A workplace robot, AUTO, transforms into a killing machine when he discovers he will be replaced by a more efficient model.
Starring: Elissa Dowling, Parry Shen, Graham Skipper, Sarah French, and Sadie Katz
Directed by: Garo Setian
Written by: Garo Setian, Rolfe Kanefsky, and Matthew L. Schaffer
It’s clear times are changing, and workers are getting replaced all the time. First it was older workers getting replaced by young ones, and now computers are replacing workers of all ages. Skip ahead to the future, like in “Automation,” where robots are starting to take the place of people. No one is ever happy about it, and the robots won’t be either when it’s their time.
Enter AUTO, the only robot employed at Alert Insulation. He’s capable of doing a lot of the heavy lifting, but spends most of his time engaging in conversation to learn more about human behavior. He seems to have found a friend in a contracted employee named Jenny (Elissa Dowling). While their relationship grows, the audience also gets to meet some of the other employees, including Devin (Graham Skipper) who makes fun of AUTO and later attacks him.
AUTO has a faulty battery, and it’s causing him to have flashbacks of his previous programming. Apparently he was a wartime robot instructed to save his allies, and destroy the enemy. It’s Susan’s (Sadie Katz) idea to replace a good portion of the workforce with robots created by Alan (Parry Shen). While discussing their plan, AUTO listens in, and is shocked by the news. He tries to get Jenny to help him, but there’s little she can do so the fun begins.
As expected, the robot’s wartime programming begins to take over, and he starts taking down the enemy. Even after disposing of his enemy his usual personality would still pop up. He still tries to save Jenny, but she’s freaked out by his new death mode attitude. Now she’s out to save her life, and anyone else who has escaped his laser gun.
“Automation” keeps everything simple, and even in the most tense moments AUTO tries to stay true to himself. Maybe taking a cue from a movie like “Short Circuit,” they try to give the robot a bit of emotions, and make the audience care about him in the same way. His innocent personality matches his basic robot look, so even when he goes rogue it’s a little hard to believe anyone is in real danger. If you're looking for a killer robot movie with a little heart, and humor, this might be it. With that, I give it 2.5 pools of blood.
AUTOMATION will land on Blu-Ray and VOD December 3rd from Epic Pictures and DREAD following a limited theatrical run kicking off November 29th.