The idea of machines rising up against mankind is an age-old one, but can still be as fascinating as ever. The trailer for Gabe Ibañez's "Automata" doesn't provide much new in the way of story, but its sleek, washed-out look and slight twists make it seem like an interesting entry into this genre.
Antonio Banderas plays an investigator with a robotics company in the year 2044. Their robots are programmed with two principles: they cannot harm any form of life and they cannot alter themselves or another. Yet, as Banderas soon discovers, these robots are more human than anyone ever dreamed.
"Automata" also stars Melanie Griffith and Dylan McDermott, and opens October 10.
Gallery | The 10 Sexiest Androids, Robots, and Computers in Movie History
- Pris & Rachael, 'Blade Runner' (1982)
In "Blade Runner," Harrison Ford is a grubby private eye tasked with "retiring" a platoon of wayward replicants -- robots who are indistinguishable from actual human beings. Of course, the center of the movie is the existential question of "What does it mean to be human?" with the debate raging to this day about whether or not Ford himself was a robot. But the important thing is that there are two foxy bots in this movie that are equally seductive and terrifying: Sean Young (in her heyday) as Rachael and Darryl Hannah (ditto) as Pris. Both have an elegant sexiness that makes Ford's decision of whether or not to put them down even more heartbreaking.
- Maria, 'Metropolis' (1927)
The original artificial babe, Maria from Fritz Lang's immortal 1927 science fiction classic is a sleek robot in an art deco kind of way. She's also kind of hot. Created in a Frankenstein-ian way by a mad scientist, she certainly made a grand impression. One of the first depictions of artificial life on screen, it was also one of the most iconic. When George Lucas was coming up with the look for his own robot, the stuffy C-3PO, he knew where to turn: Maria. While the characters look very similar, C-3PO lacked Maria's sadness and yearning, something completely missing from Lucas's carefree droids.
- Eve, 'Eve of Destruction' (1991)
This little-seen science-fiction thriller (recently released on Blu-ray from our friends at Shout Factory) features Eve, a killer cyborg who begins accessing the memories from her creator (both characters are played by Paul Verhoeven favorite Renne Soutendijk). She's not an outwardly sexy character per se, but the movie grapples with more existential questions than most critics gave it credit for, and we love any movie in which Gregory Hines is cast as an action movie bad-ass. It would be years before we would see the beautiful and almost painfully European-looking Soutendijk in Verhoeven's "The Fourth Man," which would fuel a whole bunch of altogether different lusty fantasies.
- Digital Women, 'Looker' (1981)
Honestly, I'm not even sure what the women are in this movie, a whacked out 1981 concoction directed by "Jurassic Park" novelist and "ER" creator Michael Crichton. Ostensibly, it's a techno thriller about a detective (Albert Finney, seemingly owing someone a favor) who is investigating the murders of seemingly "perfect" women. They're being scanned and implemented in a computer program for advertising purposes or something... Listen, there's some kind of digital woman in this and there was a whole bunch of nudity for a PG-rating movie.
- T-X, 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines' (2003)
For the third entry in the successful "Terminator" franchise (and the first without certifiable genius James Cameron at the helm), the filmmakers decided to make the antagonist a female terminator, who is sent back in time to kill a young man version of John Connor. This female terminator, dubbed The Terminatrix and played by the beautiful (if somewhat wooden) Kristanna Loken, has to be both alluring and scary, and both are accomplished pretty well. While she never gets to be quite as chilling as Robert Patrick was in the second film... Or whoever was in the fourth film... Was there even a bad terminator in that one? ... That has more to do with the movie's weak script. She's still a sexy cyborg who could kill you right quick.
- The Fembots, 'Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery' (1997)
It's really shocking how funny and sexy the Fembots still are in the original "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" (a modern comedy classic if there ever was one). In their big scene, the Fembots, developed by the nefarious Dr. Evil, try to seduce Austin Powers (Mike Myers), using some kind of weird gas and machine-gun fire. The only way to defeat them? By being even more seductive than they are! The ensuing "cross-mojination" (as described by the super-spy) is one of the most transcendently funny moments in the entire movie. Yeah, baby. Yeah!
- Ship's Computer, 'WALL-E' (2008)
With all this talk about the voice work Scarlett Johansson does for "Her," we would be remiss if we didn't mention one of our other favorite operating system voices from the past few years -- Sigourney Weaver in "WALL-E." She plays the Axiom's computer, as a cheeky nod to both her role in "Alien" and a similar voice-acting gig on "Futurama" (where she played the voice of the Planet Express). It's weirdly seductive, like when you get turned on by being bossed around by a sexy authority figure.
- The Robot Wives, 'Stepford Wives' (1975)
First off: we're talking about the original 1975 film and NOT the 2004 remake, because in the remake the women weren't really robots, they were implanted with a chip or... something. Thankfully, we can always lean on the original film (based on the novel by "Rosemary's Baby" author Ira Levin) for some dreamy artificial intelligence, in the form of some pristine Connecticut housewives who have been swapped for robotic doppelgangers. As someone who lives in Connecticut, I can tell you: this isn't science fiction, it's science fact. What makes these fembots so seductive is how awful you feel for being attracted to them -- do you really want your wife or lover to be stripped of free will and programmed to do whatever you say? Maybe you shouldn't answer that.
- Lisa, 'Weird Science' (1985)
Again, not entirely sure what Kelly LeBrock is in this movie, but she's concocted by a pair of high school dweebs using electricity and math algorithms and a Barbie doll (and, presumably, some kind of dark, dark magic). But she is some kind of seductive artificial intelligence, even when she is wearing her hair in a questionable '80s frizz job. LeBrock tries to teach her nerd creators (Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith) how to be cool and bag chicks, even though these two literally created the perfect woman (again: thanks to dark, dark magic) and don't even bother trying to get with her? It's one of the more baffling plot holes in a John Hughes movie, which otherwise are, of course, ironclad.
- Cherry, 'Cherry 2000' (1987)
"In the future, the world has survived… Romance, has not," as the ominous narration in the trailer for "Cherry 2000" proclaims. In this incredibly bizarre 1987 oddity, which plays like equal parts "Mad Max" and "Rocky Horror Picture Show," a goofy business executive (David Andrews), falls in love with his sexbot Cherry 2000 (Pamela Gidley). When Cherry short circuits, he hires a foxy recruiter (Melanie Griffith) to traverse the post-apocalyptic wasteland to find a replacement droid, facing danger at every turn. While the movie is somewhat aloof and tonally inconsistent (not to mention horribly, horribly cheap-looking), there is something to be said for the double pleasure of both Gidley (rocking bangs better than any Brooklyn hipster) and Griffith, at the beak of her unstoppable string of sexy '80s roles (alongside "Body Double" and "Something Wild").