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John’s Horror Corner: Monsters of Man (2020), a very violent killer robot Sci-Horror that is worth your time.

April 9, 2021

MY CALL: It may run a bit too long, but this remains a strong recommendation for fans of hard-R graphic violence in their Sci-Fi. Plus the action effects of these robots is excellent! MORE MOVIES LIKE Monsters of Man: For more smartly written Sci-Fi killer robots, go for Chappie (2015), Black Mirror S4 segment ‘Metalhead’ (2017), Love Death and Robots (2019) and RoboCop (1987).

Both in concept and visual execution, I am immediately fondly reminded of Chappie (2015)… if Chappie were dropped into the jungles of Cambodia soullessly hunting down its fare like a T-800. However this comparison makes you feel, the special effects of these robots are excellent! So I’m in either way.

Sometime in the not-so-distant future, companies are developing militarized robots with artificial intelligence for defense contracts. A group of young doctors, a robotics weapons company’s technical team and four of the CIA’s prototype AI robots all converge on a Cambodian drug camp. When the doctors witness the robots in action slaughtering the women and children of a village, they become witnesses to an illegal military operation and Major Robert Green (Neal McDonough; Minority Report, Timeline, I Know Who Killed Me, The Hitcher) must decide what to do with them. When one of the prototypes has a malfunction and becomes self-aware, things get interesting.

Director Mark Toia crushes his first feature film! For a writer/producer/director I’ve never heard of doing his first film, this is gorgeous! From the tropical wilds to cityscapes, the photography, cinematography, editing, action photography… just everything is so crisp and brilliantly done! Even the writing is solid. The young doctors remind me of meeting the group of twentysomethings in a well-written horror movie. They’re not complete throw-away characters and they say and do some substantial things even if they are largely forgettable characters.

My only criticism of this film is that it’s too long. I enjoyed everything I saw on screen. But with all the time spent with the team of doctors, the technical team controlling the robots, and everything going on with the robots in rather equal doses, I felt some inertia was clearly lost. We could have had many of these scenes compressed, and many others removed—especially with the doctors. Not that there was any dead weight, to be fair. This had the level of development you’d expect from a Netflix series in which some episodes are more action driven, and others more thriller-exposition driven. And while delivered as a Sci-Fi/action movie, there are some intensely gruesome scenes including a gory face-peeling and a shocking head stomp.

Very good film for fans of graphic violence in their Sci-Fi.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2021 10:55 am

    That robot design is really something. Have to keep an eye out for this one if I can stomach it. Sort of the Short Circuit reboot i didn’t know I needed.

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