I knew I was in trouble when Forrest Tucker’s name appeared THREE times in the opening credits. (“Forrest Tucker in… Robot Pilot… Starring Forrest Tucker… Forrest Tucker as Jerry Barton.”) The biggest mistake about the movie though is that I kept watching it.
A scientist invents a remote controlled toy airplane and all of a sudden he thinks he’s hot shit. He tries to sell his idea to the government who puts his technology into a real airplane. When that crashes, it’s back to the drawing board. While the scientist tries to perfect the formula, his trusty pilot (Tucker) tries to woo some bitchy broad. In the end, a spy steals the plane and takes off but the scientist dude is able to use the remote control to bring him back down so the Feds can get him.
You’d think if you were making a movie about spies trying to get their hands on a top secret remote control plane, it would be filled with a lot of spying and stuff. Unfortunately, most of the flick is filled with lame-ass scenes of Forrest trying to romance that damn dame by forcing her to do a lot of housework. And man, did it ever suck. The only part of the movie that’s worth a damn is the WTF cameo by Billy (High Plains Drifter) Curtis as a judge.
Most movies made around this time had a lot of negative African-American stereotypes. Robot Pilot features some pretty bad Mexican stereotypes, so you can tell that it was at least trying to be different. The gratuitously unfunny comic relief Mexican who brays like a donkey is pretty awful and the way the white folks treat him is even worse. “All Mexicans are named Pedro!”
Director William Beaudine did everything from The Ape Man to Bela Lugosi Meets a
AKA: Emergency Landing.