Robotrix [Nu ji xie ren] (1991)

I watched this expecting, as some viewers had suggested, that it would be a somewhat naughtier version of I Love Maria.

Well, that was completely wrong.

This is an example of what is known as a “Category III” film, which is the term used for HK films loaded with nudity, explicit sex and violence – and, apparently, one of the defining films of that genre.

And, as expected, there is a lot of nudity, although not so much violence (although torture and rape play a large part).  There are also a lot of explicit sex scenes, some of which are in there for no particular reason other than titillation (as in one rather long sequence when an android poses as a prostitute).

What is far more disturbing are two lengthy and graphic rape sequences, the first played initially for comedy before ending in murder.  Considering that there is little or no emotional impact attached to these scenes – and that they are staged to show off as much female flesh as possible – I have to wonder who they were aimed at:  sweaty little guys with rape fantasies, maybe?

As I’ve noted before, Hong Kong Cinema has a very strong bias towards slapstick comedy – although they have an equally strong tendency to go way too far with it.  Here, the comedy mostly revolves around guys wanting sex, and it never achieves the deliriously demented quality that some of the sillier HK films have (like Sammo Hung’s Encounters of the Spooky Kind).  Let’s face it, as comedies go, this one isn’t particularly funny.

Nor are the SF elements all that impressive.  We see an impressive laboratory set, there are a few shots of robot arms and legs and other exposed robot components, but for the most part, this pretty much involves pretty robot girls fighting the evil robot guy, with a bit of wirework.

And lots of flesh.

Oh, well.  After the demented fun of I Love Maria, and the non-stop slapstick action and robot battles of Gen Y Cops, this seems flat, uninspired, and more than a little uncomfortable to watch.

The best thing to do is to ignore it and watch either of the two films I just mentioned.  Or the more serious Future X Cops.  Or Encounters of the Spooky Kind.  Heck, the first Mr. Vampire is a lot of fun too.

Or anything else but this one.

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