Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Julie Christie at mercy of malevolent computer
DEMON SEED (1977). Director: Donald Cammell.

"We look at the world differently. You find me boring. I find myself ... quite interesting."

Scientist Alex Harris (Fritz Weaver) has not only computerized his whole house, but is the inventor of a new super-computer named Proteus 4 [beautifully voiced by Robert Vaughn]. Proteus 4's artificial intelligence has curiosity about humans as well as itself, and to that end it links up with the computer system in Harris' house. Desiring to duplicate itself, it imprisons Harris' wife Susan (Julie Christie), using the system against her, and tells her that she is to help him in his reproductive efforts ... not good. Gerrit Graham plays Walter, Harris' assistant, who figures in a bizarre scene when Proteus 4 unleashes a metallic, unwinding cube against him as he tries to help Susan. Demon Seed made use of the notion of blending the biological with the mechanical two years before the much better-known Alien.  The actors are all good, the film holds the attention, but it becomes increasingly absurd to an almost comical degree. Based on a novel by Dean R. Koontz.

Verdict: Ridiculous but entertaining. **1/2.

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