Demon Seed Movie Review

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All good movies demand a cheap knockoff, but Demon Seed rips off so many films so blatantly it's hard to actually identify them all.

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.

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Demon Seed Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 1977


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