Hot Bot (2016), a recap (part 2 of 8)

Previously: These are the times that try men’s souls. Look on this picture and weep over it! And if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who believes it not, let him suffer it unlamented. —Thomas Paine (probably)

The Hot Bot Corporation has made a sexbot. You’d think that would have garnered some media attention. You would be wrong. The only person to have seen the only news story about the only sentient robot on earth is Senator Biter, played by Larry Miller.

It is at this point that you might develop something akin to hope. Don’t. Miller is the first in a long list of otherwise accomplished comic actors to just be eaten alive by this movie.


The senator says he’s willing to help the Hot Bot people get into the US market on the condition that they send him one. He specifies that he wants no viruses and then clarifies, “No, the kind I can’t catch!” Did he think the tech company was infecting its robots with Hep C? Also, he wants to be able to “adjust” the breasts. It’s not funny. It’s just creepy, like that one uncle at Thanksgiving who keeps bringing up how your sister is going to be really popular in college.

The very next thing we see is a hand grabbing raw chicken breasts.

Subtle, guys. Really subtle.

Two teenagers are frying food in some sort of one-off fried food place. And it’s here that we meet our heroes. They’re an overweight teen with a filthy mouth and his exceedingly nerdy best friend. This reminds me of something.

Subtle, guys. Really subtle.

A racy, red sports car drives up to the window. The driver is a great-looking jerk with a blazingly beautiful girl in the passenger seat. Really? Another movie where girls are just trophies you display in your car?

The jerk starts acting like a jerk to the two guys whose only sin so far is that they have jobs. I guess that really makes me like them. The Jonah Hill stand-in (Leonard) has his revenge all figured out. He spits in the fryer. I guess that really makes me hate him.

The passenger-seat trophy attempts to say hi to the Michael Cera character (Limus). This makes the jerk go crazy. He begins shouting at her not to talk. Then he asks his girl the delicate question, “Did you fuck this knob?” He tries to pull Limus out of the drive-thru window in a plan I don’t think he’s thought all the way through. At some point, he gives up. He takes his french fries and spit and yells, “Fuck you!” and drives off.

Intercut with all of this is a scene where two flunkies pick up a human-sized box from the airport. As they’re driving along, they hear something thumping from inside the box. Despite orders not to open it, they decide to pull over and take a look. The next time we see them, the box is open and the two of them are lying unconscious on the ground. This means that the sexbot turned itself on and… beat them up, I guess? It really makes no sense considering the model we saw only wanted to do the sex, like, all the time. Also, it means the robot isn’t three laws safe. That’s just bad craftsmanship.

The flunkies, by the way, are their whole own problem. First of all, I can’t tell if they’re supposed to be cops or regular bad guys or what. Second, they’re played by these two:

That’s Anthony Anderson from black-ish. He’s usually pretty dependable. Unfortunately, the guy next to him is Danny Masterson. He’s a Scientologist. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, shortly after this movie was made, it was revealed that five women had accused him of rape. Scientology worked hard to bury the allegations, because of course they did.

Seriously, fuck these guys.

Even though the allegations were enough for Netflix to fire Masterson from The Ranch, it appears Netflix is just fine letting him into their movie catalog. And the worst part is that this is a comedy with some very, very hazy ideas about consent. Accused rapist Danny Masterson is starring in a comedy about a woman who literally is not allowed to say no. So, good luck enjoying the movie knowing that.

Anderson wakes up and calls the senator to let him know they lost the robot. Senator Biter is very upset. He’s also completely naked. We get thirty seconds to just stare at Larry Miller’s exposed ass. Maybe what he’s saying is funny, but the only thought in my mind is, “Yup, there’s Larry Miller’s ass.”

The FBI agents (possibly?) complain to each other about being beaten up by a sex doll. Driving home, Limus and and Leonard complain about being losers. Senator Biter gives his penis a firm talking-to. It’s obvious that these and many other scenes were largely improvised. Improv in movies can be great. What they require, however, are directors who know which parts to keep.

Hot Bot does not have that. It has the Polish brothers. They’ve made some interesting films like Northfork and The Astronaut Farmer. However, except for Twin Falls, Idaho in 1999, all of their movies have been certified rotten. And that’s just the movies that have reviews. Hot Bot, for example, has none. Maybe Anderson and accused Scientologist Masterson said something funny, but Mark and Michael Polish didn’t pick up on it.

In all fairness, Michael Polish did marry Kate Bosworth in 2013. It doesn’t make him a good director. Still, respect.

As they drive down a suspiciously dark road, the boys are arguing about a sex act called a “red sock”. Trust me: Do not Google it. Suddenly, something darts into the road and they hit it hard. Limus goes to investigate and finds that they ran over a half-dressed woman. This freaks him the hell out. Leonard, a little more chill, wants to know if he knocked her socks off.

In any case, there’s no blood anywhere and the corpse appears to be in excellent shape. Actual humans, on the other hand, tend to burst like water balloons, but, you know, redder. Limus and Leonard don’t tend to notice. They just load the dead body into the back of their car and drive off.

Limus complains that this may not be the right thing to do. Leonard responds with the absolutely only line I like in this entire movie. “All I know is I’m old enough to know we’re too young to make the right decision.” And with that philosophical quandary out of the way, they go forward with their plan of sneaking the dead woman up past Limus’ parents and stashing her in his room.

They get about halfway up the stairs before Limus’ stepfather calls them. Worried that they have to respond, they make the brilliant tactical decision to just leave the woman on the staircase while they go face him. Despite the fact that they’re acting squirrely, the stepdad does no further investigating. He just says, “Whatever you brought in my house, I want it out by tomorrow.”

In the next scene, they’ve got what they think is a dead woman lain out on Limus’ bed. Leonard has to leave, but first he doles out some sage advise:

Leonard: Oh, and dude, you should have sex with her. Do whatever you can that you know you’re never going to be able to do again. Finger her butthole or lick her eyeballs.

The character who we’re supposed to root for just suggested necrophilia. At this point, Scientology is looking pretty good.

The sun rises on Salt Lake City, Utah, or at least a part of Canada that looks like Salt Lake City, Utah. Biter’s two guys are calling the Hot Bot Corp. over in Germany and getting nowhere. I don’t know how much a sentient sexbot costs, because the only products I got when I typed “Android” into Amazon were phones, but in any case, Hot Bot didn’t think to install a LoJack along with the vagina.

We see Limus’ parents and his sister leaving to go to church. The next shot is very confusing.

Do Androids Dream of Positive Pressure Airflow Machines?

This is Limus lying on the floor next to his bed while wearing his sleep apnea mask. It’s shot from under his bed because everything in this movie has to be fifteen degrees more unpleasant than necessary. Why is he on the floor? Because there’s a dead woman in his bed. He rises, but finds the bed empty.

Limus panics and calls Leonard. Leonard is unconcerned. He promises to come right over, but decides to masturbate instead. And we spend five long seconds watching this.

Thanks, movie. Also, who dressed this set?

Limus, armed with a hockey stick, is searching his house for… a corpse? A badly injured woman? A badly injured vampire? I don’t know. All I do know is that there’s no way this character plays hockey.

The doorbell rings. It’s Leonard and he’s holding a frikkin’ chainsaw. This movie is a collage of images the Polish brothers saw in a movie once and thought, “We can make this. We can make this worse.”

So armed, the boys prepare to storm the upstairs bathroom. Just as they’re about to burst in, the door opens, and through the steam and backlight, they get their first look at Kelly LeBrock Cynthia Kirchner.

It’s. The. Same.

Goddamned. Shot.

Next Week: I abandon this recap to work on my musical adaptation of TNT’s The Last Ship.

Vampire, Vampire,
It’s a rocket.
We’re gonna sock it in the jaw
‘Cause we’re the crew of
The Nathan James
And you’ve never seen the likes of us before.

Tell me you wouldn’t watch that.

Jordon Davis

B.A. Political Science, SUNY Albany - 1991
Master of Public Administration, University of Georgia - 1993
Juris Doctorate, Emory University - 1996

State of Georgia - 1996
State of New York - 1997

Fields Medal (with Laurent Lafforgue and Vladimir Voevodsky) - 1998

Follow Jordon at @LossLeader on Twitter.

Multi-Part Article: Hot Bot: a recap

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