Doctor Who, "Robots Of Death":

I'll be writing more about this 1977 storyline later on this week, but I would be remiss to leave it out here. The eponymous deadly robots in this story are deliberately designed to look cold and unresponsive, so we're not really surprised when they "suddenly" go all red-eyed and start strangling people. But the true genius of this story is that it verbalizes just why people are so terrified of lifelike robots: it's their deadness. The newly invented disease "robophobia" (or Grimwade's syndrome) takes this fear of corpse-like stiffness and pushes it to its farthest extreme.


Blade Runner:

Let's accept, for the moment, that the artificial "Replicants" are actually robots in some sense. (It's kind of vague in the movie, IIRC, and they definitely have a biological component.) They're stronger and smarter than regular humans, but they're also closer to death, because they have an in-built expiration date.


The Terminator:

You can't get more zombie-like than the original T-800, played by Arnie in his prime. Arnie has never been stiffer, and deader-looking, than when he plays this unstoppable murder machine. Especially once he gets some face damage, and he starts wearing those sunglasses, so he has absolutely no expression whatsoever. You shoot him and blast him, and he keeps getting up... because he's already dead. Not to mention, he turns into a walking skeleton, which doesn't hurt, either.



OMG this is the clincher as far as I'm concerned. Yul Brynner is the walking dead in this movie. Look at his frozen expression and how it slowly turns into a rictus smile when he says "Draw." Now I'm going to have nightmares of him singing "Shall We Dance" while dismembering people:

Star Trek, "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"

This is is the classic zombie-bot strategy: have one robot who clearly resembles a dead guy, and give him a creepy name like Ruk, or Krob, or Glop, and then nobody will notice that the rest of you are all zombie robots as well. Just look at Dr. Korby's stiff, jerky motion and empty eyes. Even Shatner looks more deathlike after he's a robot:

I, Robot:

There was a lot wrong with this Will Smith Converse All-Stars vehicle... but one thing it got right was the fact that its deadly robots look totally like ghosts, pale and almost translucent... and they have the nearly-but-not-quite human expressions as well:

Eve Of Destruction:

Those staring eyes. The way she flirts and laughs with absolutely no real expression. The way she covets people's fashion items. She is a hot dead lady, and she's out to kill you. Her only means of showing emotion is to make her eyes even bigger and buggier. It's up to Gregory Hines, that dancing fool, to put her back in her box. Which sounds a lot dirtier than it probably really is:

The Bionic Woman's Fembots:

Like Eve in Eve Of Destruction, the "fembots" in Bionic Woman are dead girls. They're blank-eyed, stiff and heartless, and there's something just "wrong" about them, even before their faces inevitably fall off: