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End of line: Best computers in '80s sci-fi movies




Let's face it: The first time you were scared out of your pants by a computer, it probably wasn't during an '80s movie. I'm guessing Forbidden Planet, DarkStar or 2001: A Space Odyssey did the trick. But our beloved decade had some computers that -- if they weren't scary -- sure were memorable. Ego TV Online has just released its ranking of the best computers in sci-fi movies and, of course, several '80s classics made their list.

MASTER CONTROL PROGRAM (from TRON): "Tron was a crappy movie, but the special effects were light years ahead of their time. Therefore, it only makes sense that the major antagonist of the movie, a super-computer program called Master Control Program, should look like a CG mash-up of The Kool-Aid Man, one of those giant Easter Island heads, and Scotty Pippen."

SkyNetSKYNET (from the Terminator movies): "It's self-sustaining, self-programming, and self-aware. SkyNet is the reason why your iPhone still has an off button."

WOPR (from WarGames): "In the film, the government has created a super-computer that will manage the dispersal of nuclear warheads in the event that the Soviets start the fight. There’s only one problem: in the '80s, all computers ran on DOS, and any kid with a Commodore 64 could just hack into military data networks and play the missile defense system like a game of Oregon Trail."

MU-TH-RMU-TH-R (from Aliens and Blade Runner): "Ridley Scott directed Alien just three years before he directed Blade Runner, and MU-TH-R’s control panel was used in both films. When asked about the super-computer crossover later, Scott claimed that he had done it on purpose because both films probably took place around the same time in the future, so it made sense that the computers would be similar."

So which movie computers are they forgetting? Johnny 5 from Short Circuit? Edgar from Electric Dreams?

[Last modified: Monday, March 28, 2011 8:39am]


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