Remember those Dungeons & Dragons kids you used to make fun of in high school? Well, we found out what they're up to now. And yes, we're pretty sure they're still virgins.
The Metal Munching Maniacs DVDs are filled with two types of people: Inventive, possibly bored young boys, no older than 15, and balding, fat 40-something men with WAY too much free time on their hands. In Robot Club & Grille Mayhem, the last of four volumes in the series, robots from seven weight classes duel in a closed arena, pounding on each other until they're destroyed, the robot's operator "taps out," or until you open your DVD player and throw this piece of garbage away.
Forget the horrid production of this DVD; you can read about that in the other Metal Munching Maniacs reviews on this site.
Let's talk about grown men celebrating gleefully after trouncing some 11-year-old's garage-built invention. Let's talk about interior decorator Christopher Lowell's more effeminate twin, interviewing equally pathetic adults about the virtues of titanium frames.
We haven't seen this many dorks together since Revenge of the Nerds. In fact, we're pretty sure we saw Booger behind the controls of one of the middleweight robots.
The kids competing in these robot battles get a free pass: They're being creative, they probably live in farm country, and we're banking their dads put them up to it. But there's no excuse for the adults. They take this thing so seriously, you can practically see that Meatloaf look-alike daydreaming of all the hot chicks he's gonna bag after his "Kontraption of Doom" wins. And isn't that Bill Gates, incognito, talking about his badass drive train? It could be….
Because AnimEigo added very little to the original source material, we're not even sure what these guys are competing for. Money? Trophies? New corduroys? It can't be for pride since they didn't have any to begin with.
After watching a lengthy discussion about internal power sources between two pudgy, lonely men, you come to appreciate all the things you take for granted in life: gainful employment, a healthy lifestyle, the opposite sex. Oh, and having more productive activites than these people. Like flossing.
Maybe we'd give them a break if these guys had done something to spice up the competitions, like betting on the matches, or voting the loser out of the rec center. You keep wishing one of these guys would put a self-destruct in their robot, so if things look bleak, he can destroy both competitors, and hit the crowd with shrapnel as a bonus. That would be better than watching two broken machines limp around each other aimlessly for five minutes, "because there's still time on the clock!"
The least they could have done was throw some girls in bikinis in the mix.
What am I saying? These guys don't know any women.
For the kids, it can be marked off as a hobby. For the adults, it's just sad. The competitors are sad, the announcer's sad, that jerk, off camera counting off the number of times a robot is flipped, is also sad.
Don't join them. Avoid Metal Munching Maniacs.
As noted in other reviews about the Metal Munching Maniacs DVDs, this is mostly shot by amateurs using home video equipment on tripods. The same battles appear on not one, not two, but three of the four DVDs. There's picture-in-picture replays, used too often. There's poor camerawork following the, uh, action. There's poor lighting everywhere. All of this on an OK DVD transfer. What was the point?
The audio is awful: You can only hear the announcer half the time, you see the people in the crowd cheering, but you can't hear them, and the one-on-one interviews sometimes fade out. If you enjoy listening to metal against metal over and over and over again, then you're golden.
Ha! What extras? That's not a music video, it's a longer version of the start-up menu. The menus are easy to use, with play all features and miniatures of the battling robots next to each menu option. There's a vs. preview frame before each battle, but it's there and gone before you can even read what it says.
Go watch paint dry. Catch a Sylvester Stallone movie. Play Solitaire. Do anything but waste your time with Metal Munching Maniacs. Skip it.