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Xenogenesis (1978)

 |  Short, Sci-Fi
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A woman and an engineered man are sent in a gigantic sentient starship to search space for a place to start a new life cycle. Raj decides to take a look around the ship. He comes across a gigantic robotic cleaner. Combat ensues.


, (as R.L.A. Frakes)


, (as R.L.A. Frakes)
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Title: Xenogenesis (1978)

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A woman and an engineered man are sent in a gigantic sentient starship to search space for a place to start a new life cycle. Raj decides to take a look around the ship. He comes across a gigantic robotic cleaner. Combat ensues.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Sci-Fi





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$20,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The music is 'borrowed' from Bernard Herrmann's Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and Mysterious Island (1961) scores (both Ray Harryhausen movies) See more »


Referenced in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating look at the early work of James Cameron.
3 January 2001 | by (Reading, England) – See all my reviews

This was James Cameron's first entry into the world of directing, it's a short sci-fi film that is set up as if it is part of a long running series, as if you are just watching one episode without having seen any of the others. The story covers a search across the universe to find a place where man can begin the cycle of creation again. The most amazing thing about this short film is how many ideas and images it contains that are present in Cameron's other work, as if he has always had theses images in his head and was determined to use them on a bigger canvas. Starting off with white credits on a black background, the film then has a minute long introduction that fills you in on the back-story via narration, which plays out over a series of paintings depicting the story. It's here that the first reference to his later work appears, one of the paintings depicts a man holding a woman, the flesh on his arm is missing, and showing that the arm is mechanical. Looking exactly like the shot in Terminator 2 when Arnold takes the flesh of his arm to reveal he's a robot. Then the film itself begins with Raj walking in part of a massive abandoned space ship; here he finds a gigantic care-taking robot. Similarity two occurs here, as the robot is an exact match for the gigantic war machines on tracks in the future battle sequences in T2, right down to having the same style of tracks. The robot then proceeds to attack Raj, this is where the most amazing similarity occurs as his fellow explorer, Laurie, comes to his rescue. She breaks down a door in a long legged walking robot, that she controls from inside by using joysticks, looking exactly like Ripley at the finale of Aliens taking on the Queen alien. The actor even looks like Ripley, there are shots of her inside the machine that also look exactly like the shots of Mary Elizabeth Masterantonio in her sub in the ‘The Abyss'. The two machines then have a spectacular battle, which literally ends on a cliffhanger. Cameron manages to get an awful lot into his short 12 minutes and the film is exciting and interesting. His effects work is fantastic for what must have been a limited budget, which brings up another theme that was already emerging in his work, that of always going for the big movie with plenty of effects work, though with strong characters to root the action around. A theme that is also obvious is that of the very strong female role, as it's Laurie who comes to rescue Raj from the robot. This short is a must see for anyone interested in Cameron and will blow you away with how many ideas are in here that would later turn up in his other films, I couldn't believe it when I first saw it.

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