Robocop takes on its copycat knockoff Robo Vampire in this UAMC showdown!

It’s Robocop (1987) vs. Robo Vampire (1988) in a new UAMC feature column called COPYCATS! Read on to find out how these two ultimate action movie contenders stack up against each other in an action movie copycat duel to the death!

COPYCATS! is a bimonthly column about popular action movies and the low-budget films they inspire. Each column, we take a popular action movie and find its cinematic doppelganger, revel in their similarities and dissect their differences. Some of these copycats are good enough (or strange enough) to earn their place in action movie history, but most are being chronicled here to preserve their existence – for better or for worse.

Robocop vs. Robo Vampire

Original Film: Robocop, 1987, starring Peter Weller and Nancy Allen, directed by Paul Verhoeven.

Copycat: Robo Vampire, 1988, starring Robin MacKay and Nian Watts, directed by Godfrey Ho.

Synopsis of both films: A cop is killed and brought back to life as a cyborg to fight violent criminals.

Copycat Comparison:

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Robocop is one of the greatest Sci-fi action movies ever made. Produced for a measly $13 million, this movie still looks better than most $150 million sci-fi action movies today.

From the dramatic murder of Alex Murphy (expertly played by Peter Weller), to the reprograming, training, chase and arrest sequences that follow, Robocop set the standard for cyborg cop movies – a standard that has never been eclipsed (even by its two sequels, television series, cartoon and the big-budget 2014 remake). 

Robo Vampire is … a movie. From Godfrey Ho – the same director who brought audiences Full Metal Ninja (1989), Clash of the Ninjas (1986) and Ninja Terminator (1985), comes a movie so cheap that most people don’t believe it exists. It does – and yes, the cover even features an artistic reinterpretation of Robocop. Made for an estimated $2.5 million (which must be adjusted for inflation because Robo Vampire looks like it cost about $25 to make).

This movie appears to have everything: Smoke-blowing ninja zombies, Chuck Taylor-wearing American soldiers, easily punchable dumb henchmen, sunglasses-at-night bad guys, kung-fu vampires (which look a lot like the zombies, but they can’t go out at night maybe?), flying cooked chicken, a silver-pajamaed robot police officer. However, the one thing it doesn’t have is a ROBO VAMPIRE!

Which is better?

Robocop is way better (heck Robocop 3 is way better), but it’s kind of like comparing the greatest meal ever prepared by the greatest chef to Taco Bell. Taco Bell has its merits – it cheap, consistent, enjoyable and fast. Robo Vampire is cinematic Taco Bell. If it’s after midnight and you’re looking for something to cap off a ridiculous evening, Robo Vampire is what you’re looking for.

Article by Eric LaRose – a Wisconsin-based connoisseur of action, horror and sci-fi movies from the ‘80s and ‘90s. A former journalist and podcaster, Eric wrote the ending to the Toxic Avenger Part 4, but the only person who will back up that claim is his wife.

What’s your thoughts on the Robocop vs. Robo Vampire copycat showdown? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!