80s scifi with gladiatorial mangling machines?
March 6, 2012 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Which film gave me twenty plus years of recurring nightmares about weird grindy cog machines coming to mangle me?

When I was a kid my dad used to take me to the cinema all the time, and we would basically see everything that was on, as long as it was a U or a PG. This was probably from about 5-12 - 1980 to 1987. One film stuck in my head and was the stuff of my nightmares for a long time and I'd really like to see it again!
What I remember-
It was a pulpy type of science fiction/harsh planet/Mad Max type of film
I don't think it can have been a big hit or I probably would have seen it again since then
I remember it being quite sandy
The bit that gave me nightmares- a kind of gladiator arena where humans compete against robot machines made up of grinding saws and turning teary things. This can't actually have been very gory or I wouldn't have been taken to see it, but it made an impression on me!

Not much to go on but if anyone can help, you guys can!
posted by KateViolet to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Makes me think of Metal Storm--The Destruction of Jared Syn.

It's really bad. But in 3D, which might have made it extra scary. Available on Netflix.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:27 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

That looks like a quality film. It's certainly very similar to what I'm talking about and might be it so I'm going to check it out. However in my mind there was more of a real arena set up, maybe like a maze? And the machines were nastier. I think... it is hazy and of course this is only a trailer. :-/
It's from this era though, this kind of look and now you mention it, might well have been in 3D too...
posted by KateViolet at 5:40 PM on March 6, 2012

Maybe it was Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone which was similar and had Molly Ringwald.
posted by interplanetjanet at 5:43 PM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also in 3d, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. It has some sort of indoor arena escape scene, as I recall. It's been a while. Scariest thing in it is Molly Ringwald.

But I bet you are thinking of Running Man.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:44 PM on March 6, 2012

YES! I just found that myself once I had Metal Storm to give me a headstart! Thanks - wow that was quick for something that's been bugging me most my life!
posted by KateViolet at 5:46 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I mean yes to Spacehunter btw. Not Running Man, that was slicker and gorier.
posted by KateViolet at 5:46 PM on March 6, 2012

PS Come on, how can you say this isn't scary? Look at that mangling machine! http://io9.com/spacehunter/
posted by KateViolet at 5:47 PM on March 6, 2012

If that freaked you out, you might (or might not) want to take a gander at Tetsuo: The Iron Man.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:21 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Darn it, I was so excited to come and tell you your movie was Dune! Fighting machine thing, lots of sand, came out in 1984. Oh well.
posted by milk white peacock at 8:43 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the recommendation Johnny. Milk white peacock (love your name!) - thanks anyway. Dad took me to see Dune too but it didn't give me nightmares, just blew my mind a bit... Looking at these films I also realise they were actually 15s - seems my parents and the local cinema were pretty relaxed about film classifications!
posted by KateViolet at 4:08 AM on March 7, 2012

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