Robot Movies of the 90s

Monday, November 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Robot  movies of the 90s can be pretty hit or miss when it comes to entertainment value, but I’ve put together this list of some of the best available films from the genre.  And when I say “robot movies of the 90s,” I’m talking about any film which features a robot or artifical being in some capacity.  So just keep that in mind before you start bitching on the comments section. By the way, you’re always encouraged to put together your own list for our enjoyment.

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Hardware (1990) – A gritty little film which failed to catch on at the time, but has since developed a cult following.  A soldier buys his artist girlfriend the skull of a robot, not knowing that it was designed by the military and is still “alive.”  The lethal cyborg assembles a body for itself out of available materials and then proceeds to go on a kill-crazy rampage.  Lemmy from Motorhead gets a cameo, and the soundtrack features the musical stylings of Iggy Pop and Ministry.

Solo (1996) – Marion Van Peebles stars as a government killing machine who starts feeling remorse while fighting in the jungles of South America.  Escaping from his masters, he befriends a group of locals and protects them from guerrillas.  The military, meanwhile, wants their property back at all costs, and so they develop and deploy an improved android killer to take on Solo.  Watch for eventual Oscar winner Adrien Brody in a  small role as Solo’s designer.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – You’ve probably already seen this action classic, but people would scream bloody murder if it wasn’t included on the list.  Arnold Schwarzenegger returns, but he’s a good guy this time around.  Linda Hamilton and her newly-buffed body co-star, and she teams up with Arnie to try and protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a shape-shifting cyborg (Robert Patrick) sent back in time to terminate him.  If you haven’t seen it, you’re really missing out on some classic action filmmaking courtesy of director James “King of the World” Cameron.

Eve of Destruction (1991) –  Gregory Hines takes some time out from tap-dancing to star as Colonel Jim McQuade, a military specialist who must team up with a beautiful scientist in order to take down a rampaging female cyborg named Eve.  To complicate matters, Eve has a nuclear bomb built into her frame, and it’s a race against time to defuse her before the whole city goes boom.  Why the military would put a nuke inside an experimental cyborg is beyond me, but it sure is one helluva plot device.

The Matrix (1999) – While The Matrix makes the list of “robot movies of the 90s,” I’m not talking about the acting skills of star Keanu Reeves.  No, I’m referring to the sentient machines who prey on humanity, keeping them trapped inside their virtual prison while harvesting their bodies for heat and bioelectrical energy.  The most vicious of these are the Sentinels, giant quid-like robots with laser beams and advanced sensory abilities, who relentlessly hound Neo and company.

Screamers (1995) –  Yet another film based on a story by Philip K. Dick, Screamers stars Peter Weller as a soldier fighting a hopeless war on the mining planet Sirius 6B.  After receiving word of  possible peace treaty, he and a few of his soldiers travel across the barren planet to discuss the matter with their enemy.  But along the way, they’ll have to contend with the “screamers,” self-replicating robots who like to tunnel up from underground and cut people into pieces with their giant saw-blades.  As the movie progresses, we also learn that the screamers have evolved and are able to look like people and teddy bears (not a joke, folks).

Robot Jox (1990) – 50 years after a nuclear war, the nations of the Earth have agreed to no longer wage open warfare on one another.  Instead, all disputes are decided by battles between “robot jox” who pilot giant mechanical beings in fights to the death.  As a major showdown approaches, a retired fighter makes his return, the first female pilot prepares to make her debut, and a traitor is discovered in their midst.  Plenty of cheesy robot combat for fans of the genre.

Alien 3 (1992) –  Following the events in Aliens, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and her escape pod land on a prison/refinery planet, but she’s the only survivor of the crash (so long, Newt).  Surrounded by rapists and murderers, she soon comes to realize that a deadly xenomorph was also on her pod.  As it begins to grow in the shadows of the refinery, she and the inmates must band together in a fight for survival.  So where’s the robot?  Try Bishop (Lance Henriksen), the badly damaged android from the second film.

Virtuosity (1995) –  Sid 6.7 (Russell Crowe) is a virtual reality being who’s programmed with the personalities and memories of 183 of the worst serial killers and madmen throughout history.  Intended as a training tool for the police, he escapes his virtual world by getting downloaded into an android body.  As he runs amok across the city and the body count begins to rise, the authorities have no choice but to call in Parker Barnes (Denzel Washington), a former cop imprisoned for taking lethal revenge on the criminal who murdered his family.  Of course, it just so happens that the very same criminal’s memories are part of Sid 6.7.  One of Crowe’s earliest American movies, the film also stars Kelly Lynch, William Forsythe, and Louise Fletcher.

Star Trek: First Contact (1996) – This entry in the Star Trek franchise has Capt. Picard, Data, Riker, and all the others going back in time to prevent the cybernetic Borg from altering events and taking control of Earth.  The best film featuring the cast of television’s Star Trek: The Next Generation, it also stars James Cromwell and Alfre Woodard.

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Now that you’ve boned up on Robot Movies of the 90s, here are a few more subjects you might be interested in:

This entry was posted on Monday, November 9th, 2009 at 1:57 pm and is filed under Good Movies, Thoughts on Film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Robot Movies of the 90s”

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November 9, 2009


very nice. 🙂

January 3, 2011


My dad rented a future-world type movie that has a man getting in to a military exo-skeletal suit and the government controls him when the suit is on. At the end, he finally finds himself, disobeys his orders, and kills himself in the suit. I can’t remember if the movie was in the 80s or 90s. Any suggestions?


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