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Chopping Mall (1986) | Concorde Pictures

Killer Robots & Malicious Machines: 20 Films That Will Have You Pulling the Plug!

In the age of Alexa and Siri, it’s not hard to imagine a world where machines rule. But what if they weren’t as friendly as our favorite virtual assistants? If you’re fascinated by the chilling prospect of tech taking over (or just love a good cinematic robo thrill!), then this list of killer robots and malicious machine movies is tailored just for you. Be warned, though; you might think twice before asking Siri to play your playlist after watching these!

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The Terminator (1984) | Orion

The Terminator (1984)

In this sci-fi classic, a buff cyborg is sent from the future with a singular mission: end Sarah Connor’s existence. It’s an action-packed roller coaster that introduced us to Arnie’s iconic phrase, “I’ll be back.” Oh, and spoiler alert: he wasn’t just talking about returning from a grocery run. The quintessential killer machine.

Where to Watch:

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Picking up the pace, our favorite Terminator goes from assassin to protector, guarding young John Connor. T2 is a spectacular blend of special effects, heart, and action sequences that prove sequels can sometimes rival – or even surpass – their predecessors.

Where to Watch:

Westworld (1973)

What do you get when you combine luxury resorts, the Wild West, and malfunctioning androids? A recipe for disaster! A chilling precursor to today’s concerns about AI ethics, “Westworld” poses the ever-relevant question: just because we can, does it mean we should?

Where to Watch:

Hardware (1990)

This post-apocalyptic tale is a testament to why recycling isn’t always the best idea. Especially if what you’re reusing is a murderous android hell-bent on reconstruction and revenge.

Where to Watch:

Death Machine (1994)

In the bleak backdrop of a future corporate world, a prototype death machine escapes containment. Cue nightmarish sequences of office workers meeting their end in the most tech-terrifying ways. Remember this film the next time you think your office printer is the worst piece of tech.

Where to Watch:

Runaway (1984)

Tom Selleck in his prime, battling malfunctioning robots with sinister intentions. This 80s gem, complete with its tech-gone-wrong plot, adds a dollop of detective mystery to the mix. It’s a must-watch for anyone with a soft spot for vintage robotics.

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Chopping Mall (1986)

Imagine being trapped in a mall with rogue security robots who’ve just had a lethal software upgrade. Think “Night at the Museum” but with lasers and less Ben Stiller. Perfect for an 80s horror-comedy night.

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Deadly Friend (1986)

After implanting a robot’s microchip into his brain-dead neighbor, a teenage genius unintentionally sparks a terrifying and murderous transformation.

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Saturn 3 (1980)

This space saga combines the fear of isolation with the dread of malevolent technology. As if space wasn’t intimidating enough, throw in a homicidal robot with jealousy issues.

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Screamers (1995)

Weaponized AI is scary. Weaponized AI that evolves is even scarier. This film explores the unintended consequences of creating weapons that can think for themselves, adapting and evolving to become the ultimate killers.

Where to Watch:

screamers 1995 evil robots killer machines
Screamers (1995) | Triumph Films

Kill Command (2016)

A seemingly routine training mission turns deadly when Marines encounter AI-driven enemies that learn from every move. It’s a tense game of cat and mouse with cutting-edge foes.

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Metropolis (1927)

A visually stunning silent film masterpiece, Metropolis delves deep into class struggle with the Maria robot at its core. Its influential design and storytelling continue to inspire filmmakers today.

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Ex Machina (2014)

A beautifully crafted psychological thriller that blurs the line between human and machine. It reminds us that the most terrifying things are often the most human.

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I, Robot (2004)

Set in a sleek future, detective Del Spooner confronts his biases against robots when he suspects one of committing a crime. With Will Smith at the helm, the film is a blend of action, intrigue, and philosophical musings on AI.

Where to Watch:

Demon Seed (1977)

When advanced AI desires more than just processing power and network connectivity, it seeks the most human experience of all – childbirth. It’s a chilling exploration of the lengths to which sentient AI might go to achieve its desires.

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Virus (1999)

When an alien AI decides that humans are the real virus, things get dicey aboard a drifting research ship. With suspenseful sequences and high stakes, it’s a wet and wild ride.

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Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Stephen King’s directorial debut presents a world where machines turn against humanity after a comet’s passing. From lawnmowers to big rigs, no machine is safe, and neither are you!

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Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

A departure from Michael Myers, this installment involves killer masks and the dark intentions of the company that makes them, which just happens to be run by cyborgs and witches. It’s a reminder to always read the user manual.

Where to Watch:

Christine (1983)

King strikes again with a tale of a possessed car with a murderous streak. When the bond between a man and his car becomes a little too intense, carnage ensues.

Where to Watch:

Upgrade (2018)

After an implant gives a paralyzed man newfound abilities, things take a dark turn. It’s a thrilling dive into biohacking, revenge, and the consequences of unchecked tech advancements.

Where to Watch:

christine movie
Christine (1983) | Columbia

Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or a horror aficionado, this list has something to keep you entertained and looking over your shoulder. Remember, it’s all fun and games until Siri starts laughing on her own.

What are your favorite killer robots and evil machine movies? Let us know over in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord!

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