This time on Wolfman’s look back at the video rental era movies I get to review the super fun B-Movie Eliminators (1986). Does it contain cheese by the bucket load? Just check the tagline below. Yep that’s right, forget the cheese, lets have a bonkers fun time, guaranteed.
Tagline – Mandroid. Mercenary. Scientist. Ninja. Each one a specialist. Together they are ELIMINATORS!
Who’s our hero today?
There’s a bunch of heroes on this adventure however I’ll choose Nora Hunter aka Lieutenant Natasha “Tasha” Yar, a lady ready to crack walnuts as our main hero. Mandroid gives me a stern stare before stomping off in a hump. “Whaaaat aboout meeeee?” he whimpers.
Had I seen this one on VHS back in the day?
No I never did! I vividly remember seeing it on the shelve of our local video rental store. With that spectacular, all action, coming at you awesome artwork on the cover. There’s no way I can defend myself for not renting it. Shameful! I don’t know how I’ve lived with myself all these years, knowing deep in my heart I’d failed. Maybe this review will go somewhere in repairing the trust that I had broken to all involved during my teenage years. I wrote a letter of apology to the production company, the director and Steve the video store manager that I had rudely not rented it from. I’m still awaiting on a reply, will keep you updated. I will let the fate of judgement prevail over me.
Quick plot run down.
Ok it’s a bonkers premise but surprisingly simple to explain. A pilot crashes and nearly dies. Mad scientist turns him in a mandroid and uses him to travel through time. Mandroid gets bad news and does a runner. Meets nice scientist and a riverboat guide. The three meet a ninja and go off to stop mad scientist from becoming the new Julius Caesar of ancient Rome. Throw in some crazy stuff to pad it out and there you go.
Does the hero have a day job?
Nora Hunter (Denise Crosby) is a brilliant robotics scientist working on a remote reconnaissance flying mini robot.
What’s our heroes special skills?
Fix anything from boat motors to Mandroids hard drives and memory banks.
Heroes weapon of choice?
Nora has a trusty flying droid called SPOT. Rumours have it George Lucas saw this cute little robot and took inspiration for a droid called R2D2. “What’s that? You say it was around the other way? Ok that makes perfect sense!” Hehe to be honest he more resembles old timer BOB from Disney’s The Black Hole (1979)
Heroes drink of choice?
It’s a dangerous situation so a guzzle of neat tequila is on order. It results in a troubled memory flashbacks to her birth place of Turkana IV and the hard life she lived. A time when getting wasted on a cocktail of intoxicating drugs and booze would be the only way to get through the day. She smiles as she recalls that snotty nose Wesley Crusher and his annoying ways! Her first urge was to smash the smug little fucker in the face, no, not again, she was the chief security officer now. Instead she explains it to him, drug addiction.
Does hero have a sidekick?
Mandroid (Patrick Reynolds) is still sulking after I gave Nora the top hero spot. Maybe I was a little harsh on him? He’d once been a fighter pilot who’d crashed landed and left for dead. Only to be resurrected by a mad but brilliant scientist. He’d rebuilt most of his body and now does his best Peter Weller impression as Robocop! Mandroid can replace his arm with different weapons, can transform into a tank with no armory! “Which let’s be honest Mandroid, you can actually walk faster than that tank wheel thing? Oh don’t cry again buddy, you’ll short circuit again.“
Next up is Harry Fontana (Andrew Prine) an out for himself river rat who’s looking to make some quick easy bucks to be a guide for the swamps and jungle. Would he be an “ask no questions” guy? Oh I see, his boat is called Ask No Questions, sweet. Harry, with his broken down boat, becomes a reluctant helper on this quest he knows nothing about. He’s cheeky, selfish and a bit of a rogue but ultimately Harry has a good heart. “Apparently he based on Han Solo but nah you gotta shitting me bro? I didn’t get that vibe.“
Which leads to the avenging ninja Kuji (Conan Lee). A masterful martial artist ready to unleash his wrath and vengeance on whoever had killed his scientist father. A brilliant scientist who had worked for the raving loony mad scientist. Kuji packed his best head cracking nunchucks. Vengeance is the only way.
Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
Nora is our only other girl on this adventure. So the tough moonshine swampy southern belle Bayou Betty (Peggy Mannix) will have to take this space. She’s one tough cookie. The toughest, meanest, baddest customer at the local drinking hole in the middle of nowhere you could ever imagine. All she wants is some work as a river guide to help support her crochet baby bunny making side line on Etsy.
Who’s the main baddie?
Abbott Reeves (Roy Dotrice) I believe its never explained why he’s all mashed up. He’s old with scars all over his face. He’s obviously brilliant as he’s invented a time machine and created a cyborg in our Mandroid all purpose fighting machine. Somehow, unexplained, he appears at the end all jazzed up and sexy in his ruling Roman’s shiny armour.
Baddies special skills?
Zapping his henchmen Ray (Peter Schrum) straight in the happy sacks with a bolt of electrifying energy.
Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 6/10
There’s no doubt Abbott Reeves is obviously a brilliant scientist but as a bad guy he’s rather, well, wack. Score kudos points for stealing Iron Man’s outfit at the end.
Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 8/10
Once the four are one fighting force working together they are able to combine their skills.
Surely it features a training montage scene?
Not today my fellow training montage friends, not today!
Does it feature an impossible mission?
Nothing could be impossible with a robotic scientist, a mercenary, a cyborg and a ninja united together could it?
Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
Ummmmmm! See below……
Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
I’ll keep it short and sweet. Nora kindly gives us a wet t-shirt and one quick flash of side boob.
The way Mandroid keeps pulling off and adding different mechanical attachments I was surprised Nora didn’t give him a saucy wink and a nudge to whatever other goodies he might have to hand! But no, there was no time for such saucy shenanigans. What with a new Caesar about to take the throne in ancient Rome and threatening to change history!
Any good totally random surprise scenes?
A random caveman scene with a butt smacking elder neanderthal. Harry Fontana gasps surprised “Fruity cavemen!!“
Films body count? Low/Medium/High?
Thinking back now it could be very low. Lots off camera, so maybe they got back up and walked away!
Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
Explosions left, right and center. If it can be blown up, of course will be.
Best fight scene?
Sweetheart Bayou Betty starts a rampaging super bar brawl by punching her Spanish husband straight in the face as she proceeds to fight everyone in pub. All hell breaks lose for a couple of minutes. It’s silly and great fun.
How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
Mandroid’s tank mobile unit looked incredibly dangerous at times. It looked like actor Patrick Reynolds actually did his own stunts. There’s a few moments when it travels down the stairs of a building at almost a right angle with Patrick strapped in leaning completely flat out at the front. If that thing tipped over it would surely of been bye bye Patrick and cyborg actor number 6 ready to step up to the death machine.
Harry Fontana – “What is this? Some kinda comic book? We got robots, we got cave men, we got kung fu!“
- Eliminators is directed by Peter Manoogian who also made the attack the block style movie with Ray Parker Jr that I’d reviewed in my early days of my movie blog called Enemy Territory (1987). It comes very recommended.
- The screenplay and story is by the writing duo of Paul De Meo and Danny Bilson. A partnership that spanned many years and movies until sadly Paul De Meo passed away. They have worked on B-movies, like the fun Trancers (1984) and the sci-fi battle film Arena (1989) to A-movies like The Rocketeer (1991) and also Spike Lee’s war veteran adventure Da 5 Bloods (2020). Interestingly they both wrote video games. With a series of James Bond games under their belt.
- Eliminators is produced by Charles Band the legendary writer, producer and director of hundreds of low budget, cult B-movies.
It’s high. It’s what makes it good. It’s not super whiffy cheese, more an aroma of a mild stilton. It waffs when you open the packet but tastes good so you don’t at all mind.
IMDB score rating – 4.8/10
Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 8.5/10
Wolfman over all film rating – 6.5/10
Eliminators is what it is. However I couldn’t help admire it for adding so much crazy within it’s runtime. It’s never boring. Of course it’s pretty bad but still you can’t deny it’s charm and entertainment value. It’s better than the tagline it sometimes gets of “so bad it’s good”. It just pulls itself out of that category and holds it’s head just above the swamp water as Bayou Betty shouts and screams in the background.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the film if you want. But most importantly have fun with the movies.
Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.