Television

Love Death + Robots, is a brand new Netflix series created by Tim Miller and Executive Produced by David Fincher. The series consists of 18 short science fiction/fantasy films. They range in styles from CGI to anime. If I could compare this series to anything, it would be The Animatrix. Each story stands alone, each has something unique to offer the viewer. The stories range from the horrific, to the hilarious. No matter what kind of viewer you are, there will be a handful of stories that you will gravitate towards, and it’s worth checking out.

Episodes:

“Sonnie’s Edge” this story is about a woman named Sonnie who battles in an underground monster fighting league, and she’s undefeated. The story expands on her background and why fighting is important to her. This story is based on a Peter Hamilton story, and it was a great way to open the series. Gritty, violent, shocking, and entertaining as hell. Friend of the Horror Pod Class Phil Gelatt wrote the screenplay for this episode and the next  episode, Three Robots.  Both are great.

“Three Robots.” Three robots take a vacation in a post-apocalyptic human city, and muse about the human race and how weird we were. Also, cats are involved. This episode is hilarious. It’s based on a John Scalzi short story and really captures the wit that Scalzi has in a lot of his writing. This episode will be a fan favorite, and it’s one that I wish was longer.  

“The Witness” A woman witnesses a man murdering a woman in the apartment across the street. Except, the woman he murders is the same woman as the one who watches. The short becomes a cat and mouse game between these two. This episode is thrilling, intense, erotic, and disturbing. It’s an original story made for the show and it is definitely a stand out.

“Suits” Farmers in the future use mech suits to help with farm work, but also fight off alien invaders, with a twist you never see coming. This episode is a lot of fun with a fantastic animation style. It’s not the best episode, but it has an ending that elevates it above others, and it would make an awesome video game. This is based on a Stephen Lewis short story.

“Sucker of Souls” A group of mercenary’s and cats encounter vampires. The animation is a hand drawn style which makes a great change of pace. Overall the story is gory fun and non-stop action. It’s the most forgettable in the long run, but it’s a fun time while you’re watching it. This short is based on a Kristen Cross short story.

“When the Yogurt Took Over” Scientists create sentient yogurt which takes over the Earth. It’s short, cute, and funny. Just like “Three Robots” this one is also based on a John Scalzi short story.

“Beyond the Aquila Rift” A crew traveling through space goes into hyper sleep and finds their ship has gone light years off course and there’s no way to get back home. This story perfectly captures the feeling of the Alistair Reynolds short that it’s based on.  Its unsettling, horrific, erotic but mostly it captures the feeling we all can relate to when we are far from home without a chance of getting back. 

“Good Hunting” This story follows, the son of a man that makes a job hunting magical creatures, as the boy makes a decision to spare the life of one such creature. As society evolves, modern society takes away the magic of the old world, and the boy meets the creature he spared years later after they have both come of age. This was a faithful adaptation of the fantastic Ken Liu story. It’s powerful, heartbreaking, and beautiful. Strongly recommended.

“The Dump” A government worker goes to a dump to interview an old man that lives there. The dump seems to be hiding a sinister secret. This is a fun and dark story based on a Joe R. Lansdale short.

“Shape-Shifters” The American Military allows Werewolf’s to fight alongside normal soldiers. This is a fantastic piece of military fiction that has an absolutely badass climax. Based on a story written by Marko Kloos, it has a fantastic animation style and will have you on the edge of your seat.

“Helping Hand” In short, 127 Hours in space. This episode is intense and will leave you cringing with sweaty palms. One of the strongest episodes in the series, it’s based on a short story written by Claudine Griggs

“Fish Night” A pair of traveling salesmen have their car breakdown in the desert, and not everything is as it seems. Based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale, this is a quiet, surreal, and emotional piece that will hit you in the feels by the end. 

“Lucky 13” A pilot is paired with an aircraft that has a mind of its own, and they have several successful battles together. This has an amazing animation style that looks photo realistic. A solid piece of military science fiction that’s also based on a Marko Kloos short story.

“Zima Blue” A journalist goes to meet a famous artist to cover his final exhibition. This is a touching story based on an Alistair Reynolds short story. The story has a lot to say about art, its place in the universe, and the idea of creation.

“Blindspot” Another original for the series, a trio of robots are working on a heist mission that doesn’t go the way it’s planned. This story is fun, and full of action. It also has stylish animation with some great world building.

“Ice Age” A couple played by Topher Grace and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who discover a civilization growing in their freezer. This is an episode that mixes live action with cgi flawlessly. This short is a lot of fun and has some fantastic visuals. It’s based on a short story by Michael Swanwick  Courtesy of Netflix

“Alternate Histories” Hitler gets killed over and over again in different ways and this changes how history plays out. A hilarious short based on a John Scalzi story. It’s just a lot of fun, and who doesn’t love watching Hitler die over and over again in ridiculous ways?“Secret War” Soviets accidentally summoned beasts from the depths of hell and a small army is trying to fight them off and survive. This is a powerful story about what it means to sacrifice for the greater good. It also has one of the best ‘last stand’ scenes I’ve ever seen in anything. It’s an intense and gory short that will have you sitting an open mouth. Also, this would make an awesome video game.

Love Death + Robots has to be one of the best things Netflix has put out. Tim Miller and David Fincher producing 18 different short films. Each film done by a different animation studio. They’re all good, some are horrific, others are heartwarming, and some are hilarious. It’s some quality entertainment and it’s all compelling. My favorites will have to be Beyond the Aquila Rift and Zima Blue. Both are based off of Alistair Reynolds short stories, and they’re both fantastic stories. I really loved Three Robots just for how funny and thought-provoking it was. The two Joe Lansdale adaptions The Dump, And Fish Night were also highlights for me. I would honestly recommend this series in its entirety. 

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