Robots – a boon to humanity, or AI determined to destroy it? Well, depending on the movie, it’s the latter in most cases. Yes, you have your R2-D2, your BB-8, Data (Brent Spine), even WALL-E. But for every Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) there is a Megatron (Hugo Weaving) ready to crush humans under his big robot feet. So while we still can, take notes on these robots before they become our technological overlords.
12. Fem-bots (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, 1997)
Not only are Fem-bots evil, they are evil from evil. Dr. Evil’s (Mike Myers), to be precise. Attractive and seductive, the Fem-bots were a means of distracting and killing Austin Powers (Mike Myers), not only with their agility but also with their “machine gun jubblies”, pistols protruding from their breasts. Luckily, Powers outplayed the Fem-bots with a seductive striptease, causing them to short out. You simply can’t create a robot that can withstand the sight of ungodly, savage chest hair.
11. Mechagodzilla (Godzilla vs. Kong, 2021)
Who can stop Godzilla? Well, Apex Cybernetics thought they had a solution when they built Mechagodzilla, a giant, robotic version of the monster meant to put all Titans in their place as the apex predator…and designed to kill Godzilla to do so. It was the perfect machine, except for one small detail. As part of Mechagodzilla’s remote control system, Apex used Ghidorah’s telepathic skull. As we know, combining the organic with the robotic always works well in movies. Nobody ever said. Ghidorah’s consciousness takes over the dino-bot, leading to an epic showdown between Mechagodzilla and Kong and Godzilla’s team. And a cleaning shit for the people of Hong Kong.
10. ED-209 (RoboCop, 1987)
“The Future of Law Enforcement” is courtesy of Omni Consumer Products and its automated peacekeeping machines, the Enforcement Droid, Series 209 or ED-209. It looks like an AT-ST from Return of the Jedi, only smaller with synthesized speech, three autocannons and a rocket launcher. Senior Chairman Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) unveiled ED-209 at a meeting of executives, but during the droid’s demonstration, the logic circuits malfunctioned, causing ED-209 to shoot an executive. Again and again and again and again and again.
9. Assassin Spider-Robots (Runaway, 1984)
Why don’t sociopathic evil geniuses use their powers for good? Dr. Charles Luther (Gene Simmons), while working for a defense contractor, invents a variety of robotic weapons which he aims to sell on the black market (after killing his colleagues, of course). This includes a smart bullet that acts as a heat-seeking missile, smart bombs, and the piece de resistance, small spider-like assassin robots that kill by injecting acid into their victims. Tom Selleck is there to save the day, thankfully, and stops Simmons, at his naughtiest since TO KISS‘ 1981 “Music of the Old” debacle.
8. Megatron (Transformers, 2007)
Unless you’ve been living in a cave since the 1980s, you’re more than likely aware of Megatron, the leader of the evil Decepticons. In the 2007 film, Megatron first came to Earth in pursuit of the All Spark, but froze in ice after crashing into the Arctic Circle and was only discovered. ‘in 1897. But you can’t keep a Decepticicle down, and when Megatron is freed in the present day, he and the Decepticons who have traveled to Earth wreak havoc on Mission City.
7. Mother (I Am Mother, 2019)
After an extinction event wipes out life on Earth, its future is in the hands of Mother (Rose Byrne), a robot that watches over human embryos in a bunker, with the goal of repopulating humanity. The mother chooses an embryo to raise and care for, a daughter named Daughter (Clara Rugaard). The mother teaches her daughter lessons about morality, ethics, and the outside world, a contaminated world her daughter should never venture into. Wouldn’t you know, a woman (Hilary Swank) appears from the outside world, pleading for help. It turns out the world isn’t contaminated, robots like Mother kill humans, Mother herself killed Daughter before her, and Mother doesn’t appreciate Daughter’s growing bond with Woman. No Mother’s Day card this year.
6. Warbeast (Death Machine, 1994)
Things are not going so well for Chaank Armaments. The weapons manufacturing giant is getting bad press because of one of its cybernetic super soldiers, “Hard Man”, malfunctioning and ravaging diners at a local cafe. It falls to new General Manager Hayden Cale (Ely Pouget) to right the ship, and one of his first acts is to fire the designer of the “Hard Man” project, Jack Dante (Brad Dourif). Dante is a bit offbeat, shall we say, and heads to Vault 10, where he activates his secret project, “Warbeast,” the title’s Death Machine, to exact revenge on Cale. Perhaps a stern letter to HR would have been a little less deadly.
5. Ashes (Alien, 1979)
The crew of the Nostromo space tug has a bug problem. It seems that after investigating a distress call on a nearby moon, Executive Officer Kane (injured john) was attacked by a spider-like creature with a long tail that wrapped around its neck. This creature planted an alien creature in Kane, which burst out of his chest and ran to hide in the ship. This creature eliminates the crew one by one. Seeking answers about the alien, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) accesses the ship’s computer and discovers that Science Officer Ash (Ian Holm) has the order to bring the alien to Earth and that the remaining crew are expendable. When confronted, Ash tries to choke him, only to have his head knocked off by Parker (Yaphet Kotto), revealing that Ash was an android. An android with a psychotic reverence for the alien. Lesson of the day: never put all your trust in your GPS.
4. Roy Batty (Blade Runner, 1982)
Of all the robots on this list, Roy Batty (Ruther Hauer) is the friendliest. He is a Nexus-6 Replicant, an artificial being of exceptional strength and intelligence. He was created as a combat model and deployed throughout the galaxy to serve in military campaigns, but wished to return to Earth and have his life expectancy increased by extending his expiration date.
So he and a group of other rogue replicants killed twenty-three people in an off-world colony, hijacked a shuttle, and killed everyone on board before heading for Earth. He then kills others in an attempt to reach his creator, Dr. Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turcel), whom he also kills when Tyrell says extending his lifespan is impossible. But then he accepts his fate, saving Blade Runner agent Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) to fall to his death, then becomes poetic before fading away.
3. 101 Series Protective Robots (Chopping Mall, 1986)
In the spirit of jerry seinfeld, what is the problem with faulty cinema robots? Secure-tronics is in charge of the new night security system for the Park Plaza 2000 shopping center, consisting of two elements: impenetrable doors that seal the usual shopping center doors from midnight to 6 a.m., and three Protector robots from the series 101 which are programmed to contain unauthorized persons who are in the mall between these hours. The first night doesn’t go exactly as planned because a glitch makes the robots murderous. Never mind. As long as there is no one inside the mall, they can be fixed the next morning, right? Yes and no. If no one was in the mall, then yes, this plan works. However, eight teenage mall employees are in the mall, having a secret after-hours party in the furniture store. SPOILER: All eight don’t arrive until sunrise.
2. The Terminator (The Terminator, 1984)
An unstoppable and relentless cyborg assassin sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she can give birth to the son who will save humanity from the malevolent, artificially intelligent Skynet. The premise is almost ridiculously simple but incredibly effective, thanks in large part to the work of the Terminator itself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s the perfect marriage of actor and character, with Schwarzenegger’s mannerisms and speech bringing the cyborg to an incredibly believable unstoppable force. That he was able to do a full 180 in the sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day and act as John Connor’s cyborg protector (Edward Furlong) of an even deadlier cyborg assassin, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), is undeniably impressive.
1. HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968)
Could there honestly be another contender for number one overall? HAL 9000 (Douglas Rain) is the goat of evil robots, seen only as a camera lens with a non-flashing, annoying red light. His voice is soothing and calm at all times, whether he’s providing useful information or refusing to open the pod bay doors, the unwavering delivery growing increasingly creepy as his actions become more malevolent. . What really sets HAL above his evil robot peers is the ruthless logic with which he justifies killing the crew. Torn between his programming to accurately distribute information and a direct order to withhold specific information, HAL makes the choice to kill the crew so as not to lie to them, thus avoiding internal conflict with his original function. But hey, HAL can play chess. It can’t be that bad.