The year is 1986…
I’am 2 years old and Short Circuit comes to theaters. Over the next few years as I watch these two films repeatedly, I grow to love them. These two flicks are another of my childhood favorites I forget exist until someone brings them up. Steve Guttenberg is one of the funniest 80′s actors I can think of, and I almost always like movies with him in it. Along with Guttenberg we also have a small role played by G.W. Bailey that also starred with him in a little series (you may have heard of it) called ‘Police Academy’.
Hey laser lips, your momma was a snow blower!
Who’s Johnny by El Debarge
What you need to know about Short Circuit
The movies follow a loveable death machine on wheels… er.. tracks, that was damaged during a demonstration. The machines were designed and built for military use and come standard with a laser pulse weapon and deadly precision. After being shocked by lightning, unit #5 basically becomes self-aware and wanders off to a womans house. #5 also known as Johnny 5, has developed a personality and learns to love. The company that made him wants him back to study him and the woman he wandered to, Stephanie, wants him to be safe with her. After truly learning and not just following his programming, he learns to really think for himself which contradicts his programming to kill. There are a lot of 3 Stooges jokes and disco for whatever reason.
Short Circuit (1986): A robot becomes self aware after an accident and ends up living with a woman he wandered to and his creator.
Short Circuit 2 (1988): Johnny is sent to the city to help a guy make toys, but a slime ball tries to make profits from him instead.
- At the beginning of the movie, you see a close-up of flowers on a green field, and then the tanks roll over them. This resembles James Cameron’s style (see also The Terminator (1984)).
- The robots are designed very similar to the large fighting machines in the future battle scenes in The Terminator (1984).
- Stephanie and Number 5 dance to a scene from Saturday Night Fever (1977) which was also directed by John Badham.
- This film was originally conceived as a dark high-tech thriller. Number 5 was originally intended to be the villain of the picture: an out-of-control, heavily-armed military robot that had escaped from the lab that had developed him. After several script revisions, the darker elements were toned down and the film became a high-tech comedy.
- The 3 Stooges short that #5 is watching is the end of Woman Haters (1934).
- The gangster movie featuring George Raft that Number 5 is watching, and later imitating (using Raft’s famous “coin flipping”) is Scarface (1932).
- Johnny 5′s voice is provided by puppeteer Tim Blaney. This casting decision was made due to the director’s belief that real-time interaction with the robot prop would make the interaction seem more natural on-screen than if they edited Johnny’s voice in during post-production.
- From the first movie to the second, Ben’s last name changes.
- Number 5′s full designation is “SAINT Number 5″. The acronym SAINT stands for “Strategic Artificially-Intelligent Nuclear Transport”.
- There was a script for a possible third Short Circuit movie written in 1989 and rewritten in 1990, but it was found to be unsatisfactory by the producers, and the project was subsequently scrapped. According to Variety magazine in April of 2008, Dimension Films had bought the rights to make a third Short Circuit movie, in which the plot would involve a boy from a broken family meeting and befriending Number 5. It remains unclear however if this movie will be a sequel to the first two movies, or a remake of this movie.