Science fiction has always provided a tantalizing look at promising possible futures, techno-topias replete with capsulized food, flying cars, robot servants, and cybernetic or genetic enhancements that grant superhuman abilities. But the dire prospects of technological advancements instead ushering in fatalistic future dystopias are also a common theme in sci-fi movies, and not just in cynical contemporary cinema. In fact, the very first feature-length sci-fi film, Fritz Lang's 1927 Metropolis, gave us the gilded cyborg Maschinenmensch that inspired the helpful, if neurotic, C-3PO, but it did so in a cautionary tale about technology being usurped by the wealthy to suppress the working class.
In the 1950s, moviegoers couldn't get enough of sci-fi films in which heroic protagonists in silver jumpsuits battled external threats to the Earth in the form of mutant monsters or little green men. And yet, movies like 1951's The Day the Earth Stood Still pointed out that our own nuclear weapons technology may be a much bigger threat than alien invaders. Two decades later, George Lucas reignited sci-fi cinema with 1977's Star Wars, ushering in a wave of copycat movies and teaching kids that robots could be friendly, helpful, and even cute. Only five years later, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner showed us just how scary and lethal our artificial servants could become when they no longer care to take orders from their human masters.
Those are just a couple of examples of sci-fi films with decidedly Luddite themes or messages. Scour the archives and you'll find countless sci-fi movies featuring amazing futuristic technologies that have the potential to do far more harm than good! Be sure to mute Siri or turn off Alexa, and then weigh in on the movies containing the most dangerous tech in sci-fi cinema.
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