Casshan: Robot Hunter
In the future, all of humanity is taken over by (get this) environmentalist robots in the style of Terminator. The leader of the Environmental Robots is an android called BK-1, who the robots refer to as the Black King, whose agenda is to rid the earth of all humans so that the environment can be preserved (I guess no one ever thought to tell BK-1 that blowing up everything the humans own isn't very environmentally conscious).
Pockets of human resistance remain here and there (again, a la Terminator), but hope seems dim, except for one man: solar-powered Casshan, Robot Hunter. Our hero in white is accompanied by his trusty dog that turns into a jet and breathes fire, followed by his ex-girlfriend who inexplicably bears an uncanny resemblance to Sailor Moon. It's up to Casshan to save humanity from the Environmental Robots.
Yet another gem from the Sci-Fi channel. Who's on the committee that picks titles to be aired Saturday mornings? I need to have a little talk with them.
This title tries to combine martial arts, Terminator, environmentalism, family drama, and war epic genres, and manages to fail at every single one. The Environmental Robots for some reason have developed human emotions and laugh, cry, boast, and do everything we humans do, only with bad acting. Why in the world would MACHINES lustily shout "Hail Black King!" every time they beat another human? Got me.
Casshan's story is filled with plot-holes and presumptions, and the characters are all caricatured versions of cliched heroes, heroines, and villains (yes, I know that cliches of characters are usually already caricatures. Just shows you how lame this film is). The plot somehow fails to build to any sort of climax whatsoever, preferring to go from lame action scene to lame action scene with interludes of corny, trite dialogue and reflection. Intercharacter relationships are laughable, and would be hysterical except for the fact that Casshan and company really seem to believe what they're doing. Casshan's hero ethic and philosophy make absolutely no sense to anyone not strung out on barbiturates, and the overall dialogue makes me wish that everyone would just die and get the movie over with.
Dubbing is adequate, but I don't think any amount of voice acting could save this film from the terrible writing it's already suffering from.
Top it off with a cliched, melodramatic, and entirely irritating soundtrack and poor, choppy animation, and you've got a title you'd best leave on the shelf. Want mecha action? Go watch Bubblegum instead. Or anything else, for that matter.
Recommended Audience: A few brief scenes of casual nudity, with some somewhat graphic deaths of humans at the hands of the Environmental Robots. Not for the little ones. Ironically, though, the quality of the plot is one that can only be appreciated by the very toddlers this movie should not be seen by.
Version(s) Viewed: Sci-Fi channel airing, English dub
Review Status: Full (4/4)
Casshan: Robot Hunter © 1993 Tatsunoko Productions
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