LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS
Some of the 18 short animated films in a new Netflix series called Love Death + Robots end with unexpected twists—like latter-day episodes of the venerable Twilight Zone shows. But the new adult-oriented anthology beats the old one for weirdness.
Part of the enhanced bizarreness on LDR probably accrues from Hollywood’s additional decades of working to perfect the ways it wields shock, horror and suspense. It’s been a long time since the original Twilight Zone episodes ran on broadcast TV from 1959 to 1964 .
LDR also increases the strangeness quotient by capitalizing on the current era’s relatively relaxed attitudes toward the profane, erotic, grisly and gory. All of those characteristics abound in the new series, with sensual sex scenes, copious amounts of flesh ripped from the bodies of humans and beasts, and matter-of-fact blurring of the line between humanity and machinery.
Relying on beautiful—if sometimes frightening—animated graphics instead of the Twilight Zone’s black-and-white live-action studio productions, LDR images range from hulking, viscous, vaguely reptilian and just plain ugly “beastie” warriors—to cute, chattering humanoid automatons.
Meanwhile, LDR brings its increased weirdness to a far wider zone than the Twilight Zone ever did. Animation unleashes creativity, enabling illustrators to fill the worlds they envision with urban canyons of underpopulated skyscrapers, or domed farms operated by robot-dependent family farmers.
Blending the dramatic, comedic, sci-fi and horror genres, lends LDR ample variety from the start. And using animation crews from different countries further differentiates the episodes.
Believe it or not, investors seeking a handle on a robotic future just might gain some insight from watching what LDR has to offer. And it’s entertaining, too.
— Ed McKinley