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|Index||12 reviews in total|
circuitry man's only flaw was the obnoxious pleasure droid's failure to die.. other than that, i found it stunning and captivating. i fell instantly in love with the darkly beautiful, sadistic "plughead". as a huge fan of dark sci-fi (dark city, a.i., blade runner, the matrix), this was everything i could want in a movie.
For a button budget, the imagination really shows. Great B casting, great B acting. Very colorful characters, every looks like they're having fun. One of my favorites for this genre. The DVD even has a Filmmakers commentary. The 2nd one, while not nearly as tight clever, does have Deborah Shelton go topless.
Being relatively new to the genre of the psychotronic film, I was a little unsure what to expect with this film. A when the movie channel warned of graphic violence, I got even a little more nervous. What were they thinking? Take away a couple of f bombs and you've got a PG movie. As a matter of fact, why would anyone want this to be rated R? The target audience should be kids under 16 and me. Yeah I liked this movie. I liked how the filmmakers got around the fact that this was a low budget movie by coming up with ideas that nimbly sidestepped the issue but without taking away from the science fiction theme. I liked the exuberant performances of Vernon Wells and Dennis Christopher. I liked the cynical performance of Paul Willson (who to me will always be the Bonanza theme song guy from "Cheers"). And I liked the fact that this film at no point took itself seriously but never winked at the camera. Show this film and "Buckaroo Banzai" to your teenage kids tonight.
This film is one of the cutest scifi films I've seen in a long time. The answer to enjoying it is to not concentrate too hard, and get a load of Jim Metzler in tights. The attempts at humor, although not always entirely successful, are certainly not stupid, sad and moronic. Well, stupid yes. Some of the characters are actually very funny. We find Dennis Christopher here, having forsaken his Italian bike-riding days, instead munching on leeches with rotten teeth, and talking in an extremely loud and irritating New Jersey accent. Jim Metzler, of whom i think I'm the only fan, is really very cute, even with the wig. He plays an android who has a crush on some program in his head. Hey- I liked the police's assistant.
Although the cover art is reminiscent of a kooky social satire in the
vein of Terry Gilliam's Brazil, Circuitry Man is not that. We see so
many mega-budget films that are so uninspired, that it always brings a
smile to my face to see a low-budget film that rises to the challenge
and is actually entertaining. The characters are interesting, from
Juice (a big woman who breaks easily) to Yo-Yo (who changes allegiances
back and forth) to Plughead (I didn't recognize him from The Road
Warrior.) and there's the mechanic and the big tough guy in the oxygen
It's by no means a classic, but it's fun and deserves respect for what it accomplishes, given what they had to work with.
I REALLY like this film! I discovered it while checking out the filmography of Vernon Wells, who I first saw in 'The Road Warrior' in 1981. His over-the-top performance made me seek him out as one of the 'Ultimate Villains'...like Alan Rickman, Gavin O'Herlihy, Billy Drago, Max Phipps or Arnold Vosloo. (If these names don't ring a bell, you need to check them out!) These are people who always deliver for me! Contrary to one reviewer, I like Jim Metzler, as well. He is perfectly cast as the android sex robot. If you liked Dennis Christopher's wonderful performance in 'Breaking Away', you're going to undergo a catharsis when you see him in 'Circuitry Man'! 'Circuitry Man II' isn't bad either.
It's an okay film. No monsters, no aliens, no computer graphics. What makes this film interesting is it is able to convey a plot with a modest to say the least budget a scifi film. It reminds me of William Gibson and Jonathan Lethem's writing in style and noirish presentation. The only thing wrong with it is the stupid, sad, and moronic atempts at humor. Especially that polic officer assistant that is supposed to be a comic relief. Other than that, you have to give the filmmaker's credit.
In this environmental disaster sci-fi flick the Earth has been left
devastated by exploitation by man. The air has been rendered
unbreathable by years of pollution and people have been forced to live
in underground cities. A female bodyguard joins forces with a gigolo
android with an appalling haircut - the circuitry man in order to
deliver sexual pleasure microchips to an underworld character on the
other side of the country. They are pursued, however, by a gang led by
an eccentric criminal called Plughead a man with a headful of
From the above synopsis it should be reasonably obvious that Circuitry Man is a film with quite a lot of imaginative ideas. Given the clearly low-budget you have to cut the movie some slack and say that it at least tried to bring something different to the table. However, it would only be fair to say that the premise is greater than the delivery, as it essentially becomes a chase film once our heroes run away from the bad guys. But it still has enough originality to keep it entertaining for the most part. The Plughead character is played by Vernon Wells who played the very campy bad guy in Commando. It was also followed by a very bad sequel.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After an environmental holocaust, all of the surviving humans have moved underground. With no new frontiers to explore they choose to expand their minds to the extent that one of the most important luxuries to be acquired is a pleasure microchip. "Lori" (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) is a bodyguard living under Los Angeles who has been pressed into service to protect a smuggler by the name of "Juice" (Lu Leonard). As it so happens, Juice has a briefcase full of microchips she wants to exchange for money to a criminal by the name of "Plughead" (Vernon Wells). Things go wrong during the exchange and Lori winds up with the briefcase and attempts to flee to the underground city of New York with Plughead in hot pursuit. Accompanying her is a pleasure android by the name of "Danner" (Jim Metzler) who agrees to help get her to her destination. The rest of the film involves the chase and the troubles Danner and Lori encounter along the way. Now, although this wasn't necessarily a bad move, I found the wardrobes and some of the characters a bit too far-fetched for my taste and the acting was second-rate as well. That said, in my opinion the only two people I thought contributed anything of interest to this film was Dana Wheeler-Nicholson (who was attractive) and the character of Plughead. Other than that everything seemed to have a hollow feel to it. Others may disagree but overall I found the film slightly below average.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the future, the earth will become unfit to live due to the end of
rainforests and mankind's pollution, with an atmosphere lacking oxygen
required for human life..so man went underground, "raping" each other's
minds. Vernon Wells is a criminal named Plughead, a bald menace in a
suit with plugs throughout his head used to ravage the minds of anyone
he so wishes. His rival is Juice(Lu Leonard), an obese, loud, venal
kingpin who operates her power in the subterranean version of Los
Angeles. Juice "commissions" her former body guard, Lori(Dana
Wheeler-Nicholson;Fletch)to protect her in a shady dealing of "chips"
with Plughead..if she agrees, then Lori will be able to secure a much
better living arrangement, getting out of the corrupt, degraded
confines of Los Angeles. In an exchange that goes awry, thanks to
police interruption(..detective Beany, played by Paul Willson(the plump
barfly always looking for solidarity with his fellow drinkers on
CHEERS) if often upstaged by those he's after), Juice and Plughead
escape only to contact each other in an argument over the metal case
containing the chips. Plughead believes, after snapping her neck, that
he's rid of Juice, but chooses to confront Lori, losing the case
getting stabbed by her in the process(..Lori's one tough broad).
Snatching away the case, Lori persuades a "love machine", a
"synthetic"(..a pleasure android manipulated by Juice)named Danner(Jim
Metzler)to take her to New York. Danner was promised the whereabouts of
this romantic love concocted by Juice if he delivered her the
chips(..these chips are like narcotics for those with "outlits" in
their heads), and Lori informs him that she will give the location of
this girl is he will perform the task she wishes. Picking up a filthy
derelict along the way(Dennis Christopher in an embarrassing
performance, this is far away from his BREAKING AWAY day, that's for
sure)who fed on leeches to survive as they travel the underground
maze(..it looks like a parking garage, and probably was)to where the
exit to "topside"(..above ground, in order to survive in the
atmosphere, oxygen tanks are a must, which is why Lori and Danner take
their trashy guest along thanks to his supply)is located. Following
behind is Plughead and his new lieutenant, Yoyo(Barbara Alyn Woods,
dressed in a suit, kind of a gunsel)who had worked for Juice and moves
from one criminal to the next, and is a bit of a maneater. Soon
Plughead will align himself with a gang of biker bandits as they pursue
While I found the cast mostly entertaining, this film disappointed me in certain areas, because there are several sequences where the action is shot off screen. There's a moment, for instance, where Danner challenges a trucker(..hauling oxygen tanks)to a game of pool. Danner is able to knock the 8-ball in one break yet it all occurs away from our eyes, only seen in the expressions on the faces around the table. Not very long after, Lori defends Danner in an altercation against those in the building so that he can escape a chamber lacking oxygen, with all most of the fighting away from our view..if Lori is a tough girl, then let us see her in action! Another scene has the trucker, giving Danner and Lori a ride, being pulled apart by motorcycles at Plughead's command, yet again we do not see it. Even at the end, during the climactic shootout between police and the bikers as Danner and Plughead have a "cerebral duel", both instances are never visually realized(..we never see the result of the shootout or Danner's final strike to escape the mind of his adversary). I'm guessing the film was low budget, not funded enough to stage big action sequences, but the failure to deliver left me wanting. And, seeing Wells with wires plugged in his head is pretty laughable, removing the menace he's supposed to convey. The desert becomes a major setting for the middle portion of the film as we see very little left after mankind's natural destruction.
The idea of subterranean cities I think is a nifty concept, but CIRCUITRY MAN doesn't really have the monetary capabilities to fully establish such an ambitious concept. I think many will probably respond more to Danner and Lori's burgeoning romance rather than the plot they're involved in. Wells is in a handful of scenes, dispersed throughout, which is probably a good thing because if one looks at him too long, he'd probably induce giggles and rolling eyes. I can understand the cult for it, due to it's campy nature, but as serious sci-fi, CIRCUITRY MAN isn't quite up to the standard. My favorite sequence has the viewer within the twisted mind of Plughead where a mass of collected bodies appear as Danner must defeat him in his desired setting(..Wells' face carries a withered demonic shape).
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