Assassin – 1986

Sometimes we have to take a break from cheesy horror films and watch something with a little more class and sophistication. Porn, for example.

I was in a small, locally owned “Movies/Music/Games” store recently, and something caught my eye. In a milk crate, underneath a tarp, behind a shelf leaned up against the wall, were DVDs. Some were marked $5. Some were marked $1. Looking at any of them made the shopkeeper question my sanity. “Oh, you don’t want those” he says.

Son, you don’t even know.

assassin

A bright green DVD cover grabbed my attention. Underneath the word “Assassin,” written in what appears to be the same font a calculator uses, we can see a menacing looking man in a leather jacket and one glowing, red eye while towards the bottom is a man who looks like a young, sober Charlie Sheen. This DVD is proof that you can’t judge a terrible movie by it’s cover. Neither of the people on the cover are actually in the movie.

It’s like Christmas if all your presents were failed dreams and Santa Claus just punched you in the throat a couple times.

Assassin is a rare movie for me in that I was actually interested in seeing it. The plot synopsis is simple, a rogue secret agent goes on a rampage murdering other secret agents so The Government brings a retired secret agent back to take him out. Also, the rogue secret agent is a robot.

The movie starts out pretty plainly, with a very well dressed gentleman entering a secret code and accessing an office door. Everyone is smiling, just milling about. The gentlemen walks over, grabs a file, and turns to leave. Another man looks over and says “Hey, you can’t do that!“. Naturally, his neck is immediately snapped. On his way out the door, the well dressed gentlemen kicks a desk halfway across the room and completely ruins a secretary.

Off to a good start, I think.

We go through some introduction where we learn who the killer is and meet several people who are going to stop him. It turns out the Gentleman is really a secret government robot who was created for the purpose of assassination. They are pretty straightforward with this top secret confidential information.

He’s a killing machine, what section of the agency is he in?

Assassination.”

I didn’t even know we had that department.”

They use a lot of technical buzzwords and mumbo-jumbo to try and sound really smart, but it just comes out sounding sad.

One guy says, “We’ve tracked him to WHSLM.” Which we are just supposed to “know” is code for “Western Hemisphere, St. Louis Missouri.”

So now we’ve got three people on the case, the “Boss”, a woman who is the current “Best Assassin” in the Department, and a retired guy who apparently used to be the best assassin. I’d like to make note, that even though the woman is currently the best assassin the department has, when confronted by danger, she still fumbles around in her purse for a gun and needs to be “saved” by the retired agent. There are so many things about this that anger me. Why would a top government assassin keep her gun in her purse instead of a holster? Why would it take her, with all her government training, forty seconds to find it underneath her checkbook and mascara? Why does the best assassin the government currently has scream, run, and hide behind a couch at the first sign of danger?

Our characters talk about the robot’s capabilities and objectives. We learn that his current programming tells him to murder every one of the Agents on file. Why the fuck would you program a killer robot to murder every one of your employees? Come on people, that’s Robotics 101 shit. They do a proper 80’s style montage while they describe what he can do and show it happening. “He’s fireproof” while a naked man sits in the middle of a pile of fire, “He’s invulnerable” while showing a man inserting metal plates underneath his skin.

What else can this robot do?”

He can run at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.

Can he make love to a woman?”

Yes.”

Who taught him that?”

That is the natural progression of questions, really. Can he kill us? How can he kill us? If he doesn’t kill us, will he try to fuck us? Just women? Good, I’m in the clear.

Also, just a heads up, at one point he robot actually seduces a woman. There is no reason for this, it doesn’t further the plot any. It just happens. She’s kind of busted, and I guess he’s doing her a favor. Maybe they wanted us to like the killer robot. “Awww, that was nice of him.
While trying to learn more about how to kill the robot, our secret agents go to a top-secret, highly-classified, retro-converted bomb shelter. High class, state of the art shit. And they gain access by cutting the $8 master lock someone’s put on the front door. Nice, guys. Really nice.
The dialogue in this movie is written like a failed English assignment.

Can we hide the next victim so [The Robot] can’t find him?”

You mean, can we hide the senator so well, that he couldn’t be found by the robot?”

Yes.”

There are plenty of obvious continuity errors like when the Robot requests a hotel room on the second floor and then 10 minutes later jumps out of what is clearly a fifth floor window. They even explain out loud that the reason he picked the second floor is so he wouldn’t get damaged from a higher fall. The producers just figured, “Fuck plot, a fifth floor jump looks cooler.”

The rest of the movie is explosions and robot battles. Which sounds awesome in theory, but isn’t in practice. The robot just kind of walks around killing everyone. You know how if you play Doom in Godmode, it gets boring because you’re just walking around not giving a fuck? Yeah, this movie is like that. Walking right into bullets, walking right through explosions, because seriously, who cares? They don’t hurt him.

I’m not going to lie to you. I was pretty drunk by the end of this movie, I’m pretty sure a grenade to the face took him out. I can’t promise anything, and I’m not watching this movie again.

All in all, this movie was horrible. There were a few redeeming qualities, but I can’t in good conscience recommend it you. If robot sex and poorly written dialogue is your thing, then by all means, go for it.

Because it’s god-awful and overall just plain not fun to watch, I give it the Terrible Movies for Terrible People “Seal of Disapproval”.

 

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