ROBOT JOX (and other Gordon/Band Family movies!)

I’ve seen it mentioned in a few other threads, but I’m just finishing up Robot Jox for the first time, and…whew! I seriously didn’t know how to feel about this movie in places. Much like its MSTed “companion”, Robot Wars, nearly everyone is unlikeable in some way, and there’s some really awful tropes…

…until that final 15-20 minutes. Holy crap! I won’t spoil much, but it took this movie from being something I wasn’t into, to absolutely awesome. Camp, overacting and incredulous set pieces that must have inspired a ton of gonzo scenes in the years since.

Stuart Gordon and Charles Band really had a skill for optimizing their low budgets (From Beyond is also a good example). The production design really excels at making the movie look more expensive than it is, and David Allen’s stop motion is no different.

I feel as if the protagonist is very similar to the jerk we’d eventually get in Wars. Even the extremely likeable female lead, Anne-Marie Johnson, gets a pretty unnecessary heel turn. The initial conclusion was very unsatisfying, but that final fight redeemed EVERYTHING.

This movie also contains one of the most unintentionally hilarious attempts at “hiding” a stunt actor (spoiler alert: they weren’t hidden whatsoever).

Won’t go into more detail for those who haven’t seen the film, but, yeah, Jox is very similar to Wars. I’d prefer the former only because it’s THAT much campier and better executed.

The same tropes are there, for better or worse, and everyone’s horrifically flawed. There’s a lot of debate about who the movie is “for”. But it redeems itself with one of the best final scenes EVER.

I know this was a pretty notable VHS memory for many out there - I had just missed out on that era by a few years, but I could see why this movie has a lot of fans. It’s perfectly enjoyable popcorn cinema, no matter the narrative.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this, or any other Stuart Gordon/Band family film not MSTed in Season 13?

(BTW, check out Arrow’s highly enjoyable “Enter The Video Store: Empire of Screams” box set. It’s a small, but pretty awesome retrospective of the Empire Films/Full Moon era.)


Speaking of family, remember that band that did Wherever You Will Go and some Santana collaboration? Yeah, that’s his son. Same age as me, too.


I just watched From Beyond for the first time last night and loved it.


There was a time in the mid-90s where my roommates and I would rent Full Moon movies and riff on them ourselves, but I saw so many in such quick succession that I don’t remember most of them. It’s been too long anyway.

I do remember that we figured out that there always had to be a scene where you saw at least one of the actress’ breasts regardless of the film.