack, must be pretty important to garner that much protection, methodically removes the soaking wet garments from each of the women, while, at the same time, still managing to grope them in a manner that was diplomatic (each woman is given the same amount of gropes).

As he's pawing at the woman, his over-privileged gaze would occasionally focus on Inspector Selina (Chikako Aoyama), who's in charge overseeing his protection during his stay in the colony (the rest are personal body guards). And who can blame him, she's stunning. Politely declining his many offers to join him in the pool, Selina decides to step away from the debauchery for a moment. Suddenly, a strange mist can be seen floating through the air. Rendering everyone unconscious, a mysterious man in a leather jacket (the mist seems to have no affect on him) grabs the dazed prince and takes off. As he's leaving, he runs into Selina in the spa's lobby, and just as she was about to draw her weapon, the leather man shoots Selina in the chest and leaves a videotape.

Meanwhile, over at a robotics symposium that is taking place on the other side of town, Dr. Sara (Siu-dan Hui) and her assistant Ann (Amy Yip) are watching the demonstration being put on by a German android manufacture. As the designer is bragging about the capabilities of his lifelike robots to a throng of playboys, tycoons, paid escorts, generals, oil sheiks, and Donal Logue look-a-likes, an unimpressed audience member interrupts him and challenges his sunglasses-sporting male robot to a good old fashion kung-fu fight. Removing his shirt did not help, as the now shirtless audience member gets his ass kicked by the German automaton. An American robot designer decides to challenge the Germans at this time (everyone in this joint seems to have a robot). After the two battle it out to a draw, the American robot (imagine Michael Camacho circa Sly Fox's "Let's Go All The Way" wearing a black leotard) starts going crazy. Punching and kicking people at random, the malfunctioning American is finally subdued by a less fleshed out robot from Japan named Eva (whose overall demenour reminded me of Mandora, the Evil Chaser from She-Ra: Princess of Power ).

It would seem that Eva is the brainchild of the aforementioned Dr. Sara, a Japanese robotics expert. And just as an oil sheik is about to start lavishing praise on her robot, the city's police commissioner (Fung Woo) bursts into the exhibition hall carrying a videotape. What's on the tape? Wait a minute, is this the same tape that was left with Selina's dead body over at the spa? Oh my, you're pretty sharp for a squirrel with a severe learning disability. Yeah, the oil sheik is the father is the guy who was snatched in the film's opening scene, and the leather-clad man who grabbed him is–you guessed it–a Japanese robot whose complex circuitry contains the memories of Ryuichi Yamamoto (Chung Lin), the scientist who designed him. Disgruntled over the fact that the oil sheik refused to fund his research, Yamamoto, after transferring his memories into the mind of a robot (and the only way to do this is if you're dead, so he killed himself, seppuku-style, of course), has chosen to get back at the oil sheik by kidnapping his son.

While it's obvious that a plot this duplicitous needs to be countered with one that is on the same level in terms of duplicity, how can they stop a robot in a leather jacket who possesses superhuman strength and takes forever to ejaculate robot sperm? Not only is the life of a rich man's offspring in danger, but the vaginal well-being of the city's prostitute population is depending on you to stop this over-thrusting fiend before it's too late. Over-thrusting? Yeah, I'm afraid his humping technique is the leading cause of clitoral turmoil amongst hookers aged fourteen to sixty-five.

Hey, Dr. Sara, you're a Japanese robotics expert, right? Yeah, so. Well, couldn't you transfer the memories of say, a dead police inspector, into the mind of Eva? I guess, why? Well, it turns out that we've got the body of a recently deceased police inspector down at the hospital, and, get this, she was murdered by the very same robot we're trying to stop. And just like that, Dr. Sara and Ann–who, by the way, is a robot, and a smoking hot one, at that–transfers Selina's memories into the body of a robot. On top of her memories, they also transfer her physical attributes (i.e. her cute smile and big boobies).

The first thing Selina does when she wakes up is she checks her chest for bullet wounds. When she discovers there aren't any, she starts to wonder if she's dead or alive. Oh, you're dead, honey. Your body is lying on the slab next to you. No, what you are is a robot, and your sole purpose is to destroy the robot who killed your human body. Any questions? What about my police detective boyfriend? It's entirely up to you whether or not you tell him you're a robot. Oh, and, in case you're wondering, your vagina has been outfitted with all the perks of a human vagina. In other words, feel free to insert your boyfriend's erect penis inside it whenever you want, as he won't, depending on the sensitivity of his penis, be able to tell the difference.

Getting back to the robot who killed the buxom police inspector, where is our leather-clad android? Accessing my memory bank, it would seem that at this point in the film he decides to visit a bar. Curious to try out his robot penis, Robot Yamamoto (Billy Chow) picks up a prostitute wearing red gloves and black fishnet stockings, and takes her to a sleazy motel (not before killing her pimp in the washroom). Judging by the quality of his thrusts, his penis works just fine. Only problem is, it takes him forever to achieve orgasm. This lengthy process causes the prostitute to grow weary of her trick; and, not to mention, is putting a lot of undue stress on her non-robotic vagina. Tired of being prodded with his cock (every position has been employed to the point of redundancy), the prostitute decides that she's had enough, and tells him to stop fucking her. Choking her as his penetrates her against the wall, her fishnet stockings, once filled to the brim with her plucky stems, are now draped over a small television set tuned to a fuzzy channel, her body eventually goes limp.

At police headquarters, Selina's detective boyfriend, Joe (David Wu), his goofy partner, Puppy (Chung Kwai), and a bunch of other detectives, get briefed on their mission. Unaware that two of the women they'll be working with are robots, the detectives fawn over Ann, who has changed out of her metallic leather jacket and into a pink tank top.. Oh, and to prove she's worthy to be on the team (unlike, Selina, Ann is not affiliated with the police department), Ann gives them a quick demonstration of her skills.

After a romantic birthday dinner, it's Selina's turn to try out her robot genitals. Shaking off the cobwebs that have no doubt begun to accumulate within its delicate housing, Selina takes her robot vagina out for a test drive with her boyfriend in a bedroom straight out of Zalman King's subconscious. Whereas the sex scene with Robot Yamamoto and the unnamed prostitute in the motel room was seedy and uncouth, the one between Selina and Joe is warm and loving. And since both scenes occur almost back to back, it causes you to feel this weird sensation in your tummy. Don't tell anyone this, but I'm having trouble deciding which scene I liked more. Anyway, the warm and loving scene and the seedy and uncouth one do have one thing in common, and that is, they both feature stockings draped over appliances (the stockings in the warm and loving scene are draped over a lamp).

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about Ann's robot vagina. After being told all about her sexual encounter with Joe, Ann tells Selina that she wants to put a human penis in her robot vagina, too. Well, it so happens the opportunity to get her synthetic cunt stuffed with all kinds of strange sausage is about arise when the idea for her to pose as a prostitute gets proposed. Since Robot Yamamoto is currently stretching out prostitute vaginas across the city, what better way to lure him into a trap by using Ann's pseudo pussy as bait?

The film starts to resemble a sex comedy during the "Ann poses as a prostitute stakeout sequence" (the Puppy character would feel right at home in the non-racist version of the Porky's universe). Telling her first john (Sai-Kit Yung) that she is curious to try out "human love-making," Ann removes her tight, salmon-coloured hooker dress (don't ask me where her fishnet stockings were draped, as Luk seems to have lost interest in that particular motif), and proceeds to hurl herself against his fully engorged man-thing. Realizing that Ann is a choice piece of girl candy, the male detectives on the stakeout decide to take advantage of the situation by charging extra for the opportunity to enter her via her robotic vagina (remember, they don't know she's a robot). Soon, there's a line-up around the block waiting for the chance to penetrate her, but there's still no sign of Robot Yamamoto.

Fans of robots and material arts will be relieved when Robot Yamamoto finally shows up at the nightclub Selina, Ann, Dr. Sara are hanging out at (the film has been action-free up until now). While draining her bladder of an alcoholic beverage she mock consumed in order to win a drinking contest in the ladies room, Selina finally comes face-to-face with the robot who killed her human body. After this confrontation, the film is nothing but kung-fu fights, shoot-outs, and instances where white guys, who look nothing like Donal Logue, get their heads severed with wicker briefcases. Actually, that's not true: There's a scene where Robot Yamamoto has another disturbing sexual encounter, this time with Dr. Sara (her Bai Lingual bangs quivering under the weight of his overly robot penis), in a laboratory, and this one where Joe must come to grips with the fact that his large breasted girlfriend has a robot vagina. But other than that, the final third of the film does bear all the markings of your typical Hong Kong action flick. Yet, I thought the sheer amount of sexual weirdness that takes place over the course of the film caused Robotrix to soar well beyond its genre limitations.

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  1. This has been one of my favorite movies for such a long time. It was among the very first "insane" Asian genre titles that bootleggers in the '90s told me I "had to" check out, and it was my heart-pounding introduction to the love of my celluloid life, Our Lady of Abundant Cleavage, Miss Amy Yip. She is just built to last, and actually has the perfect look for a robotic fighting femme. Your Zalman King bedroom conjuring was so right on. And, ultimately, my vote goes to seedy & uncouth!

  2. "Our Lady of Abundant Cleavage." I like this, as it oozes globs of bosomy truth.

    Even though Amy Yip never actually shows her boobies in Robotrix (just some mild to light side-boob action), you can always feel their presence.

    Seedy and uncouth is where it's at, baby!

  3. Good review! This looks like silly fun.

  4. Oh my lord! I love this movie! It took years before I finally took the time to hunt down a copy and I was not disjointedness. This and Ebola Syndrome are probably my favorite HK flicks of the era. Amy Yip owns my soul!

  5. Thanks, TY. :)

    @Bill Thomas: Holy crap! I just did a Google Image search for "Ebola Syndrome." That shit looks insane.