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Demon Seed (1977) - Donald Cammell

Related: 1977 films - computer - horror films - SF films - pregnancy in film - Donald Cammell

Demon Seed (1977) - Donald Cammell [Amazon.com]

Supercomputer Proteus IV (voiced by Robert Vaughn) begins to lust after Susan (Julie Christie), the wife of its creator, Alex Harris (Fritz Weaver), eventually imprisoning her and, using a wheelchair with a prosthetic arm and hand named Joshua, probes her intimately with its metallic fingers as she is strapped to a laboratory bed and impregnates her with artificial spermatozoa that is followed by a full-term pregnancy that lasts only 28 days. Based on a Dean Koontz novel.

... it is a film that sits squarely on a dividing line between being sf and horror. As sf 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). Indeed the film clearly sees itself as belonging to the 1970s occult cycle typified by the likes of Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist (1973) and The Omen (1976). ... Certainly one thing that has to be complemented about the film is the considerable tastefulness 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 Koontz frequently crossed over in the book which is often outrightly pornographic, is marked. --Richard Sheib via http://www.moria.co.nz/sf/demonseed.htm [Jan 2007]


Demon Seed is a 1977 film, starring Julie Christie, and directed by Donald Cammell.

Dean Koontz is listed as one of the screenwriters.

A megacomputer called Proteus IV (voiced by Robert Vaughn - uncredited) attempts to take over a house and ultimately the world. Like Hal 9000, Proteus IV is supposedly a self-teaching and constantly growing computer.

The computer holds Susan Harris (Julie Christie) hostage in her house, and ultimately impregnates her by force, using modified genetic material, trying to create a kind of cyber-messiah. The film ends shortly after she has given birth to the 'demon seed'. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Seed [Mar 2005]

Amazon review

A mind altering and disturbing story of a smarty pants computer that stops at nothing in it's quest to become human. Low-tech special effects work in the movie's favor by creating a very human and tangible situation of banal horror. Julie Christie is great as a woman who is held hostage and raped by an artificial intelligence in her wired home. Fritz Weaver as her estranged, scientist husband is also pretty good. The direction of Donald Cammell is a psychedelic and trippy mix of Nicolas Roeg and Stanley Kubrick. If you liked the David Cronenberg's re-make of The Fly, try this. One warning, this is not a new print and it looks a little tired. Let's hope a DVD version is on it's way. - Kevin Guyer for amazon.com

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