post-human future is here, but these androids are so dim-witted, foul-mouthed,
and unruly, you have to wonder why they even bothered with the singularity. The
four quarrelsome robots are on a mission to save the universe, but fortunately
they do not have to understand the details. Nor do we when watching Sam Gaffin’s
Killer Robots! Crash and Burn (trailer here), which screens
during this year’s Action on Film Festival.
Killer Robots are actually a band with their own extensive science fiction
backstory, in the tradition of GWAR, Sun Ra, and Peelander-Z. Band member
Gaffin has been hand-crafting their latest cinematic adventure since the
release of The Killer Robots and the
Battle for the Cosmic Potato in 2009. It is an almost indescribable viewing
experience that might be likened to a Gerry Anderson sci-fi show, in which all
the marionettes are on a nasty PCP bender. Bandmates Gaffin, Charles Harris,
Samuel Williams, and Mike McGowan duly reprise their roles as Auto, Trog,
Strobo, and Max, respectively, but they are basically only distinguishable by
their varying levels of snarkiness and anti-social hostility.
the Fab Robotic Four will mug their way through a darkly dystopian world of CG
animation. Having been rebuilt after an ill-advised appearance in the
robo-gladiators’ arena, the ‘bots reluctantly accept a mission to save the universe
from its death’s head overlord by launching an anti-virus program in the
infected mother mainframe (via punch-card no less). Or something like that.
Crash and Burn is either the work
of a mad genius auteur or an outsider artist crying out for help (or possibly
both). It has a truly distinctive look and some admittedly hilarious dialogue—yet,
it is not always clear whether Gaffin’s best lines are intentionally funny or
accidentally so. The same is true of its awkward pauses.
Most cult film connoisseurs will appreciate
sampling the visual style and lethal attitude of Crash and Burn, but the one-hundred-minute running time is really
pushing it. Nevertheless, it would not be surprising if the French inducted
Gaffin into the Legion of Honor once they get a good gander at his Killer Robot oeuvre. Strange and potentially
seizure-inducing, Killer Robots! Crash
and Burn is recommended for fans of the band and genre cinema fans looking
for a micro-indie from the wild side when it screens tomorrow (9/6) at the 2016
Action on Film Festival in Monrovia, CA (and is also available on VOD
platforms, including iTunes).
Labels: AOF '16, Sci-Fi films, The Killer Robots