Fear of technology? 10 times robots turned on us

‘I, Robot' turns 10 years old today

Today marks the 10th anniversary of “I, Robot,” which hit theaters in 2004. The movie, starring Will Smith as a detective investigating a murder that may have been committed by a robot, grossed nearly $145 million in U.S. theaters.

The premise that cyborgs would turn on their human creators is hardly a new idea for cinemas, so let’s take a look at 10 other times the robots turned against us:

Metropolis (1927)

Regarded as the original sci-fi movie, Fritz Lang’s masterpiece featured jaw-dropping set pieces and the very first evil robot in movie history. The cyborg Maria unleashes its fury on the city in the film’s title. Even in 1927, people were weary to trust robots!

 

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

One of the all-time classics, director Stanley Kubrick’s operatic journey to space still has people scratching their heads nearly 50 years later. One thing the movie makes very clear however, is to beware smart machines. The movie’s primary antagonist is the spaceship’s computer H.A.L. 9000, one of the coldest villains ever.

 

Westworld (1973)

Directed and written by novelist Michael Crichton, “Westworld” depicts the nightmare of every Disney World visitor — what if the animatronics came to life? Yul Brynner plays an evil gun-slinging robot that stalks the guests of a Western-themed amusement park.

 

The Stepford Wives (1975)

This flick about a suspiciously perfect group of housewives in a Connecticut suburb used robots to convey a fear of suburbia, rather than of technology. The 2004 remake is more comedic while this 1975 original is full of paranoia and chills. The movie’s infamous ending again suggests that robots are not to be trusted.

 

Blade Runner (1982)

The only thing worse than killer robots is not being able to tell if they are human or not. In this groundbreaking thriller, Harrison Ford hunts down a gang of lifelike cyborgs that are bent on confronting their human creator. Unlike many on this list, you just might find yourself feeling for the bots in “Blade Runner.”

 

The Terminator (1984)

The most popular franchise on this list of killer technology, James Cameron’s “The Terminator” features a nearly indestructible cyborg assassin hunting down a human freedom fighter. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s perfect turn as the T-800 makes this a must-see of ruthless robot cinema.

 

Chopping Mall (1986)

Fear of smart technology and cautionary metaphors about consumerism — you guessed it, this one was made in the ‘80s. This horror flick, originally titled “Killbots,” features a group of security robots wreaking havoc on employees of a trendy shopping mall. The roving cyborgs in this one look very dated by today’s standards but don’t you dare tell them that.

 

RoboCop (1987)

“RoboCop” is an interesting pick for this list because it suggests that not all technology is to be feared. The actual cyborg police officer in the movie’s title is a hero but in one brutal scene, the robotic ED-209 decides to inflict a gory ending to a civilian at a demonstration. Further evidence that if you see a gun-toting robot coming your way, it’s probably best to turn and run.

 

Screamers (1995)

Maybe the most disagreeable bots on this list, the aptly-named Autonomous Mobile Swords’ sole purpose in creation was to kill human soldiers. A prime example of cyborgs biting the hands that designed them.

 

The Matrix (1999)

Enslaving the entire human race and using our bodies for fuel? “The Matrix” may represent the ultimate example of robots turning on people. At least they were kind enough to give us the illusion of real life though, right?

Did we miss your favorite killer robots? Comment below!

Follow this writer on Twitter @MrClintDavis.

 

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