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R.O.T.O.R. (1989 movie poster).jpg
Promotional film poster
Directed byCullen Blaine
Produced byCullen Blaine
Written byCullen Blaine
Budd Lewis
StarringMargaret Trigg
Richard Gesswein
Jayne Smith
Music byDavid Adam Newman
CinematographyGlenn Roland
Edited byDoug Bryan
Distributed byImperial Entertainment
Release date
October 1987 (Italy)
July 28, 1988 (video premiere)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

R.O.T.O.R. (also known as Blue Steel and R.O.T.O.R.: Police Force) is a 1987 American science fiction action film starring Richard Gesswein, Jayne Smith and Margaret Trigg. The film has been described as a low-budget copy of The Terminator and RoboCop with some elements taken from Judge Dredd.[1]

The movie is well known in Argentina as the origin of the name of an Argentinian rock band: Él Mató a un Policía Motorizado (in english: He killed a motorcycle cop).


A leading scientist in the field of police robotics, Dr. J. Barrett C. Coldyron, whose corrupt boss, Division Commander Earl Buglar, orders an experimental police robot prototype – dubbed R.O.T.O.R. (Robotic Officer of the Tactical Operations Research/Reserve Unit). He wants it completed in 60 days so that Senator Donald D. Douglas can take public credit for the project and use it to catapult himself into the White House.

Coldyron warns Buglar that the prototype is several years away from completion but is forced to resign and is replaced by his incompetent assistants, Dr. Houghtaling and his robot Willard. In Coldyron's absence, R.O.T.O.R. is inadvertently activated and put on duty. The robot executes a motorist for speeding and terrorizes his young fiancée, Sonya, who the robot views as an accomplice in her boyfriend's infraction. Upon learning his creation has escaped, Cpt. Coldyron enlists the help of his colleague Dr. Corrine Steele, who designed the unit's combat chassis. Together, Steele and Coldyron track down the rampaging robot and attempt to stop it from killing again.


  • Richard Gesswein as Captain J.B. Coldyron, a scientist who runs the police robotics lab and also manages a ranch. Coldyron's dream of a force of robotic officers is shattered by Earl G. Buglar.
  • Jayne Smith as Dr. C.R. Steele, the designer of R.O.T.O.R.'s robotic chassis.
  • Carroll Brandon as R.O.T.O.R., the killer robot that is accidentally activated. It is a dangerous machine that is adept at everything from t'ai chi to full field combat. It is built of an unknown alloy, but has one known weakness: loud noises immobilize it.
  • Michael Hunter as Earl G. Buglar, Coldyron's commander in the police department. Buglar has been embezzling money from the R.O.T.O.R. project and has promised a corrupt senator, Donald D. Douglas, that the robot will be ready in time for the next election.
  • Margaret Trigg as Sonya R. Garren, an innocent girl who is stalked by R.O.T.O.R. after it kills her fiancé for speeding. Sonya spends much of the movie fleeing from R.O.T.O.R. in her blue 1986 Impulse while Coldyron and Steele work to develop a plan for defeating R.O.T.O.R.
  • Shawn Brown as Mokie Killion, a hard-bitten sarcastic cop. Mokie does not like cleaning up the messes left behind when Coldyron stops group of armed shoplifters.

Home media[edit]

R.O.T.O.R. was released on home video in the United Kingdom by RCA/Columbia in June 1988.[2]

Mill Creek Entertainment included R.O.T.O.R. in their Sci-Fi Invasion 50 movie DVD boxed set in 2011.[3]

On October 3, 2014, Rifftrax released R.O.T.O.R. as a video-on-demand title with humorous commentary.[4]

In February 2016, the film was released on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory in a double feature with Millennium.[5]



  1. ^ Weldon, Michael J. The Psychotronic Video Guide. Macmillan. p. 475. ISBN 0-312-13149-6.
  2. ^ Hayward 1988, p. 158.
  3. ^ "Sci-Fi Invasion". Mill Creek Entertainment. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  4. ^ "R.O.T.O.R." October 6, 2014 – via www.rifftrax.com.
  5. ^ "Millennium/R.O.T.O.R. (Double Feature)". Shout! Factory. Retrieved June 25, 2019.


  • Hayward, Anthony (1988). "Video Releases". Film Review 1988-9. Colombus Books Limited. ISBN 0-86287-939-6.

External links[edit]