A massive battle-robot, piloted by Achilles (Gary Graham) flies up into space, only to get shot in the foot and crash back to Earth, in this amazing sequence from 1989's Robot Jox. Achilles' robot fighter then transforms into a massive tank to take the fight to his Russian attacker's four-legged war-machine. Achilles shoots Alexander's four-legged 'bot in the crotch, but then that same crotch opens to reveal a giant chainsaw, tearing into Achilles' cockpit. This is just one of the amazing scenes from what may be the greatest fighting robot movie of all time.

Directed by Stuart Gordon (Reanimator) and written by Gordon and Joe Haldeman, Jox takes place in a future postapocalyptic world, after some kind of nuclear cataclysm. The U.S. and Soviet Union, now called the Western Market and the Russian Confederation, no longer fight wars to settle their disputes. Instead, they send huge freaking robots into battle, to smack each other down until a victor is declared.

I love the way the battlesuits are depicted, with Alexander moving his actual hand to make the robot's hand reach down and overturn Achilles' tank. The giant robot effects are entirely done using models and stop-motion animation, but they look way better than a lot of CGI I've seen. In particular, you can actually see the fighting robot transforming into a tank — unlike in Michael Bay's Transformers, where the transformations were always so blurry and disjointed that you couldn't make out what was happening. Thanks to everyone who recommended Robot Jox to me — it really is an instant classic.


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