Short Circuit was a science fiction comedy released in
1986. The film starred Ally Sheedy as Stephanie Speck
and Steve Guttenberg as Dr. Newton Crosby. The movie
received mostly positive reviews, and was successful
enough at the box office to warrant a sequel. Short
Circuit 2 was released in 1988.
In this movie, a series of robots have been built as
military prototypes to improve the US position in the
cold war. One of the robots, referred to as “Number 5”,
is hit by lighting, which causes a power surge that
affects the robot’s internal systems. Unclear on its
directive, Number 5 escapes the lab and ends up running
into Stephanie Speck (Sheedy), who believes Number 5 to
be an extraterrestrial in need of human learning, which
he calls “input”. Number 5 begins to take on a
whimsical personality, and when Stephanie realizes that
he is indeed a weapon, she calls the lab to pick him up.
After Number 5 is captured, Stephanie realizes that it
was a mistake, and that Number 5 has taken on
sentience. After a series of comical and adventurous
escapes, Number 5, now calling himself “Johnny 5”,
escapes the lab and gets away from the Army.
Ultimately, Johnny 5 runs off with Stephanie and her
friend, to live peacefully in Montana.