Love, Death & Robots is a Netflix original anthology series of intense scifi animated shorts, ranging from the perverse to the abhorrently violent and darkly comedic.
Love, Death & Robots Review
This Netflix series was one of my most anticipated pieces of entertainment in the early goings of 2019 when it was first teased by name-dropping director/producer David Fincher. And this series did not disappoint in the slightest. Although I am not completely done with the anthology of animated scifi shorts, I was so excited to write a review for something that impressed me with every new story, both in style and concept.
The series kicks off with this futuristic bloodsport that features human-controlled bio-engineered creatures that duel to the death. Featured in our comic, these creatures are fantastically designed and the battle shown is gruesomely fun. It was a perfect introduction into what to expect from this series; hyper-violence, pristine animation, and a decent dose of sexuality/nudity...which leads me to my one complaint.
I will say that almost all the shorts are a little too heavy on the "love" aspect of Love, Death & Robots, and by that I mean it was clear about halfway through the series that the love aspect was not only a requirement for every story, but nudity and/or sexuality are necessities. In some cases, they are integral parts of the story, while in others it feels tacked on like the director got a bad letter in the ABCs of Death. It feels more like an obligation than a key element of the story.
Having said that, the series is also very, VERY heavy on the death aspect. Almost every single short has at least one gruesome, brutal death in it. And every single one either elicits a shock laugh or an emotional response in relation to the plot and characters.
It's kind of funny that the least literal of the elements from the title is the "robots" aspect. All of the films have some form of science fiction and/or futuristic technology, but that doesn't always mean robots. Which I find ironic, when love and death have symbolism and metaphor in the fibers of their meanings, but they are treated the most literal in the subject matter.
I love this series to death. But it's a twisted love. The sexuality and nudity feels forced in too many of the narratives to the point that it feels like fan-service to perverts, even though that isn't the intention, especially with strong feminist undertones throughout many of the stories. Some of the plots deliver powerful messages and plot developments through these elements, but sometimes it felt like too much with no point other than to take the title of the series far too literally. Yet, I have yet to not appreciate at least one aspect of every short thus far. At the very least, the animation is spectacular and sometimes wholely unique. I would adore individual films of about half of these shorts. Tomorrow. I'd binge-watch them just like the shorts.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 6/10
Film Quality: 8/10