Technology Run Amok: Techno Shock Films, Part II

Written by Viki Reed

aNewDomain — According to Hollywood, there are numerous ways for technology to run amok and squash humanity. In a previous post, we listed 11 movies that predict a techno shock future. Here are seven more.


Image credits: Viki Reed

There, There. Big Brother Will Make it Better 

1984 (1984): Imagine a world with no war, only thoughtcrimes. In George Orwell’s version of the future, society has the power to anticipate bad things and slap them down. Too bad everything falls apart due to poor judgment and unpredictable homosapiens. It’s gray; you feel only fear of being noticed because there’s nothing left to take. “They” always know what you’re thinking. The closer mankind gets to losing everything, the greater our will to sacrifice it all. Agony becomes beauty. No amount of tech can do anything other than observe, record and punish it.

Minority Report (2002): If 1984 is gruesome, then MR will make you uncomfortable. Not just because Tom Cruise can hop out of an in ground pool to a standing position like he was launched by a rocket, either. It’s not future tech, it’s now tech to the extreme. Crime is eliminated via enslavement of “precogs” — psychics who envision crimes before they happen so the cops can proactively bust folks. Again, too bad Precogs are only human. As we all know, people have a tendency to screw up crime-free utopias.

Mexico, Michoacan, Morelia, books in university library


Professional Organizers Rule the World 

Brave New World (1980): Society would be mellow if you could just organize everyone into categories and disallow them from stepping outside their class. Your life is predetermined. Electronic baby surrogates in dangling nurseries only breeding superior DNA. These futuristic utopias always turn out to be emotional dystopias in the end. True to hopeful endings, all it takes is one Oliver Twist to ask for more.

THX 1138 (1971): If you thought Robert Duvall only played hardcore grizzled macho roles then you haven’t seen his compliant worker drone role as THX 1138. All is fluorescent and sterile. As usual, the new order copes with humanity by drugging drones. (Hope they don’t stop taking their meds!) THX 1138, the movie, is almost nothing but conversation and footsteps, yet it fries you with terrifying paranoia.

Logan’s Run (1976): Society is a technological nirvana. People are blissful, sexed-up and drunk in a domed world resembling an underground mall. All you have to do is agree to self-immolate on your 3oth birthday to maintain world order.

big brother small

The Machines Already Won, had a Sandwich and Came Back in the Time it Took me to say This

The Terminator (1984): In the future, a big corporation called Skynet will develop artificial intelligence so egotistical that it will control our nukes and eliminate organic life. One man will stop them: John Connor. Since he’s not born yet Skynet sends a Terminator back to 1984 to kill li’l Johnny’s mommy. In the end, you can’t extinguish human will to survive — or Linda Hamilton’s biceps.

The Matrix (1999): What would happen if machines really did conquer the world? And the only way for humanity to fight back was to plug into a computer network? This movie makes you look at your hand and wonder if you are in fact in a matrix. But then someone invites you to play Farmville and you go back to knowing it’s just a kickass, mind-melting, fight flick dressed up in tight leather. Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a last hope of the holdouts. Neo does some amazing heroic defending against the tough, nearly-invincible agents. But as one agent asks: “What good is a phone call when you are unable to speak?”

Based in New York, Viki Reed is a senior photographer and pop culture commentator at She’s worked with SubBrilliant News, Anti-Press and Thewax. Check out her work at and email her at or