Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Top 10 Worst Robots of the Movies

After posting the Top 10 Robots of the Movies, by popular demand ("demand" meaning suggested, "popular" meaning I liked the suggestion) I present the Top 10 Worst Robots of the Movies.

Just as it was with the Worst Monsters, Worst Robots could be robots that are poorly designed, poorly conceived, or just simply stupid or lame.  They also have to be robots from movies I have seen.

So on with the Robots!

#10: Robbie, No, I mean Uncle Simon

Now, Robbie the Robot is a great robot who nearly made my 10 best Robot list, so what is this about?
Well, this isn't Robbie. In the Twilight Zone episode "Uncle Simon" they take Robbie, remove his cool under the bubble head-innards and replace it with a coffee can with someone's diaphragm stuck to it. But that isn't what earned this robot a spot on this list. Oh no.  This robot is "Uncle Simon".  In the story,  the niece of an aging inventor, herself not getting any younger, decides to off the insufferable old crank.  But wanting to extend his ability to inflict misery long past the grave, the inventor designs a robot and programs it to be him!
Now the niece must spend the rest of her life caring for a jerk robot who crankily insists she make him hot chocolate despite that he can't even drink!

Robots are supposed to make our lives better. That's the deal. That's the promise of futurism: we paid for that with losing all our factory jobs to these iron machines.  But if you can't even kill a spiteful rich relative and inherit their money, and instead must be a servant to an equally spiteful rich robot then what's the point of advanced technology?  Bad robot.

#9: Battle Droids

Someone fire the engineer who designed these and hang the dolt who requisitioned hundreds of thousands of them.  The Trade Syndicate of Fu Man Chu, or whatever they were called, had some really impressive attack robots in their army. Take that roller droid with shields and heavy quad blasters.  Suh-weet. Fast, durable, devastating.  What was wrong with just making tens of thousands of those? But no.. instead they decide to manufacture inept raw recruits. What were they thinking?  I will say though that this will eventually lead to the success of the Rebellion in Luke's day. Why?  Perfectly obvious.  The droid army is pathetic: they die easily and in droves and they can't hit the broadside of a bantha at close range.  So when the Republic needs soldiers, they design the troopers with their enemy in mind: substandard is more than good enough.
Ever wonder why storm troopers can't hit anything with their blasters and their armor offers all the protection of wet toilet paper?  They were designed with Battle Droids as their enemy and only got worse over time.
So good news for the future Rebellion, they have very lame robots to thank for it.

#8: Box

Almighty guardian of the Frozen Food Isle in Logan's Run.  I'm pretty sure this is a large version of one of my Grandmother's fancy salt shakers. First of all, he inhabits a frozen cave: slick uneven surfaces, and has some kind of rollers to move around... probably not the best design.  But worst of all is the chrome Gerber Baby head. That's just unnecessarily creepy.  What locks it though is his frost-addled processors.  Anything living he sees as food and he's ready to freeze it up for the future.. for what?  Who's going to eat it if anything that could is also food?

#7: Johnny Cab

This is progress? Bring back the surly cabby that smells of cigarettes, it's better than this! With a human interface that is just efficient enough to be completely frustrating, it heaps it on with an annoying voice and a face that looks like Don Knotts picturing you in his sister's underwear.  Really, who designed this robot and wasn't fired on the spot by the Johnny Cab Co?  The fact that it also has a tendency to explode in a fireball only adds to the problems of this already horrible robot.

#6: Kronos

From the movie Kronos comes a massive towering robot that comes to Earth to impose Bauhaus Architecture.  No wait, I think that was the sequel.. This building-like robot comes to Earth to 'steal electric and atomic energy'.  So... some aliens are jacking us for our juice?  Do they come from the Planet Detroit?
The premise is ridiculous: if you have the energy to send this thing across light years why do you need to recharge it's batteries to send it home, where it would then likely be out of power again.  The sun has far more atomic energy than pesky humans have made, and the sun doesn't have tanks and planes to attack your building, I mean robot.  Oh it's just too dumb.  Next.

#5: Muffit the Daggit

OK, when I was a kid I really really wanted a daggit.  They're cool.  So has my heart hardened so much that I criticize it now?  No, that isn't it.  Why? Because I'm not Boxy. I'm not living in a metal room in a bigger metal room, fleeing for my life from homicidal robots intent on exterminating my species.  When you've narrowly escaped genocide by cylons, and know robots want to kill you, what's a better gift for such a young child than a robot dog? Maybe playing hide & seek in the airlock.  Anything, but giving the kid a robot dog! Either it is going to traumatize him for life, or if he makes it to adulthood without daily panic attacks he's likely to think robots just might be friendly long enough for a cylon to kill him.
Great present Dad, maybe you should have gone with socks.

#4: Torg

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.  And why wouldn't he?  If this robot is representative of the might of the Martian War Machine, even the Easter Bunny has good odds. Torg is the classic garage-made robot suit: cardboard box, paint drum, ventilation tubes and some spare junk.  The problem is, this is a Movie, not your kid's Halloween costume.  Then again.. look at those martians.  Yikes.  Torg's scene is cut short of any good battle action since the presence of Santa renders him into a Toy.  Probably over-effort on Santa's part, the snow would soon have turned that cardboard box to mulch.

#3: Stepford Wives/Goldfoot Bikini Fembots

Two sides of the same coin.
You know the old saying about the two ways a woman wants to be treated when inside and out of the bedroom?  Well that only counts for real women.  I dread when we get this level of technology, because it will happen: it's already happening, and probably in Japan first, knowing Japan.. but soon after: the world.
Why?  Because most men are idiots and think this is a good idea.
The extremes of these female archetypes is nauseating.  I wouldn't want a real woman like either of these but a robotic one is even worse.  The Stepford housewife would be a true nightmare.  I can do my own grocery shopping and cooking thanks anyway. And the other? If it isn't real it has no value.
If men think that fake women are the answers to their problems they'll find they only have more unhappiness because their problems will remain, but they'll think they shouldn't be, since they 'solved' it... didn't the 1950's teach anyone anything?
Vincent Price was still pretty damn cool though.

#2: Twiki

Robot who held the title of 'most annoying robot' for the most years in a row, only recently dethroned, Twiki is one seriously lame robot.  Humans in their vanity tend to prefer robots that reflect their own physical image, so what the hell is with making a robot hobbit in a paige-boy haircut?  His job seems to have been to carry around a super smart computer in a cookie tin, so why make Twiki at all?  Why not just make legs for that smart legless computer?  And that voice! I guess if you do make a robot hobbit with a paige-boy haircut, you may as well sample porky pig for his voice files.

I wonder if it is a crime to kill robots in the 25th century?

#1: Skids & Mudflap

No.  Just No.
Go back in time, hold the writers at gunpoint and rewrite these annoying robots out of what is already a lousy movie.  I don't like transformers.  I don't get it, I think they're pretty lame.  I didn't grow up on them, so maybe that's why.  But despite that I don't care for transformers, and there are many of them, you don't see any of the others on this list.  Yet this duo stormed in and stole top spot away from the robot that has annoyed me the most for most of my life. That's some impressive suckiness.

I'm not even going to touch the criticisms of them being 'racist' or not, because even if they're completely exonerated of that charge, they are still the worst robots on this list.  It's like complaining that Hitler was anti-Semitic.. you know what?  Even if he wasn't, he still killed about 12 million people, so it isn't like he'd be considered a nice guy if we found out he didn't have anything against the Jews personally.
Still a monster of a human being.

We don't need to debate if these robots are racist or not, they're just terrible robots regardless.
The fact they might also be worse is just garbage icing on a crapcake.

They are annoying. They are stupid.  The glorification of ignorance they represent is offensive.
Every time they talk I'd prefer it was replaced with a symphony of nails running down chalkboards and into the backs of cats in heat.

I don't know much about Decepticons, but if they want to kill these two, I'd throw in with them.


So what are your most despised robots? 

I've now covered 10 good and 10 bad, but if you're still in the mood for robot fun, here you go:

A picture of most of the robots that have appeared in film of one type or another.  
I've spotted a couple absences, but a lot more I don't know.  

While you hunt for robots, enjoy the film!

(sorry it has an ad, couldn't find a copy without an ad)


Warlord Paul said...

I couldn't help but burst out laughing when I found the clockwork owl (from both versions of Clash of the Titans)in the 'where's Wall-E' picture. He would be a worst robot candidate for many people!

Clint said...

I think your list is spot on! Ok so while I don't know who the number 1 worst robot is Skid mark and beef flaps or whatever they were called!I must have done OK just to avoid it.

For me the best list you have done so far.

Anne said...

You've got some real stinkaroos here. I'd forgotten about Twiki-absolutely horrid. Transformers became popular when my kids were little and I'm very proud to say that they despised them.

Steveisatree said...

Santa Clause Conquers the Martians somehow made it into my DVD collection. A good B-Grade classic perfect for Christmas day with the family... or not. It is sad what they did to Robbie.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

wait this was the bad list.... wink! i must be the only one, who liked twiki... thank you for the poster... that is really cool.

M R Lee said...

There is nothing wrong with Skids and Mudflap! :) They were the stars of the show, and you know they ( or something close to it ) will be in the latest installment also.. yay?

Nice list as always, but wondering where the miniatures are mate ;) Just saying :)

fireymonkeyboy said...

#1 is even worse when you like Transformers.


Melanie said...

GREAT list! Twiki always used to freak me out!

Mike Howell said...

beedeebeedeebeedee. I'm an abonimation to humanity, Buck.

Absolutely agree on everything I recognized, and I will vehemently avoid those I haven't.

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks all, glad people had fun :)

Warlord Paul: That owl gets on many people's hate list but I've always been neutral about it. Now if it talked like Twiki I'd have reserved a perch for him.

Clint: Yes. You are very very lucky. I envy you. Those two hurt my brain.

Anne: You'd forgotten Twiki? On the surface I'd say it is a good thing, but given it is Twiki I worry that is a sign of deeper trauma.. if you experience other Twiki-related lost time episodes you might have DID, where it's triggered a multiple personality, to cope with the level of Trauma.

Steve: Santa Claus C.'s Martians is a xmas time tradition for me too, but I watch the MST3K version. Hilarious :)

Jeremy: I had heard a legend that there was a person who liked Twiki. Like most legends, I doubted it's validity. I never expected to meet the one who liked Twiki. If I ever have children, I shall tell them of this day.

Glad you liked the poster, and I love the Nexus-6 shirt. To any reading this, click on Jeremy, visit his site if you've never been before and check out the cool shirts, I picked up a replicant BladeRunner themed shirt last week: very cool.

MRLee: Thanks for the warning: I'll avoid the next Transformers movie ;) Minis are coming. tomorrow I'll post the Furs in all their painted completion. Soon after will be Nazguls and various other things. And have more w.i.p / conversion updates backlogged to post.

FMB: I can imagine. It'd be like if R2D2 suddenly started rapping.

Melanie: thanks :) Yeah, he's creepy like a mime, until he starts talking, then it's worse.

Mike: Thanks! Buck should have blasted him, then blamed it on not knowing the modern culture.

Bill said...

"garbage icing on a crapcake" as always pure poetry. I always wanted Twikis appearance to be a dodge. I anyone ever threatened the ambassador (who was he the ambassador to anyway? Lite Brites?) he'd pop out some missile launchers, Lasers and Sauron Gas far worse then sarin gas.

Unfortunately he never got the chance to display his hidden awesomeness. You know he appears cute and harmless when actually he is total walking dearth. Just like hamsters.

Ray Rousell said...

Leave poor Twiki be, he gets my vote everytime, don't forget he used to work with Wilma Dearing!! Lucky swine!

Laughing Ferret said...

Bill: Well, I am nothing if not elegant and sophisticated in my phrasing. Hmm..maybe they should have had a 'mirror mirror' for Buck Rodgers, with Twiki being the iron-fist military dictator.

Ray: Now that you've put in my head a love scene between Twiki and Wilma, with lots of "BeedeeBeedee" I'll retire to shoot myself.

Francis Lee said...

Speak for yourself about the Stepford girls......I need the peace and quiet!

Robert Hingley said...

Robby the Robot was a Bad Robot, almost villain in the 1957 movie " The Invisible Boy". I still think he should have made your Good Robot list .


Don't agree about Kronos.Since it got blown up,we don't really how it was going to transfer the energy.Maybe it was going to take it back itself.Maybe it used some cheap means to transmit the energy.We don't know.It was killed.In any event,it was a neat idea-an unusual design in a time of giant insects,lizards and corny looking robots


Don't agree about Kronos.Since it got blown up,we don't really how it was going to transfer the energy.Maybe it was going to take it back itself.Maybe it used some cheap means to transmit the energy.We don't know.It was killed.In any event,it was a neat idea-an unusual design in a time of giant insects,lizards and corny looking robots

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