Bitter Nerd™ Review: Too Much

The 1987 Golan-Globus Epic Starring Bridgette Anderson

Midnites4Maniacs Ticket

Midnites for Maniacs is an organization dedicated to bringing underappreciated cinema back to where it belongs: the movie house. On November 13th, 2010 the group presented “Domo Arrigato, Mr Roboto” a twelve-hour, five movie marathon of science fiction movies with a predominantly robotic theme:

(SFX: record scratch)

“Wait, Rob. I recognize the others as science fiction epics, but do pray tell: what the hell is Too Much?” I hear you cry.

Answer: possibly the worst robot-themed children’s movie ever to ooze out of the Golan-Globus guck factory.

The connoisseurs of bad cinema are already drooling, but sad to say it is not easy to see this movie. It did make it to VHS for a very limited run in the ’90s, but it is so horrifically bad — bad direction, bad acting, fantastically bad effects — that it would be impossible to remaster it for DVD without going insane: thus, it was only available for us on an incredibly rare 35mm print. Like the peak of Mount Fuji, if you get the chance you must see it once — but only once.

This movie has left permanent scars on my psyche, so I have decided that for the sake of catharsis I will provide a synopsis for those who will never experience this monstrosity.


(deep breath)

Bridgette Anderson and her family go to Japan on business. While she is there, she becomes lonely and isolated so her “uncle” Tetsuro builds her a robot. She feels his gift is “too much,” and that is what they name the robot. “Too Much” is a perfect name, because the robot is freakin’ huge. We are talking the size of a small refrigerator. Because of its size, it moves about one mile per hour. Picture the Android mascot but with accordion arms and you’ll be close. It also charges off of household current, and needs to plug itself in every ten minutes which makes it a sort of useless playmate and certainly would be the bane of Steve Jobs. But they get along anyway, with Bridgette and the robot playing hide-and-seek (even though the robot is freakin’ huge), running PONG® on the robot’s chest display, and looking at the stars under the worst composited night scene ever. I mean the worst: we are talking trees enveloped in a thick blue halo where the daytime sky is, stars the size of walnuts, and orbital satellites simulated by a flashlight sweep. Go to the bathroom first, because you cannot watch that scene without wetting your pants. The evil yet bumbling Doctor Finkel tries to kidnap the robot, but he and his henchmen are completely incompetent and fail. All is well until the day Bridgette’s father must return to America. She believes that the robot is coming with them, but it is not, because it is freakin’ huge and Bridgette’s father is a cheapskate and won’t pay for postage. She cries and whines and runs away. The robot goes hunting for her, but because it moves only one mile per hour it will take about three days to reach her, so it hitches a ride on a cab. Remember: this robot is freakin’ huge but nobody in Japan uses their rear-view mirror so it manages to avoid detection. Stereotypes are enforced as the robot glides through the airport and tourists take pictures of it. Eventually, it reaches Bridgette and they embrace to the kitschy “Dear Friend” in a scene that has romantic overtones too disturbing to be mentioned in detail so you’ll just have to watch it here but don’t say I never warned you. They take refuge in Japan’s rural countryside, walking hand in hand, Bridgette only occasionally tripping because the robot moves one mile per hour and it is constantly dragging her backwards. They drink milk fresh from the cow. In a scene dripping with bathos and bad acting, the parents — insane with worry or just possibly insane — enlist the help of a “police consultant” who is none other than the evil yet bumbling Doctor Finkel. Meanwhile, Bridgette and the robot and this boy who spontaneously joined their motley crew steal his father’s jeep. Hijinks ensue when the Japanese division of the Keystone Kops try to capture the robot, including a sequence where a vending machine goes berserk a la “Maximum Overdrive” and another where a stray bullet manages to immolate a small service station. During the escape, the robot slams on the brakes and the pursuing police car does a perfect Stephen J. Cannell car flip. The robot then verifies the policeman is OK, then explains in a scene that could possibly have symbolism that it had to stop because there was a red light and it didn’t want to endanger people. I guess kidnapping a child, committing grand theft auto, and blowing up a small service station are perfectly safe and legal in Japan. The comically incompetent henchmen of Doctor Finkel manage to trick the trio into the back of a truck and then engage in an incongruous and completely gratuitous display of gluttony involving custard tarts and slices of cheesecake. Bridgette, the robot, and the kid escape by cutting a tiny hole in the roof even though it is way too small for a freakin’ huge robot to exit. Bridgette and the kid decide to go to a fish market, because that’s where you go when you are trying to hide a freakin’ huge robot that moves about one mile per hour. Fortunately they find the decaying factory set that appears in every Golan-Globus movie, so they hide there. The robot sees a tin opener, panics, and falls into a convenient pool. All is lost until its dome-shaped head floats to the surface. It tells the children that it is low on power and that they will need to plug it in, because as you know nothing bad will happen if you mix electricity and water, even though Westworld said differently. Somehow the kids manage to evade electrocution and they wade into the pool which is about a foot deep to rescue the freakin’ huge robot which somehow is below the surface even though it is the size of a small refrigerator. Meanwhile, the evil yet bumbling Doctor Finkel has convinced the police that the only way to stop the robot is to short it out with cattle prods. The kids escape the fish market and the incompetent henchmen of Doctor Finkel. They hide in a large department store which coincidentally is having a robot festival: robots for all! The police attack. The robot tanks and robot helicopters and robot ships fight back with live ammo. Lots of explosions, bodies flying hither and yon, the occasional Stephen J. Cannell car flip — you know the drill. The police retaliate with their cattle prods, and toys explode and burn in a scene that could possibly have symbolism. Things are looking bleak. In a sequence that likely sucked up 95% of the movie’s budget, five hundred children wearing “We ♥ TM” attack the cops and raise a flag over the store in a scene that could possibly have symbolism. The evil yet bumbling Doctor Finkel is electrocuted with his own cattle prod. Bridgette walks out of the store smiling and the movie is suddenly over with no dénouement because they ran out of money at that point. Later, Bridgette sees the final product and overdoses on heroin out of shame.

The End

There. Happy?