*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A Dallas man is witness to the death of a cop and there's more to his story.
With a video cover in the vain of the Vindicator, echoing The Wraith, The Terminator, Mad Max and Robocop, this low budget tail end of the 80s is like none of the above.
Cullen Blaine's offering Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research (R.O.T.O.R) has an informative title voice over, packed with exposition and flashback that adds very little to the proceedings. What it does have is a nostalgic soundtrack from synthesiser beats to some country music. It's also nicely framed.
There's a robot which looks its just rolled out of Buck Rogers, and R.O.TO.R, correctly dubbed "a tin marionette," is like a stop motion endoskeleton with daft Punk shades.
The dialogue is a pretentious and cheesy as it comes. Even when the motor bike patrol cops goes all Westworld/Hitcher stalker-ish it sadly remains one of the most uneventful films of 1987. Not even some toy robots or The Terminator P.O.V shots can help. With Dallas' 80s fashion R.O.TO.R never lives up to or delivers on its premise of a directorate driven, judge and executioner super cop.
It picks up briefly in the last half hour as leather clad, moustache sporting, ChiPs sunglasses cop takes on some locals and later blows up when his arms and legs are tied up. There's a little shock killing that amounts to nothing, with a twist ending that won't make you spill you coffee.
Despite its faults it's better filmed than 90 percent of the DTV films produced these days. Worth watching for nostalgic value only.