10 ludicrous killbots (who would make the Terminator facepalm in shame)

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Not every killing machine can be a T-1000, Megatron, or HAL. Some killbots are masses of sentient candy, evil skyscrapers, or half-gorilla aliens. Here are ten movie and TV killbots who flunked out of evil robot school.

The Kandy Man from Doctor Who
On the 1988 Who episode "The Happiness Patrol," the TARDIS lands on the planet Terra Alpha, where a good humor-obsessed secret police round up any citizens with glum thoughts (such as the harmonica playing bluesman, Earl Sigma). The Happiness Patrol disposes of these "killjoys" by turning them over to the Kandy Man, a confectionary golem who executes undesirables with the Fondant Surprise, or a fatal shower of searing candy.


The Kandy Man thought it was doing its victims a favor, as the Fondant Surprise was supposedly so delicious it overwhelmed its victims with life-ending pleasure. If any Who villain deserves a comeback, it's this guy.

Bluey the Clown from F/X2
1991's F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion not only had one of the best titles of 1990s action cinema, it had one of the most absurd robot battles to boot. When stuntman Rollie Tyler is faced with a bad guy, he dons his clownish telemetry suit. Getting killed by a clown is a lousy way to go, but getting offed by Bozo the Bunraku is the epitome of ignominious deaths. (Thanks to cljohnston108 for mentioning this circus bot!)

The Cyber Ninja from Mirai Ninja
This 1988 film was based on an arcade game of the same name and was more or less Tron + Terminator + ninjutsu (although the movie's final scene in which a dojo turns into giant spider/mecha/tank is trashily exquisite). Granted, Cyber Ninja's of the more diginified killbots in this article, but the Tron shurikens and jump jets are nonetheless ludicrous.

Box from Logan's Run
After they escape the Carousel, runners Logan and Jessica meet Box, a food preservation robot whose programming has gone awry. Instead of freezing food, Box ices up all organic matter that comes his way (humans included). His deranged speeches are priceless — "Fish! And plankton! And sea greens! And protein from the sea!"

Johnny Cab from Total Recall
Johnny Cab's not a killbot per se, but if you try to get your ass to Mars without paying the fare, he'll mow you down.

The Samurai Robots from Futureworld
As the robotic cowboy in Westworld, Yul Brenner was a cold-eyed, cold-metal killer. What do we get in its sequel Futureworld? Angry samurai robots who are farted out of holograms. Whoopie doo.

The Tower from The Tower
In this 1993 TV movie, a computerized skyscraper malfunctions and tries to kill Paul Reiser. This film was exactly like 2001, if 2001 took place on Earth, starred Paul Reiser, and was remembered by absolutely no one.

The Otomo from Robocop 3
More ninjabots! Robocop is a classic, Robocop 2 is a trash classic, and Robocop 3 is the one Peter Weller didn't star in. In the third installment of the Robosaga, Omni Consumer Products' dominance over Detroit is challenged by the Kanemitsu Corporation and their Otomo ninja cyborgs. How efficient are they? Robocop defeats one lying down. I'd buy this movie for (nothing more) than a dollar.

Vera from Superman III
Superman III had its own unique brand of crazy, what with Richard Pryor skiing off buildings and Supes getting tanked and ruining the Olympics. The film's final villain continued its streak of WTFfery — Vera, the lead villain's whiny sister, is transformed into a mawkish patchwork cyborg by an out-of-control supercomputer. Did DC lose the rights to Brainiac in 1983?

Ro-Man from Robot Monster.
Ro-Man is the granddaddy of all ludicrous killbots, hailing from the far-off year of 1953. Was he an alien? A gorilla? A robot? All three? None of the above? In any case, Ro-Man couldn't kill the final eight remaining Earthlings because he had a crush on one of the last ladies left on the planet. Weak! Also, do evil gorilla killbots go through puberty? Mystery Science Theater 3000 gave this film the once over.


Annalee Newitz

Hey don't mess with Ro-Man! He's Ro-Man . . . from planet Ro-Man!