Monday 15 June 2015

Monster Mondays #7 - Evil Machines

Welcome to this week's Monster Monday, I hope it finds you all well. Since I saw Ex Machina recently (and there're 2 hours I'm never getting back) I decided to talk about evil machines for today's entry.
Monster Mondays posts may be fiction, film reviews, book reviews or me waxing lyrical about a particular monster. Monsters can be paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy or even simply human. So basically, anything monster goes. I also invite anyone who would like to, to join in with their own post. (See end for details).
Evil Machines

I suppose I really have to start with one of the most famous - The Terminator. I remember seeing the original film on TV many, many years ago and I loved it. It helped that I had a huge crush on Michael Biehn :), but I do really love the first film. Then ending that so many films have lambasted or emulated is a classic and it stuck with me from the moment I saw it.

Arnie is perfect for the role of strong, mostly silent, evil machine. He's faintly terrifying throughout the whole thing and it's a great movie. I can't say I have the same opinion of any of the rest of the series, but the first one is definitely my kind of movie.

The Terminator is the epitome of evil android, the machine that looks like a man, talks like a man, walks like a man and thinks nothing of man at all. He's brilliant.

Of course there are other types of machine. The next one that pops into my mind is HAL 9000 from 2001. He is not a monster in the way The Terminator is, he's a monster because he goes completely mad and wants to kill those he is suppose to keep safe. He is the danger within, a machine who has the complete trust of those he cares for and who he betrays when they seem to betray him.

HAL's madness isn't even his own fault. He goes mad because he is given conflicting directives to report all things to his crew honestly and to the best of his ability, but to conceal the true nature of their mission from them. There is just something so eerie about the calm, even voice HAL uses and the actions he takes to kill his crew while using it. Absolutely brilliant piece of cinematography.

Then, last, but not least out of the many I have to choose from, is Maximilian from The Black Hole. Now here we have a very, very nasty robot. He's a real bully, attacking the other robots on
the USS Cygnus just because he can.

He was made as the master robot by Dr Hans Reinhardt and controls the whole ship, including the black robed, faceless "androids" that run all the ship's functions. Maximilian is ruthless and seems to really enjoy scaring people and killing them when he can. His hands become spinning can-opener type devices and he relishes using them. It's the fact that he seems to enjoy being bad that makes him so memorable.

I remember Maximilian scared me silly when I saw the film as a child.

So which are your favourite evil machines? Have you seen those I've talked about? What did you think?

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  1. I watched 2001 many years ago and really didn't get it. I'd love to watch it again though. My mind has gone blank on evil machines, apart from Lor from Star Trek: TNG (I'm a little bit obsessed at the moment).

    1. I have to admit I think the first 2/3rds of the movie is the most deadly thing I've ever tried to watch, but I love HAL :).

      That's a good thing to be obsessed with :) I was head of the Star Trek soc at uni - we used to get episode of TNG and DS9 shipped in from the US via VHS and show it in the biggest lecture theatre on campus on this normal sized TV. We always had loads of people though and we had to lug the bloody TV around on a trolley and it was a CRT one - none of this flatscreen ease ;)

  2. Bad guy machines are the scariest because they can be so calm and emotionless. There's no humanity to appeal to.

    1. Yep, they just decide and act and you can't emotionally blackmail them either.

  3. Grew up being scared of cybermen. Set me up for anything, including cuddly Arnie. (But then I am a robot.)


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