Robot Wars subplots: MIA

I watched Robot Wars again (and again… don’t judge) and something that bugged me about the movie still bugs me – namely, the missing subplots that get teased and never resolved:

  1. Who is supplying weapons to the Centros, and why
  2. Drake and Wa-Lee have history
  3. Why it was such a hot story to discover a cache of weapons that were supposedly destroyed

Yes, I know, MST3K edits movies for time and pacing and so on. But I find it hard to believe that everything the show might have cut would have eliminated ALL of that.

I’m curious…but not curious enough to watch the full movie unriffed.


Extremely bold of you to assume these answers are in an uncut version of this movie…


Well, I did just open a bottle of Cowboy Mike’s Ricochet barbecue sauce…


Is it… bold?


I’m still curious about the anomalous layer of sorbate in the soil that wasn’t supposed to be there. Its presence seemed to be the main driver of conflict in the region, yet damned if I picked up what the reveal was on it. Was it just there because of the buried mech?

Oh, and what was in the big pyramid? I didn’t track the reason for breaking into that either.


You just put lots of weird stuff near the film you’re making and plot happens. Or at least that seems to be the thinking.


The pyramid had the toxic waste in it, I think. There was toxic waste someplace, wasn’t there? I guess General Wa-Lee was going to ruin the pristine, uh, wasteland? It was a evil thing to do, anyhow. If nothing else it made him slightly worse than Drake.

<edit>I’m realizing I don’t know what was happening either.</edit>


That makes sense, it’s the “toxic tomb” they refer to. And rupturing it is a rather illogical move, unless the idea it to use a toxic spill to drive people away from Crystal Vista (and all that lovely sorbate). Because otherwise he’s just poisoning the landscape of his erstwhile Centros allies.


What I keep wondering is where and how the second robot was being stored.

Was there already an underground chamber under the school, or did they bury the robot and build a road and a school right on top of it, or did Stumpy’s grandpa’s buddies secretly excavate an underground bunker for their giant robot while they were smuggling the parts in?

Was it brought one piece at a time or was the robot piloted into place?

Was the town abandoned before or after the robot was hidden there?

I think the movie is trying to imply that the robot was brought in and assembled piece by piece in a purpose-built secret bunker, but I wouldn’t put money on it.


It’s… not that bold.

Decidedly un-bold.


I think this is the most logical assumption, but logic seems contrived at best in this film, so who knows what they actually intended. But since the town died in the 90s and the robot postdates that, I would say it was somehow placed underground without disturbing the town, since it later erupts upward through a street dating from an earlier time. Therefore assemblage in an underground chamber makes the most sense. Plus the authorities probably would have spotted an intact robot being buried, and it sounds like it was smuggled away piecemeal after being decommissioned.


Wait I was having trouble finding the main plot of that movie. You’re telling me there were also subplots that they just dropped or ignored?

I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you!


“Toxic waste exposure leads to poor romantic life choices.”


I think we’ve already put a lot more thought into this than the filmmakers did.


It’s just baffling.

Not gonna lie, the 15yo me that read tons of cheap sci-fi paperbacks is actually super on board with the whole “decommissioned old robot is patchworked together for humanity’s heroic last stand,” but you gotta give me something to latch onto.

It’s a very dumb movie, but the montage in Battleship where they hastily recommission the Missouri to go shoot some aliens is a well done version of this scene. It’s stupid (oh lord is it stupid), but it comes a lot closer to carrying the emotional resonance that it needs to than the Mega 1 busting up through the street does.


I’m right there with you. I lurve worldbuilding — The Black Hole is one of my all-time favorites because there are so many juicy ideas in that movie.

But Robot Wars — oy, it’s like the filmmakers didn’t even recognize their own story beats. Or, they looked at the dailies, saw that any given scene was a giant cliché, and decided to avoid those…thus leaving gaping holes throughout the movie. :woman_shrugging:


It was a 56-57-58-59-60-61…


I’m amused that it manages to rise up from the ground without uprooting plumbing lines in the process.


Well, that’s just careful planning.


But what ever happened to Annie?