|Robot Jox (1990)|
Every Friday I feature artwork from a classic of science fiction cinema or television. This week's "Flashback Friday" post is on Robot Jox (1990)
Guillermo del Toro has had massive success with his homage to the giant robot film called Pacific Rim. Back in the 90's, a less successful attempt to bring giant fighting robots to the screen was Robot Jox. The basic idea was that 50 years after a nuclear holocaust wars are fought using giant robots in gladitorial combat. While it bombed it has become a cult classic and is beloved by fans. The concept art for the film was lost until Fireball Tim shared some photos of artwork by legendary artist Ron Cobb.
Ron Cobb is a professional concept illustrator who's worked on classic films like Alien (1979) and Back to the Future (1986) and The Last Starfighter (1984).
Click on the images to enlarge.
"This lost images of Ron Cobb’s work from the film ROBOJOX (Robot Jox) have been in my collection for over 25 years. My wife was the costume designer and managed to work with Ron and get these shots. Although not the originals, they are still some of Cobb’s best." - Fireball Tim
Director Stuart Gordon said, "While there have been animated cartoons based on these giant robots, no one has ever attempted a live-action feature about them. It struck me that it was a natural fantasy for the big screen–and a terrific opportunity to take advantage of the special effects that are available today." According to Gordon, Robot Jox was originally named RoboJox until Orion Studios, the producers of Robocop, threatened to sue them for the title. After changing the name and filming continued, Empire International Pictures went bankrupt and the bank siezed the movie. It took over three years before the film was released.
Here's a clip from the film
See more of Ron Cobb's inspiring portfolio at http://roncobb.net
Click on the links if you want to see more of Ron Cobb's work or Robot Jox artwork on my blog.
Images via Fireball Tim
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Robot Jox what do you think of the robots?
Official Robot Jox Summary
"Directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), ROBOT JOX reveals a world where nations settle their territorial disputes by a single combat between two giant machines. Piloted by national heroes Achilles (Gary Graham, TV's Alien Nation) and Alexander (Paul Koslo, Shadowchaser), the robots meet in Death Valley to fight for the greatest prize of all: Alaska. But when Achilles' machine crushes 300 spectators, the match ends in a draw. Refusing to face Alexander in a rematch, Achilles is replaced by Athena (Anne-Marie Johnson, TV's Melrose Place), a genetically-engineered combat fighter. So when the GenJox is nearly killed and the game is forfeited, Achilles avenges their honor by challenging Alexander to a winner-take-all death match, in this heavy-metal, sci-fi adventure."
Directed by Stuart Gordon
Cinematography by Mac Ahlberg
Production Design by Giovanni Natalucci
Starring Gary Graham, Anne-Marie Johnson, Paul Koslo
Release Date(s): November 21, 1990
© Copyright 1990 Empire Pictures, Trans World Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, MGM/UA Home Entertainment. All rights reserved
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