Classic Technophobic SF Movies

Terminator (1984) film poster
Art reflects, but also incites and strengthens social stances. Release of a number of especially popular technophobic movies followed the increased use of personal computers and computer games by the end of 20th century. In all of them, the technologies have some hidden or open fault, leading to danger and dehumanization. The sole exception is the firearms technology, which always functions flawlessly, while the displayed violence subliminally provides additional fodder to the feeling of fear.

Alien (1979, 1986, 1992) – developing various high technologies for space exploration will only enable some ugly monsters to devour us.

Mad Max (1979, 1981, 1985) – the future brings social decay, violence and nuclear holocaust, with a passion.

Blade Runner (1982) – extremely capable, humanoid robots turn into murderers when something irks them, like—for instance—their limited lifespan.

WarGames (1983) - teenagers + computers = end of civilization as we know it.

The Terminator (1984, 1991, 2003) – the computers are evil, robots are ruthless unstoppable killers, nuclear technology is disastrous. Run! Run!

Electric Dreams (1984) – home PC adopts demon-like role, trying to dominate the life of its owner.

RoboCop (1987) – even the most humane man can be turned into a machine. There's no turning back afterwards.

Akira (1988) – Mad Max on steroids, with added teenage angst.

The Lawnmover Man (1992) – using virtual reality leads to insanity and horror.

StarTrek: First Contact (1996) – members of the Borg civilization got too cozy with their computers. Now they want to make us do the same, or destroy us, whatever comes first.

The Matrix (1999, 2003) – the computers would not only enslave us and exploit us, they will also fix us in a way that the majority will be fine with it. Only God can save us.

The 6th Day (2000) – like in most science fiction movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, our future is bleak. This time, the guilty party is genetics.

I, Robot (2004) – technophobic antithesis of Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics (the title is the same as his most famous short story), as opposed to the Bicentennial Man (1999) which follows the original plot of a humanizing robot who fights for his human rights.


Anonymous said...

This is a cool blog. Have there been any sci-fi movies released in 2008 which you thought were really good? I'm part of an awards panel, and I'm trying to keep up with the best of the year.


TreeHuggaz said...

I agree...an amazing blog...

keep up the good work...


Развигор said...

Hi Kosmo,

So far, the best new SF movie so far for this year is "I am legend." I'll try to elaborate on it when possible.

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