Robots in Film
A Complete Illustrated History
of Robots in the Movies


1991 to 1994



Robots in Film
(chronological by film title)
Introduction | Early-1939 | 1940-1955 | 1956-1963 | 1964-1967 | 1968-1973 | 1974-1978
1979-1983 | 1984-1986 | 1987-1990 | 1991-1994 | 1995-1997 | 1998-2002 | 2003-2007 | 2008-now


Robots in the Movies
Film/Year, Name of Robot and Film Description
Screenshot

And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird (1991)

Newman

Two inventive Carson brothers, Josh (Joshua Miller) and Max (Edan Gross), won the local science fair by inventing a voice-activated robot that could move and collect garbage from one place to another.

They then went on to create a robot named Newman, which demonstrated a capacity for emotion when its memory chips were invaded (through a Ouija board) by the reincarnated spirit of the boys' dead father Matthew (voice of Alan Thicke), a computer genius who was thought to have committed suicide two years earlier.

Newman looked like a small, red, motorized, wheeled bell.


Newman

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)

"Evil" Bill and Ted Robot Doppelgangers

This sequel after Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), a surreal science fiction comedy, was a parody of the time-travel inthe two The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) movies.

Future tyrant Chuck De Nomolos (Joss Ackland) from the 27th century created "Evil robots" that were android-cyborg doubles (robot doppelgangers) of two heavy-metal rockers:

  • Bill (William S. Peterson, Esq.) (Alex Winter)
  • Ted (Ted "Theodore" Logan) (Keanu Reeves)

The two Evil Robots were sent back to the year 1991 in San Dimas, CA. They were instructed to murder and replace the Wyld Stallyns band members, Bill and Ted, to prevent them from winning a Battle of the Bands contest.

The two robots were successful, when they killed the two by throwing them over the side of a cliff at Vasquez Rocks. Bill and Ted were sent into the afterlife of Hell where they had to defeat the Grim Reaper/Death (William Sadler), outwit Satan/Devil (voice of Frank Welker) ("the Dude Downstairs"), and challenge Death (with board games like Battleship, Twister, and Clue). After defeating Death, they were transported to heaven where they talked to God.

Their goal was to defeat their evil counterparts with "good" robots. With the help of an alien named Station and a pair of hairy, oval-shaped Martians, they constructed two good robots to defeat the evil ones.


Doppelgangers

Eve of Destruction (1991) (aka Terminator Woman)

Eve VIII

Scientist Dr. Eve Simmons (Dutch actress Renée Soutendijk in her first US film) created a state-of-the-art, super-strong, sexy android robot in her own image.

It was named Eve Vickers or Eve VIII (also Soutendijk), designed originally as an anti-terrorist and military surveillance mechanism by the government.

But the robot went on a killing rampage when damaged during a failed bank robbery test. Eve VIII actually had a thermonuclear warhead inside of her, and threatened to destroy many blocks in the city of Manhattan within only twenty-four hours if not disarmed, by a group led by Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines), and accompanied by Dr. Eve Simmons.

With various neuroses derived from her creator, she would often say: "I'm very sensitive" or become super-violent when called a "bitch."




Eve VIII

The Guyver (1991) (aka Mutronics: The Movie)

The Guyver (Sean Baker)

The film's story was derived from a Japanese manga series, taking the tagline: "Part human. Part alien. Pure superpower." The film was followed by the sequel Guyver: Dark Hero (1994).

Its title referred to an alien artifact or device (a top-secret weapon from the Chronos Corporation) that was absorbed into the skin of college student Sean Baker/The Guyver (Jack Armstrong).

This occurred when he put the control medallion of the guyver on his head, causing him to 'grow' a costume or suit of malleable, bio-mechanical metal armor that had incredible strength. The transformation gave him superhuman fighting skills and made him invulnerable to damage.

When unactivated, the metal retracted to a place behind his neck.

 




The Guyver

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Terminator Model T-800
Terminator Series T-1000

In this second film in the series set 11 years after the first film, it opened with the 1997 nuclear holocaust event. Then the time frame shifted to the year 2029, in Los Angeles, where a silvery, skeletal, humanoid machine held a massive battle rifle - it scanned the black horizon of the war-torn terrain, revealing its red, glowing eyes. A battle was in progress between human guerrilla troops fighting against the stalking robots (terminators), tanks, flying HK's and death-hungry machines.

When the film returned to the pre-holocaust year 1995, two cyborg terminators were sent from future Earth back in time:

  • a T-800 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), now re-programmed as a protective, monotone-speaking, motor-cycle riding Cyberdyne Systems cyborg
  • a T-1000 android (Robert Patrick), a seemingly-indestructible, killing, shape-shifting Terminator composed of morphing liquid metal, with no emotional intelligence, usually exemplified as a policeman

The sleek, more modern android was composed of poly-mimetic metal, meaning it could take on the shape, color, and texture of anything it touched (such as a porcelain-tiled floor), and could also mimic human behavior, such as imitating the voices of its victims. It could transform its hands into jaw-like blades to impale victims, and completely absorb shotgun blasts to its midsection or head - thereby self-healing after being damaged.

It was sent back in time by Skynet (a 21st century computer warring against the human race and causing a nuclear holocaust) to destroy the young, 10 year-old future leader of the human resistance, John Connor (Edward Furlong).

At the end of this film, both Terminators were destroyed in a vat of molten steel, although the T-800's demise was a self-sacrificial death.

Terminator T-1000
 

Year 2029:
Robotic skeletal machines



Terminator T-800

Alien 3 (1992)

Bishop, and Bishop II

After his demise by being ripped in two by the Alien Queen at the end of Aliens (1986), an irretrievably-damaged synthetic humanoid Bishop 341-B (Lance Henriksen) briefly appeared in this second sequel, after its E.E.V. escape pod was ejected from the USS Sulaco and crash-landed on the bleak and windy planet of Fiorina or "Fury" 161 (a Weyland-Yutani outer-veil mineral ore refinery - and a maximum security correctional facility).

Sole-surviving Lt. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) confirmed from the reactivated droid, who accessed data on the flight recorder, that a stowaway Alien had been with them on the Sulaco and on the E.E.V. ("It was with us all the way").

The humanoid then requested that Ripley disconnect him, claiming:

"I could be reworked, but I'll never be top of the line again. I'd rather be nothing...Do it for me, Ripley."

However, a second Bishop, named Bishop II (also Henriksen) appeared in the film's final scene, looking exactly like the earlier android Bishop. He claimed to be human and the android's designer from the Weyland-Yutani Company: "I'm not the Bishop android. I designed it. I'm very human."

Bishop II attempted to coax Ripley to allow the extraction of the queen embryo egg-layer gestating inside of her by having her undergo surgery to extract it and then destroy it - but she didn't believe him. He confirmed her suspicions about the company's intentions when he then said: "We can learn from it. It's the chance of a lifetime. You must let me have it. It's a magnificent specimen." Bishop II's status as a human or as an android robot remained unclear in the film's theatrical release.


Bishop 341-B

Bishop II

Toys (1992)

Alsatia Zevo

Director Barry Levinson's ambitious, off-beat adult fairy tale (and box-office flop) had its setting in a toy factory. It starred comic Robin Williams as whimsical, fun-loving, and inventive son Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams) of the ailing toy factory's eccentric founder Kenneth Zevo (Donald O'Connor), pitted against his fanatical career soldier uncle General Leland Zevo (Michael Gambon) who only wanted to produce war toys and military games.

By the film's end when a large-scale toy battle was conducted between the original wind-up tin toys and Leland's militaristic weapons, it was revealed that Alsatia Zevo (Joan Cusack), Leslie's kooky 'toy' sister, was a robot constructed by Kenneth to provide Leslie with a sister after the death of his mother.


Alsatia Zevo

Universal Soldier (1992)

UniSols (Universal Soldiers): Deveraux as GR44, and Scott as GR13

The two muscle-bound stars of this early Roland Emmerich action/sci-fi film were featured as semi-android "universal soldiers" (UniSols) or elite bionic anti-terrorists:

  • Dolph Lundgren (as Sgt. Andrew Scott) - GR13
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme (as Pvt. Luc Deveraux) - GR44

Both were re-animated by the military (in a top-secret project) 25 years after killing each other during combat in Vietnam, to serve in a high-tech SWAT army of previously-dead soldiers.

Their memories of the combat robots were supposedly wiped clean, but they suffered flashbacks. They were also mostly pain-free, emotionless, and extraordinarily strong.

The film was followed by TV sequels and the theatrical sequel Universal Soldier: The Return (1999).


UniSols

Cyborg Cop (1993)

Cyborg Assassin, also Quincy

This cyborg-film was part RoboCop (1987-1993), part Terminator (1984), and Demolition Man (1993).

Kickboxing cop and DEA agent Phillip Ryan (Todd Jensen), while on the remote Caribbean island of St. Keith, was taken captive during a failed drug raid against international drug cartel and drug lord Dr. Joachim Kessel (John Rhys-Davies), who was manufacturing killer cyborgs (an invincible army of robots) and selling them on the black market. One prototype cyborg already created was named Quincy (Rufus Swart).

Left for dead, Ryan was turned (through a surgical operation) into an invincible, emotionless cyborg warrior/assassin and killing machine ("half-man, half-machine"). He was outfitted with a mechanical steel arm that had sharp knife-fingers. He was mind-controlled by the mad drug lord, Dr. Kessel.

Renegade agent Jack Ryan (David Bradley), his brother, was the only one able to save him.

There were two sequels: Cyborg Cop II (1994), and Cyborg Cop III (1995).




RoboCop 3 (1993)

Otomo, Ninja assassin-androids

This PG-rated cyberpunk action-crime drama/thriller from director Fred Dekker (and scripter Frank Miller, a comic-book author) was the second sequel of the franchise series, following the more violent RoboCop (1987) and RoboCop 2 (1990), and was followed by an even less successful TV series in 1994, and a complete remake in 2014. It was set in the near future in a dystopian metropolitan Detroit, Michigan.

In the futuristic story, The OCP (Omni Consumer Products) Corporation had redevelopment plans to construct a new Delta City, to replace the old, low-income Cadillac Heights ghetto area. They secretly created a team of armed mercenaries, known as the Urban Rehabilitation Officers (the "Rehabs"), under the command of Commander Paul McDaggett (John Castle), to clear out, evict and relocate the current poor residents. OCP's excuse was that they were helping to decrease crime in the area, and assisting the Detroit Police Department.

The Rehabs began to take over the city and its police force, with strong financial backing from its CEO, Kanemitsu (Mako), of the Japanese Kanemitsu Corporation. A ninja humanoid-android (known as "Otomo") (Bruce Locke) was constructed, an assassin with a steel-cutting sword (katana), to reinforce the efforts of McDaggett and OCP's new president (Rip Torn) to overcome armed, revolutionary (underground) resistance from anti-OCP militia forces. McDaggett kept two more Otomo droids in his OCP Tower just in case.

[Note: Otomo referred to a series of androids manufactured by the Kanemitsu Corporation. They were the Japanese version of The Terminator. They had super-strength, speed and reflexes, and could do flips and triple somersaults. They were designed with a safety feature, which if they were defeated, would detonate a miniature nuclear device.]

The rebel forces were led by Japanese-American computer whiz Nikko Halloran (Remy Ryan) and other residents of Cadillac Heights. In the middle of the conflict, mechanical humanoid RoboCop/Alex J. Murphy (Robert John Burke) attempted to protect civilians in Cadillac Heights from being murdered by the Rehabs, but was also taking orders from the OCP. When RoboCop's partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) was mortally wounded by McDaggett, he vowed to avenge her death by fighting against the Rehabs and OCP (and its recruited Splatterpunks), and their Otomo droid assassin-robots.

In his first confrontation with Otomo, a spectacular ninja fight scene, RoboCop was punched and kicked. He warned Otomo:

RoboCop: "Detroit police. Identify yourself. You are under arrest for assaulting an officer." (RoboCop reached for his arm-mounted Auto-9 machine gun, but Otomo knocked it away and cut off RoboCop's four fingers.) "And destruction of police property."

After his left hand was entirely severed to the elbow, RoboCop fired a missile from his arm-mounted gun which decapitated Otomo in a fiery, sparking explosion.

After RoboCop was reprogrammed and retrofitted by renegade scientist Dr. Marie Lazarus (Jill Hennessy), and equipped with a jet-pack, he began to combat OCP and their Otomo cyborg-ninjas. In the concluding conflict in the OCP building, RoboCop fought against McDaggett and two more Otomo robots. Nikko and Dr. Lazarus reprogrammed the two androids, forcing them to destroy each other (and detonate their self-destruct mechanisms). As a result, McDaggett perished in the blast, while RoboCop, Dr. Lazarus, and Nikko escaped.







Destruction of Otomo (Bruce Locke) by RoboCop

Robot Wars (1993)

Mega-Robot 1 and 2 (Mega-1 and MRSA-2)

Set in the bleak post-apocalyptic year of 2041, a scorpion-like, large-scale Mega-Robot 2 patrolled the nation's borders against ill-defined evil rivals called the Centros.

The giant robots were piloted, like in Robot Jox (1990), by human jockies, and were capable of carrying tourists/passengers around the perimeter.

In the climax of this tale, a renegade 'Megarobot' 2 pilot named Drake (Don Michael Paul) defeated the giant MR2 robot that was taken over by one of the leaders of the Eastern Alliance, evil revolutionary Wa-Lee (Danny Kamekona). Drake used an earlier, resurrected "good-guy" MR1 model to save the planet.



The Wrong Trousers (1993, UK)

Techno-Trousers

British animator/director Nick Park's stop-motion clay animated short comedy starring Wallace & Gromit (the second of four short films from 1990 to 2008) won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. It was a Hitchcock-inspired mystery-thriller.

It featured eccentric and slightly daft Wallace's latest invention -- a pair of ex-NASA automated, robotic or mechanical trousers ("techno-trousers") outfitted with suction feet. They were given as a birthday gift to Gromit, Wallace's silent anthropomorphic dog. They would alleviate Wallace's tiresome duties of taking Gromit for a walk - as an automated dog-walker ("fantastic for walkies"). The trousers were mechanical legs that could be programmed to walk a dog on an attached leash ("Have a nice walk, Gromit!"). On his first walk, Gromit cleverly attached his leash to a stuffed dog on a rolling cart.

Wallace rented a bedroom out to an evil silent penguin named Feathers McGraw, who modified the trousers with a detached remote control mechanism. They were now designed to be used or controlled by Feathers, a notorious criminal wanted for theft, in a City Museum robbery of a large blue diamond, while Wallace was unwittingly wearing them.

Wallace exclaimed when first forced into wearing the trousers: "It's the wrong trousers." The remote control buttons had been moved from the front of the trousers to a device in the hands of Feathers.



Techno-Trousers

Feathers Modifying the Trousers


"It's the wrong trousers"

APEX (1994)

A.P.E.X. ("Advanced Prototype EXploration Units"), and APEX Sterilization Units

Writer/director Phillip Roth's action sci-fi film was a post-apocalyptic time travel film (with a time paradox storyline) - another clone of the Terminator films.

Time exploration was being conducted by robotic Advanced Prototype EXploration (A.P.E.X.) units, sent from a research facility, the Datatron Research Center in Los Angeles, to the past. To eliminate the possibility of creating a time paradox, only machines were allowed to time-travel. One of the problems with exploring time was that a time-traveling unit could become infected with a virus, if it came into contact with humans.

Scientist Dr. Nicholas Sinclair (Richard Keats), in the year 2073, was supervising a routine mission to the eastern part of the Mohave Desert, 100 years in the past, by an APEX unit that was programmed to enter the time portal. Sinclair narrated: "April 3rd, 2073. We were about to launch a probe one hundred years into the past. Whatever happened that day, nothing in my life would ever be the same."

A civilian family (Robert Tossberg and Kathy Lambert) on vacation (towing a trailer-camper), and their son Joey (Kareem H. Captan) in particular, came into contact with the APEX unit, thereby breaching the time line. Automatic self-destruct counter-measures were activated by Sinclair's lab, to eliminate the APEX unit, but they failed. A second line of defense was the deployment or triggering of an APEX sterilization unit. It was a hunter/killer robot (with optical sensors) armed with shoulder-mounted mini-rocket launchers and hand-mounted pulse cannons to prevent virus infection, sent from Sinclair's laboratory to eliminate the human threat.

Dr. Sinclair disobeyed strict protocol to save the family from the threatening APEX sterilization unit, by entering the portal himself and traveling back to 1973. He found that the APEX unit had successfully self-destructed, but injured the boy in close proximity. It was feared that the newly-sent APEX sterilization unit would eliminate both the family - and Dr. Sinclair. The lab was sealed and powered down, and Dr. Sinclair's status was declared as "unknown." Back in 1973, Sinclair and the family were targeted by the relentless APEX sterilization unit, but Sinclair helped them to escape, although their trailer was blown up.

Sinclair entered back through the time portal to his present year of 2073, in an alternate timeline. As a result of the time paradox, he found a post-apocalyptic Earth of 2073 ravaged by decades of genocidal war, a killer virus, and attacks by the relentless killer robots (sterilization units) over 100 years. The resulting time paradox had created an endless loop where sterilization units were continuously sent into the past one after the other. Remnants of humans included scattered Marines and various scavengers, all threatened by the randomly-appearing APEX machines. Sinclair was recognized as one of the soldiers.

In order to resolve the issue, Sinclair had to find his derelict research lab in order to unravel what happened one hundred years in the past, to unlock the paradox he created, and prevent the original probe (that caused the problem) from being sent.





APEX Probe


A.P.E.X. Sterilization Units

Blankman (1994)

J-5

Damon Wayans starred in director Mike Binder's superhero comedy Blankman (1994), (a parody of Batman) with its title character boasting in the tagline: "Coming to Save Your Butt!"

Nerdy appliance repair-man Darryl Walker (Wayans) created a new persona with weapons and gadgets, calling himself Blankman (his original idea was Brotherman). He also constructed a robotic assistant named J-5, with a short life span when its bomb disposal mode was activated and it was blown up.

J-5 was made out of an antique Westinghouse washing machine (with roller) on two wheels, decked out with a cap, and lights for its eyes and blue hair.


Blankman

J-5

Star Trek (The Next Generation or TNG) films (1994-2002):

The films in the second Star Trek series were:

Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

Data

Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) was one of a number of androids (the others were Lore - Data's younger brother, and Data's childlike older brother B-4) created by human cyberneticist Dr. Noonien Soong (also Spiner).

The sentient artificial life-form was a heroic character in all four of the Star Trek TNG films from 1994 to 2002.

Data was a science officer onboard the starships USS Enterprise-NCC-1701-D and E who was created in the year 2335. He was a yellow-eyed, golden (or albino) skin-toned, hyper-intelligent, super-strong android with a "positronic" brain, a prodigious memory and super-human vision, who wished to emulate and experience human emotions (eventually fulfilled with an 'emotion chip' that was implanted into him in Star Trek: Generations (1994)).

In the fourth Star Trek film in which he appeared, he died in the year 2379, sacrificing his own life for the 800 crew members onboard the starship USS Enterprise.



Lt. Commander Data

Robots in Film
(chronological by film title)
Introduction | Early-1939 | 1940-1955 | 1956-1963 | 1964-1967 | 1968-1973 | 1974-1978
1979-1983 | 1984-1986 | 1987-1990 | 1991-1994 | 1995-1997 | 1998-2002 | 2003-2007 | 2008-now

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