» » Crash and Burn (1990)

Short summary

Unicom is a powerful organization overseeing most of the world after its economic collapse. They have banned computers and robots in an attempt to insure "life, liberty, and the pursuit of economic stability". When a Unicom Synth robot infiltrates a southwest TV station and kills the manager, a revolutionary against the gestapo-like corporation, a lowly Unicom delivery man must help the rest of the station survive through the incoming "thermal storm".

The two hookers were also drug users in an earlier draft of the script. However, Charles Band requested that this aspect of the screenplay be toned down because he thought the hookers as initially conceived were too vulgar and over the top.

The puppet for the giant robot was made out of polystyrene and resin plastic. It weighed forty pounds and was only four and a half feet tall. Moreover, it took six puppeteers to operate it.

Film debut of Megan Ward.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Fesho
    Well, unlike others on here who really didn't like this film, I have to say I rather enjoyed it. It's a B-picture all the way and lifts ideas from other films(the checking for blood is from John Carpenter's "The Thing" and the synthoid is clearly an imitation of the monster android in "The Terminator"), but has a capable cast who bring much to the film. It's also a rather short 80 minutes so the film doesn't outlast it's time. The plot is set in the future where the ozone layer has depleted badly and "thermo-storms" often cause havoc. The ultra-violet rays keep everyone from enjoying life outside and this totalitarian government called Unicorp runs the society of the United States. There is a secret organization called ILU which plan to overthrow this government so the Unicorp has sent out synthoids as watchdogs to keep an eye on possible suspects. On a television station ran by Ralph Waite's Lathan Hooks(I liked Waite so much I wish he had more screen time). His granddaughter Arren(a fine Megan Ward who had done some really good work for Full Moon)knows that Lathan is secretly a part of ILU and uses the TV station as a quiet cover for the group's activities. A motorcycle courier for Unicorp named Tyson(Paul Ganus)brings Lathan a supply of freon and decides to stay until a thermo-storm passes the night. He and Arren bond as friends while Tyson is physically attracted to a schoolteacher named Parice(the foxy soap opera star Eva LaRue Callahan). Jack McGee, a fine character actor who often plays leeches, is Winston Wickett..a relative of a Unicorp rep which is the reason he has a sleazy talk show at Lathan's station. He has invited two porn stars, Sandra and Christie(Elizabeth Maclellan, who is quite good in this movie, and Katherine Armstrong)to shack up with him until the thermo-storm passes. Then there's Quinn, a handyman and electrician, played by "The Devil's Rejects" Bill Moseley. During the night someone kills Lathan and it is told that there's a synthoid loose amongst the group(this occurs when Arren hides from the pack, finds Tyson, cuts him to see if his blood is red, and tells him about that very fact). Will Tyson and Arren find the synthoid before it kills the entire group? This film actually has a decent pace and the robot effects at the end by David Allen are solid but don't last near as long as I'd have liked. Anybody that has indeed seen the low budget films, "Robot Jox" and "Robot Wars" should recognize the robot in "Crash and Burn." Many have sided against it for being unoriginal which is a fair argument, but I have to say I enjoyed it for the cast who do bring it up more than a notch. I was entertained and this is the type of movie that might go over for genre fans with low expectations.
  • comment
    • Author: Siramath
    I really enjoyed this film, it was one of the more interesting "B" type science fiction movies I've seen in some time.

    As others have noted, the film is set in the future, when giant robots control the earth. Unfortunately Johnny Sucko isn't in this feature, but the other actors make up for this loss. I do wish they'd have added a plot line explaining what happened to Johnny and also why the giant robot can't do his mega-punch anymore.

    Megan Ward (any relation to Sela?) does a fine job as Erin. I can see why she's embarked on a fine career, with just the right mixture of emotion and sexiness.

    The plot is a bit plodding in places, like most B movies. And the special effects leave more than a bit to be desired. But the concept is quite imaginative and I must say I was impressed with the take on how our society would develop.

    The real discovery is the male lead, Paul G. Anus. I'm surprised that he hasn't shown up in other major roles, as he seems to have a certain magnetism. Maybe with his unfortunate surname he's just destined to be in gay porno or something.

    I would definitely rent this movie again.
  • comment
    • Author: one life
    Ok, this is not a great movie. But it doesn't attempt to be. It's B movie city, and for that, it's not a half bad movie.

    Full Moon productions continues to impress me, with the atmosphere and great b movie schlock they can create, with a shoestring budget.
  • comment
    • Author: Mori
    This horribly directed 'movie' could be one of the biggest dissapointments I have seen for a while. Being a big fan of the movie, Robot Jox, I came across this in a video store, and the title, Crash and Burn, was one of the lines from Robot Jox that I remembered well and stored in my everyday vocabulary. I saw that there was a robot on the cover... maybe this is a Robot Jox-like movie, I thought in pure excitment. But then reality....horrible reality came upon me. The movie in itself is worthless....horribly directed, bad effects, and a robot which is only in the whole movie for 1 minute. I thought the movie started to go downhill once the main character meets that girl and she asks him to stay over.... me and a friend were both like "NO! Don't stay over!" But he did. And that's the whole movie. Him staying over at some girl's place, hiding from the sun, blah blah blah. Bad plot, horrible acting, crappy script, tight budget..... the list goes on and on. Don't waste your time or money on this. It is not at all like Robot Jox.
  • comment
    • Author: DrayLOVE
    The cacksters that brought you Arena and Robot jox now bring you this. CRASH AND BURN.

    When i was a kid, two films in Gold video, Cheadle Hulme, always stood out Arena and robotjoxs. My dad being a sensible man always refused to rent either of them; because they looked crap.

    I have bought all of these films and have to say crash and burn is the worst of the lot. It was the giant robot that did it for me. Why did these people make loads of films about dodgy stop motion robots?

    It says on the cover of the box "From the makers of Robotjox and Arena," like this is some badge of honour, trust me it is not. Robotjox had a touch of class but this movie is cack. Watch it for its badness. It seems to have been filmed in an old warehouse, that just happens to have a huge hulking robot rusting away in the garden. Aaaahh

    BAD BAD MOVIE. Damn you Transformers you caused these films to be made.
  • comment
    • Author: Garne
    2030: In the grim greenhouse effect ravaged future psychotic android Quinn (deliciously played to the fabulously freaky hilt by Bill Moseley; Otis in "House of 1,000 Corpses") kills a few people in a rundown old TV station because grouchy owner Lathan Hooks (a lively, although sadly brief turn by Ralph Waite; the father on "The Waltons") is secretly giving information to a group of underground fighters who are opposed to the oppressive authoritarian Orwellian "1984"-ish government. Although this film suffers a bit from a muddled script by J.S. Cardone (who also wrote and directed the superior "Shadowzone") and occasionally sluggish pacing, "Crash and Burn" still nonetheless rates as an engrossing and entertaining sci-fi action opus thanks to Charles Band's energetic direction, well drawn characters, solid acting from a sturdy cast (the lovely Megan Ward makes for an engagingly spunky heroine while veteran character actor John Davis Chandler pops up in a nice bit as a crusty gas station proprietor), nifty stop motion animation by David Allen, pleasingly grody make-up f/x by Greg Cannom, and a stirring score by the indefatigable Richard Band. Good, modest Grade B fun.
  • comment
    • Author: Munigrinn
    Big Corp, Unicom, isn't content with controlling the national media and jumps at the chance to regulate all forms of communication. They'll do anything to keep post-apocalyptic rebel groups from linking up and forming a resistance movement. Not falling short of sending infiltration teams to cut down any dissenting bodies.

    One of the few remaining bastions of free speech, an old industrial plant now housing a T.V station, weathers sand and heat to bring us quality Public Access programming. Unbeknownst to them, Unicom has sent a deadly package.

    • - -

    This B mech-thriller budgets well. The effects aren't spectacular, but the actors do their best to fill with some great characters. Monstrous mechanoid fans be warned though, the goliath depicted on the cover only appears twice, briefly. The antagonist wears altogether softer soles.
  • comment
    • Author: Danial
    I really liked this movie, a typical B movie thriller of the early 90s

    There's one thing i need to point out tho

    In some European markets, this movie is officially called Robot Jox 2: Crash and Burn - here's the VHS cover -

    It's interesting that Charles band directed the movie (he was Robot Jox' producer) and that Robot Jox theme plays in the opening sequence of the movie.

    An official sequel?

    I've never seen that title anywhere else than in Europe

    Other than the musical theme, title and giant robot at the end, the movie doesn't have to do anything with it's prequel
  • comment
    • Author: Anazan
    The year is 2030, a remote TV station has been infiltrated by a Synthoid, a Terminator-like robot who is programmed to kill those who oppose the tyrannical Unicom organization.

    With B film execution Crash and Burn steals some concept elements from Class of 1999, The Terminator, Robocop, Blade Runner and The Thing to name a few. Although it's slow-paced there's room for a gratuitous shower, electrocution scene, shogun action and stop motion animation, anyone familiar with the studio offerings will appreciate the pace and tone. Oddly dubiously marketed as Robot Jox 2 or from the makers of Arena (don't expect the fights of Arena or Jox) as it contains less than a minute of giant Robot action.

    Director Charles Band (this generations Roger Corman) gives a tight little flick that benefits from being filmed on location giving it an almost cinematic feel. The shadowy setting gives it some atmosphere with a dusty desert setting bookending the film and the Synthoid is menacing at times - realised by some surprisingly good practical special make-up effects. Despite borrowing music cues from Richard Band's other Fullmoon film scores the music is effective enough.

    Lead Paul Ganus as Keen wields a shotgun well enough but he looks like he's just walked off a Danielle Steele TV adaptation. Co-star Megan Ward as Arren gives a solid performance considering the sparse script. Supporting cast include Jack McGee and veteran actor Ralph Waite, Eva La Rue gives physical performances (and like Ward went on to do bigger things). There's also some genuinely humours lines from Bill Moseley as Quinn who ensures the title of the film is uttered in J.S. Cardone's dialogue.

    Even though Crash and Burn doesn't pretend to be more than it is the casual viewer may be disappointed. All things considered, even with the future looking suspiciously like the 1980s, right down to the computer hardware, braces and hairdos it's one of Fullmoons better outings.
  • comment
    • Author: Mot
    The year is 2030 and America is in shambles. Big corporations run the country and the ozone layer has been depleted. A group of folks find themselves inside a remote TV station run by Lathan Hooks (Ralph Waite), who is secretly a member of a resistance group. And hiding among this group of 8 is a cyborg with "crash and burn" orders to kill. This was the third release by Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment (following PUPPET MASTER and MERIDIAN: KISS OF THE BEAST) and the second he directed (after MERIDIAN) for his new label. Revisiting this after 21 years, I'm surprised at how dated it now looks to me. It definitely fits into Band's world of futuristic desert wastelands also featured in PARASITE and METALSTORM. The acting is solid (co-lead Eva LaRue is now a CSI: Miami lead; Megan Ward makes her screen debut), but the plot is as flimsy as can be. The film also features the cheapest excuse to have a 80-foot robot (effects expertly done by Dave Allen and crew) on screen for a few minutes. It should also be noted that the DVD is an absolute mess with tons of ghosting issues. The source print used actually looks worse than the clips featured in the "making of" segment originally from 1990.
  • comment
    • Author: Kaim
    At least it doesn't live up to its title, which is a good thing. Crash and burnnnnnn. On the other hand it might have been more exciting if it did. I don't know, but I remember liking this straight-to-video b-grade action / Sci-fi fare by Charles Band when I saw it for the first time many moons ago, but upon my recent re-watch I was left slightly under whelmed. Boy did it take awhile for something remotely riveting to occur. My excitement early on arose from catching a glimpse of a movie poster of "The Angry Red Planet" on the wall. Not once, but twice. Outside a pouting Megan Ward and Jack McGee (in a truly offensive mood), everyone else acts robotic. Is this to throw us off…? I don't think so. Bill Moseley is the life of the party… as what starts off as uncharacteristic (in a slumber mood) later on has you thinking now I'm watching Moseley perform. Paul Ganus is your typical handsome, but stoic lead who catches the eyes of the ladies (young and old). He doesn't do much at first, other than look serious. All in a good days work. Actually I guess sex was on mind. Nothing else. Nothing more. As after getting that out of the way (about mid-way through the movie), while lying in bed (for about 10 seconds) his character was thinking straight (well its either that or he's considerably slow off the blocks) and it came to him that something wasn't quite right (during a "heart-pounding" test set-up to find out if everyone trapped in this remote TV station was who they said they were). Now that he knows who the evil corporate Sythnoid robot in disguise is. Although we the audience (and Ward) have already figured that out long ago. It's time to be a hero. Jump out of bed, break the emergency glass and grab the shotgun. Then get pummelled and shot. Talk about an effective hero. However this is when things do liven up. Nasty jolts, stupid one-liners, robots going haywire and Ward making everyone around her look like dummies. "Hey, kiss this!". Director Charles Band does an economical job with J.S Cardone's material and recycles Richard Band's music talents. Visually is works cementing a futuristic wasteland, as the setting is taut and the paranoid unease is felt. In the dying stages you can see where most of the money went to and the effects of the battery powered tinbot put those recent CGI drenched transformers films to shame. Mildly amusing low-rent Full Moon fodder.
  • comment
    • Author: Nilarius
    I've always liked movies about folks trapped in a building/house/isolated area/etc and this Full Moon production didn't disappoint me.

    Hottie Ganus arrives at some TV station in the middle of the desert and shortly after people begin to die. Ward was cute as the teenage girl with an obvious crush on Ganus. LaRue I felt was wasted, Moseley was great as always as the robot gone bad. McClellan and Armstrong who play prostitutes are there to boost the body count as well as McGee.

    The acting I felt was adequate, some of the big robot effects were passable, but I did liked the 2 or 3 bloody death scenes and Moseley's scene where we find out he's a robot, just wish the men had shown as much skin as the women.
  • comment
    • Author: RuTGamer
    STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs ...I don't know what other people (other IMDB reviewers,for example)might think of me,judging me by myself or by my reviews,but I've never thought I was that much of a demanding individual.I've always thought I was quite easy going and undemanding as a person.I try not to winge when things don't go my way,or if I have to do a job for other people.I know other people who've tossed stones at old people's houses,or taken drugs like draw and got pregnant at an early age.Yes,stones are readily available for those nasty,thoughtless people to throw at their own pleasure,yes,draw and sex are there to be consumed whenever the mood suits them.So,okay,I decide to take a risk..I decide to spend a fiver of my hard earned money on a video I had'nt previously seen,which on impulse,I would never usually do.I buy it from this really convienient store in the market,which is'nt perhaps majorly up to date,but still sells old or forgotten films,at cheap prices,which I think is really ace.Judging by the cover and the Sci-Fi genre attached to it,heck,even by the supposedly brilliant plotline on the back of it,I thought Crash And Burn would be a risk worth taking.

    Then,after I've seen Coronation Street,I race upstairs to watch this baby.Hello,what's this?Not 2 seconds in,and already I've noticed this is'nt shot like a regular film.That's probably one of the biggest,in my many ,complaints about Crash And Burn:if every other film can manage to be shot like a proper film(even the realy,really bad ones)why the hell can't this one pull itself together and do the same thing?This is shot like a poloroid-cum-video recorder.That was my first step towards getting really angry and fed up with this film.In fact,it was the main thing that bugged me about it throughout.Not once did it appear to improve.I'm aware it has the (V)for video symbol by it,but what,is that a direct excuse for crappiness ?(does this serve as a direct example with the Billy Blanks dud 'Tough And Deadly?).

    And,what from the back looked like it was going to serve like an original and exciting Sci-Fi venture went totally downhill from there.The special effects were diabolical,the acting was abysmal,the dialogue was atrocious , although the end line 'you really felt for her?Well,she'd only break your heart...then tear it out'had some credit to it.But that only led to a glaring implausibility error that the hero had had sex with the female robot and not noticed she was'nt a real person.And that only lead to the fact this was the only movie I knew that thought it was being clever by giving a human-looking-robot it's own name,a synthoid.Every other Sci-Fi movie calls them cyborgs.And that only led to the fact that the main 'synthoid' in question is a pathetic Terminator rip-off,that gets done in at the end by an impressive giant robot,which we only see for a brief glimpse then disappears,presumably to a better movie because this giant robot has much more talent than all the actors in this drivel.He was cool. , He quashes him in a standard better suited to the Wrigley's Spearmint gum adverts ,the only thing missing was the 'pluuurp'sound.

    It really is very unfair.All I asked for was decent entertainment.Society,and hollywood,really should set better examples than this.*
  • comment
    • Author: Doomwarden
    Crash And Burn is about some dumb ass people getting stalked and murdered by a cyborg. This movie acts as sort of a hybrid of slasher/cyberpunk. But whatever. It's not a bad movie but it is nothing special either. I liked the cyborg and the barren wasteland look and some of the action. The acting was retarded and the story exists. Yippie.
  • comment
    • Author: Wizer
    I agree that the robot at the end was by far the best thing going on here. It didn't leave for a better movie, it CAME from a better movie in the first place. I've always heard that this had leftovers from "Robot Jox", a Stuart Gordon film that was pretty impressive, despite studio meddling. I believe this brief sequence here, is some of the footage that was cut in the attempt to get "Robot Jox" a PG rating, despite nudity, and abundant violence.
  • Complete credited cast:
    Paul Ganus Paul Ganus - Tyson Keen
    Megan Ward Megan Ward - Arren
    Ralph Waite Ralph Waite - Lathan Hooks
    Bill Moseley Bill Moseley - Quinn
    Eva LaRue Eva LaRue - Parice (as Eva La Rue)
    Jack McGee Jack McGee - Winston Wickett
    Elizabeth Maclellan Elizabeth Maclellan - Sandra
    Katherine Armstrong Katherine Armstrong - Christie
    John Davis Chandler John Davis Chandler - Bud
    Kristopher Logan Kristopher Logan - Scratch
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