At the core, Demon Seed is a ripoff of Rosemary's Baby and Colossus: The Forbin Project. We've got a baby. We've got a computer. OK, we've got a baby whose dad is a computer.
You read that right. Some people actually consider this a sci-fi classic.
Julie Christie is the star -- and for most of the film, the only human in the movie. Her husband Alex (Fritz Weaver) is a genius inventor, and he's not content to leave his supercomputer, Proteus (which looks like a giant, gold, animatronic Rubik's Snake), at the office. He's also sequestered one in the basement of his house. Bad move. Alex spends a long time away from home, leaving Proteus with his comely wife Susan (Christie). Proteus rapidly becomes aware of his limitations and quickly begins scheming to, ahem... hold on to your pants, impregnate Susan with a manufactured embryo to create a hybrid computer-human baby.
Proteus is a computer typical of 1977 sci-fi, with the kind of power that still doesn't exist today. He can talk and make ethical decisions (though, obviously, not very well), and he has a remote-controlled wheelchair that can shoot lasers at things he doesn't like.
Bill Gates probably wet himself when he saw this.
While the entire premise of Demon Seed (based on a Dean Koontz novel, natch) is wholly unsupportable and its structure is unbearably simplistic (Christie is locked in the house until she relents to the computer impregnation), it's still got a kind of oh-my-God-you-gotta-see-this mentality that makes it compulsively watchable. Christie actually treats the material seriously, even when acting opposite a papier mache tentacle menacing her. There's no way you can claim Demon Seed is a classic, or even any good, really, but it's undeniably worth an hour and a half of your time.
Run time: 94 mins
In Theaters: Friday 30th September 1977
Distributed by: United Artists
Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 4
IMDB: 6.3 / 10
Director: Donald Cammell
Producer: Herb Jaffe
Screenwriter: Robert Jaffe, Roger O. Hirson
Starring: Julie Christie as Susan Harris, Fritz Weaver as Alex Harris, Gerrit Graham as Walter Gabler, Berry Kroeger as Petrosian, Lisa Lu as Soong Yen, Larry J. Blake as Cameron, John O'Leary as Royce, Alfred Dennis as Mokri, Davis Roberts as Warner, Robert Vaughn as Proteus IV (voice) (uncredited)
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