Skip to main content

Demon Seed vs. Deadly Friend

People have always feared change. Different people experience this to different degrees. The unknown always supplies contrasting emotions: fear and excitement. When vast cultural changes come about, artists will explore these themes in their work. This is what led to the wave of anti-technological films that crested in the late 70s and early 80s.

Demon Seed is a story about a computer that gains sentience and thereafter wants to gain telepresence as well. It's quite a well done film; the antagonistic computer in this film acts with a cold logic that seems inhuman when you watch the film, but on later reflection becomes all too familiar.

Deadly Friend is a film that was released much later. Computers still weren't common-place, and very few people had much idea what they were capable of. The film came out after the wave of anti-technological films had begun to recede.

In this film, the protagonist is a nerdy anti-hero who is trying to become romantically involved with the attractive blond girl next door. He is also a genius roboticist. When the love interest is shot by an overly armed neighbour, the nerd implants chips from his home made robot to save her life. The result of this medical experiment is that she loses her own personality and becomes a homicidal maniac.

In spite of how stupid and pointless Deadly Friend is, it's still almost worth seeing for the infamous basketball scene.

What these two films illustrate is that the fear of the unknown sparked the creation of a sub-genre of film that has now essentially died out. As the general public became more aware of what technology is and isn't capable of, it became more difficult to make a movie about how scary computers are. It is a bit of a shame that movies critical of technology aren't really being produced anymore, considering that many members of the new generation of movie goers can't stop texting for long enough to sit down and watch a movie.


Fitz said…
I can't believe that basketball scene exists on film. Thats almost as bad as the Punisher scene where well...just watch
Ben said…
That's almost as terrible and hilarious. LOL

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Anomalisa

Weird is rarely used as a good quality in film criticism, but few words so completely describe Charlie Kaufman’s work as weird does. All of his films are a window into his very particular worldview, and that p.o.v. is certainly unlike anything seen in pop culture. For that reason, Anomalisa became an entry on many most anticipated lists for 2015. That Kaufman chose stop-motion to tell this story made the picture an event. So it came as a disappointment when the film was one of the year’s more mundane efforts.

Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have an energy and heart at the center that is not present here. Previous collaborators like Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry were able to temper the overwhelming negativity Charlie Kaufman occasionally falls prey to, but, this time, the writer doesn’t have a director to rein things in. In all of his efforts to create an experience that is both familiar and alienating, Kaufman may have accidentally created something host…

Hulk vs. The Incredible Hulk vs. The Avengers

There are two movies about the Hulk and one that features the green monster as a major player. One was made in 2003 by an auteur, starring a little-known Aussie. Five years later The Incredible Hulk came out to the same tepid reaction as Ang Lee's Hulk did. This weekend, The Avengers made the Hulk as popular as he has been in a long time. So it comes down to this: Hulk vs. Hulk vs. Hulk. Who will smash whom?

Round One: Acting
Edward Norton outshines Eric Bana as the dual persona of the meek Bruce Banner and the rage-induced Hulk. Eric Bana was given little to do but run and fight and often the audience was just waiting for him to transform. With the Incredible Hulk, Norton's Banner is fully fleshed-out and we are given a reason to care about him. Being allowed to go a little dark with Banner's scenes questioning what is left of his life provided emotional resonance to the character that Hulk lacked. Yet even with the capable performance that Norton gives there was something …

The Dream Is Real

For my money there is nothing cooler than the idea of a city folding in on itself.