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Rated PG
Copyright 1986 Empire Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 10 August 2002

The Characters:  

  • The Mandroid - Once a pilot named John, he was transformed into a cyborg after a crash left him little more than a mangled corpse. The cyborg enhancements include a 286 CPU at 6 MHz and magnetic hands. I am uncertain why the latter did not interfere with the prior, but I did not build the darn thing. Blows a few fuses.
  • Colonel Nora Hunter - She is a Colonel? Of what?
  • Harry Fontana - Not the strongest riverboat captain, but he does use his noggin by asking "what" often.
  • Kuji - Ninja out of nowhere!
  • SPOT - A hovering reconnaissance robot. It seems that somebody watched "The Black Hole."
  • Bayou Betty - Riverboat captain that wears plaid and is built like a tank. No, she is not a lesbian.
  • Reeves - Evil scientist who is researching time travel for nefarious purposes. He requires dialysis after getting excited (don't ask, you really don't want to know).
  • Ray - Evil henchman to the evil scientist. He chuckles a lot. He gets atomized.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

I will be freely interchanging "cyborg" and "mandroid" during this review. The difference is nothing more than the tomato, tomato gimmick.

Reeves and Dr. Takada are conducting time travel experiments. The cyborg was created to make the dangerous trips since his armor plating, weapons, and redundant systems provide for better survivability. The latest test was a complete success, resulting in a number of Roman soldiers wetting their tunics. The evil doctor is ready to proceed with his research. He tells Takada to dismantle the patchwork mandroid.

Before John can start yelling, "No disassemble!" Takada helps the cyborg to escape. Unfortunately, the kind doctor is less resistant to small arms fire than his augmented partner. Takada dies as the cyborg, mounted on his mobile unit (more on that later), flees into the thick jungle that surrounds Reeves' compound.

At a lab in the United States (Reeves is based in Mexico), Colonel Hunter is working on SPOT. The little robot transforms into a weird collection of rotoscoped gears, then zings around the room. The test is interrupted by a tarped (as in "wearing a tarp") figure: the mandroid. John traveled all the way from Mexico to ask for Nora's help. She marvels at his hydraulics, realizing they are based off her designs for a robot, then agrees to assist in bringing Reeves down.

Nora and John travel to Mexico. The first problem is locating a boat and guide to transport them up the river. Nora solves that by walking into a disreputable waterfront bar and asking for the toughest guide in the place. Instant CHAOS! The scum start a general brawl while the instigator bails outside to wait for a winner. Meanwhile, Harry calmly hides behind the bar until Bayou Betty is the last brawler standing. He clubs her over the head with a beer bottle. The group is soon aboard Fontana's boat, heading into the wilds of Mexico.

The other river rats give chase and Harry, who cannot outrun them in his POS boat and does not relish the idea of being shot, stabbed, or beaten to death, somehow evades the pursuers by weaving. It is a big river. The mechanics of the chase are a matter of speed, not agility. How in the world? No matter; John ends the game by shooting a torpedo (And those were installed why?) at the antagonists. The mandroid and Colonel Hunter decide to try their luck blazing a trail across the jungle.

Displaying a startling prowess for land navigation, John discovers the original location of his plane crash. The old crate looks pretty good after being half-submerged in the river for a while. Nora swims out to look for clues to John's previous life (he has partial amnesia), but the plane suddenly begins to sink. All those months or years, then it goes under when she is inside. Lucky for them, Harry is really curious about what Nora and John are after. He and his boat arrive just in time to save the pretty blonde. She thanks him by quickly changing into a dry t-shirt once ashore. The cyborg looks on as she does, probably wishing he had brought that attachment. You know what I mean.

The story takes an unexpected turn when the mandroid falls off the boat and promptly sinks like a stone. Nora is crushed, but resolves to push on and stop Reeves. Eventually, John wades his watertight butt ashore and meets Kuji, while Harry and Nora are taken prisoner by a tribe of Neanderthals. Fontana is especially unlucky; he is pulling the boat through shallow water and is caught in a giant lobster trap. Wide river, one submerged trap. What are the odds?

Escaping the Neanderthals is easily done once the cyborg and Kuji show up. In fact, maybe that is why the massive hominids became extinct. Ninja killed them off. Crackpot theories aside, it leaves the group free to attack the hideout.

The twisted scientist's desire is not world domination. Dr. Reeves has become a mandroid himself and intends to travel back in time to the heyday of Rome. Once there, he will use his scientific magic to become Emperor. It is an odd goal, but refreshing compared to most misshapen megalomaniacs. Dude just wants to drink some wine, enjoy an orgy or two, and have a treasure bath. Treasure bath!

The assault on the fortress proceeds badly for the heroes. The pure human contingent is captured and the good cyborg is completely outclassed by the newer model. John vainly blasts away at Reeves with his lasers, but they are deflected by the other cyborg's reflective armor and shield. What John needed was a .50 cal with armor piercing rounds. To find out who wins you are going to have to watch the movie.

I think that one of the reasons "Eliminators" comes off better than many budget (read: crap) science fiction movies is the work put into the "Mandroid." John can freely detach and reattach limbs, but so can robots or cyborgs in other films. However, he has a unit on his back that appears to be a cooling system - a human radiator so to speak (no Frank jokes). Also, the "mobile unit" is extremely cool. By detaching his legs, the cyborg can mount his torso on a tracked chassis. It makes John look like something straight out of Star Frontiers. If anything, the shortcoming is that the mobile unit only increases the mandroid's speed over fairly level ground. The script does not include niceties like a communications suite or some sort of turret mounted weapon.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Four scopes are better than one.
  • Never judo chop a cyborg.
  • Mexico's primary tourist attraction is the lost treasures of the Aztecs.
  • Cheap gin can be used as carburetor cleaner.
  • Electricity is part of the Dark Side.
  • Grabbing buttocks was a common greeting among primitive peoples.
  • Wire mesh can deflect lasers.
  • Shuriken are the bane of particle accelerators.
  • When in doubt, punch the keyboard.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • Opening Credits - Conan Lee. Is that any relation to Conan O'Brien?
  • 14 mins - Do cats often electrocute themselves to death on the East fence?
  • 34 mins - Talk about power to weight ratio.
  • 47 mins - His plane looks like a trainer, maybe a dive bomber.
  • 49 mins - "Do, or do not. There is no try."
  • 53 mins - Spot is programmed to recognize the usual habits of poachers in Mexico. That is strange.
  • 79 mins - Of course, the robot's soul...
  • 85 mins - When did they get captured?

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note eliminators1.wav Reeves: "Yes, I have no further use for the mandroid. Remove its memory, then dismantle it."
Green Music Note eliminators2.wav Fontana: "'Qvo Vadis.' What's that mean?"
Ray: "That's Italian, (it) means we kick ass."
Green Music Note eliminators3.wav Mandroid: "I'm not a man; I'm a killing machine with no past and no future. I'd destroy myself, but my programming won't allow that."
Green Music Note eliminators4.wav Fontana: "What is this, anyway, some kind of God damn comic book? We got robots, we got cavemen, we got kung fu."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipeliminators1.mpg - 2.8m
Riding their three-wheelers, which are equipped with laser-deflecting wire mesh, Ray and his pals attack the good guys. Zap! Zing!

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2]
Re: Eliminators
Reply #9. Posted on March 23, 2009, 05:09:23 AM by HAL
Thank you for your review. Indeed objective and full of proper movie guidelines (I've just stopped laughing). Especially the "what I learned" part. But you missed:

Never mind where an American tourist travels, there will always be 1. other Americans doing hard business around with the locals, and 2. everybody speaks a fluent and proficient American English. Ah, and 3. everybody uses US Dollars, you never need a money exchange.

In the era of the 286 processors, IA was pretty feasible. Just WTF happened later, that we don't have it today, I can't tell.

The problem of modern robots is building them. But things like enabling them to transform into energy and back into matter, oh, that comes with IA.

Ninja abilities involve jumping through moving fans without getting thrashed, neither the ninja, nor the fan, nor the ninja's trousers.
Re: Eliminators
Reply #10. Posted on February 12, 2010, 04:12:02 PM by WingedSerpent
This was just on and if I had'nt seen it with my own two eyes I might not have beleived it.  I knew I needed to rush to this site afterwords and see if it was reviewed.  Thank goodness it was, because this might be one of the ultimate badmovies in existence. 

It's fun!  That's what I loved about it.  If I had one thing I could have added to this movie it would have been a stop motion dinosaur.  And there was even a good reason to have one.

A cyborg, and a ninja, fighting against cavemen and a mad scientist who wants to become the ruler of Ancient Rome.  Brilliant.
Re: Eliminators
Reply #11. Posted on February 12, 2010, 04:42:36 PM by Psycho Circus
Why is this film not on DVD!  Question
Re: Eliminators
Reply #12. Posted on March 08, 2010, 11:45:19 PM by J
I have been searching for this title for nearly 10 years. i grew up renting this movie at my local video store every time my old man took me. is there any way to find this on DVD? anyone able to burn a tape to DVD? i just want to re watch this movie to relive my glory days of watching cheesy 1980's sci fi flicks. any help would be much appreciated.
Re: Eliminators
Reply #13. Posted on August 17, 2010, 08:59:22 PM by Keith
Denise Crosby, Andrew Prine AND Roy Dotrice....Crap, I gotta watch this one!!
Re: Eliminators
Reply #14. Posted on August 29, 2011, 11:57:20 AM by AndyC
Hmmm. Just watched this again for the first time in years, and I'm not sure Andrew is correct in his assessment of Bayou Betty's sexuality. She gives Denise Crosby a thorough head-to-toe appraisal in the bar, and looks pretty lustful. And Harry Fontana does start to say something later on about what Betty would do to her, but gets cut off in mid-sentence.
Re: Eliminators
Reply #15. Posted on August 31, 2011, 03:05:48 PM by alandhopewell
     There used to be a theater in Lorain, the Lorain Twin Cinema, and from the late 70's until they closed in the early 90's, they had Dollar Night on Monday and Wednesday. The flicks were generally horror, action/adventure, sci-fi, and exploitation. We'd go, blow a joint or two in the parking lot, check out the movie, then decide how much of a dollar the picture was worth.

     THE ELIMINATORS averaged out to the theatre owing us each thirty-five cents.
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