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Robotapocalypse (2021) Review

Robotapocalypse is the latest film from The Asylum, but you would be hard-pressed to know it even exists. As with Jungle Run and several other recent films they seem to have let it slip out without so much as a press release or even a mention on their Facebook page. And that’s unfortunate because despite some shortcomings, it’s actually a pretty good film.

A test of the giant NFX rescue robot goes very wrong when Medusa, the artificial intelligence develops a mind of its own and starts rewriting its code and spreading to other comper systems. That includes military systems, which it uses to send a swarm of drones to get rid of its programmers Dr. Lopez (Jeff Marchelletta, Exorcism) and Dr. Marietta (Barry Piacente, The Lost Footage, One Must Fall).

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The project’s survivors Wilson (DeAngelo Davis, Alien Conquest) and Zee (Jessica Chancellor, 616 Wilford Lane) need to get a hold of the one person who can possibly shut Medusa down, Dr. Lopez’s daughter, an expert hacker named Tara (Katalina Viteri, Midnight in the Switchgrass).

It must have driven the folks at The Asylum nuts that they couldn’t find a way to work Skynet into this film’s title. Because Robotapocalypse is a B movie version of Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines. Not content with drones, Medusa is busy taking over the Aries Project. That’s a secret Pentagon project to create robot soldiers that fire microchips that can take over a human. I guess the vaccines and 5G Networks were taking too long.

Since this is an Asylum film, we don’t get to see those soldiers until much later in the film. Writers Joe Roche (Collision Earth) and Lauren Pritchard rely heavily on scenes of people at keyboards and drone attacks to get us through the first hour of Robotapocalypse. I’d mention the director as well, but there is no director credited on the copy I saw or on IMDB. The film’s Amazon page credits Asylum co-founder and Robotapocalypse’s producer David Michael Latt as director. If that is the case, it would be his first time in the director’s chair since MegaFault in 2009.

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Despite being the main image and only name on the poster, Tito Ortiz doesn’t turn up until the final act, and then only briefly as a robot fighting badass. He’s in and out of the film in ten minutes at the most. I also didn’t get the battle I was hoping for between his team and the android army. Instead, we get lots of stock footage of tanks, warships, etc and an entirely too brief battle between NFX and Medusa’s minions.

As low-budget science fiction goes, Robotapocalypse is a good film. Despite a few plot holes, the script is well enough written, certainly better than I would have expected from the writer of the intentionally ludicrous Meteor Moon. It plays things straight and avoids that film’s outrageous plot twists and devices. More importantly, it never lets the talk go on for too long without throwing in some kind of action to prevent things from bogging down.

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The effects are, as usual, hit-and-miss. As long as there isn’t too much going on in a scene, the CGI tends to be at least acceptable. The exception is the fire and explosion effects, which are awful.

If you’re a fan of The Asylum, then you’re going to see Robotapocalypse anyway. If you’re not, this is one to check out. It’s better than a lot of their recent output, and a lot of other science fiction/action films in its budget range. It’s currently available on Digital to stream or buy.

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