Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Memorable Movie Robots Part 2

I know my last article on Memorable Movie Robots was a huge hit with you guys, so I offer you the sequel, Memorable Movie Robots Part 2,  just like I promised you guys! There's all sorts of robots on this list! These movies concern themselves with killer robots, sex robots, and robots who just dont want to accept they are robots! They'd rather be humans. Hell, we even got robots made by Greek Gods on this list! So, without further ado, I leave you guys with more Memorable Robots from the movies! Hope you guys and gals like it.

Film: I, Robot (2004)

Robot: Sonny USR

Programming: In the future, robots are widespread and used as servants and various public services. Basically, robots are used for hard labor, for helping out old folks in their home, stuff like that. The robots in this film all follow the Three Laws of Robotics which sort of echo Robocops prime directives. They are: #1 A robot may not injure a human being, #2 A robot must obey orders given by a human, except when these orders conflict with the first law, and finally #3 A robot must protect his own existence, as long as it doesn’t conflict with the first two rules. Problem in this film comes when a robot is unjustly accused of a murder, then suddenly humans start seeing robots as a threat. In comes, Del Spooner (Will Smith) a Chicago police detective to investigate. This one was directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow, Knowing) and is based on a novel by Isaac Asimov.

Robotic Dialog: “Do you think we were all created for a purpose? I’d like to think so”

Film: Millenium (1989)

Robot: Sherman

Programming: Sherman the robot aids a group of time travelers from the future who come to the past to steal the bodies of people who are just about to die in plane crashes. They do this in order to repopulate their future, which is crumbling and decadent; that plus they need healthy humans that can procreate, because in this future, humans have lost the ability to do so.

Robotic Dialog: “This is not the end. This is not the beginning of the end. This is the end of the beginning”

Film: Deadly Friend (1986)

Robot: BB

Programming: BB is a remote controlled robot that occasionally shows signs of artificial intelligence, in other words, sometimes BB acts on his own and comes to his own conclusions about things. At the same time, BB’s creator a boy genius named Paul has befriended a beautiful girl named Samantha. Together, they pull a prank on a cranky old lady who ends up pulling out a shotgun on them and blowing BB away with it! This saddens Paul, who is hellbent on reconstructing BB. Meanwhile, Samantha’s abusive father beats her severely, drops her down a flight of stairs and kills her! It is then that Paul takes the route of Dr. Frankenstein and steals Samantha’s dead body. In an attempt to bring back the girl he loves, Paul unites BB’s artificial intelligence chip with Samantha’s brain. Samantha now lives! Well, sort of anyway. Paul now control’s Samantha’s every move by using the remote control he used to control BB with. Will Samantha’s memories awaken a thirst for revenge?

Film: The Last Starfighter (1985)

Robot: Beta Android Unit

Programming: Alex Rogan is a teenager who’s at a crossroads in life. College? Girlfriend? The Future? All these preoccupations go away when Alex plays his favorite arcade game: The Last Starfighter! What he doesn’t know is that this game was actually made by an alien race from another galaxy. The game is a test, constructed to search for those with the ability to become Starfighters in a battle against the evil Ko-Dan Armada. When Alex sets a new record on the machine, a strange spaceship comes to pick him up and whisk him away to fight the good fight as a Starfighter for the Rylan Star League. But, just so his family won’t miss him, the Rylan’s leave an Android replica that looks and acts exactly like Alex! Well, sort of, because the android has a hard time adapting to life as a human, which lends itself to some of the films funniest moments. For example, when the android has an ear malfunction, he disconnects his head to fix it. And Alex’s little brother Louis wakes up in the middle of the night and sees the headless robot fixing his head which totally freaks him out!

Robotic Dialog: “I said back to sleep Louis or I’m telling mom about your Playboys!”

Film: Terminator Franchise

Robots: T-800, T-1000, T-X

Programming: The terminators have one goal and one goal alone, eliminate the human race. They’ve taken over! The machines have won. They are just so damn many, and so freaking resourceful! They can even travel back in time to kill the leaders of the human resistance! Each film has presented us with different terminators, the classic T-800 who apparently will always look like Arnold Schwarznegger, The T-1000 which is made out of liquid metal, the T-X (or Terminatrix) which is the female terminator, and finally in Terminator Salvation we get all sorts of different Terminators, from super gigantic ones that grab humans with their gigantic claws, to Motorcycle Terminators!

Robotic Dialog: “It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves”

Film: Star Wars Franchise

Robots: R2-D2, C-3PO

Programming: R2-D2 and C-3PO are two of the most iconic robots to ever grace the silver screen. Not only that, these two bosom buddies are an integral part of the whole Star Wars story. But if you ask me, R2 is the real brains of the operation. In the first film, it is R2 who carries Princess Leia’s distress signal and the plans of the Death Star in his memory banks. R2 becomes Luke Skywalker’s personal Astromech, which is the robot that accompanies Luke on his spaceship across the galaxy. R2 fixes the hyper drive on the Millennium Falcon at one point which allows the good guys a quick getaway. R2 even saves everyone’s ass once again by stopping a thrash compactor from crushing all of the good guys! Hell, R2 has been with this crew since the days when he served Anakin Skywalker, before he became Darth Vader! As you can see, R2 is a real freaking hero, and if you ask me C-3PO is just the protocol droid that tags along to translate whatever R-2 has to say. R2 is brave and bold, while C-3PO is always complaining, whinnying and blaming R2 for everything. These two droids, with their very distinctive personalities are a perfect combination; R2 is the crazy guy, while C-3PO plays more of the straight guy to R2’s unpredictable loose cannon.

Robotic Dialog: “We seem to be made to suffer; it’s our lot in life”

Film: Chopping Mall (1986)

Robot: Kill Bot

Programming: The Kill Bots are part of the new state of the art security system at the Park Plaza Mall! They are programmed to patrol and protect the lonely hallways of the Park Plaza Mall once it closes down. But a group of 8 teenagers who decide to stay in the mall after it closes don’t know this. And to their chagrin, this just happens to be the night in which a lightning storm causes the robots to malfunction and become murderous killing machines! Funny part is that when these robots kill, they use the same line Robocop uses when he gets a bad guy: 

Robotic Dialog: “Thank You, have a nice day!”

Film: Runaway (1984)

Robot: Runaways

Programming: Tom Selleck stars as Sgt. Jack R. Ramsay in this flick about a mad scientist named Dr. Charles Luther (Gene Simmons) who has just created a race of killer robots that can thermographically identify a human from another. The little robots look like mechanical tarantulas, but these little buggers can be sent out to kill a specific person. And how do they do this? By injecting acid into their victims veins! After they have killed their target, the little robots explode without leaving any evidence behind. So they are perfect killing machines. The mad doctor has even created smart bullets that can follow peoples heat signatures to kill them! And this mad genius is mass selling his killer robots on the black market! In comes Sgt. Ramsay, a specialist in capturing and eliminating robots that go bad. In this world, malfunctioning robots that have to be retired are known as ‘Runaways’, hence the title of the film. So I guess you could say that in a way, Tom Selleck’s character is kind of like a Blade Runner in this film. The film also stars a very young Kristie Alley in one of her first film roles. Gene Simmons took a break from recording a KISS album (Animalize) to shoot this film.

Film: Hardware

Robot: M.A.R.K. 13

Programming: Hardware is a film about a sculpt artist, named Jill. She’s working on her latest sculpture, but its missing something. Good thing her boyfriend Moe finds the head of a robot while wondering through the dessert. He brings it home to her so she can use it in her sculpture. As it turns out, the robots head is the perfect piece to finish her sculpture. Unfortunately, they do not know that this robots head used to belong to a M.AR.K. 13 robot; a military unit that was discontinued because it malfunctioned. Now, the MARK 13 is reconstructing itself! And its about to get down to doing the one thing it was created to do: kill, kill, kill! Similarities with Blade Runner and The Terminator abound on this one, but that doesnt make it any less enjoyable.

Robotic Dialog: “Machines don’t understand sacrifice…neither do morons”

Film: Robocop 2 (1990)

Robot: Robocop 2

Programming: This robot is meant to replace Robocop, who in turn was replacing model ED-209. Robocop 2 is an attempt to eliminate the emotional side that the original Robocop is constantly at battle with. Robocop is constantly concerned for his ex-wife and his kid, and the memories of who he was when he was human. So how does OCP try to eliminate this emotional side from future police robots? By using the brain of a psychopath known as Cain to run Robocop 2 thats how! According to them, a psychopath isn’t worried about doing what’s right or wrong, so this will help the unit function properly when it comes to kicking ass on the streets. Too bad for them, they are absolutely wrong! The brain they decide to use belongs to Cain, who is not only a major drug dealer, he is also addicted to the new designer drug called NUKE! So now we have a killer robot who needs it's drug fix! Robocop 2 goes on a killing rampage eliminatingg anyone who stands in his way, including cops! By the end of the movie we have Robocop vs. Robocop 2 in one colossal robot vs. robot fight that destroys the streets of Detroit City. In my opinion, this film has some awesome stop motion animation courtesy of Phil Tippet and his crew of stop motion animators. Robocop 2 was written by comic book legend Frank Miller the same writer/comic book artist behind such classics as 300, Sin City and The Dark Knight Returns. His scipt was drastically changed to tone down the violence, yet the movie still ended up being a major bloodbath with an extremely high body count, which is totally cool of course.

Robotic Dialog: “Cain, let’s take this outside!”

Film: Lost In Space (1998)

Robot: Simply known as ‘Robot’

Programming: The robot on the ‘Jupiter 2’ has one major function and that is to maintain the Jupiter 2 during flight and to protect the Robinson family in the interstellar mission. The Robinson family has a mission and it’s to travel to a new planet called Alpha Prime and establish a hypergate there so that other humans might come down and colonize the planet. You see, Planet Earth is in pretty bad conditions, and humans are looking for other planets to colonize and thrive in. Terrorists make an attempt to destroy the Jupiter 2, but all they manage to do is divert its course, as a result, the Robinson family are now ‘Lost in Space’. At one point, the Robot is reprogrammed to try and kill the Robinson family, thankfully, those plans are averted. Robot is close friends with Will Robinson, the youngest of the Robinson family who also happens to be a computer genius. Will reprograms Robot with his own mental patterns, after this Robot actually develops his own personality, even going as far as trying to tell jokes. The Robot in the film was voiced by Dick Tufeld, the same voice actor who did the voice for the robot in the original television show.

Robotic Dialog: “Danger Will Robinson! Danger!”

Film: The Matrix Franchise

Robot: Sentinels

Programming: The Sentinels are a group of human hunting robots who’s only purpose is to hunt down the human resistance. They look like flying octopuses with their many robotic tentacles. The Sentinels have one weakness: an electro magnetic pulse can render them entirely useless!

Robotic Dialog: “Through out human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without its sense of irony”

Film: Cyborg (1989)

Robot: Pearl Prophet

Programming: Pearl Prophet is a cyborg who has vital information stored in her data banks, information that could save humanity from the Plague that is killing it. But before they find the last scientists on earth who can come up with the cure, Pearl must reach their headquarters in Atlanta. And that means traveling across a plague ravaged post apolyptic America, filled with pirates and scumbags who don’t want the world to change. They actually like their post apocalyptic world! Fortunately, Pearl comes across Gibson Rickenbacker (Van Damme) a hired mercenary who must now protect Pearl in her journey. Interesting thing about Cyborg is that it used the sets that were supposed to be used for the sequel to Master of the Universe (1987), a sequel that never came to be.

Robotic Dialog: “Why did you help me?”

Film: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Robot: Marvin The Paranoid Android

Programming: Marvin is a robot on a ship called the ‘Heart of Gold’. He is programmed with a Genuine People Personality (GPP for short) unfortunately; said personality is in constant depression! Marvin is a robot that prides himself in the size of his brain, which is so big that no task he could be given would occupy even the tiniest fraction of his vast intellect. According to Marvin, he is 50,000 times smarter then a human. Planet earth is about to be annihilated in order to make way for a space highway that needs to be built, and Marvin is part of the crew that is trying to stop this from happening. In the film, Marvin the robot was voiced by Alan Rickman, while it was Warwick Davis (Willow, The Leprechaun) who physically played the character in the film.

Robotic Dialog: “Freeze? I’m a robot, not a refrigerator.”

Film: Galaxina (1980)

Robot: Galaxina

Programming: Galaxina is a lifelike voluptuous android assigned to oversee the operations of an intergalactic Space Police Cruiser (called ‘The Infinity’) on a mission to recover the “Blue Star”. Whats the Blue Star? Doesn’t matter! What matters is that the bad guys want it to rule the universe with! The trip to retrieve the Blue Star requires for the crew members to sleep for 37 years in Cryo Sleep! This is more then enough time for Galaxina to reprogram herself so she can have physical contact with Capt Thor, whom she has fallen in love with but cannot come in contact with because she is programmed that way. Every time Thor tries to kiss or touch Galaxina in anyway, he gets zapped! Fortunately, Galaxina manages to reprogram herself! This movie is a parody of Star Wars, Aliens, Barbarella and Star Trek all rolled into one. I’ll be honest, its not the funniest movie ever made, but a fan of the movies it is making fun of should enjoy it somewhat. Galaxina was played by former 1980 Playmate of the Year, Dorothy Stratten. Sadly, Stratten was murdered (out of jealousy) shortly after the film was completed.

Robotic Dialog: “I am better then a woman”

Film: Cherry 2000 (1986)

Robot: Cherry 2000 Pleasure Model

Programming: In the future of Cherry 2000, people can purchase robots that can satisfy their sexual urges. Problem comes when you get used to them and they short circuit on you. That is the problem that Sam faces, his Cherry 2000 model short circuited on him in the middle of sex! Now Sam finds life unbearable! He can’t live without his Cherry! Unfortunately, the one he was using blew a fuse! Now he must hire a bounty hunter named E. Johnson (Melanie Griffith) in order to find a new Cherry 2000, which by the way is a model of sex robot that has been discontinued. So Sam and E. Johnson must travel far and wide through a post apocalyptic wasteland to find the last available Cherry 2000. At the end of the film, will Sam still need a robotic chick to get his rocks off, or will he prefer the affections of a real flesh and blood woman instead?

Film: Spaceballs (1986)

Robot: Mega Maid

Programming: The Spaceballs are trying to steal every bit of fresh air from Planet Druidia, their own planet (Planet Spaceball) is running low on oxygen, and Druidia looks like they got oxygen to spare. But just how do the Spaceballs intend to steal Druidia’s air? They are going to use Mega Maid to do it! You see, the Spaceball’s giant spaceship (called Spaceball One) can transform into a giant Maid, with a vacuum cleaner! In one scene Mega Maid uses it’s giant vacuum cleaner to suck all the air out of Druidia.

Robotic Dialog: “It’s Mega Maid! She’s gone from suck to blow!”

Film: A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Robots: David, Gigolo Joe

Programming: This is one of my favorite movies ever, because it plays with this idea of what we believe to be the truth, and what the truth really is. David is the first “mecha” (this films word for android) that has genuine feelings. He cares, cries, feels jealousy. Unfortunately, he has been thrust out into the world, all on his own. Good thing he befriends Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) a sex robot that decides to help David find his way in life. What I loved about this film was that idea of how our creations might out last us. Even when humanity disappears, will our computers keep on running? Will clocks keep on ticking? The depth of this film doesn’t surprise me, it was Kubricks brain child. Yes my friends, A.I. was a film that Kubrick had been wanting to make for years and years! Unfortunately, he never got to make it because he passed away. Thankfully, Steven Spielberg picked up the project and finished it as a cinematic homage to one of the greatest directors that ever walked the face of the earth, Stanley Kubrick.

Robotic Dialog: “They made us too smart, too quick and too many. We are suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes, all that will be left is us.”

Film: Clash of the Titans (1981)

Robot: Bubo, the mechanical owl

Programming: This is a character that the makers of the Clash of the Titans remake decided to leave out, not a wise thing to do, after all, Bubo was a gift from Zeus himself. Come to think of it, that’s probably why the Clash of the Titans remake failed, they made fun of Bubo, and that angered the Gods. But in the original 1981 film, Bubo was actually an integral part of the events that occur in the film. He was an aid to Perseus in his adventures. He leads Perseus to the lair of the Stygian witches, the ones with the secret on how to kill the Kraken. In one scene Bubo is the one that rescues Medusa’s head so that the Kraken can be killed! I know what you’re thinking, he is mechanical, and machines (especially robots) did not exist back in the time of the Greek myths. But we need to remember this was a gift from Zeus, and as God of gods, he can create whatever the hell he wants, even flying, talking, robot owls.

Film: D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)

Robot: Daryl (Data Analyzing Robot Youth Life form)

Programming: Same as Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, Daryl is a government experiment meant to be used for military purposes, but, when Daryl’s creator has a changed of heart about his creation, he helps Daryl escape into the real world and this is where the film also becomes similar to Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence because Daryl is found and adopted by a real family who ends up thinking he is the perfect son! He is super smart, he excels at baseball, he can multi task like a mad man, and he can even hack into ATM machines! The parents soon discover there is something more to D.A.R.Y.L.! Apparently, the kid can also fly super sonic jets! Similarities with the film Short Circuit are all over the place (right down to the films ending!) but this one came first.

Robotic Dialog: “What is a hooker?”

Film: Eliminators (1986)

Robot: Mandroid

Programming: Mandroid is an android (hey that rhymes!) that was created by two scientist experimenting with time travel. Their purpose is to use Mandroid in their time travel experiments, but when Dr. Reeves (the more evil of the two scientists) decides he wants the Mandroid destroyed, Dr. Takeda (the good natured scientist) decides to help the Mandroid escape by sending him off in the time machine to another location. Unfortunately, Dr. Reeves ends up killing Dr. Takeda. Now Mandroid is out for revenge for the death of his friend, which of course includes killing Dr. Reeves and putting a stop to his plans of world domination. The special effects are cheesy, as is the dialog and even the action. This is one of those 80’s sci-fi films that’s good to watch for a laugh.

Robotic Dialog: “What is this; some kind of comic-book? We got robots, we got cave men, we got Kung-Fu!”

Film: Making Mr. Right (1987)

Robot: Ulysses

Programming: Making Mr. Right has one good thing going for it: it has John Malkovich playing Ulysses the robot! That’s right! In this film, Dr. Jeff Peters (John Malkovich) is a scientist working on creating a robot intended for use in space travel. The robot looks exactly like his creator. Only problem is that the robot has absolutely zero social skills. Fortunately, Frankie Stone is assigned to teach the robot all about human behavior. Problem comes when Frankie falls for the robot, who is anatomically correct in every sense of the word. We get a double dose of Malkovich in this film because Malkovich plays both the scientist who created the Ulysses robots, and the Ulysses robot itself! But don’t go thinking this is a hardcore sci-fi flick, nope, this film focuses more on relationships and male/female behavior. The true highlight of the picture though is watching Malkovich in one of his first film roles ever, and being quite funny at it.

Robotic Dialog: “If I were a human Frankie, it would be simple: I would fall in love with you.”

Film: Star Crash (1978)

Robot: Elle

Programming: Star Crash, same as practically any science fiction film out there has a couple of robots in its cast. First one up is Elle, a robot that aids Stella Star in her adventures across the galaxy in search for the son of The Emperor of the Galaxy (played by Christopher Plummer!) who has gone missing. By the way, the Emperor’s son is played by none other than David Hasselhoff! Elle the robot is supposed to be this films equivalent of C-3PO, only thing Elle has a country accent! And says the stupidest (and therefore funniest lines) in the whole film! How funny are his lines you ask? Try this one on for size: “Look! Amazonian women riding horses! I hope they are friendly!” The funny part being that these ‘amazonian women’ are nowhere near the Amazonian jungle, in fact, they are on an alien planet! Other robots in the film include a giant robot statue that attacks Stella and Elle while on a beach, and two twin robots that have a sword fight with David Hasselhoff. This film is a homage to many sci-fi fantasy films like Barbarella (1968), Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and last but certainly not least: Star Wars.

Robotic Dialog: “I only have logic and emotion circuits. No room for craziness” (Yeah right!)

Robin Williams as Andrew Martin in Bicentennial Man (1999)


Unknown said...

I'm really glad you included RUNAWAY and CHERRY 2000 - two of my faves. I remember seeing RUNAWAY when it first came out in theaters and really digging Simmons and his gun with the smart bullets! What a cool idea. CHERRY 2000 has its moments, also with a nice performance by Melanie Griffith as a badass tracker.

Franco Macabro said...

@J.D.: Runaway was a decent flick, at times if feels like a less stylish/gothic version of Blade Runner. I forgot to mention in the article that it was written and directed by Michael Chricton! OH and I could kick myself in the ass for leaving out of this list WESTWORLD, which was also written and directed by Chricton and also has killer robots in it.

Gene Simmons has always been into making movies, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park wasnt a good movie, though a KISS fan will enjoy it.

My favorite of his films is Trick or Treat which is fun as hell,I think it was the best of all those Heavy Metal horror movies. Watched it the other day and had loads of fun with it. He also produced and appeared in Detroit Rock City, which still rocks in my book.

The thing I remember the most about CHERRY 2000 is the scene where Melanie Griffith is hanging from her car, that was an awesome sequence. I need to re-watch Cherry 2000 soon!

Thanks for commenting J.D.!

Manuel Marrero said...

Wheres Jet Jaguar!!?? Well atleast you didnt put any transformers in the list.

Franco Macabro said...

I guess I also left out Mechagodzilla! Thats probably cause I havent seen a whole lot of Godzilla movies, but I will be seeing the original pretty soon, Ive had it on my "too watch" list for far too long now!

Anonymous said...

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Jack L said...

Awesome post!

These two posts have got to be the best robot themed posts I've ever read!

Great work Francisco.

Franco Macabro said...

Anonymus: Mega Maid could have only come from the mind of Mel Brooks.

Jack L: Damn, thanks for the kind words Jack!

ian!!!! said...

OH MY GOD! I forgot Chopping Mall existed. The VHS cover art was so awesome when I was an impressionable youth.

Plus Eliminators. I thought I was the only other person on Earth who saw that movie.

Franco Macabro said...

The thing with Chopping Mall is that the poster was so much better than the movie! Had the film delivered what the poster offered...

Yeah, Eliminators! I actually saw that one in the theater all those years ago! Its quite silly to me now, but still worth a mention.

Thanks for commenting Ian!


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