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Evolver – 6

Director – Mark Rosman

Cast – Ethan Embry, Cassidy Rae, Nassira Nicola, Chance Quinn, Cindy Pickett, John de Lancie, Paul Dooley, Tim Griffin

Release Year – 1995

Reviewed by John of the Dead

When I came across Evolver I thought it looked like some cheesy 90s fun and decided to give it a go. All I had to read was “killer robot” and I was hooked on the idea, hoping that it would be more than a movie aimed at a young audience. Evolver managed to somewhat deliver on the killer robot element but is ultimately a tame experience for a fan of films like Death Machine. This is by no means a bad film and it did provide the 90s fun element I was hoping for, but if you are looking for good excitement this is probably not for you.

When Kyle becomes the greatest Evolver player in the world, he receives the gift of a lifetime – his own Evolver robot. Straight of out of the popular virtual reality game, Kyle and his friends can now play the game in real life with a real life robot. Little do they know, the robot is a failed military experiment programmed to win at all costs, and the struggle for survival soon becomes reality.

Mark Rosman writes and directs this simple story, which gives us nothing new but then again with good execution the same old story can still be an enjoyable one. The story begins with Kyle’s obsession with the virtual reality game, in hopes that he will achieve the prize of owning his very own Evolver. Soon enough his wish comes true, and at the 20 minute mark we see our first pseudo-scene of horror, where the robot shows some animalistic qualities. 10 minutes later we have our first kill, and while it is a bit tame I am glad to say the kills grow in intensity. If you are looking for a film similar to Death Machine, like I was, you will be disappointed. This flick is pretty tame in all areas, with the most extreme kills coming off as mediocre ones compared to better efforts. There are also very few kills to enjoy, with most of the horror and carnage resulting in people hurt and not killed. Still, Evolver served as nostalgia for me and even included some funny scenes here and there, like when the robot snuck into the women’s high school locker room to peep at the girls.

Rosman’s direction is fair, however his direction was as tame as his story. It was fun to see a live-action robot delivering the horror and I applaud Rosman for making this happen in a convincing fashion. While the kills were written pretty tame I can say that they were executed about as well as they could have been, but don’t expect anything great. The acting performances are the usual 80s performances but it was cool to see a young Ethan Embry trying to outwit a robot programmed to become more and more intelligent as it learns about the world around it.

Overall, Evolver is an OK killer robot flick that lacks when it comes to the kills and subsequently…the horror. If you miss films from the 90s then there is a good chance you will enjoy this one, but don’t expect too much. This is nothing like Rosman’s previous horror film, one of the most recognizable slasher films of all time, The House on Sorority Row.

Rating: 6/10

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