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Demon Seed (1977)

Demon Seed. Feature film. (1977, 94 mins) IMDB

...it might have worked in its day, but not today...

D

EMON SEED was such a great film I fell asleep watching it. Uh-huh. As I've said before I'm not a fan of horror films. For whatever reason, they just don't do anything for me. I can't get caught up in the story. As for science fiction. Well, it's about the same and any film or story that may be a sci-fi and I like it, is probably more likely to be classified in some other genre. STAR WARS, for example, isn't a sci-fi film, but there are elements of sci-fi in it.

But I guess I should say something about this film.

There's a tiny cast. Really just two characters: Susan and Alex Harris. A husband and wife who will separate because that's what the narrative requires in order for it to work.

They live in a large, ultra-modern home. In fact, you can't buy such a home because it doesn't exist. Imagine a large home with a computer out of Star Trek. That's there home. The computer is so capable it fixes meals, talks with you and well I'll get to that.

The husband is a scientist who builds these super computers. During the slow, boring first Act I, we see him putting the final touches on a new super computer, Proteus IV. It's a thinking computer. It sucks up facts and is a form of artificial intelligence. Such computers have been abused by story tellers many times, the question is what's different this time. Well here goes.

As Act I ends, our lovely Julie Christie is home alone. The servants have left. The husband has deserted her and the super computer moves in. It takes over the house. She's trapped. I didn't buy the trapped bit. Make it a submarine, space station, an underground mine and maybe, but that's what the film did.

She's trapped in this house with this sadistic, motivated and intelligent computer. Try as she may, she's a prisoner to it.

And here's the twist. The computer wants to impregnate her. Say what? The computer wants to reproduce and all that goes with it. Okay. The computer figures out how to make sperm and impregnates her. Instead of a nine month gestation period, it's 28 days and after the child is born, he (could have been a girl) grows even faster.

Then the movie ends.

Perhaps there's some deep philosophical questions about life and supernatural powers, maybe, but to get to those questions give us a story we can watch without being completely bored. I'd have more fun studying the grains on sandpaper.

Posted 2009/04/09 at 19h02ET in Movie Commentary.

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