Robotrix

dir. Luk

Opens Fri Aug 22

Clinton Street Theater

Who doesn't want a robot? Nobody, that's who. And that's because robots are specifically designed to take away the more complicated aspects of living. Sure, you can get robots to perform menial labor (anything from constructing cars to building a Taco Bell Chalupa) but that's such a limitation. Their main purpose should be tackling the most complicated aspects possible--which is, of course, killing people and having sex with me.

Perhaps this is why the 1991 soft-core sci-fi sex romp, Robotrix, works so well. It gets away with murder, rape, and gore, while remaining quaint and charming because it's the robots doing the dirty work.

As the curtain rises on Robotrix, Hong Kong cop Selina is guarding the son of a Sheik, and is killed in action by an evil robot. The Sheik calls upon sexy scientist Dr. Sara--and her beautiful android assistant, Ann--to robotocize the slain policewoman in order to rescue his son. Meanwhile, the evil robot is going around banging and killing hookers, because as we know, even cybernetic beings can get bored and horny. This affords Selina and Ann the opportunity to go undercover as human hookers to use their chop-socky powers and destroy this walking killer toaster with a hard-on.

Anyone who's ever watched Cinemax has seen this kind of gauzy soft-core action; lots of boobies and moany-groany motion--with well-positioned blankets and towels to hide erections or X-rated shades of pink. But the Hong Kong version is kind of different. It's accented with gore and extreme violence, and yet remains charming and hilarious. Sometimes it's the cheap special effects, other times it's the horrible English dubbing. Sometimes it's the cackling laughter of the evil scientist, other times it's an actor's dirty buttcrack.

Sure, some of the more violent scenes pushed my level of comfort, but it's almost as if the actors are winking at the audience, saying, "Hey. It's okay. I'm a robot." The point is that these people are well aware their movie is a big block of cheese and happily do the dirty work that's required. And isn't that the job of a robot, anyway?