Sci-fi fans have seen all different kinds of robots over the years that range from friendly helpers to homicidal killers since robotic automatons first began appearing on the big screen at the turn of the 20th century in films like 1919’s The Master Mystery, 1921’s The Mechanical Man, or Fritz Lang’s iconic 1927 film Metropolis.
However, while there are quite a few movies devoted to exploring the idea of robots in various ways, there are a number of strange robot appearances in the movies that seem out of place in the context of the story, and even stranger robots whose weird designs or crazy functions make no sense or serve no purpose to the film even though they may look cool.
10 Robby The Robot – Forbidden Planet (1956)
One of the most famous cinematic robots comes from the 50s, which saw a boom in science-fiction films that included 1956’s Forbidden Planet and introduced fans to the incredibly-designed Robby the Robot for the first, but definitely not the last time.
Robby was a helpful and occasionally humorous robot, though he was strangely portrayed as an evil terror in promotional material for the film. Robby would continue to appear in other films as his design was reused or altered, making him an iconic piece of pop culture.
9 D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)
Barret Oliver played the titular star of 1985’s D.A.R.Y.L., which was a military acronym that stood for Data-Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform. Daryl was a government experiment that was hoping to create a super-soldier.
Daryl was freed by his creator and taken in by a loving family, though he was unaware of his robotic origins until the government came after their escaped experiment, who consider Daryl a failure due to his ability to feel emotions.
8 Johnny 5 – Short Circuit (1986)
Escaped military experiments seem to be a running theme in robot films, and 1986’s Short Circuit followed a similar premise after a robotic S.A.I.N.T. (Strategic Artificially Intelligent Nuclear Transport) was struck by lightning and gained sentience.
The military robot craved new input and soon began to learn about humanity, taking on his own name and becoming Johnny 5 as he fled from the lab who created him. Johnny 5’s unique design worked well to establish the character’s new emotions but didn’t seem well-equipped for military service of any kind.
7 Robot Bill & Ted – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
After Bill and Ted went on their Excellent Adventure in 1989, the duo returned in 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey as they encountered evil robotic duplicates of themselves from the future that were created by the most, most heinous De Nomolos.
After they were killed by their robotic duplicates, Bill & Ted enlisted the help of alien scientists to create their own “good robot usses” to take out the evil robot duplicates. The makeshift design of the good robot duplicates didn’t make them seem more powerful than their opposites, though they still managed to save the day.
6 Box – Logan’s Run (1976)
1976’s Logan’s Run featured a futuristic society that lived in a sealed dome that took care of all of their needs, though at the age of 30 citizens were required to submit for a renew cycle that actually killed them off, resulting in a number of Runners who attempted to escape their fate.
The film followed a pair of Runners who learn the dark truths about their society through a series of strange encounters. One of those encounters is with Box, an insane robot originally tasked with gathering and freezing food for the city, however, he also freezes humans as protein to be harvested.
5 Hector – Saturn 3 (1977)
The strange robot known as Hector appeared in 1977’s Saturn 3, which took place aboard a space station orbiting Saturn and starred Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett, and Harvey Keitel, though he was oddly dubbed over by an uncredited Roy Dupuis.
Hector’s unique headless design was unnerving on its own, but the fact that it was also controlled by pure brain tissue that needed a neural connection with another human to operate. Unfortunately, Hector’s connection with its psychotic programmer dangerously tainted its goals and led to a creepy obsession with a female crewmate.
4 Wafflebot – A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)
The third entry in the Harold & Kumar franchise reunited the stoner buddies years after their earlier adventures in 2011’s A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, which brought the long-lost friends together thanks to a mysterious gift from Santa Claus.
Harold & Kumar made a new friend with the oddly dangerous Wafflebot, an infomercial-like device that became obsessed with Kumar and used it’s waffle-making abilities to get them out of sticky situations. Wafflebot was an incredibly odd inclusion that stood out in an equally strange but hilarious 3D Christmas romp.
3 Fix-Its – Batteries Not Included (1987)
1987’s *batteries not included focused on the tenants of an apartment block that is being pressured to move by property developers. The apartment block includes a diner ran by an elderly couple who first discover strange alien robots in their apartment.
The robots resemble living spaceships and become known as “The Fix-Its” after they repair various things around the building. The Fix-Its find themselves a new home with the tenants that brings them into the conflict with the shady property developers.
2 Paulie’s Robot – Rocky IV (1985)
Without a doubt, one of the strangest inclusion of a robot in a movie came in 1985’s Rocky IV, when Rocky and the Balboa family give a SICO robot that had been designed to work with autistic children to brother-in-law Paulie for his birthday.
The slow-moving helper robot seemed ill-suited to perform its tasks and its appearance in the film makes little sense in the overall context of the story. And while Paulie initially thought the robot was creepy, it managed to get even stranger when he later reprogrammed the robot to act as his “girl.”
1 Ro-Man – Robot Monster (1953)
One of the oddest robot designs appeared in 1953’s Robot Monster, which is largely considered as one of the worst movies ever made for a number of reasons, including the inclusion of Ro-Man, one of the worst robot designs fans had ever seen.
Without the budget to create an actual robot costume, writer/director Phil Tucker hired a friend with his own gorilla costume to star as Ro-Man. The design was completed with a typical-looking astronaut helmet seen in similar films and TV series, and the strangest cinematic robot was born.
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