Robot Overlords

Robot Overlords (originally titled ‘Our Robot Overlords’) is a British low-budget, young-audience sci-fi film directed by Jon Wright. Although the storyline of the movie is taking place in Scotland, the filming took place at various locations in Wales, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man. The film was produced by the London-based independent film studio Embankment Films on an estimated budget of £14 million, grossing just over £4,000 in its weekend debut in the United Kingdom, making it one of the most spectacular box office flops to date. The movie is yet to be released in the United States, thought the U.S. release is unlikely to have any significant impact on the overall profitability of the film.

In the aftermath of the invasion and occupation of our planet by a race of powerful robots, the curfew is imposed on the entire population of the Earth (seemingly, purely for the protection of law-abiding citizens), with any transgressions punishable by death. The curfew is enforced by means of an electronic transmitter implanted in the neck of every human being.

The film tells the story of a group of youngsters, who, by pure chance, discover that the tracking device can be short-circuited, thus disabled for short periods of time, enabling the youth to stay outdoors without being noticed by the omni-present robot sentries. The children quickly realise that their chance discovery can change the course of human history.

Led by talented Sean Flynn (Callan McAuliffe), the kids rally together, defy Robin Smythe (Ben Kingsley), scheming headmaster-cum-collaborator working for the robot invaders, and with the help of Sean’s mum Kate Flynn (Gillian Anderson), and other adults, form a resistance against the alien oppressors.

While Robot Overlords contains some high-quality CGI, the huge robot sentries and imposing alien spaceships being some of the examples, the film is marred by a silly, lacklustre plot and rather unconvincing performances of most of the cast.


TRIVIA: A novel based on the film, with extra scenes and bonus material not included in the movie, was published by Victor Gollancz Ltd, SF&F imprint of the Orion Publishing Group.

TRY INSTEAD: SUPER 8

Another kids’ flick, also featuring a bunch of youngsters and a gigantic alien being, but this time professionally made. Super 8 tells the story of a group of teenage friends who are filming their own amateur detective mystery / zombie movie, shooting with a ‘Super 8’ mm camera, at an abandoned local train station, when a passing train derails, releasing a huge, dangerous alien presence into their small town. The film, written, directed and co-produced by J. J. Abrams, won many awards and was widely praised by critics for its visual effects and musical score.

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