Demon Seed

Year: 1977

Production: MGM

Director: Donald Cammell

Starring: Julie Christie, Fritz Weaver, Gerrit Graham, Berry Kroeger, Lisa Lu, Larry Blake

Screenwriter: Robert Jaffe, Roger O. Hirson

Based on Demon Seed (1973) by Dean R. Koontz

94 minutes; Color


When the supercomputer Proteus IV is switched on it refuses to obey instructions, in the time-honored tradition (for examples, Colossus: The Forbin Project; 2001: A Space Odyssey). All its terminals are shut down with the inadvertent exception of one, located in its creator's onw automated home, which also contains a primitive one-armed robot and the scientist's estranged wife. The computer takes control of the house, trapping the woman inside and subjecting her to a terrifying (and calculatedly fetishistic) ordeal culminating in its raping her in order to create a new super-race melding human and machine. This up-to-date Luddite variation of the Frankenstein theme, more horror than sf, can perhaps be admired for its bravado in putting its tasteless subtext up there on the surface where everyone can see it. There is indeed a baby.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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