Sunday, November 04, 2012

Demon Seed

My October focus on horror movies is over, but there are still so many I haven't seen. I'll keep watching them but not as often.

Demon Seed is a 1977 science fiction/horror film starring Julie Christie, Fritz Weaver (who has a ST:DS9 connection), Gerrit Graham (who has ST:DS9 and ST:Voyager connections and a Babylon 5 connection), Felix Silla (who has a ST:TOS connection and was Cousin Itt in The Addams Family TV series), Michael Dorn (Worf in Star Trek) and Robert Vaughn (who voices the evil computer). Jerry Fielding (who has a ST:TOS connection) did the music. It's based on a Dean Koontz novel.

The evil computer wants to father a child and has picked Julie Christie, the wife of his developer, as the mother. The section that tries to be like 2001 has such a been-there-done-that feel and goes on far too long. I find it slow, but I find the story creepy. Child of rape as the next evolutionary step? Yuck.

Stomp Tokyo says, "Thank goodness Star Wars came along and proved that sci-fi could be fun again." The Spinning Image says it's "a true unappreciated science fiction and horror classic. It is involving, intelligent, prophetic, and very scary." DVD Talk calls it "a definite mixed bag". Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 62%. DVD Verdict says,
Demon Seed stands alone as one of the most imaginative and contemplative science-fiction films of the 1970s. Had Stanley Kubrick and David Cronenberg collaborated on a film, Demon Seed might well have been the end result.
Moria gives it a single star, saying, "for anybody who has watched more than a handful of science-fiction films it is like sitting through Science-Fiction Remedial Cliche Class #101" but adds,
As science-fiction, it clearly fails by a wide margin but as horror it is occasionally more effective – working on the level of a bondage/rape/horror of impregnation nightmare a la Rosemary’s Baby (1968).
and offers this word of praise in closing:
One thing that certainly has to be complemented about Demon Seed is the considerable tastefulness with which such a premise is relayed. Considering the themes – imprisonment, rape, forced impregnation by a computer – the desire not to go the exploitation route, a line that Dean R. Koontz frequently crossed over in the book, which is often outrightly pornographic, is marked.

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