Gort – The Day The Earth Stood Still
As we’ve mentioned before, some robots on this list are nice and some are not. Gort is not nice. He can destroy entire planets and uses his Cyclops-like laser beam to vaporize anything standing in his way. In the original 1951 film, he is depicted as an interstellar police office, designed to keep peace in the universe. Of all his mystifying features, the one that has us perplexed the most is his demeanor. Gort stands motionless for much of the movie, giving the “million mile stare” a new meaning.
The 2008 version of Gort is even more dangerous. He is comprised of millions of nano bugs that disperse and vaporize anything in sight. Even worse, he can transform into an enormous cloud of destruction. Of course he still has the trademark laser beam and uses it relentlessly against humans. If there is one robot on this list you do not want to meet, it is Gort. But that doesn’t make him any less awesome.
Gunslinger – Westworld
“Have we got a vacation for you!”, reads the slogan on an advertisement for Delos – an amusement park set in the future where guests can pay $1,000 a day to experience the pleasures of a female sex android in RomanWorld, have a sword fight with a black knight android in MedievalWorld or have a thrilling old west shootout with a lead slinging android in WesternWorld. Everything is fine and dandy until a glitch causes the androids to go haywire, ignore their programming, and begin to kill the guests.
Gunslinger, played by Yul Brynner (The Magnificent Seven, The King and I), malfunctions and kills one of the guests then unmercifully hunts down another across the entire park. He is relentless – never stopping to eat or sleep and seems to be unstoppable in his quest to complete the fake showdown with the unfortunate guest. Even after having acid thrown in his face and being set on fire, Gunslinger marches on determined to win the shootout. He isn’t very helpful around the house and is only programmed for one thing – KILLING – he was “the terminator” long before Ahnuld ever stepped into the role.
Iron Giant – Iron Giant
The political message of Iron Giant is clear even through some dialogue. While the movie hit screens in 1999, it takes place during the height of the Cold War and explores some significant issues including the danger of weapons and the worldwide fear of war. The story unfolds like a rough combination of Superman meets Transformers – an alien robot crash lands on Earth and a boy who uncovers the secret machine holds a secret friendship with it. As if 50 feet of metal isn’t enough, it is even voiced by the great Vin Diesel.
It’s rare that you find such a massive movie character with such a big heart. King Kong is the next largest thing that befriends a human that I can think of. Usually, massive robots or aliens are reserved for villains and rarely carry such a personal relationship with a human being, but Iron Giant also has a giant heart.
Johnny 5 – Short Circuit
One of our favorite robots is also one of the most memorable of its kind. As is the case with many onscreen robots, this one was designed for use during the Cold War, but turned out to be a little more human than expected. When a lightning storm throws Number 5’s circuits into a frenzy and he loses his way from the military’s supervision, the movie unfolds as a curious comedy about a one-of-a-kind robot.
While he was designed for military intelligence, Johnny 5’s functionality is relatively limited. His tank-like track legs present a concern with some physical obstacles, but overall he finds a way to get his tasks done – let’s just call him a problem solver. The coolest feature of Johnny 5 is his reading ability. I’ve always dreamed of flying through a thick textbook and learning everything in a matter of seconds. When Johnny 5 needs to learn something, that’s all he does, and it’s entertaining to watch. But overall, we love Johnny because he is a fun robot to be around and his goofy sense of humor is a much-needed relief from many of the intense robots in movies.