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Twilight Zone: Steel

Reviewed by Geno McGahee

I am a very big boxing fan and a Twilight Zone fan as well…so when you combine the two, I’m going to be very interested. This episode takes place in the future, where the sport of boxing is outlawed but the government does allow robots/androids to go at it for the viewing pleasure of the audience. These aren’t the fantastic sexbots from Futureworld and Westworld, but beggars cannot be choosers, I guess. I will take the boxing sexbot…I mean boxing robot.

Steel Kelly (Lee Marvin) manages a fighter…a robot named “Maxwell” or “Battling Maxo,” along with his mechanic, Pole (Joe Mantell). Their robot is a B-2 series…an out of date antique that has no right to be in the ring anymore, but when another robot is hurt in a car accident (they apparently drive too), Battling Maxo is given one last shot at glory. The trouble is is that Maxo is not only an antique by the standards of advancement in technology, but he is old in terms of parts and he is breaking down bit by bit. His chances of beating a B-7 series robot are slim to none, and the mere fact that they are fighting bothers Pole. He knows that this will be a loss and will most likely send their robot to the junk pile. Steel, a former heavyweight that was never knocked down or out, and was hard up for cash is trying to use Maxo to line his pockets and to survive. He is hoping against hope for the upset.

In the locker room before the fight, Maxo breaks down and cannot fight, but the five hundred dollars that was the agreed upon bout payment was needed desperately, so Steel laces up the gloves and pretends to be the robot. No human has ever knocked him down, but can a robot? I don’t want to give away the ending but just picture fighting a robot…impervious to pain, doesn’t get tired, throws harder punches then you ever could, and is emotionless. Steel doesn’t come out of this fight good.

Every Twilight Zone seems to have a message and I have leveled this one down to two: One, do not fight machinery…it’s here to stay and will consistently be taking over, and two, don’t fight robots. They will kick the shit out of you and then brag to all of their robot friends and then none of the sexbots will sleep with you. Yeah, I know that I’m obsessed with the sexbots.

I liked this episode. I can’t call it outstanding, but it is certainly worth a watch.

Scared Stiff Rating: 7/10. Robot by TKO.

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