The Top Seven Killer Robots
Ever since the industrial revolution, mankind has had a certain fascination with the notion of robots, or more specifically, robots which could “think” and interact with humans. But if there’s anything science has taught us, it’s that the pursuit of autonomous robotic technology will always end badly. Attempts to employ proper checks and balances are universally moot, and the technology inevitably becomes self-aware, either through malicious programming or through some brand of deus ex machina. And if the robots also happen to be from outer space, it’s anyone’s guess what they might do. Either way, it’s only a matter of time before unholy carnage ensues.
7. The Killbots from Chopping Mall
The Park Plaza Mall takes the security of its stores, and patrons, very seriously. So seriously in fact, that they've installed a cutting edge security system, which of course includes three roving security robots.
This, of course, happens to coincide with the party plans of a group of teenage mall employees, who're throwing their own private party in the mall after hours. In a sick twist of fate, lightning strikes the security mainframe computer, causing the security bots to go on a kill-crazy rampage through the mall (where they stored the head-exploding laser beams is anyone's guess).
The electrical disturbance also lent the Killbots a dash of personality as well, and they never forget to declare "Thank you, have a nice day!" after they've smeared human flesh across the Macy's jewelry display cases. You’d think that out running robots whose tank-tread style locomotion relegates them to flat surfaces would be an easy task, but as it turns out, you’d be wrong. And dead!
6. Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey
In Stanley Kubrick’s cerebral science fiction masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick manages to cover a lot of ground, from the dawn of mankind to the...dawn of babies floating in space.
Somewhere in between, self-aware and spiteful supercomputers get into the mix. The particular evil computer in question goes by the name of HAL 9000, and HAL’s job is to maintain the system operations of the spaceship, Discovery One. HAL has the confidence of all parties involved, as this system has a 100% error-free track record.
But when HAL’s record is besmirched when it incorrectly detects a fault in the ship’s communications antenna which keeps them in contact with the Earth, things get hairy pretty fast.
Suspecting that bad things are afoot, Frank, one of the ship’s astronauts, declares that if HAL’s prediction that the antenna would fail within 72 hours proves false, HAL would be taken offline. But the prospect of being taken offline does not sit well with HAL, and he proceeds to kill the entire crew of the ship. Dave, one of the other astronauts, proves to be a resourceful chap, and manages to thwart HAL by physically removing HAL’s memory modules one at a time, and HAL audibly experiences what could only be described as the world’s first live robot lobotomy.
5. Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still
Source: 20th Century Fox
Standing at over eight feet tall and hailing from the farthest reaches of outer space, Gort, the intergalactic “peace officer” robot from the 1951 classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, cuts quite a figure. And like any good peace officer, Gort’s job is to preserve peace -- by any means necessary! So naturally, Gort is fitted with a laser weapon which is deployed from his visor, which he uses to vaporize any and all obstacles, be it debris, weapons, or ugly people.
Gort, being of the stoic sort, spends much of the movie motionless, and does not speak. But as Gort might say, if he did in fact talk, actions often speak louder than words. And when those actions involve death rays, people tend to listen.
So when Gort’s alien master Klaatu is killed by some soldiers with itchy trigger fingers, Gort decides to let the laser beams speak for themselves, as the humans have proved yet again that they simply cannot have nice things.
4. The Gunslinger from Westworld
In the not-so-distant future, adults will find amusement and entertainment in elaborate, zone-based theme parks. Unfortunately, not a lot of foresight will be put into the design of these theme parks, as they will be stocked with humanoid robots that are armed to the teeth with various instruments of death. What could possibly go wrong?
Although the robots are programmed to boost the high-buck guests’ egos, their own sense of pride eventually gets in the way. Instead of capitulating to human-on-robot sex acts, losing swordfights, or getting dropped in a gun duel, the robots decide to turn the tables and start taking a few names for themselves.
And once the gunslinger android from the western-themed portion of the park goes on the fritz, it embarks on a killing frenzy throughout the park, apparently taking glee in gunning down everyone it comes across. And like any good killing machine, this one comes back from the dead at least three or four times before finally shutting down for good.