Top 10 Futuristic Movie Technologies That Look Hilariously Dated

Script written by Christopher Ulaski. Talk about losing your sense of style. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 futuristic movie technologies that look hilariously dated today. For this list, we’re looking at futuristic movie devices that at one time looked cutting edge, but now look so dated it’s hard to imagine that they once were deemed ahead of their time. Basically, they are more likely to inspire laughs than awe these days. Special thanks to our user jackhammer for submitting the idea on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Christopher Ulaski.

Top 10 Futuristic Movie Technologies That Look Hilariously Dated Today


Talk about losing your sense of style. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 futuristic movie technologies that look hilariously dated today.

For this list, we’re looking at futuristic movie devices that at one time looked cutting edge, but now look so dated it’s hard to imagine that they once were deemed ahead of their time. Basically, they are more likely to inspire laughs than awe these days.

#10: Argo Buggy
“Star Trek: Nemesis” (2002)

It’s hard to imagine that this was once seen as the future of all-terrain vehicles, or even a viable option for landing parties with better non-terrain technology available. The Argo buggy's design isn’t exactly well thought out for practical combat use. Both the passengers and the turret gunner are left wide open without any protection from enemy fire. This vehicle is built for a couple of friends going off-roading, not a full-on firefight. Well at least B-4 was well protected.

#9: Public Video Phone
“Blade Runner” (1982)

In today’s world of fast computers and advanced smart phones offering video chat as a standard feature, one glance at the public video phone from “Blade Runner” is likely to make you chuckle. The dated monitor, old school computer text, and overall clunky design make it hard to believe that this movie is actually supposed to take place in 2019. We can admit that this is most certainly nit-picking though, as Ridley Scott’s masterpiece is a crucial part of cinema history.

#8: Portable Brain Wave Detector
“Barbarella” (1968)

In order to help her track down a missing scientist whose invention is capable of completely leveling entire planets, Barbarella is given this portable brain wave detector that will light up and emit an alarm sound when in his presence. The device also has a nifty alien language translator. Although quite the useful gadget, it doesn’t seem very practical to wear and isn’t exactly a fashion trendsetter, even if this is science fiction. Our iPhones look more sophisticated...

#7: Robot-Driven Taxis
“Total Recall” (1990)

Need a lift? Why not take a ride in a Johnny Cab? This completely automated taxi service is controlled by a robot that can take you anywhere you want to go. You must be completely clear with your directions though, otherwise this method of travel can prove to be quite frustrating. Just ask Arnie. Though 1990’s “Total Recall” featured many high tech gadgets and a mind-bending vision of the future, this cab ride is too silly not to laugh your head off at. Seriously, we'd rather wait for those driver-less Google cars we’ve been promised.

#6: Wire Frame Map
“Escape from New York” (1981)

This is supposed to be the distant future, the year 1997? Here, the helicopters surveying the city monitor and trace activity through the use of this high tech grid. Though this map might have blown away audiences upon the film’s original release, today it looks more like a pre-visualization for what eventually becomes a modern movie’s visual effects. In the sci-fi action flick, New York is a futuristic Alcatraz-like prison, but this map makes it look like a video game our parents would have played.

#5: Large Backpack Camera Unit
“Death Race 2000” (1975)

Wow, look at the size of this thing! This camera is the equivalent of what cell phones used to look like when they were first introduced to the public. This might have seemed like an advanced piece of technology back then, but now it looks like a bulky inconvenience for anyone that has to wear it. Can you imagine having to do field reporting while lugging this backpack and camera around everywhere you go? Don’t want to? Well, we don’t blame you.

#4: SQUID
“Strange Days” (1995)

In “Strange Days,” an illegal machine called a SQUID, or Superconducting Quantum Interference Device, can record life events directly from the user’s cerebral cortex. This data can then be played back using a Mini Disc-type gadget, allowing the user to experience the memories and physical sensations of whomever recorded it. You heard that right, mini discs, a piece of technology that has been long since replaced! That’s like making a movie with the same premise today and using cassette tapes instead.

#3: Death Star Plans
“Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977)

It’s hard to believe that in a world where ships warp at hyper speeds and energy swords cut through seemingly anything, that technology like this still exists. As the plan to take down the first Death Star is explained to the rebels, it’s amazing that the room doesn’t break out into sheer laughter. This display makes it look like they’re planning an early ‘90s LAN party as opposed to taking down an intergalactic empire. As cheesy as this may look, there’s no denying “Star Wars”’ impact on cinema to this day.

#2: Fax Machine
“Back to the Future Part II” (1989)

The fax machine is a staple of the modern world. Now, we have the ability to send faxes not just the old fashioned way, but we can also deliver it electronically through our email accounts. In the second installment of the “Back to the Future” franchise, we get a glimpse of the 2015 model. What might have looked cool at its release looks more like an over-sized pager or a briefcase with a few shiny buttons. Not exactly the future we currently live in now, is it?

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Information Screens
“Starship Troopers” (1997)
- Futuristic Walkman
“Timecop” (1994)
- TV Glasses
“Back to the Future Part II” (1989)
- End of 20th Century Space Suits
“Destroy All Monsters” (1968)

#1: MU-TH-UR 6000
“Alien” (1979)

Unfortunately, even classic science fiction films have the tendency to look dated as time goes on, but “Alien” as a whole still looks great to this day thanks to the genius of Ridley Scott and his incredible crew. However, the one aspect that stands out as borderline ridiculous is the odd and dated computer interface dubbed M.U.T.H.U.R. With time capsule-worthy computer screens, a bulky design and more buttons than the crew knows what to do with, this mainframe can make viewers doubt the time period in which this is supposedly taking place.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite hilariously dated futuristic movie device? For more hilarious top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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