pigs go in, sausage comes out
April 27, 2011 9:12 AM   Subscribe

12 videos of creepy automata (well, actually only 11, because one of them is no longer online)
posted by luvcraft (18 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This is the geographical center of my wife's uncanny floodplain.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:21 AM on April 27, 2011

well, actually only 11, because one of them is no longer online
posted by sexyrobot at 9:41 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Actually it's only 10 now, but still creepy.
posted by d1rge at 9:46 AM on April 27, 2011

And yet, I can't resist wanting them all.
posted by Krazor at 9:49 AM on April 27, 2011

Here's a few more from the last minute of Sleuth. (Big ol' spoilers, of course. Why not watch the whole thing from the beginning?
posted by Iridic at 9:50 AM on April 27, 2011

These are not the automata I was looking for.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:12 AM on April 27, 2011

So the only things to survive in tact were the motions mechanics.... and... that... music (!)

I haven't seen a horror film in well >25 years but there was a day when every single one opened with the music box over a charming what-could-possibly-go-wrong-in-this-idyllic-life scene and closed with the same music box playing over the blood soaked ashes of the same scene.
posted by victors at 10:45 AM on April 27, 2011

The fat man laughing was the worst/best! I would have liked to see the levitation trick when it was still fully intact. Seeing the underlying structure on that one kind of reduces its impact.
posted by postel's law at 10:52 AM on April 27, 2011

If you like automata, I recommend this FPP from last summer.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:53 AM on April 27, 2011

One of the missing videos: Baby Laugh A Lot
posted by zarah at 11:12 AM on April 27, 2011

And the other one: Organ Player Automaton by Pierre Jaquet-Droz
posted by zarah at 11:15 AM on April 27, 2011

Instead of being creeped out, I was oddly enchanted by these. Such ingenuity and inventiveness of design! In this age of itty bitty electronic everything, it's tough to keep in mind that at one time such constructions were a marvel. It's sad to see some in tough condition as they're certainly worth preserving.

Re: the laughing man, I loved the way the facial design, as with a kabuki mask, permits different visual interpretations according to lighting--under harsh overhead lights the mouth actually does appear to open and close. Brilliant.

Fun post.
posted by kinnakeet at 11:42 AM on April 27, 2011

BTW Baby Laugh A Lot is not an automaton, as she has no moving parts. She merely rocks back and forth on built-in rockers while recorded laughter plays.

She is creepy, though.
posted by kinnakeet at 11:44 AM on April 27, 2011

I don't know...to me, the "Baby Laugh a Lot" doll is the least creepy thing about that ad...
posted by anthom at 11:54 AM on April 27, 2011

Obligatory link to le Canard Digérateur (See also la musee des automates in Grenoble. Youtube link with reconstructed duck at 1:24 minute mark
posted by IndigoJones at 12:07 PM on April 27, 2011

Gooooood evening J.F.!
posted by adipocere at 3:48 PM on April 27, 2011

Amazing :). I love to see these in action.
posted by zombieApoc at 8:10 PM on April 27, 2011


posted by Rhaomi at 10:38 AM on April 29, 2011

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