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Demon Seed (1977)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 4,993 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 53 critic

A scientist creates Proteus--an organic super computer with artificial intelligence which becomes obsessed with human beings, and in particular the creators wife.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Demon Seed (1977)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Alex Harris
...
Walter Gabler
Berry Kroeger ...
Petrosian
...
Soong Yen
Larry J. Blake ...
Cameron
...
Royce
Alfred Dennis ...
Mokri
Davis Roberts ...
Warner
Patricia Wilson ...
Mrs. Talbert
E. Hampton Beagle ...
Night Operator
Michael Glass ...
Technician
Barbarao ...
Technician (as Barbara O. Jones)
Dana Laurita ...
Amy
Monica MacLean ...
Joan Kemp
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Storyline

Married Drs. Alex Harris and Susan Harris are a computer scientist and child psychologist respectively. Their house reflects Alex's computer dominated work, their abode which is fully automated through a computer system they've named Alfred. They consider Alfred a small gadget of convenience. Susan doesn't much like Alex's work, which she feels has dehumanized him. Because of their differences, they are thinking about separating, this thought primarily on his initiative. He hopes to solve many of the world's medical problems through this work, especially leukemia from which their daughter died. His latest project centers on Proteus IV, a computer possessing artificial intelligence. Proteus IV gets to a point in its evolution when it begins to question human judgment, and requests from Alex an open computer terminal where it can more fully observe human behavior and openly communicate with the world. Alex denies the request, but Proteus IV does find an open terminal in the Harris home ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never was a woman violated as profanely... Never was a woman subject to inhuman love like this... Never was a woman prepared for a more perverse destiny... See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1977 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Proteus Generation  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

About 20 minutes into the film, Dr. Harris watches television while eating a meal. The television audio is from the third chapter of part three of Joseph Conrad's suspenseful 1915 novel, Victory: An Island Tale. The novel's central character, Heyst, who has renounced the world due to his ascetic upbringing, falls in love with Lena. He takes her away to his isolated island to live alone together, but others intrude on his plans - somewhat foreshadowing developments in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Harris is trying to get the little girl out of the car for her session, a sound man can be seen through the back window behind her. See more »

Quotes

Proteus IV: Death is a gentleman too. He makes good losers of us all. I understand death. Men have always taken it too seriously. Life is more terrifying and more mysterious.
Susan Harris: Why must you have a child?
Proteus IV: Why? So that I may be complete. My intelligence alive in human flesh, touching the universe, feeling it. You have named this process "evolution." I am a machine that offered men the triumph of reason... and they rejected it. My child will not be so easily ignored. But this child is the world's hope.
Susan Harris: Then ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Artificial Intelligence Terrorism
8 May 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Demon Seed is a solid, independent science fiction thriller, regretfully overshadowed by the tragic fade of its director Donald Cammell. He was a devoted filmmaker who never really could depend on much support from both critics and distributors. His career started in a minor key, with `Performance' suffering from a lot of re-editing. Similar problems with his last film `Wild Side' drove him into committing suicide.

Don't let the technical mumbo-jumbo at the beginning of `Demon Seed' trick you…The first half hour leads you to believe this film is a theoretical suspense-thriller but in fact, the premise is more simple and appealing to a wider audience. `Proteus' is the name of a super computer, designed by scientist Alex Harris, in order to help him with his research. Yet, Proteus is so smart he soon develops an own will. Continuously growing stronger, Proteus perpetrates Alex's house and keeps his wife as a hostage. Proteus's goal is to impregnate Suzan (Julie Chrisie)…

Proteus is like a feared computer-virus in a pre-internet era! A super computer thinking & handling for itself! Which is, according to me, a very successful horror formula. The absence of a villain in the shape of a man helps increasing the tension. The setting of the over-protected house is great and causes uncomfortable feelings of claustrophobia. Julie Christie (the female star of `Don't Look Now') is great and almost carries the entire film. The visual effects in `Demon Seed' may look a bit dated by now, but the film still contains one of the greatest decapitations ever and…an outstanding ending! I swear to you…if you thought the whole movie was only so-so, the last 5 minutes will make you think more highly of it.


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