Film / Heartbeeps
Introducing the humanoid robot versions of WALL•E and EVE

Directed by Allan Arkush and written by John Hill, Heartbeeps (1981), starring Andy Kaufman, Bernadette Peters and Randy Quaid, is about Val and Aqua, two household serving robots who start feeling emotions for one another. After falling in love, they decide to escape from their servitude and attempt to start a family of their own.

It was a Box Office Bomb and trashed by critics, but Stan Winston's robot makeup was nominated for an Academy Award in the category's first iteration. The Cinema Snob reviewed it here.

This film provides examples of:

  • Ax-Crazy: The Crimebuster. It blows up things when there is no need to.
  • Borscht Belt: Catskill is a parody of Borscht Belt-style comedians, who originated in the Jewish-friendly resorts of the Catskill Mountains.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Believe it or not, Catskill's terrible jokes. Near the end of the film, he tears out Phil's battery, only to tear out his own and put it into Phil before running out of power and dying. It turns out his battery has 49% power left because "He was set for low-power jokes".
  • Cool Old Guy: Catskill is the robot equivalent.
  • Cowboy Cop: The Crimebuster. Precisely the reason why it was at the factory for repairs.
  • Expy: The Crimebuster looks way too much like a Dalek. It even has a suction cup arm.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Catskill gives Phil his battery, which contains far more power, even though he then runs out of power himself.
  • Lounge Lizard: Catskill is a "club comedian robot".
  • More Dakka: The Crimebuster's arsenal includes several machine guns, cannons, and flares. He has no qualms against using them.
  • Novelization: Written by the film's screenwriter, John Hill.
  • Robo Family
  • Sequel Hook: Val, Aqua, Phil and Catskil find happiness when they are junked and sent to the junkyard run by their new friends Susan and Calvin. However, the Crimebuster breaks out of the factory, vowing to catch the robots, as "a Crimebuster always gets his man".
  • Shout-Out: Susan and Calvin are an obvious reference to Isaac Asimov's recurring character Dr. Susan Calvin.