A Pacific Rim pre-gaming list wouldn't be compete without Stuart Gordon's Robot Jox, a 1990 film that's heavy on the mecha violence. Here, the entire planet has been divided into two factions: the US-themed Market and the Russia-inspired Confederation. Rather than meet in open war to settle their disputes, the opposing nations pit their champions against one another in massive robots, armed to the teeth with an array of nasty tricks and weapons. The film narrows down on the aftermath of a fight between Market champion Achilles and Confederate champion Alexander.
Robot Jox is noteworthy for its backstage drama alone; Gordon butted heads with his screenwriter, sci-fi author Joe Haldeman, over their different ideas about the film's tone, direction, and even its title. But none of that says anything about Robot Jox as B-movie joyride. It's a quintessential bit of '90s cheese, boasting hammy performances and excellent stop-motion work. (Plus, this.) Crash and burn!