Friday Fun Link: Fembots gone wild

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With pirate candidate James Hill promising "No More Make-up Wearing Robots," there's never been a better time for sexy est-droids. Pro Libertate modestly calls it "the Ultimate Friday Fun Link"—Annalee Newitz' study of cinematic fembots in Popular Science. As it happens, I've been reading Pretend We're Dead, Newitz' anti-capitalist critique of horror films, and have found that book mostly unpersuasive; her fembot article is entertaining but doesn't go into a whole lot of detail, but the real the payoff is the gallery of killer-grrl-robot stills.

And it's always time to reread Mark Dery's analysis of gay robots, from HAL to KITT to C3PO.

NEXT: One More Year!

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  1. I’d have to cast my vote for Kelly LeBrock.

    By the way, Darryl Hannah looks like a raccoon. Is that why she was recently climbing trees?

  2. Come on, it wasn’t C-3PO’s fault that he was exposed to Jar-Jar Binks at an impressionable age.

  3. Modesty? It’s not my article, you know. Besides, it’s objectively true–nothing is, nor can be, more fun than a fembot.

    TOS had a few–the Harry Mudd robot slave girls and that galbot that Flint/Leornardo/Everyone else smart in history built. And the girls of Galactica have nothing to be ashamed of. Still, Kelly LeBrock was stupid fly back in the day, and I think it’d be hard to vote her off the island.

    If cyborgs get a vote–and I’m not sure that they do–Seven of Nine is too choice to ignore.

    Tim, I share your disappointment in the lack of depth in this article. Call me crazy, but a fembot cover article for Reason sounds like a great idea. I’m sure you could justify it with talk about human enhancements and the morality of enslaving robots; just be sure to include lots of pictures. Indeed, this could become the new gimmick for Reason–the annual Fembot issue. Get yours early!

  4. For those so inclined, Jeff David, the voice actor who portrayed the robot Crichton on the late 1970s Buck Rogers television show, is going to appear at the 31st Annual Friends of Old Time Radio Convention, October 19-22, at the Holiday Inn North in Newark, N.J. Full details at http://www.fotr.net.

  5. The hottest female robot ever was the Crushinator.

    Or Kelly LeBrock. Tough choice.

  6. Since I misspelled “Leonardo” above, I feel the need to make up for my failings by listing Flint’s known prior identities (love the web, baby, love it!):

    • Alexander the Great
    • Leonardo Da Vinci
    • Johannes Brahms
    • William Shakespeare
    • King Solomon
    • Merlin
    • Methuselah
    • Reginald Pollack
    • The painter Sten from Marcus II
  7. Who could forget Pamela Gidley in Cherry 2000?

  8. Pro Lib:

    I don’t know about you, but I’m happy with the streak of fellatio articles we’ve been getting. Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed that if you pull out the subscription cards, tear off the cards on either end, that the remaining center part makes an excellent “spacer” for rainbow parties?

  9. The Ruebenesque Rosie the Robot, Jocasta from The Avengers, Andrea from What are Little Girls Made of?, Rhoda from My Living Doll, Galaxina, Annalee Call, Bernadette Peters in Heartbeeps, and all those sexy chrome droids that Soroyama used to paint.

    Not that I think about fembots alot…

  10. I don’t think Kelly LeBrock was supposed to be a robot in Weird Science.

  11. Oh, right, Andrea! What a babe. She wins best robot costume hands down.

    aaron, I think you’re right. She’s a computer simulation come to life. Close enough for me!

  12. I just read something about an obscure fembot–Valerie 13 from one of the new Outer Limits episodes. “She” was played by Sofia Shinas. Google her, if you like.

  13. Feast your eyes on this

  14. Thanks for sharing that, Jim Walsh! For the record, I think Bender is totally hawt.

  15. There were at least two major omissions.

    1) the bots from “Dr. Goldfoot and His Bikini Machine”, which the mentioned Austin Powers bots clearly spoofed.

    2) the Star Trek episode in which the pleasure bots turned on the guy from the tribble episode–as I recall, Kirk and company escaped by blowing the robots minds.

    …I suspect those Star Trek bots were inspired by Dr. Goldfoot’s bots, but I can’t prove it.

    P.S. I vaugely remember fembots from a Wild, Wild, Wild, West episode, not that one epsiode from that show would make a memorable fembot.

    P.P.S. There should have been a fembot on Space: 1999, but I don’t think there was one. …but there should have been. There should have been.

  16. There’s also a episode of a short-lived horrible HBO SF/Sex anthology called Perversions of Science, where I guy’s fiance won’t put out so turns to the pleasure unit he spent time in space with. William Shatner played the military father of the fiance, and his daughter played the fiance.
    There is a funny bit where the guy has his dick lodged in the androids limbless headless torso and is running around trying to hide it, the rest was just awful.
    It was also based a short story from Nat’l Lampoon.

    http://www.tv.com/perversions-of-science/boxed-in/episode/78274/summary.html

  17. There was a Maya robot in the Taybor. And the hot chick (also played by the yummy Catherine Schell) in Guardians of Piri was a robotic avatar.

  18. 1999 also gave us a race of whip-wielding babes in red tights, for which we should all be eternally grateful:

    http://www.space1999.net/catacombs/main/images/space/dp/spdpz0021.jpg

  19. Jeff P,

    That sounds like it was totally ripped off from the Mr Bean Christmas special, where he gets his head stuck inside a turkey.

  20. There were the robots in Westworld.

    Ken Shultz:

    You should have known better than to post things that your memory was fuzzy on wrt Star Trek on this forum.

    By the “guy from the tribble episode,” I can only guess you mean Cyrano Jones in The Trouble with Tribbles, played by Stanley Adams, who was NOT Harry Mudd, played by Roger C. Carmel. And the “Harry Mudd robot slave girls” were already mentioned by Pro Liberate at 5:18.

    And since we’re on the subject of Star Trek, there was the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (The Offsping) where Data made an android (Lal) who chose to be a human female. Not really a fembot in this case, but at the time, I thought she was cute.

  21. Jeff P.,

    I saw that one. The android was a babe. That series was less science fiction and more an excuse to display attractive women without clothing.

  22. Pro Libertate,

    I thought thw whole reason *any*Sci-fi series exists is as an excuse to display attractive women without clothing…

  23. Shawn Smith,

    I wouldn’t have recognized “Harry Mudd robot slave girls” for what it was ’til you pointed it out. …and I still don’t know what “TOS” stands for.

    …but I remember vaugely from childhood, I must have been seven or eight when “Space: 1999” was on the air–I was gonna get the lunchbox. …but I think it was between Space: 1999 and Evel Knievel, and Knievel won the lunchbox war, hands down.

    Anyway, if I remember correctly, 1999 came on either right before or right after “In Search of”. …Mulder had an obsession with porn and extra-terrestrials–there’s no question what he was watchin’ when he was growin’ up.

    …A race of whip-wielding babes in red tights?! Beam me up, Scotty! No wonder he was always lookin’ for flying saucers.

  24. Lal was cute in a female-geek way, and that episode was fine as are all Data-centered episodes. Spiner really made that show.

    It’s surprising how many fembots (including Anna Karina in Alphaville) Newitz leaves out, while erroneously including Daryl Hannah. Rutger Hauer takes pains to point out that “we’re physical.”

    And I guess I should have written “estroids” rather than “est-droids.”

  25. The Friday Gratuitous New Wave Link

    It’s…

    !The Waitresses!

    http://www.hardcafe.co.uk/waitresses/

    http://tinyurl.com/p24mm

    The Waitresses’ music is so creative and they sported an appealing verve. Anyone remember em on Square Pegs?

  26. Tim,

    Which is why Reason has an obligation to correctly treat this issue with the thoroughness and respect it deserves. It’s a moral imperative, and you’re just the guy to do it 🙂 I’d submit an article, but whatever payment I’d get wouldn’t be worth the hell I’d catch from my girlfriend for even noticing that any fembot was ever attractive. At all.

    I’m willing to concede Pris = android. In the book, they are definitely robots. In the movie, while they are artificial biological constructs, they are programmable. Well, mostly so. Anyway, I deem the replicants close enough to androids for government work.

    I feel like I’m forgetting a really important fembot, but I can’t place her/it. And the Internet isn’t helping, dang it.

  27. Cool!

    How will we know when (if ever) to grant fembots and other androids rights? What about if we are ever able to develop androids that can feel pain ( Maybe impossible but still a fascinating speculation), perhaps granting them the “right” not to have pain needlessly inflicted on them?- like animal cruelty laws. Oh Shit, I don’t have time to go into all the questions here cuz it just occurred to me that this consideration can get really complicated…

  28. Tim:

    “Lal was cute in a female-geek way.

    Sounds good to me. Cute geek/nerd gals rule.

  29. Rick Barton,

    Rights? No, no, my human brother. We simply administer the Voigt-Kampff test to any sentience-aspiring android. If it passes, we shoot it. Legal and moral problem solved!

    Um, future robot overlords who are reading this, I was making a joke. A bad joke in extremely poor taste.

  30. Pro Libertate,

    That sounds like the basis for a good scifi/cyfi novel. Imagine the future robot overlords reading your comment, not being amused, and figuring who you really were and then trying to hunt down your direct descendants so they could eradicate carbon based genetic lines that have displayed anti-synthetic tendencies…

  31. I definitely want our future robot overlords to know that I am most certainly not an antisynthite.

    Why, but some of my best friends are robots.

  32. We saw it in the movies: Labor unions and sexual-harassment suits are always preferable to an angry fembot. After all, she?s bound to be stronger, faster and smarter than you.

    Socalist fears not only robots taking over the factory but the bed room as well.

    weird…and not one mention of Lucy Lu Bot from futurama.

  33. Why, I welcome our robot overlords! I’m doing everything I can to usher in their benevolent and amazingly wise rule!

  34. The fembot of all fembots is Julie Newmar in TV’s “My Living Doll.”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057774/

    If you never saw this early-60s sitcom, it was sort of a watered-down version of Lester del Rey’s “Helen O’Loy.”

    Of course, nowadays “fembot” isn’t PC. I believe we are supposed to say Gynoid. At least the link (to Wikipedia) has a fine list of persocoms, marionettes, and cyberdolls.

    Kevin

  35. Also: Gypsy from Mystery Science Theater 3000

  36. Pro Libertate,

    You’re a wonderful Great Great Great……Great Grandfather!

  37. It looks like this thread is dead, but just to let Ken Shultz know, TOS, when used in a Star Trek frame of mind, stands for “The Original Series,” or “The Old Series.” It’s also been called “Trek Classic,” and “Classic Trek.” It’s to differentiate it from Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG) or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9, or just DS9)

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