Thanks to Scream Factory, I know have the almost impossible job of understanding and reviewing the Double Feature release of Millennium, the time hopping love story, and R.O.T.O.R., the hilariously atrocious robot cop flick. Let’s see if I’m able to do the job…
[tabby title=”PRODUCT INFORMATION”]
RUN-TIME: 106 / 90 min
Millennium – 1.85:1
R.O.T.O.R. – 1.78:1
Millennium – DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo
R.O.T.O.R. – DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
PRODUCTION DATE: 1989 / 1988
RELEASE DATE: Feb 23, 2016
[tabby title=”PLOT SUMMARIES”]
The Future Is Yours With Time Travel And A Killer Robot… A Sci-Fi Double Feature To Scream About!
Leap into thrilling, time-traveling mayhem with Millennium. When safety investigator Bill Smith (Kris Kristofferson, Blade) looks into a disastrous airplane crash, he soon makes a shocking discovery – one that will impact the future of humanity itself. The beautiful but mysterious Louise (Cheryl Ladd, Charlie’s Angels) may prove to be the key to it all – but can Smith figure out the truth in time? Daniel J. Travanti (Hill Street Blues) also stars in this centuries-spanning tale from the director of Logan’s Run.
Gear up for a cult classic you’ve got to see to believe: R.O.T.O.R! When corrupt Police Commander Earl Buglar (Michael Hunter) orders the development and construction of the ultimate weapon in the war on crime, robotics expert Barrett Coldyron (Richard Gesswin) warns against the dangers of such a project – and loses his job in the process. But when the prototype R.O.T.O.R (Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research) is accidentally activated, the city is suddenly faced with a rampaging mechanical maniac acting as judge, jury, and executioner – and only Coldyron can stop him!
Millennium starts things off with two planes colliding, killing everyone on board. Brought in to investigate the disaster is Bill Smith (Kristofferson), who has a massive task in front of him. He begins by collecting the flight recorder and listening to the pilots last words. The recording provides evidence that not all was right in the final minutes, as all the passengers were already dead before impact. Combine that strangeness with the passengers watches all going backward, Bill has quite the mystery on his hands.
Between investigating the disaster, Bill meets a woman by the name of Louise (Cheryl Ladd). She’s a bit quirky and doesn’t seem to be quite right in the head. We soon find out that the reason she is so strange is that she is in fact from the future! You see, Louise has the job of going back in time to board planes and steal the people on-board and bring them back to the future. The people are going to die anyway, so no need to worry about a paradox. Unfortunately for Louise, she and her friends are terrible at their jobs and leave behind a weapon, not once, but twice in two days in two different time periods. Louise now has to travel back in time to stop her entire future from being wiped out, but she, along with her robot partner Sherman (Robert Joy) don’t seem to understand that she has already done this and it didn’t work.
That’s where the problems with Millennium lay. The people in charge in the future can’t seem to see their own giant plot holes. They keep saying she has to stop Bill from going to a certain place at a certain time and messing up the timeline, but she already tried that and failed. Whatever she was going to do was always going to fail. There is no changing an event once it’s set in motion. If you can forgive the time travel muck up, Millennium is actually not that bad of a movie. The beginning portions involving the investigation are interesting and when we get the sudden shift with the introduction of time travel, it seems like two different movies playing at once. The acting from the time traveling blond, Cheryl Ladd, is quite well done. The role required her to convey a childlike wonderment of what she was seeing in the past and she does quite well. Kris Kristofferson is gruff and tough and doesn’t do much else but stand there and make me jealous of his beard.
Unfortunately, the movie never goes into great detail with the future parts of the flick. There is so much going on, there could be a whole separate movie about this far future as the flick has a lot of neat ideas.
Millennium, in the end, is a quirky love story with a sci-fi twist. The story has a lot of problems and an ending that doesn’t make much sense, but not once was I bored. Clocking in at 106 minutes and keeping me interested throughout it all is quite a task, and this movie passed the test.
R.O.T.O.R., or Blue Steel as the opening scene will have you know, is a terrible film. The acting is incomprehensibly terrible, the story is a mix of other better films and the budget had to have been a negative number. Yet, having said that, the movie is a film I will watch over and over. It’s the greatest comedy ever written.
The plot for R.O.T.O.R. is about your basic killer robot cop on the loose. After a jive talking janitor accidentally shocks a machine with his cassette player, a robot cop awakens for duty. Immediately the cop initiates his programming and finds a couple speeding through town. The cop pulls them over and shoots the driver and chases the female passenger all over Texas. The creator of the program, Barrett Coldyron , hears of his bot cop on the loose and seeks the help of a weight lifting doctor, Dr. Steele to take this menace down once and for all.
R.O.T.O.R. is an unexplainable, convoluted mess of a film, a film where not one person can act. A film where the lead characters dubbed voice is this out of place, low talking entity that spouts some of the most ridiculous lines ever. The ineptitude of the script’s dialogue boggles the mind, however, my love for the movie knows no bounds.
I honestly lost count how many times I was awestruck at what I was witnessing. You have so many strange things happening. There is the comic relief bumbling scientist and his robot sidekick. There is the robber with a painted on goatee. You have a muscled man ripping his shirt off for no reason but to show his bludging pectoral muscles. There are numerous continuity errors with what time of day it is; several scenes go from night to day in a matter of minutes. The end of the movie reveals that a character who is dead in a flashback at the beginning, actually survived the events of the flashback. The movie never bothers to explain why she ended up dead. Plus, the ending throws a twist in your face that’s hilarious, yet completely out of left field.
R.O.T.O.R. is a movie that everyone needs to witness. I don’t think it’s possible to make a movie this poor anymore. This was a once in a lifetime occurrence, where the planets aligned and brought together this crew to produce a film that will live on way past the dystopian future that Millennium showed us.
[tabby title=”BLU-RAY OPINION”]
Both the video and audio for Millennium and R.O.T.O.R. are perfectly acceptable. When you watch the trailers for the movies, you can see how the quality boosted for both flicks. Scream Factory has done a nice job in upgrading the movies, leaving the grain intact, with no noticeable dirt and debris that would distract from your viewing pleasure. Audio is also well done, with the disc providing a nice DTS-HD MA Stereo option for Millennium and DTS-HD MA Mono for R.O.T.O.R..Unfortunately, special features don’t get the same type of treatment. Millennium has an alternate ending, although, it only changes the ending slightly, providing us with a terrifying look at a nude Kristofferson. The only other features are trailers, one for Millennium and the other for R.O.T.O.R..
[tabby title=”SPECIAL FEATURES”]
– Alternate Ending
I ended up being quite pleased with both movies on this Scream Factory Double Feature. R.O.T.O.R. takes a part of the cake away from Troll 2 for being one of the best worst movies ever, whilst still providing ample amounts of entertainment. Millennium is also a fun movie, with a wacky, hole-filled plot. Besides a disappointing lack of features, the disc is worth picking up.