Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Dark Violent Truth About Hollywood's Obsession with the Female Robot

This is a transcript of a video that I posted to my YouTube channel in February.

Good day, my friends.  We are here today to talk about a special category of movie robots.  You can called them gynoids, robotesses, fembots or, if you prefer the whole acronym thing, RWB's, which is short for Robots with Breasts.  Only a sci-fi writer would think that a robot needs breasts.  But they do have them.  The comely bosom of the lady robot has evolved from steel-plated to the more modern polymer-based breast, which I understand to be electrically conducting and pressure-sensitive.


The lady robot has gotten to be lovelier and lovelier over the years, but they have also gotten to be terribly violent.  How did we get to this place?  Let us travel through the great Hollywood maze to find the answer.

A robot built in the likeness of a woman was at the center of a 1901 short story by Ernest Edward Kellett called "The Lady Automaton."  The narrator of the story, Dr. Phillips, is stunned to visit his inventor friend, Arthur Moore, and meet a very lovely robot that the man has created.  He writes, "I saw it all now.  That beautiful, lady-like girl that had ushered me into the room, whom I had taken for his wife, was an automaton!  That doll-like expression was due to the fact that she was a doll.  I was utterly astounded.  Moore sat by, enjoying my bewilderment. . ."

As far as he can tell, the robot is a perfect recreation of a woman.  He tells Moore, "I am still almost incredulous.  Indeed, until I have dissected her, and found pulleys instead of a liver, and eccentrics instead of a spleen, I shall hardly believe she isn't a woman in reality."

Moore has decided to introduce Amelia to his high society associates as his niece.  He says, "I am determined that she shall be the beauty of the season.  She shall eclipse them all!  I tell you.  What are they but dolls? and she is more than a doll; she is ME.  I have breathed into her myself, and she all but lives; she understands and knows!"

In Shakespeare's "A Merchant of Venice," Shylock makes the point that a Jew is no more or no less a man.  He says, "If you prick us, do we not bleed?"  Inspired by this line, Moore has given Amelia veins through which his own blood flows.  When a pin on her brooch pricks her throat, her throat produces a trickle of real blood. 

Amelia is in fact so enchanting that she attracts multiple suitors.  Philips observes, "Among the many deserters from the shrines of other goddesses who thronged to pay their court to this new and strange divinity, two seemed to hold the divided first place in her favour.  One was my young friend Harry Burton; the other was handsome, impulsive, universally-liked Dick Calder. These two had been firm friends before, in spite of the fact that they had often flirted with the same girl.  But it was impossible for two young fellows to love Amelia and continue to love each other."

Amelia agrees to marry Burton, but Calder is distraught to have been spurned by Amelia and shows up on her wedding day to plunge a knife into her heart.  Philip notes,
She fell to the ground, striking her head heavily as she fell against the rail.  There was a whirr, a rush.  The anti-phonograph was broken.  I bent over her, and opened her dress to staunch the wound.  Moore had made no provision for her bleeding there.  As I drew out the dagger, it was followed by a rush of sawdust.

In the confusion of the strange discovery, no one noticed that a real death was taking place not twenty feet away.  As the sexton was clearing out the church, he noticed a man asleep in one of the pews, leaning against a pillar. He went up and touched him; but there was no answer. He shook him; but the man was as heedless as Baal.  It was Arthur Moore, and he was dead.  He had put his life into his masterpiece; his wonderful toy was broken, and the cord of Moore's life was broken with it.

And as for me, why, I am no longer a fashionable physician.  As I write, there are men about me, who talk of me as a patient.

So, Philips has also been driven mad by Amelia.  Amelia must have possessed great power to drive these men to madness and death.  The many fabricated women that followed Amelia would also have a lethal power over men.  Moore obviously suffered the most tragic fate.  Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein" had already taught us that playing God can lead to madness.  Susan Wloszczyna of wrote, "[O]ne fairly consistent cinematic rule of thumb, especially in horror and sci-fi movies that range from 1931’s Frankenstein to last year’s Ex Machina, is this: Do not be tempted to play God and create an artificial, human-like being.  Such incidents of hubris almost never turn out well."

Moore's robot displays a shallow personality throughout the story.  It is her voice and her appearance that stirs feelings in these men.  The moral, perhaps, is that a man should restrain his mad lust for superficial beauty.

Perhaps, we can look even deeper into this subject.  A man and a woman are able to achieve a successful relationship if they can reach compromises and balance out each other's opposing natural tendencies.  But that cannot happen when the woman is a mere illusion and nothing about her is natural.  In this instance, the man is at risk of being consumed by his own fantasies.  He is likely to lose control of himself by indulging in his deepest and sometimes darkest desires.  The story advocates for normal, healthy relationships between a man and a woman.  A man seeking a romantic relationship with a robot is seeking a perverse entanglement that is bound to fail.

"The Lady Automaton" is, without question, a morality tale.  A man who believes that he has the power of God has an arrogance that will drive him to madness.  A man who believes that he can replace the love of a woman with the hollow attentions of a robot follows a bleak and perverse course that can only lead to madness.  Madness awaits the man who deviates in any way from the proper path.

"R.U.R." (1920)
The term "robot" came from a 1920 play, "R.U.R.," which was written by a Czech writer named Karel Čapek.  R.U.R. was an acronym for Rossum’s Universal Robots.  Rossum, a biologist, discovers a protoplasm that he believes he can use to create artificial animals.  He becomes determined to prove that God is not needed to create life.  His nephew realizes that he can exploit his uncle's work to make himself rich.  In time, the nephew creates a massive factory that manufactures artificial people.  The robots display an ability to think for themselves.  But, despite their intellect, they are content at first with their limited role in society.

The proliferation of Rossum's robots leads to a decline in human births, which is just the beginning of the end for mankind.  Act III climaxes with the robots mounting a rebellion, which involves the robots storming the factory and killing their human overlords.  The idea that a robot represents the oppressed has forever entangled the robot with Communist principles and leftist propaganda. 

In an epilogue, it is revealed that the robot rebellion has brought about the extinction of the human race.  A male robot, Primus, and a female robot, Helena, develop human feelings and fall in love.  The scene presents Primus and Helena as a new Adam and Eve.  The idea is that men are destined to be replaced by robots.  Female robots named Eve would turn up in later films.  Eve represents the first new woman.

Čapek was a big believer in worker's rights and his play was used to promote communist thought.  But, after the Second World War, Čapek declared himself a non-Marxist and rejected communism as a viable alternative.

Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov, who revolutionized robot fiction, thought that "R.U.R." was "terribly bad." Asimov's own make-believe robots were designed with an inhibition against harming humans or disobeying them.  This idea remained a popular fixture in science fiction for decades.

Many mechanical girl acts played in vaudeville.  Frederic Melville toured internationally from 1903 to 1914 with one of the better mechanical girl acts.  His steel lady, Motogirl, was introduced standing in a lighted cabinet.  Melville wound up Motogirl, at which time she played a violin, recited a speech, and was accompanied by her owner into the audience.   It was suspected by the press that Motogirl was really a woman in a robot suit, but no one was able to prove that Melville was deceiving theatregoers.

Then, we had Robot Rose-Marie, who was also known as "The marvelous human machine."  She showed up around 1925.  We have officially exceeded the creepy quota today.   

Robot Rose-Marie with inventor Will Mackford
Life-sized, wind-up dolls turned up frequently in early silent films.  In 1913, Gaumont filmmakers crafted a clever plot around a lifelike doll in a short film, The Living Doll.  A doll maker seeks consolation from his daughter’s death by dressing up a doll in his daughter’s clothing.  Later, a girl accidentally breaks the doll and dresses in the doll’s outfit to deceive the doll maker.  This premise was expanded upon in feature films, including Dolly Does Her Bit (1918) and The Doll (Die Puppe) (1919).

Ossi Oswalda in The Doll (1919)

Here are scenes from The Doll.


Metropolis (1927) echoes the ideas of "The Lady Automaton" except that its robot, Maria, is not as passive.  An inventor, Rotwang, has worked obsessively to construct a robot in the likeness of a woman he once loved.  The woman, Hel, was stolen away by Joh Fredersen, the Master of Metropolis.  She later died giving birth to Fredersen's son.  Fredersen learns of Rotwang's robot and instructs Rotwang to give the robot the likeness of a political reformer, Maria.  It is his plan to kidnap Maria and use her double to sabotage an effort by the city's machinists to strike.  Rotwang has plans of his own.  He decides to use the Maria robot to murder Fredersen and bring down Metropolis.

Annalee Newitz of Popular Science wrote, "The evil Maria robot advocates war and gives a half-speech, half-striptease that whips the machinist masses into a revolutionary fervor."  The film, with its sadistic female robot, was ahead of its time.  In the end, the workers see this soulless woman as a satanic force who was determined from the start to drive them to their destruction.  They treat this tin witch as you would treat any witch - they burn her.

Men see the image of a perfect woman and they project upon this image their sexual fantasies.  But these women have no sexual desires and men mean nothing to them.  This makes them ruthless in their relationships with men. 

Most lady robots at the time posed no threat.  Let us take, for example, this lady robot from a 1929 comedy, Taxi Dolls (1929).  This early robot lady is limited in her abilities.  She can't talk, she can barely stand, and she raises her arm at inconvenient moments for no apparent reason.

In the early 1930s, inventor Harry May toured England with a two-ton, gender-fluid robot.  Reuben Hoggett of the cyberneticzoo blog wrote:
This Robot has had several guises over the years.  From large, round, eyes with lamps in them and large ears with microphones, to a female form with curly hair breasts on the chest plate, and then one with insulators on its head.  It also has many names, including The Roboter, Alpha, Astra, Mary Ann, Eric, Albi/Algi.
British Pathé short Alpha the Robot (1934)
The most popular part of the robot's act involved the robot firing a revolver at a target.  It created international news when the robot went awry during a performance and fired the gun at May, whose right hand was shattered by the bullet.

Newspapers reported that the robot had turned on its maker.  But Matt Novak of Paleofuture points to  a less sensational account of  the incident that appeared in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.  He wrote:
In this version of the story May was inserting a cartridge into the gun, which was attached to the robot, and an accidental, premature discharge simply burned the inventor's hand.
Patricia Roc and Jerry Verno in The Perfect Woman (1941)

A female robot is again nothing but trouble in the 1949 British comedy The Perfect Woman.  The film shows that men prefer to reserve their charm for old-fashioned flesh-and-blood women. 

The Twilight Zone episode "The Lateness of the Hour" (1960) centers on a young woman who makes plans to leave her parents' stifling mansion so that she can marry and have children.  The parents are unhappy with the news and plead with the daughter to stay.

The story ends with the parents revealing to the daughter that she is actually a robot that the father constructed in his workshop.  The robot daughter becomes so anguished that the father can see no choice other than to erase her memory and reprogram her to be a mundane and unthinking maid.

Frighteningly, the passionately independent woman has in effect been lobotomized.


Female robots were the focus of other Twilight Zone episodes.  This includes "The Lonely" (1959), a bittersweet episode in which a female robot (Jean Marsh) becomes a companion to a convict (Jack Warden) on an otherwise desolate asteroid.


A for Andromeda (1961) was a significant British sci-fi television series.  Andromeda, played by Julie Christie, was a prototype for a number of later robot women.  Wikipedia reports, "[A for Andromeda] concerns a group of scientists who detect a radio signal from another galaxy that contains instructions for the design of an advanced computer.  When the computer is built, it gives the scientists instructions for the creation of a living organism named Andromeda."  Andromeda becomes an aide to the scientists.
Julie Christie and Peter Halliday in A for Andromeda (1961)
In Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Enterprise crew member Ilia is converted into a nano-machine being by the supercomputer Vger.  Like Andromeda, she serves as an aide to her human companions. 

Persis Khambatta in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

A less attractive being was created by a supercomputer in Superman III (1983).  She looks to aid the humans around her to a quick and violent death.

Galaxina, played by the lovely Dorothy Stratten, is yet another robot women who helps space travelers in their expeditions.

Dorothy Stratten in Galaxina (1980)

Niya from Humanoid Woman (1981) is highly reminiscent of Ilia.
Yelena Metyolkina in Humanoid Woman (1981)
It is eventually revealed in Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983) that the charming female engineer, Chalmers (Andrea Marcovicci), is actually an android.
Andrea Marcovicci in Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)

Another Andromeda copycat appeared in Dark Side of the Moon (1990), in which Spacecore 1’s computer represents itself in humanoid form with Lesli (Camilla More).

Camilla More in Dark Side of the Moon (1990)
KAY-Em 14, a spunky and sexy android, battles Jason aboard a spaceship in Jason X (2001).

Lisa Ryder in Jason X (2001)

These selfless robots were a subject of ridicule by the time Kristin Kreuk (Cruuk) starred as a robot in Space Milkshake (2012).  A data processor that controls the ship's thruster has been damaged and is unable to stabilize the ship's orbit.  At great personal risk, the robot slices open her stomach and plucks out a data processor that can serve as a replacement part.

The curvy, double-breasted replicant came to the sitcom with My Living Doll (1964-1965).

 Julie Newmar and Jack Mullaney in My Living Doll
In Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965) and Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966), Dr. Goldfoot's army of bikini-clad robots acted as the forerunners to the fembot assassins that became part of spy film lore.

           Jack Mullaney joins Vincent Price for more robot fun in Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965).  The robots are, from left to right, Sally Frei, Luree Holmes and Mary Hughes.

Sexy female androids were front and center in the Star Trek episode "I, Mudd" (1967).

Alyce Andrece, Roger C. Carmel and Rhae Andrece in Star Trek episode "I, Mudd."
 Some Girls Do (1969) presented yet another army of deadly fembots.

Vanessa Howard and Ronnie Stevens in Some Girls Do (1969)

The Filmovy Prehled database provides the following plot summary for Miss Golem (1972): "'Miss Golem' – a chance creation by the inventor Petr – turns into a manipulating tyrant and as such invokes ultimate destruction, just like any other contrived being revolting against its human creators."

Jana Brejchová as a robot and the robot's human model in Miss Golem (1972)
The feminist movement reached an epic peak in the 1970s.  Husbands frustrated by their wives' newfound independence replace the ladies with robot clones in The Stepford Wives (1975).

Katharine Ross in The Stepford Wives (1975)

The Bionic Woman features fembots in several episodes.  The show coined the term "fembot." Fembot showgirls shake pink tail feathers in "Fembots in Las Vegas" (September 24, 1977). 

An android assassin is made to look like a pretty princess in a 1978 Doctor Who serial "The Androids of Tara."

Prisoners are allow conjugal visits from sex droids (called "pen pals") in Escape from DS-3 (1981).

Escape from DS-3 (1981)
The Android (1982) is set on a remote space station in the year 2036.  A lecherous scientist, Doctor Daniel (Klaus Kinski), relies on help from his android, Max 404 (Don Keith Opper), to create a charming advanced android, Cassandra One (Kendra Kirchner), who he intends to use as a sex toy.  In the end, the androids revolt against their creator, who turns out to be an android himself.  Max and Cassandra pretend to be human to hitch a ride with law enforcement officers on their way to Earth.
Don Keith Opper, Klaus Kinski and Kendra Kirchner in The Android (1982)

The most evil female robot since Metropolis' Maria was Blade Runner's Pris (Daryl Hannah).

Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner (1982)
The 1980s produced a number of robot girls and virtual girls.

Lisa from Weird Science (1985)

Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science (1985)

Cherry 2000 from Cherry 2000 (1987)

Pamela Gidley and David Andrews in Cherry 2000 (1987)

The Terminator (1984) and Robo Cop (1987) had a big influence on the robo ladies.  Take, for example, Maria from I Love Maria (1988).

Sally Yeh in I Love Maria (1988)

Pearl Prophet (Dayle Haddon), the title character of Cyborg (1989), is on a mission to save humanity.

Dayle Haddon in Cyborg (1989)

Roberta, from Not Quite Human II (1989), is one half of a friendly android couple.

Katie Barberi and Jay Underwood in Not Quite Human II (1989)
The feminist robot was fully formed by two films released in 1991.  The first film, Eve of Destruction, was able to combine plot elements from Fatal Attraction and Terminator to create a mostly new female robot scenario.  Dr. Eve Simmons has created a robot in her own image.  It's not only that the robot looks like her — the robot has been programmed with the doctor's emotions and life experiences.  When the robot is damaged during a bank robbery, it accesses tragic memories that were programmed into it by its creator.  The trailer depicts the robot, named Eve VIII, as a superpowered robot with superpowered PMS.  The narrator drops his voice to a racy lower octave to report that the robot is "all woman."  Clips immediately reveal the robot's fondness for make-up, fashion, and raw sex.  Then, scenes reveal that robot is emotionally sensitive. 

Eve VIII is the wild id side of the repressed scientist.  It is, in effect, Simmons' emotion doppelgänger.  Simmons says, "Whatever damage she sustained destroyed all her inhibitions.  She's doing things I might think about doing but would never dare to do."  Sandra Brennan of All Movie wrote, "[T]he robot comes emotionally unglued and launches into a destructive rampage while enacting out its repressed creator's darkest desires."  Vincent Canby of The New York Times had the simplest description of the plot: "Secret Robot Runs Amok In a Miniskirt."  Now, Eve VIII is maiming and killing anyone it perceives as a threat.  Simmons is especially concerned because the robot, which was designed for military invasions, has a self-destruct feature that will allow it to terminate itself in a widespread explosion.  The government goes on red alert once it confirms the distraught robot has activated the self-destruct countdown and has made itself, in Simmons' words, "a walking nuclear bomb."  The top brass calls in terrorism expert Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines) to put their mechanical lady "back in the box."  In the final act, Eve VIII becomes overwhelmed by maternal desires, wanting to find Simmons' son and take him away with her.  The film was a flop at the box office, but it was a bestseller in VHS and DVD formats on the home entertainment market.


The second feminist robot film of the year was Steel & Lace (1991), which also features a robot motivated by the traumatic experiences of its human model.  Gaily Morton (Clare Wren), a concert pianist, is raped by businessman Daniel Emerson.  At a criminal trial, Emerson gets several friends to provide him with an alibi for the night of the rape.  Gaily is so traumatized when Emerson receives a not guilty verdict that she jumps off the court building.  Gaily's scientist brother, Albert (Bruce Davison), resurrects his dead sister as a vengeful cyborg, which stalks and murders Emerson and his friends.

Clare Wren and Bruce Davison in Steel & Lace (1991)

Yancy Butler plays a cyborg cop, Sgt. Eve Edison, in Mann & Machine (1992).

Another exploding robot turns up in Cyborg 2 (1993).  Cash Reese (Angelina Jolie) is a robot developed for corporate espionage and assassination.  Her creators have filled her with liquid explosives so that she can infiltrate the offices of a rival robotics company and blow up the board of directors.

Liana and Greta are virtual reality babes brought to life in the real world in Grid Runners (1994).

Dawn Ann Billings in Grid Runners (1994)
Shape-shifting soldier robots turn on their creators in Screamers (1995).  The robots are called "screamers" because they emit a high-pitched scream when they attack.  One way to determine if a person is human or a robot counterfeit is to slash their hand and see if they bleed, which is an idea that can be traced back to the 1901 short story that we discussed earlier.  It turns out that a lovely lady, Jessica (Jennifer Rubin), is the most advanced and lethal screamer.

Jennifer Rubin in Screamers (1995)
Here are pleasure droids from Cyberzone (1995).

Matthias Hues in Cyberzone (1995)
The Outer Limits managed with their 1998 episode "Mary 25" to provide a Fatal Attraction twist on the robot story.

Sofia Shinas and William Sadler in The Outer Limits ("Mary 25," 1998)
A robot civil war is underway in 1996's Omega Doom.  The two rival robot gangs engaged in the war are the Roms and the Droids.  When you’re a Rom, You’re a Rom all the way, From your first gearmotor, To your last dyin’ day.  Nathan Decker of Million Monkey Theatre was bothered by the fact that Roms, which are supposed to be killing machines, look like French fashion models.

Omega Doom (1996)
Here we have fembots from Austin Powers (1997).


The nanny robot was a separate, anti-feminist offshoot of the female robot lineage.  These robots were kindly and nurturing.  Writer Ray Bradbury made the idea of a robot nanny appealing with his episode for The Twilight Zone called "I Sing The Body Electric" (1962).
Josephine Hutchinson in The Twilight Zone ("I Sing The Body Electric," 1962)
Dot Matrix, Princess Vespa's droid in Spaceballs (1987), is another example of a caretaker robot.

Spaceballs (1987)
A wide range of female robots appear in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001).  This is a prostitute robot, Mecha Gigolo Jane, that appears briefly in an early scene.

But significantly more screen time is given to Mecha Nanny (Clara Bellar), a well-used robot that has been discarded by her owners.  The sweet-natured robot is captured by a motorcycle gang and hauled off to the lurid Flesh Fair, where obsolete and unlicensed robots are destroyed for the amusement of crowds.  Mecha Nanny accepts her fate.  She is smiling as an attendant leads her to a section of the arena called The Pig Pen.  She is still smiling as the attendant dumps a bucket of acid over her head and her flesh and parts dissolve.


A 2012 German television movie, Robot Mom, features a robot who is able to excellently substitute for a perfectionist wife and mother, Katrin (Valerie Niehaus).  When her husband's ad agency goes bankrupt, Katrin realizes that she will lose her luxurious home unless she goes back to work.  But she soon finds herself overwhelmed managing a job, kids and a household.  Katrin discovers a website offering free testing of a high-tech household robot.  She orders the robot without telling her family.  She is startled to find that the robot has been fashioned in her exact likeness.  The robot proves to be too perfect.  She is able to handle her duties and still be fun to be around.  To Katrin's horror, her husband and children like the robot more than they ever liked her.  A factory constructed woman has proven to be more human than a biologically formed, flesh-and-blood woman.  Katrin realizes that she needs to change her strict perfectionist ways to win back her family.

The Girl with the Mechanical Maiden (2013) is an interesting 15-minute film.  An inventor is distraught when his wife dies in childbirth and constructs a mechanical nanny to care for his baby.  The nanny serves as a wet nurse, efficiently producing milk for the baby from its metal breasts.


An exception to the kindly and nurturing nanny was Galatea (Kiersten Warren), a domestic robot in Bicentennial Man (1999).  The feminist is back for sure.  Galatea is obstinate and selfish.  She would rather dance than work.  She loses her temper with her inventor (Oliver Platt) for giving her too many household duties.  It is played for comedy as she upbraids him, but her behavior becomes menacing as she waves her arms wildly and shouts in his face.

Kiersten Warren and Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man (1999)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence incorporates elements of the "Pinocchio" story.  Pinocchio, a rebellious wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy, has much in common with the rebellious Hollywood robot.  Wikipedia reports, "Upon being born, Pinocchio immediately laughs derisively in his creator's face, whereupon he steals the old man's wig."  In films, the inventors who spawned robots could not necessarily experience the same connectedness with a robot that they could experience with a biological child.

G2 was a funny new robocop in Inspector Gadget 2 (2003).


T-X was a memorable character in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003).


Tricia Helfer is manipulative and seductive as shapely humanoid Number Six in Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009).

A robot constructed in a teenager's garage has a few glitches in a 2004 episode of Wicked Science called "Double Date."

Then, we have a lovely, blonde-haired robot played by Nectar Rose in Serenity (2005).  The role, small but memorable, tread in Stepford Wives territory.  Jeffrey A. Brown, author of "Dangerous Curves: Action Heroines, Gender, Fetishism, and Popular Culture," explained, "[A] reclusive techno-geek lives with his love-bot 'wife' Lenore."


This is Cybodain Model 103 from Cyborg She (2008).  The film is a twist on The Terminator.  A man falls in love with a female robot that was created by his future self to travel back in time and prevent a shooting that will leave him paralyzed.

Maid-Droid (2008)


American Dad! ("Stanny Slickers II: The Legend of Ollie's Gold," 2008)

The Machine Girl (2008) has many feminist elements.  The Machine Girl, Ami, is really a cyborg like The Bionic Woman.  Ami, a Japanese schoolgirl, seeks revenge after her brother is murdered by a ninja-yakuza family.  She receives help from a husband and wife, Suguru and Miki.  When Suguru is murdered by the criminal gang, his wife also vows revenge.  The two woman form a warm and intimate bond before they go out together to slaughter a bunch of men.  Ami's brother and Miki's husband are passive and sensitive men.  In this world, strong men are violent and evil.

The film was undoubtedly inspired by Grindhouse (2007), in which a go-go dancer replaces an amputated leg with an assault rifle and grenade launcher combo.


The producers of The Machine Girl followed up this film with RoboGeisha (2009).

A female robot assassin appears occasionally on Archer ("Skin Game," 2011).


Ava, the female robot from The Machine (2013), ushered in a new era of the hyperviolent terrorist gynoid.


The trend of superpowered women cracking men's bones and ripping out their entrails was not confined to the robot genre.  Film fantasy also has produced mermaids, sirens, outer space aliens and she-demons that want nothing more than to turn men into bloody corpses.  This is Nymph (2014).


This is Siren (2016).  After butchering many men, the siren selects one particular man that she wants as a mate.  Of course, when they have sex, she has to be the one on top.  How emasculating.

In Lucy (2014), Scarlett Johansson gains superpowers when she is exposed to a new illicit drug and she uses those powers to kill a bunch of men.  That's it, that's the plot.  Johansson's invincibility leaves out the possibility for dramatic tension.  The entire film is about her killing one man after another with nothing to stop her.  It is as interesting as a day at the abattoir.

An outer space alien in a well-rounded female form (again Johansson) lures various men to their death in Under the Skin (2014).

A young woman possessed by a demon savagely attacks a young man on a commuter train in an episode of The Exorcist called "Let 'Em In" (October 6, 2016).  The attack is punishment for the man clutching the woman's arm and making a sexually suggestive remark to her.

Our rude boy is referred to in the script as "Golden Boy," which is defined in the traditional sense as "an especially popular and successful young man."  The Urban Dictionary reports that a golden boy is "usually blonde" and he "[is] 'in' with the crowd." This type of person is alternately referred to as a "fair-haired boy."  In other words, the writer sees this young man as a privileged white male who needs to be taken down a peg or two.  At first, Golden Boy's friends are thoroughly amused to see their man harassing the young lady.  The friends look like stereotypical white frat boys.

The one black man in the scene has such a tender heart that he must turn away.  He expresses the type of haughty disapproval that you would expect from a white-haired society matron.  Oh, dear, how beastly!


The Hollywood mirror tends to distort reality for its own purposes.  Its purpose these days is to identify straight white men as the villains of the world.  Everyone else is right and true.  It has become part of the Hollywood agenda to use the gynoid, the siren, the mermaid, the outer space alien, the she-demon or any other powerful female as an icon of brutal political violence against the straight white man.


A saturation point for female robots came in 2015.
Gemma Chan in Humans
Let us start with the British television series HumansHumans introduces us to anthropomorphic robots called "synths." The drama of the series centers on advanced synths that have become fugitives from the law.  The plot of the first season is set in motion when one of the synths shares its exclusive software upgrade to give all of its fellow synths human consciousness.  Michael Hogan of the Telegraph later wrote of the event, "Around the world, synthetic slaves began waking up and threw off their chains of bondage."

Emily Berrington in Humans
The series showcased a seductive female killer robot name Niska (Emily Berrington).  Niska takes a job at a brothel.


Her first customer is an elderly man who has a repugnant sex fantasy.  He tells her, "I want you to act scared."  He becomes excited as he says this.  He comes closer.  "I want you to be young, too."  When Niska refuses, he becomes angry and reminds her that he has paid for her services.  He insists, "For the next hour, you belong to me!"  This is her cue to declare her independence.  "I don't belong to anyone," she says.  Her superhuman strength allows her to easily snap the man's neck.


Niska threatens to kill the brothel madam when she tries to stop her from leaving.  She tells the madam, "Everything your men do to us they want to do to you!"


Humans is a remake of a Swedish series called Real Humans.  Niska in Real Humans (Eva Röse) is ruthless about her own survival.  She murders a sweet old couple that she encounters because she fears they will tell the authorities that they have seen her.  She is not wreaking justice on men with pedophile fantasies.  She is murdering to stay alive, which is primal, apolitical, and more interesting.

Eva Röse in Real Humans
In Humans, Niska falls in love with Astrid Schaeffer (Bella Dayne), a free-spirited young woman.  Humans started a trend of female robots developing an attraction to human females.  It is similar to the way that female vampires gravitated to lesbianism in the 1970s.  It follows a logical course.  No matter how much a machine looks like a real woman, it has none of the biological drives of a real woman.  Regardless of its unerringly feminine appearance, the robot woman is a sterile entity, which means that getting pregnant is at no time among its objectives.  Why, then, should it nurture a lasting relationship with a man?  It serves its interests to only engage with a man fleetingly and selfishly for a favor or advantage.

A man should take care not to be fooled by the way the female robot can mimic a fertile woman.  The hormonal boost that occurs when a woman approaches ovulation can create subtle changes in her appearance that can be detected intuitively by a man.  Most obviously, the changes in blood flow will add a slight rosiness to a woman's cheeks.  When a female robot displays those same rosy cheeks, it is a false cue that will only lead a man astray.


The series producers make sure to emphasize Niska and Astrid's relationship by having the couple kiss at every opportunity.  It is defiance.  It is celebration.  It is a way to shock.  It is not romance.  The Black Mirror episode "San Junipero" presented a love affair between two women that is deeply moving.  The lovers are real people who have no agenda other than to love one another.

Mackenzie Davis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in The Black Mirror ("San Junipero," 2016)
For two seasons, the producers of Humans have been focused on generating the greatest sympathy for the robots, but they have hardly bothered to generate much sympathy for the humans.  But why should they?  The robots are so much better than the humans. They are stronger, smarter, and even more compassionate.

It is unsettling the way that the series denigrates the human race while extolling the virtues of the robots.  Morgan Jeffrey of Digital Spy found that, from the start, "the [series'] antagonists were very recognizably us."  It was, in his words, "a story about righteous robots hitting back at their cruel human masters."  We are led to believe that humans are callous and selfish for simply wanting to hit the off-switch on machines that have become wildly unpredictable and dangerous.  Even in the second season, when the series introduces a female robot even more ruthlessly violent than Niska, the implication is that the occasional rogue robot is justified in choking or stabbing a vile human.

The Hawkins family, humans who have come to help the robots, will do everything they can for the robots even though their efforts endanger their lives, traumatize the children, and threaten to break apart the family.  But that's all in a day's work for a robot advocate.  By every indication, the Hawkins believe that the robots are more important than themselves and are willing to sacrifice themselves to assure the robots' survival.  They serve the robots so selflessly that the robots are able to stand beside them as their undisputed masters.  It is the family's thinking, presumably, that the robots are the next thing and humans need to clear out of their way.
Human's Hawkins family: Tom Goodman-Hill, Katherine Parkinson, Lucy Carless, Theo Stevenson and Pixie Davies

The series is, in the end, a form of creepy robot worship.  The sharp and steady decline in the ratings for the series may be evidence that viewers became increasingly unhappy with the series' anti-human message.  The writers' message became loud and clear: "Humanity sucks!  Let's tear it all down!"  It is a variation of the white guilt narrative.  It is the ideal victim narrative that makes social justice warriors tingle with delight.  Diehard fans of the series are evidently rooting for a robot uprising that will wipe out the human race.

Kiersey Clemons in Extant
Extant (2015), a CBS series, involves a government project to create humanoid robots.  In the second season, the series introduced an advanced robot named Lucy (Kiersey Clemons).  A CBS press release described the new robot as "morally ambiguous."  Kimberly Roots of TV Line wrote, "Lucy is attractive and fun but also 'an unpredictable wildcard' — per the official character description — whose loose sense of right and wrong is a result of her creators’ skipping important stages in her development."  Lucy frequently disobeys orders and objects to a programming modification to make her more obedient.  Remember, Asimov?  His Laws of Robotics have been thrown out the window by this point.  Lucy seeks to assure her survival by seducing a coder, Charlie, and then blackmailing him with surveillance footage of the encounter.  Charlie confesses to his boss, Julie, about his indiscretion.  Lucy becomes violent when an effort is made by Julie to deactivate her.


Even the little girl robot in Tomorrowland (2015), who protects the good guys, has a vicious streak.  Here we have the ass-kicking Athena tearing off the head of a bad robot.

The boldest female robot film of 2015 was Ex-Machina.  Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer, has been called to the island home of billionaire software designer Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac) for a very special purpose.  Nathan introduces Caleb to a humanoid robot that he has created and he asks Caleb to judge if the robot is genuinely capable of thought and consciousness.  The robot, Ava, looks like a very beautiful and charming young woman.  It is very much the scene from the 1901 short story "The Lady Automaton."

Ava uses her charm to manipulate Nathan into helping her to escape.  The fact that Nathan is a boorish host makes it easy for Caleb to betray him.


 In her escape, Ava plunges a knife into Nathan's heart and leaves Caleb trapped in an airtight bunker.  Caleb, the young man who fell in love with Ava, knows that it won't be long before his oxygen runs out and he will die.  He stares at Ava leaving as he stands before a tiny window in the bunker door.  He pounds on the door and begs her to save his life.  The last that we see of Caleb, he is watching hopelessly as the dispassionate robot abandons him to a cruel end.


The final scene of the film shows Ava happily wandering through a sunny city.  This is one spunky robot lady who can turn the world on with a smile.

It is like the film was a prequel to The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  If she had a wool cap, Ava would probably toss it gleefully into the air.  Of course, to accept this as a happy ending, we need to forget about the two corpses that Ava left behind on the island.

The director, Alex Garland, talked about Ava possessing selective empathy, which means that she is unable to have empathy for humans.  Oh, right, that's understandable.  So, why should I care about a character who wouldn't care if she saw me bleeding to death in a road?

Feminists don't care about women leaving men shattered in their wake.  The idea is that men are controlling and narcissistic and they deserve to die.

Mark Hughes of Forbes found that Caleb only recognizes Ava as a meaningful living being because she excites him sexually.  Of course, this is a fatal error on his part in that Ava is not a woman.  Garland said, "[T]his is unambiguously a machine — and therefore in some respects doesn’t have a gender."  Ava is, no more and no less, a robot dressed up as a woman.  A real women would have talked to Caleb about a movie that meant something to her.  A real women would have talked to Caleb about her dad teaching her to ride a bicycle.  This shallow robot woman can be nothing more than an object to Caleb.  It is because Caleb was content to objectify Ava that he put himself into danger.  He imagines that he could be a hero by rescuing a helpless damsel from her evil jailer.

To feminists, this makes Caleb as much a sexist pig as Nathan.  But this idea is nothing new.  We already saw men suffering consequences for projecting their fantasies onto false women in the 1901 short story "The Lady Automaton" and the early scifi classic Metropolis.

Ex-Machina is even more reminiscent of The Machine, which came out only two years earlier.  The two robots even share the same name.  The name, Ava, is fairly close to Eve.

Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant (2015) is lighthearted in comparison to Ex-Machina.  A plan to replace human flight attendants with robots leads to a winner-take-all multi-event competition between cocky male flight attendant Larry Gaye and blonde and gorgeous FlightPal200 (played by Rebecca Romijn).

But the film still features a female robot who expresses hostile intent towards men.  At one point, she beats up the film's hero in a boxing match.


The trend started by The Machine and Ex-Machina continued with Morgan (2016).  The bloodletting must continue because the world has so many pig men that need to be slaughtered.  Morgan features Anya Taylor-Joy as a bioengineered woman who breaks free from her handlers at a remote research facility.  The staff initiates lockdown, hoping to recapture their synthetic child, but she is powerful, unpredictable and violent.  One by one, she is able to viciously slaughter staff members.  She uses her teeth to rip out the throat of Paul Giamatti, who is the epitome of arrogant, ugly male authority.

At one point, she kidnaps Dr. Amy Menser (Rose Leslie), the one handler for whom she feels affection.  It is suggested that she has a physical attraction to Dr. Menser. 


This toxic new trend reached a peak with the Westworld television series.  Let us now get to that.

Westworld is too self-conscious and too engaged in its gimmicks to achieve a raw emotional power.  The series has nothing to say about psychology, or philosophy, or what makes us human.  It is as emotionally engaging as a Sudoku puzzle.

It is an empty feeling to watch a television series that does not have a single worthwhile idea or a single worthwhile character to offer.  The viewer is meant to care about the robots, but I couldn't care less about the robots.  The robots are free from human struggle.  They need not worry about hunger or death.  They have no biological bonds that require them to fulfill family obligations.  I can care as much about one of these robots as I can care about a toaster.  Let me see if it makes a difference if I put a pair of googly doll eyes on my toaster.  No, I still don't care.  If it doesn’t brown my bread the way I like, it is going straight into the trash can.

Vulture critic Matt Zoller Seitz was certainly left feeling empty by the series because he could never care about the characters.  Seitz wrote, "[The makers of Westworld] have constructed their series as a curated data stream, a succession of talking points and plot points and ideas, an algorithm with characters in place of digits."  He likens the characters to the player piano on display in the show.  He wrote, "[T]he clockwork plotting takes over and turns them into punch-card holes."

Ken Chitwood, a scholar of religion at the University of Florida, believes that Westworld raises an intriguing question: Do robots made by humans to look and behave like humans require us to treat them as if they were human?  He said, "What Westworld does is get us to think about, 'Can nonhumans have souls, and how is that soul connected to our biology?'" 

The series suggests that the soul is irrelevant if it exists at all.

Blogger Sam Chaltain wrote:
Westworld, a story in which future citizens spend up to $40,000 a day exercising their most base impulses – sexual violence and murder chief among them – in a vast adventure theme park filled with blissfully unaware android 'hosts.'  These hosts are pre-programmed with narrative storylines. Their memories are then wiped clean after each new day of rape and pillage, resulting in an endless loop of unconscious servitude.

Kimberly Winston of Religious News Service asked, "What price does a judgment-free zone, where all manner of sins from murder to rape can be committed, extract from our humanity?"  The series is built on the misanthropic idea that, without police, courts and prisons, men would run around raping and killing.  These men are let loose in a world where they can do anything they want and this is the best thing they can figure to do?  We already saw this idea explored in the Purge films.  But our society still has decent people who seek experiences that lift their hearts, nourish their souls, and enlighten their minds.  We respond enthusiastically to art that reveals the beauty of the world.  When we go on vacation, we want experiences that make us laugh, make us feel good about ourselves, and make us feel connected to our loved ones.  Where in Westworld do we have something as romantic as a gondola ride through the canals of Venice?  What exists in Westworld that is silly enough to make us smile?  I considered at first the possibility that the men of this future time are no longer capable of emotion and they need robots, with their simulated tears and programmed cries, to remind them of emotion.  But another explanation for park is revealed in time.  Westworld, we are made to believe, is a man's world.  It is a place where men go without their wives and children.  Westworld, as far as we can tell, is designed to release the primal beast that lies trapped and despairing inside of white powerful men.  The series' message is that, at their core, these men are beasts who derive sadistic pleasure from drawing unendurable pain from the rest of us.  Logan, whose family owns the park, assures first-time visitor William, his soon-to-be brother-in-law, that the park will reveal his true self.  That makes the park a regressive utopia, which doesn't make it a utopia at all.

The series borrows more from Ex-Machina than it does from the original Westworld.  The series centers on two female robots who are plotting to kill their creators to obtain their freedom.

The big bad on the show is an overfed old white man who kills women (including a gay woman) and subjugates a black man.

One of the female robots, Delores, speaks unfavorably of people who see only the ugliness in the world.  I would assume then that Delores would not be fond of the people who write this show.

asserts that man could create life as well as God.  It is an idea that was once seen by moral men to be perversely arrogant.  It is on the basis of this arrogance that the series erases the line between a human woman and a robot woman.  According to the series, a robot woman that has achieved consciousness is no different than an actual woman.  She can think and she can feel, which means that she deserves the same rights as a real woman.  Any effort to deny this robot human rights is immoral.  The series proposes that no boundaries should inhibit the robots, which means that they should be free to leave Westworld and migrate into the human population.  The fact that they are fleeing persecution in Westworld makes them refugees that deserve universal support and protection.  The series provides a wily comment on our own refugee crisis just like another HBO series, Game of Thrones.  I examined Thrones' politics in an article last year.

The lunatics on The European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs must have watched too many episodes of Westworld because they have recently assigned legal rights to robots.

Hollywood has conditioned us to feel extraordinary sympathy when a black actor appears on screen.  It doesn't matter if the black actor's character has earned our sympathy.  In the case of Westworld, it doesn't even matter that the black actor is portraying a robot.  Forget about long-standing views on biology and humanity.  A robot with dark skin is a black life.  Its treatment matters just as much as the treatment of any man with dark skin.  It is the notion that pigment defines an individual more than the bits and pieces that it contains beneath its skin.  Skin color is more important than content.  Biology no longer has meaning to people who believe that everything is a social construct.

The series' writers get lost in their own flights of fancy and lose track of the fact that their robot characters are robots.  We are meant to believe that robots are hot-blooded sexual beings.  But it doesn't mean much for a pair of robots to have a passionate, sweaty sexual encounter.  It is a meaningless activity no matter how many densely packed sensors have been fitted into their synthetic genitals.

The robots demonstrate a preference for gay sex and interracial sex, which is meant to set them apart from the standard settlers of the real American West.  The robots are, in the writers' calculated conception, rebels and outsiders.

Everything in the first season of the series leads to Delores pulling out a gun and shooting down dozens of guests, all of whom are white.  It looks like Columbine or Fort Hood except that we are supposed to sympathize with the shooter.  Really?  Delores cries, "This world doesn't belong to them - it belongs to us!"  This could be the battle cry of the many modern-day political rebels who base their entire political philosophy on the destruction of white people.

On the slate for a 2017 release is Ghost in a Shell, which involves a cyborg policewoman who works to defeat the diabolical plot of a computer hacker.  It is unknown yet if the robot, played by Under the Skin and Lucy's Scarlett Johansson, kills a bunch of white men.  I assume she does.


But, of course, she always has love for the ladies.

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