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  Robotrix droids turn tricks for kicks
Year: 1991
Director: Jamie Luk Kin-Ming
Stars: Amy Yip, David Wu, Chikako Aoyama, Hui Hsiao-Dan, Billy Chow
Genre: Comedy, Sex, Action, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Sci-fi meets sexploitation in this Category III/action vehicle for busty, Hong Kong starlet, Amy Yip. Robotrix takes place in the far-flung future where international scientist teams launch competing bids to build a “robot legion”. A runaway android terrorizes crowds at a robot competition and is swiftly subdued by Eve R27, the astonishing creation of Doctor Sara (Hui Hsiao-Dan). Police enlist Sara’s help after mad scientist Ryuichi Yamamoto and his sex-mad android (Billy Chow - in real life, Jackie Chan’s bodyguard) kidnap the son of a wealthy oil sheik. The plan is to convince the sheik to bankroll their robot army, but Chow’s android spends most of his screen time murdering hookers.

Eve R27 pretty much vanishes from the story as the focus shifts onto a beautiful policewoman (Chikako Aoyama), killed in the line of duty and resurrected as a cyborg without any memory of her former life. This puts a damper on her relationship with a fellow detective (David Wu - whose eclectic career includes fantastic work as an editor for John Woo, Tsui Hark and Ronny Yu, and directing the fairytale miniseries, The Snow Queen (1992) starring Bridget Fonda). He tries to rekindle their love affair amidst numerous, sweaty, sex scenes.

Meanwhile, Billy is still out there killing prostitutes and torturing the sheik’s son (remember him?) with his lethal power drill. The dim cops turn to Sara’s shapely assistant, Anna (Amy Yip), who turns out to be another android. Anna agrees to pose as a hooker, not just to set a trap for the robo-gigolo, but because she wants to experience the sweet mysteries of sex.

Robotrix is an absolute mess, albeit a sporadically entertaining one. The quirky storylines, multiple shifts in genre and stylistic u-turns present in many Hong Kong movies have produced some exhilarating examples of alternative cinema, but here they’re often annoying. The sudden focus upon Aoyama’s character comes about because the Japanese actress is a less reticent about nudity than top-billed (and top-heavy - sorry, couldn’t resist) Amy Yip. Anna’s hooker subplot goes absolutely nowhere. Her trap fails (although having made it with multiple clients, she pronounces her experiment a great success!), and director Jamie Luk Kin-Ming wheels on yet another supporting character - a police informer - just to get some plot closure. His death provides the movie’s best concept, as scientists remove his eyeballs and use a hi-tech computer to capture the last image he saw.

For all its faults, the film’s garish style enlivens the meandering, sexploitation plot. Yip’s pinup status combined with campy humour, kinky set-pieces and an overall air of outrageousness have made Robotrix an enduring fan favourite.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

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