Sdtrk: ‘Sila’ by Laibach
During a recent frolic through the Interweb-o-net, I’d seen an article entitled ‘The Top Ten Sexiest Female Robots‘, and although I agreed with most of the selections, I thought: y’know, I should compile my own list. Frankly, I’m surprised the idea has taken me this long to occur to me.
I should note that I’ve not included any Gynoids from anime features, nor have I mentioned any real-life Synthetiks, otherwise the list would be twice as long..
10. Chalmers (Andrea Marcovicci, ‘Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone’)
The navigator/mechanic Gynoid with the slicked-back hair and the overly-huge sweater, from the three-dimensional Eighties film extravaganza, ‘Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone’. Rather attractive in a subdued way, unfortunately she ends up getting killed off early in the film, thereby bringing the feature to a complete halt for me. Worse yet, Peter Strauss (the aforementioned ‘Spacehunter’) activates her self-destruct mechanism, and she, err, melts. She’s one of those dairy-based Synthetiks, I suppose
09. TIE: Anna and Selina (Amy Yip and Chikako Aoyama, ‘Robotrix’)
A Hong Kong chop-socky / action adventure / soft-core porno that, much like ‘I love Maria’ (more about that later), is a big ol’ ripoff of Robocop. Our protagonist Selina is a police officer who gets killed in the line of duty and is rebuilt as a Gynoid, with better Law Enforcement and Sex Appeal Action. As it happens, one of the scientists who brings her back from the dead would be Anna, who is a Gynoid herself. It’s a very silly film, in grand Nineties Hong Kong style, but when you’re working with a story like that, you really can’t take yourself too seriously. Case in point: the film features an evil scientist named Ryuichi Sakamoto. Yes, you read right.
Anna has a slight edge (cos she’s played by the busty Amy Yip), but I’d say overall they both tie for ninth place
08. Valerie 23 (Sofia Shinas, ‘The New Outer Limits: Valerie 23’)
The main character from the 1995-era Outer Limits episode of the same name. Built for the purposes of assisting people, she was assigned to live with one of the blokes on the design team, who’s confined to a wheelchair. He thinks of her as merely a machine at first, eventually develops feelings for her, sleeps with her, and then wishes he hadn’t, as she’s ‘just a machine’. Unfortunately, she’s learning what emotions are, and becomes jealous when Scientist Guy starts seeing an Organik lass. Valerie tries to kill her, and is electrocuted in the end. You have to ask yourself — would she have gone into Terminatrix Mode if he wasn’t merely thinking of her as ‘just a machine’? The resounding answer is No. I think you kinda brought that upon yourself, pal.
Despite her slightly murderous tendencies, and her insistence on wearing a white bodysuit 90% of the time — it’s less flattering than it sounds, trust me — she’s impressive. A sequel episode entitled ‘Mary 25’ was aired shortly after, wherein the Valerie 23 model was upgraded with all the kinks worked out, and she featured a longer brown hairstyle as well. But the whole ‘wanting to kill people’ was kinda endearing! Plus, I’ve always loved her name
07. Electric Barbarella (the ‘Electric Barbarella’ video by Duran Duran)
I’m actually just having a guess at her name here, as it’s never mentioned. Well, yeah, it’s repeated several times as part of the chorus, but how do we know that ‘Electric Barbarella’ isn’t a term that Duran Squared uses, much in the same was we use Synthetik, or Gynoid? Is it like one of those brand names that, through popular usage, becomes synonymous for a product, like Kleenex or Hoover? I do not know! But I do know that said artificial lass is quite appealing, although if you’ve seen the video, you’ll know that her operating system has a few bugs that need to be ironed out (drops drink glasses, dusts Nick Rhodes’ hair). She screws up so much that you’d think she runs Window$, but she’s still lovable nontheless
06. Mile Heidi (the ‘Plug it in’ video by Basement jaxx)
Not too keen on Basement jaxx, but it’s a video starring a passel of Gynoids so I’ll put up with it.. And the most gorgeous Synthetik here by far has to be Mile Heidi, the Airline stewardess. Love the hair, love the uniform, love the way she moves. Full points all round!
05. nameless ‘Lovebot’ (from ‘Serenity’)
Obviously, not a lot is known about Mr Universe’s Gynoid bride (the actress who played her isn’t even listed in the credits), but I’ve always liked her poise and her expressions — very Doll-like, which goes without saying. She seems like a happy lass
04. AF-709 Rhoda (Julie Newmar, ‘My living Doll’)
I first learned about this show a couple of years ago and freaked right the hell out. A tv show from the Sixties about a Gynoid played by Julie feckin’ Newmar?? zOMG etc. Check out this write-up:
[Rhoda] stood five-feet, ten-inches tall, was covered with a low-modulus polyethylene plastic that gave her that human look, and maintained a constant body temperature of 98.6 degrees. Concealed gadgetry included four small emergency control buttons on her back disguised as birth marks, and a power-off switch discretely located in her right elbow.
Brilliant. I’m in love. 🙂 When you think about it, that’s actually a rather involved Synthetik assemblage, especially when you consider that the show is from 1964. Did.. did I somehow go back in time and have a hand in the writing??
Unfortunately, it seems that most of the 26 episodes were destroyed by the producers, but I’m still remaining hopeful that they’ll eventually surface on DVD. Hey, if they can find and remaster episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ that have been missing for three decades or more, they should be able to do it with ‘My living Doll’, damnit
03. Rachel (Sean Young, ‘Blade runner’)
As a Technosexual, Replicants have always been an issue with me. They’re manufactured, but they’re not really machines; they’re more like test-tube babies. By my definition, Synthetiks should be mechanical, and not contain squishy stuff within them. (I realise that’s a highly-specialised technical term, but bear with me.) You know that Replicants aren’t machines through seeing their eyes, for instance, at Chew’s Eye Shop; also, they tend to bleed when injured. So when I think of Replicants, I usually associate that with ‘product of genetic engineering’. Not entirely a Bad Thing, but not my ideal type of Synthetik.
Having said all that, Rachel? Feckin’ hotness, no question. Plus, she can play the piano!
02. Call (Winona Ryder, ‘Alien: Resurrection’)
Again, the ‘squishy stuff’ issue raises its squishy head. All Synthetiks in the ‘Alien’ series seem to have that white fluid in ’em. What the hell is that, anyway? On second thought, that’s probably best left unanswered.
‘Alien: Resurrection’ was a dismal exercise, with only two vaguely redeeming things to its credit: set design by Jeunet & Caro, and sweet Winona as a Gynoid — my dream come true, as I’ve always admired her special brand of squishy stuff. Even despite the crap hairchop she was sporting in the film. Hoorej!
01. Cherry 2000 (Pamela Gidley, ‘Cherry 2000’)
Quite possibly the one Synthetik that solidified and confirmed my love for Gynoids, ‘Cherry 2000’ is actually kind of a dumb film, with an ending so horrible it had me wincing. This would be your typical Boy (Sam, played by David Andrews) Loves Gynoid, Boy Breaks Gynoid, Boy Has To Travel Thru The Post-Apocalyptic Badlands To Get Replacement Chassis for Gynoid, Boy Meets Girl Bounty Hunter (Melanie Griffith, in her best role ever), Boy Vacillates between Wanting Girl Bounty Hunter and Repairing his Gynoid, Boy and Girl Bounty hunter Get Into Arseloads of Trouble Finding Replacement Chassis type of film. But what little redeeming quality it has can be attributed to Cherry’s relentless adorability. Not only is she dead sexy, but she just has a very likeable personality, which makes Sam that much more of a gobshite for doing what he did at the end of the film. Hrm. Chalk it up to Hollywood, I guess. But for me, Cherry 2000 is the standard by which I rate all other movie Gynoids..
At this point, some of you may be wondering why I’ve omitted a number of famous Gynoids:
+ the Stepford wives — ashamed as I am to admit it, I’ve yet to actually see the film. I know, I know, leave me alone
+ Vanessa Kensington (Liz Hurley, ‘Austin Powers’) — Yes, she was rather luscious, but y’know what? She was built to explode. Not an entirely positive selling point, if you ask me. I suppose you could simply deactivate her and remove the explosive device, but you’d really want to know what you’re doing before poking round in her mechanised innards
+ the Fembots (‘Austin Powers’) — Call me old-fashioned, but weapons in the jubbleys is a bit of a turn-off. Make love, not war!
+ Terminator-X (Kristanna Loken, ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’) — Meh; she does nothing for me. Besides, wasn’t Terminator-X a member of Public Enemy?
+ Gynoid Shirley Manson (the ‘The world is not enough’ video by Garbage) — quite delicious; but again, explodey
+ Gynoid Björk (her ‘All is full of love’ video) — I can appreciate the aesthetics of Synthetiks that have hard skin — you should see my collection of Sorayama art books — but being in bed with that type of Gynoid would be rather chilly, and result in bruises. Not only that, in day-to-day living, you’d have to make sure she broke out the Windex every so often, to wipe off all the smudges and handprints. Otherwise, that’s just tacky
+ Pioneer II / Maria (Sally Yeh, ‘Roboforce’ a.k.a ‘I love Maria’) — She has a cute face; unfortunately, the rest of her looks like a
ripoff homage to Sorayama’s metal beauties. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but her construction places her in the same category of the Gynoid version of Björk — look, but don’t touch
+ the Buffy-bot (Sarah Michelle Gellar, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’) — I’ve only ever seen one episode of that show, and it wasn’t the one featuring her. However, if anyone wants to send me an evaluation copy, I wouldn’t be averse to watching it..
Like I’d said, why the hell didn’t I write this list up a long time ago?