First there was Malignant, then there was Barbarian, and now we've got ourselves the trifecta of wtf horror film hits with M3GAN. Made with a relatively meager budget of $12 million and grossing over $100 million worldwide, M3GAN has been a certified smash success with a sequel being greenlit and writing already underway.
So what the hell is M3GAN about? Why is it such a money machine and garnering this amount of feverish support??
Set in Seattle, M3GAN follows the story of young Cady (Violet McGraw) who loses her parents in a car accident and is placed in the care of her Aunt Gemma (Allison Williams). Gemma, working for a prosperous toy company, secretly creates a robot toy dubbed M3GAN (played by Amie Donald and voiced by Jenna Davis) that she's able to impress her boss with due to its AI capabilities and helping Cady through her trauma. Over time, M3GAN begins to blur the lines between her operative goal of keeping Cady safe and well, not murdering people. She does this by, checks notes, murdering people.
While the plot itself is rather derivative and unexciting it's the sheer silliness and absurdity that it uses to get from point A to point B that strikes a chord with the audience. M3GAN is what the world looks like if Chucky was a Care Bear. What you get is a dancing, singing, ridiculous looking doll that apparently has a higher body count in a much gorier uncut version that has yet to see the light of day.
Much of the themes in the film are unintelligable but the biggest one being that Gemma is trying to offload her parenting responsibilities of Cady to M3GAN so she can focus on her career. Meant as a statement on the omnipresence of technology in life, every noise made by electronics in the film are 1000x louder than everything else, its clear that Gemma can't simply let a robot parent Cady through her formative years and through the trauma of losing both parents.
I'll hand it to story creator James Wan and screenplay writer Akela Cooper, they certainly made an entertaining film that kept me laughing. But make no mistake, the only allure of this film is to join into the memeculture and understand all the jokes about it. The acting outside of Williams is an atrocity, the story is redundant, and there's nothing really long lasting in my mind that could warrant watching it again.
But, speaking on the forever expanding creep of technology replacing all the mundane tasks in our lives, which apparently in M3GAN is parenting, what other bloodthirsty robots would I prefer to offload such tasks onto? Who would I prefer to have my child spend their formative years with and learn "how to not kill someone with a pressure washer filled with pesticide?"
Here I present to you, the top 5 killer robots I'd rather have parent my child instead of M3GAN.
Megatron is a robot that's got it all figured out. It knows what it wants and isn't afraid to crack a few eggs to make an omelette. Not to mention it's the most resilient bugger to ever exist, as it somehow died in Transformers, came back in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen just to die again in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Oh, and then come back alive in a new hot bod in Transformers: Age of Extinction to then lose the aforementioned hot bod and possibly die again in Transformers: The Last Knight. Resilience and toughness is a lesson best taught through multiple deaths and 5 movies too many.
Nothing shouts I'm a fun parent quite like 8 killer animatronic mascots from a roadside family fun entertainment center. Its like having your kid raised by the Chuck E. Cheese band, except they're possessed by serial killers. But what fun zany characters am I right!?
This one is a bit of a stretch because Sonny (Alan Tudyk) is the outlier of the rest of the robots with his newly discovered free will. However, he does kill Lanning (James Cromwell), even if it was at his request, but it still counts! Sonny is a great choice here because he's such a sensitive soul, if robots have souls- I don't know maybe that's for another article. But if someone/something is going to teach a child to follow their dreams, it may as well be a robot that dreams.
A great "killer" parental robot from a terrible movie? Count me in! Chappie (Sharlto Copley) is the top-tier example of a robot learning on screen and the proof is in the pudding. Killing and beating the living daylights out of Hugh Jackman aside, Chappie is really trying out here, and that's all you can ask for when you're making the terrible mistake of having a robot rear your child for years on end.
This was the obvious choice for number one. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator is the ultimate bad-robot-turned-good-maybe-I-lost-track, making it perfect for teaching those valuable lessons in life. Not to mention you'll never have to worry about leaving your child alone or future abandonment issues because the Terminator will always be back.
When you're heading into a viewing knowing damn well you're just looking to be blindly entertained then you best get your beer jacket on for some depth in the inevitable belly laughs. That's why I chose one of the all-time classic crushable IPA's, the Voodoo Ranger out of New Belgium brewing. It's tasty tropical flavors and light body make it an easy beverage to have and as refreshing as could be. The 7% ABV is a big help in warming up the ole chuckle muscles for when a robot girl starts singing "Titanium" as a form of emotional comfort.
No seriously, this movie is hilarious.