Part of Reel 13’s ongoing mission is to present fascinating independent films you won’t easily find elsewhere. We already launched this initiative with the online debut of Nina Paley’s tremendous achievement, Sita Sings the Blues. Now, the same week that the glossy special effects extravaganza Terminator: Salvation bombards the box office, we bring you a robot flick of another kind…

AUTOMATONS is a low-budget, lovingly-produced film about what happens when communication breaks down between societies. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the film follows a lone girl and her squad of robots as they struggle to survive the attacks of a relentless enemy.

Featuring veteran genre actor Angus Scrimm, a brilliant sound design, and a “broadcast-from-outer-space” 1950s visual aesthetic, AUTOMATONS is perfect for a movie night or lazy Sunday afternoon.

Directed by: James Felix McKenney

James Felix McKenney is the award-winning writer/director of the horror film Satan Hates You, coming to festivals in 2009. His first feature film was the cult horror-black comedy Cannibalistic!, which garnered rave reviews from leading genre publications including Shock Cinema and Rue Morgue.

He is an associate producer on the ScareFlix films The Roost and Trigger Man. McKenney is responsible for writing and directing the first Scareflick, the quirky supernatural drama The Off Season, which premiered on Lionsgate home video as the #1 debut DVD renter in North America. This was followed up by the critically acclaimed, retro-styled, killer robot film AUTOMATONS, which played festivals around the world as well as extended theatrical runs in New York and Chicago.

McKenney is currently in preproduction on his latest film, Hypothermia, from Glass Eye Pix and MPI/Dark Sky Films.

Reel 13 also has AUTOMATONS available for download at full resolution with a donation to Thirteen:

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  • the seeker

    Check out the NY Times review
    Defending the Human Race With Old Spare Parts

    With its retro look, cautionary theme and not-so-special effects, “Automatons” is a shameless ode to ’60s sci-fi and classic television shows like “Lost in Space” and “The Outer Limits.”

  • Robert

    It does not look like this film is much to look at, 60’s science fiction TV shows and Films were very cheesy and this one is pretty much along those lines.

  • the seeker

    Robert – you must be lactose intolerant What is wonderful about this film is that it takes the genre films of 60’s science fiction and is able to both recreate and comment on them.

  • joseph

    one of the most mindless made films i have seen decades. forget about any level of creativity with substance! please go back to the drawing board and some some color to it for starters.

  • trekcraft

    I think it looks great for an homage film. It’s a little slow moving, but the music mixed with Scrimm’s voice really sets an apocalyptic mood.

  • billl

    the lengthy planetary robot battle scene is a sci-cheese, lo-fi masterpiece! made me feel like a kid again…very cool.

  • Egon

    Mega cool. Moody, Creepy, and Campy. Looooved it.

  • KH_Blogger

    It’s David Lynch meets Ed Wood. Cool.

  • davecarpets

    If I had not seen the date (2006) of the movie; I would have thought it was pre Terminator. With tnat it could of been a prequel.

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  • Ken Gage

    Imaginative, eerily-paced, minimalist sci-fi horror! Loved it!