g The Film Panel Notetaker: Killer Robots Invade The Pioneer

Monday, December 11, 2006

Killer Robots Invade The Pioneer

I was sent a screener of the new independent sci-fi film, "Automatons," directed by James Felix McKenney, that opens Wednesday night at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater in New York. I've written up a few other films on this blog, because I've gone to see them in a theater where the director is usually there afterwords for a Q&A. Because I was told that the director and some of the actors will be at a couple of the screenings at the Pioneer this week, I will try to go and take notes during their Q&A. In the mean time, here's my little review:

"Automatons" takes place in the distant future where a girl is the last of her people on a contaminated planet who lives with and programs an army of robots against an evil enemy, who keeps sending threatening transmissions and somehow is able to program the girl's robots against her from time to time. The girl is kept company by the recordings of a scientist (played by Angus Scrimm of Phantasm fame) who cared for her as a baby. The girl mounts an attack against the enemy with her robots in a brutal final showdown.

"Automatons" was shot in black & white reversal super 8mm film , creating a low-budget, b-movie look and feel, with actors wearing stocky robot costumes, stop-motion figurine robots combatting one another, and an eerie industrial, techno-bleepy score to great schlocky effect. Unfortunately, I felt there was a great deal of under acting by the human actors in the film, who probably could of hammed it up a little more.

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