31 Days of Horror: ‘Demon Seed’ is a mostly successful genre-mashup

Demon Seed

Directed by Donald Cammell

Written by Dean R. Koontz

USA, 1977

Donald Cammell’s Demon Seed barely bypasses its routine silliness to become little more than an effective sci-fi-thriller/body-horror entry. Based on a novel of the same name by Dean R. Koontz, the film functions as a close relative to the later works of David Cronenbeg; a filmmaker who has put out countless films much aligned with this work from Cammell. Demon Seed suggests a slight removal from the gratuitousness put forth by Cronenberg, as the face of its horror is inhabited by an organic super-computer called Proteus, certainly not far removed from 2001’s Hal 9000. Both cold and calculated, Demon Seed details the negative implications surrounding man and his everlasting ambition; it’s always preposterous, but far from boring.

Julie Christie and Fritz Weaver play married doctors Susan and Alex Harris, their house reflecting the mood of Alex’s computer dominated work.
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