There’s a movie coming out tomorrow, it’s about a human brain in a robot body that goes around shooting stuff. Then she finds out that she’s not who she thinks she is! OH! This is all in the trailer BTW. So anyway, I don’t want you to see it. I don’t like rooting against movies because I know many people work very, very hard making these movies even if they end up being mediocre crap. However as a fan of this particular genre of sci-fi I have some alternatives for you! I’ll even tell you where to see them!
ROBOCOP (1987) – a no-brainer, really. A cop is killed in a chaotic gang-infested future Detroit and seeing as the enormous Omni Consumer Products now owns the police force they also now own his body. So they take Alex Murphy and turn him into the ultimate law enforcement unit, Robocop. He must do his job in taking down the gang that has taken over large parts of the city while rubbing up against his corporate masters who might be working with that very gang. It’s more or less the plot of the Ghost in the Shell remake only it is made by subversive action-meister Paul Verehoven. It’s incredibly violent, darkly funny and amazingly well-made with a Robocop suit that still looks amazing. Rent it wherever you prefer to rent stuff.
THE MACHINE (2013) – Caradog James took a meagre budget and created this superb futuristic dystopia which plays like a cross between The Terminator and Frankenstein. Vincent McCarthy is a brilliant scientist who creates cybernetics for the British government. He is working on his biggest project ever that Britain needs in its the new Cold War against China, an artificial intelligence in control of a humanoid android that can be used in advanced warfare. When the missing piece of his puzzle is found by a Ava (Caity Lotz) who has developed an incredibly sophisticated AI, things finally start falling into place. However Ava is killed by a Chinese assassin and so Vincent must carry on his work, using Ava’s likeness to create The Machine. Vincent must guide this childlike AI as it matures while knowing full well that her weaponized body is highly sought-after by his employers. Caity Lotz does an amazing job in this film with the portrayal of the android with both the character stuff and bringing the physicality required for the role. You can buy this in
BLADE RUNNER (1982) – have you heard of this one? If you’re contemplating going to see Ghost in the Shell and you’ve not seen one of the most important pieces of Cyberpunk fiction ever then goddammit, go watch it ya mook! Rent it!
EX MACHINA (2014) – I’m not a big fan of this one but lots of people are, Domhnall Gleeson is a brilliant software engineer who is brought to his mysterious boss’ secret compound to work on a special project. That project being that he must test the AI of a potentially duplicitous android woman while he is constantly being screwed with by the very eccentric Oscar Isaac as his boss. You can rent this all over the place or stream it on Amazon Prime
TOKYO GORE POLICE (2008) – Want some grimy, gory action to go along with that cybernetic lady carnage? Well have I got the movie for you! Tokyo Gore Police was directed by a make-up and special effects master Yoshihiro Nishimura who brings the blood, cyborg monstrosities and a kickass lady who can mechanically mutate herself Tetsuo-style to battle these monsters. Nishimura has made a number of movies with human/machine hybrid horror action movies but this is probably the easiest to get into. It’s on Shudder and available to rent and buy digitally and physically.
Full Metal Yakuza (1997) – this early work from the great Takashi Miike carries a definite trigger warning for sexualized violence. This is a very quirky and darkly humorous take on a revenge thriller. An incompetent hood is shot and killed alongside his powerful Yakuza boss for whom he has incredible respect. He wakes up to find himself resurrected by a crazy scientist who has used a combination of both men’s bodies and robotic parts to make him a cybernetic vessel for revenge.