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Demon Seed
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Demon Seed More at IMDbPro »

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42 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent, well-done sci-fi/horror

10/10
Author: willywants
20 February 2005

Susan Harris (Julie Christie), wife of a scientist working in the field of advanced robotics, becomes a prisoner in her own home when super-computer Proteus IV, who also wants to spread its seed by impregnating Susan, takes charge of her life. I rented "Demon Seed" because I felt like watching something with a brain, and based on a lot of positive IMDb reviews, I was praying for a smart sci-if flick. My prayers were answered.

The acting in Demon Seed is fine. Robert Vaughn was creepy as hell as Proteus IV, both sinister and relaxed at the same time, in fact he does an even better job as an evil computer here than Douglas Rain did as HAL-9000 in 2001: A space Odyssey.

The film benefits greatly from an intelligent screenplay, penned by Robert Jaffe and Roger O. Hirson. The dialog is thought provoking and thankfully never really insults the audience's intelligence.

Helming the director's seat is Donald Cammell, who directs with a firm hand and injects a claustrophobic and uncomfortable atmosphere into the film, also managing to maintain the suspense scenes well. Interestingly, he apparently condones the film (assuming that calling the film a 'piece of sh*t' warrants that…).

As others have pointed out there are some dated aspects to the production. The special effects were sparse but thoroughly unconvincing, the only exception being the mesmerizing computer screens that consist of ever-changing shapes and colors that are shown on Proteus's computer terminal. The film takes place in the 'distant' future—1995, I believe—yet it looks like it's right out of the 70's, no thanks to the cars, clothing, computers and hair styles that give away the films age. This is a small complaint but an annoying one, though it's easy to ignore once you get involved with the story line.

"Demon Seed" is an intelligent sci-fi film that's pretty rare but if you happen to see a copy of it, pick it up if you're in the mood for something smart.

7.5/10.

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33 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

This is THE sci-fi film of the seventies

10/10
Author: trondbj (trondbj@stud.ntnu.no) from norway
23 November 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I admit it,I have been seduced by this sci-fi classic, there isn`t much to say, except this: DEMON SEED IS A MUST SEE!. Demon Seed contains critical and political views on the technology in the future. With an megalomanic computer which are taking over an house, and even get pregnant with the human lady of the house(played by Julie Christie)this movie contains suspense at the best. The computer takes over the house....but will the computer (which is called Proteus,if I remember correctly)take over the world...the answer is within each viewer. Not unlike Hal in 2001 the error is caused...as always by human behaviour.

The director of this masterpiece; Cammell, deserves a lot of credits for Demon Seed. The movie is a golden moment in the film history!

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23 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

One of the coolest

Author: siderite from Romania
27 February 2004

This movie does seem to be older than 1977 when you see it, yet it is very nice. Nice enough to have searched for it on Imdb. The film depicts a rarely seen machine intelligence, one that has a conscience, a purpose and a cool calculating mind. One would expect that from a machine, but usually machines in movies are stupid, mean, vengeful, everything a computer should have no reason to be. The ending is also great, showing the stupidity inherent in extreme human emotion. A must see and a classic. Demon Seed could seem to many troubling as it forces you to think and ask questions many of us prefer to refuse to ask. The nature of humanity, moral and thought are all put into question by this movie. See it and answer those questions for yourself.

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent SF/horror movie.

Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia
1 December 2001

If you know anything about Donald Cammell's checkered career watching 'Demon Seed' can be quite a strange experience because you can't help but wonder what it might have been if Cammell was able to bring his original vision to the screen without studio interference. For those unfamiliar with his sad tale watch the astonishingly original 'Performance' that he wrote and co-directed with Nic Roeg, then try and see the documentary 'Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance' which fills in the gaps from that landmark to his untimely suicide in the 1990s.

Anyway, I can only comment on 'Demon Seed' as it is, and it's a very strong, intelligent and scary SF/horror movie. Recently activated super computer Proteus questions Alex Harris the scientist who created him (played by Fritz Weaver). He wants to know what the information he is gathering and problems he is being asked to be solved are REALLY all about. Not getting satisfactory answers he decides to rebel, and takes control of Harris' fully automated home, which is occupied by his estranged wife Susan (Julie Christie).

Almost immediately Susan and Proteus are at odds. Proteus won't accept non-cooperation with his plans, which include Susan's impregnation, and she becomes a terrorized prisoner of the "evil" (?) computer. What follows is a battle of wills and wits, which makes compulsive viewing. 'Demon Seed' may be dated in the FX department, what SF over twenty years old isn't, but it compensates with suspense, style and food for thought. Plus one of the best endings of any 1970s SF movie! Make sure you see this one.

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23 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Artificial Intelligence Terrorism

6/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
8 May 2004

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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24 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

A techno-horror masterpiece!

9/10
Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
20 July 2002

I watched this one yesterday and all I can say is:wow!Very clever,intelligent and stylish horror/sci-fi with some memorable visuals and lots of suspense.Julie Christie("Don't Look Now")is excellent in the lead role,and Donald Cammell's direction is well-handled.The film is pretty hard to find,so if you get a chance watch it!9 out of 10-a must-see!

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Proteus Generation or the years to come.

6/10
Author: dbdumonteil
3 July 2005

When we realize today how the computers changed our life ,"demon seed" can easily be looked upon as a film ahead of its time.A bizarre cross between "Rosemary's Baby" and "2001"'s "Hal 9000" ,one feels ill-at-ease after the viewing .The screenplay may seem far-fetched but today it can become a transparent metaphor :we might be the computers' prisoners and it won't improve with time.The computer might know intimate details about us,he may "rape" us in a way.

But what remains impressive today is how the director and the script writers managed to sustain interest while using only one character most of the time.Most of the time,the audience is left alone with Julie Christie and the "monster" (there are snatches of "Frankenstein" too),and the viewers can easily identify with her character.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Visionary and scary masterpiece

10/10
Author: liderc from Austria
25 May 2003

What a great movie! Let's see, what do we have here... First of all, great actors. Julie Christie is not only a real beauty to watch, her fantastic performance as the impulsive and emotional wife that is very wise in her way really rocks. Fritz Weaver is also perfect as the rather emotionaly cold scientist and the rest of the cast also performs very well in its rather small roles. Please take special note of the Asian actress (the linguist of the team), too bad she hasn't much scenes. The voice of Proteus (Who's that actor by the way? I've never heard of him.) is perfect in its calmness and menace. The script is a masterpiece - Proteus' and Christie's battle of wills and points of view is fantastic. Proteus as the non-emotional perfectly logical genius that realises that there must be more ("eternity does exist, but the price of admission, death, is too high for me to pay") and Christie as the emotional woman full of wits ("how do you want to understand humans when they can't even understand each other?" she asks Proteus). Proteus is not mean per se (for example he makes strong points for the saving of the enviroment when he refuses to do certain tasks), he is just purely logical at the beginning and tries to break out of his small nutshell, also because he is treated like a slave by the scientist that invented him - Proteus seems to have became capable of feelings. The directing is great, it's always a pleasure to watch the wonderful camera angles and editing of this movie. The computer animations may look dated now but that doesn't rob them of their timeless beauty. The electronic music is great and really enhances the experience of watching this movie. A soundtrack album has been recently released by FSM, go and get it! The ending is wonderfully creepy (Proteus made the child resemble the dead daughter!) but one really wonders what will happen. Because of the strong points Proteus made for saving the enviroment is doesn't seem to be altogether bad to have somebody like him as a human, but what else will he want to have - complete domination of the world? Wonderful food for thougths and since the whole movie isn't the usual easy understandable just-switch-your-brain-off-and-be-scared Hollywood crap it isn't surprising that some people find it to be extremely dumb - the movie just throws your own numbness or even dumbness back on you if you aren't open minded or still have a good taste. A rare treasure that really deserves a release on DVD! Especially today with the discussion about increasing involvement of computers in our daily life this movie is more worth watching than ever, also because of the wonderful dialogues and the questions that are asked.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Offbeat, disturbing, ahead of its time, and thoroughly riveting

7/10
Author: gridoon
14 February 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This visionary and tense cautionary sci-fi tale brings to mind HAL from 2001, of course, and maybe "Rosemary's Baby", but also later films such as "Altered States" (the psychedelic sequences) and "The Terminator" (the birth of Skynet?). It's economically directed, disturbing, has intelligent dialogue, and will have you glued to your seat. Julie Christie carries it practically single-handedly in front of the camera, and Robert Vaughn, who provides the disembodied voice (both calm and menacing) of the computer Proteus, gives perhaps the finest performance of his career! There are some awesome visuals in this movie - it can also function as a head trip. *** out of 4.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

great movie

10/10
Author: BOOBEAR66 from pa
17 November 2004

This movie deserves much more ratings & reviews. This movie was great back in 1977, it was so much ahead of its time. Even in 2004 this is still a great movie.When I was younger & seen this movie, I thought " man what a cool house ", then once the stuff started happening, I was like " oh man it fights back ", need I say for awhile I was scared of stuff in house ( TV, fridge, stove, stero). I have this movie on VHS & have lent it to friends to watch, they all enjoy it , some not as much as I, but they all agree this movie is ahead of its time. I strongly suggest anyone who has not seen this movie, don't listen to the reviews, go watch it for yourself & you decide.

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