I'm looking for a short movie, probably from the 80s, I remember having watched when I was a kid... It was on a VHS (yes, I'm started to be old already), a compilation of several "horror" short movies... One of them was about the Hiroshima story if I remember well, on the same VHS...

In that short movie, all I can remember is that at some point, some domestic devices came to life, and started a coordinated rebellion against humans... Probably they managed to modify themselves too because at some point, there was some kind of robotic spiders attacking a man (the main character) in some toilets...

Any help would be much appreciated...

  • Note that those spiders might have inspired Stargate Replicators, because in my memories, they were very similar... But, Stargate didn't exist yet, for sure, and it really was a short movie (like ~20 min at max, something like that)
    – cedbeu
    Mar 5 '16 at 6:18
  • 3
    Ah, that's what the world is coming to with the Internet of Things. Mar 5 '16 at 8:38
  • ah ah, funny comment :)
    – cedbeu
    Mar 5 '16 at 8:48
  • 1
    Och... and I just now see that someone mentioned Runaway already. Ah well, I'll let my answer ride in case someone else is looking for a robot spider movie.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 7 '16 at 17:53
  • no prob guys, thanks for the suggestion anyway @FuzzyBoots
    – cedbeu
    Mar 8 '16 at 1:47

Robot spiders and rogue appliances brings to mind Runaway, a 1984 Tom Selleck vehicle where he is part of a police division that deals with malfunctioning robots and other automated appliances. Normally, it's a boring job, but they come upon some actual killer robots. Differences are that the robots are being directed by someone else and it's set in the future (which your question doesn't seem to suggest).

Big possible match, according to the TVTropes entry (emphasis mine), "Luther finds the Tracking Device Ramsay planted on the templates and leaves it on the toilet roll of a hospital bathroom. He also leaves one of his spiderbots which kills forensic officer Sally and a SWAT guard."

German movie poster

Spiderbot image from this article:
enter image description here

Trailer (if I'm interpreting the actions on-screen correctly, the toilet attack is in here)

  • Unfortunately, I've checked again that movie, and it's definitely not this one... It was definitely a short movie, and a kind of alternative/independent/small production (not a block buster of any kind). It was on an (official, not homemade/self-recorded) VHS with a bunch of other movies, classified as "horror" (or something like that). Another short movie on that compilation was about the bombing of Hiroshima, as far as I remember (but, I was a kid, unfortunately I can't tell you much more)
    – cedbeu
    Jul 23 '20 at 2:36

At 95 minutes, Pulse is a relatively short film, and it came out in 1988 so fits the timeframe.

According to the reviews and summaries, it's about an evil electromagnetic pulse that causes household appliances to come to life and attack the occupants.

Found via the TV Tropes page Attack of the Killer Whatevers


Not likely the movie you're thinking of, but the only thing coming to mind is Maximum Overdrive. It's based on a Stephen King short story where devices come to life after Earth passes through the tail of a comet.

  • Nope, definitely not this one, though the Stephen King-like atmosphere is a common point
    – cedbeu
    Mar 5 '16 at 6:13
  • I don't know the Stephen King story, but the idea of domestic appliances coming to life and rebelling against humans reminds me of Clifford Simak's 1950 short story "Skirmish" aks "Bathe Your Bearings in Blood!".
    – user14111
    Mar 5 '16 at 6:31
  • Ow, it wasn't a Stephen King story, I'm pretty sure... Just the anguishing atmosphere makes me think about that. I don't know Simak story, maybe it's related, I'll read it
    – cedbeu
    Mar 5 '16 at 6:41

I remember a film like this too. In particular a scene in which the pizza slicer chases a woman around a kitchen. I don't remember the spider robots being part of this same movie though.

The name of the movie is Don't Go To Sleep (1982).

  • This seems like more of a generic slasher/ghost movie than one where domestic devices try to take over.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jul 20 '20 at 15:21

"Attack of the Killer Refrigerator," a 1990 10-minute short film, now something of a classic, on VHS along with The Hook of Woodland Heights. From IMDB:

A group of teenagers get drunk and abuse a hapless refrigerator. The machine then goes on a killing rampage, eating the ones who beat him up.

VHS casing for Attack of the Killer Refrigerator

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you describe any scenes that match the question? The more details you can add to confirm the match the better.
    – DavidW
    Nov 4 '21 at 23:24
  • This seems like it could be just what the questioner might be looking for (or have been 5 years ago). I agree with DavidW, you should fill out the answer a bit to confirm it contains all the salient details to be the answer. Please take our tour and refer to the help center for guidance as and when for guidance to our ways, then you can edit to add those details. Nov 4 '21 at 23:32

I think the movie you’re referring to is “Batteries Not Included.”

enter image description here

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Please note that the question was looking for a horror short movie; I don't recall *batteries not included being a horror movie, or short. Plus the machines are aliens, not domestic devices, and there's no scene with robot spiders attacking anyone...
    – DavidW
    Dec 8 '20 at 2:08

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