Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Creation Of The Humanoids (1962)

The Creation of the Humanoids

USA 1962 colour

aka Revolt Of The Humanoids

Director Wesley Barry Writer Jay Simms

Cast Don Megowan (Capt. Kenneth Cragis), Erica Elliott (Maxine Megan), Don Doolittle (Dr. Raven), George Milan (Acto, a clicker), Dudley Manlove (Lagan, a clicker)

Schlock fiends will remember Dudley Manlove as the slightly effeminate alien captain in Plan 9 From Outer Space. “Plan 9… ah yes, the resurrection of the dead!” Manlove is also in tonight’s first film playing a renegade robot, but if you’re expecting Ed Wood Jr, think again: The Creation Of The Humanoids means serious business, a dystopian vision of Social Darwinism and a philosophical musing on faith and morality. Well, it tries on its meagre resources, and because of its over-reaching ambitions, is one of the most eccentric and out-there science fiction films of the Sixties.

“It did happen,” the narrator informs us, “the Atomic War.” Over 90% of humanity is wiped out, and those left on the planet rely on over a billion worker droids to do their bidding. There’s the Clickers, freakish looking grey-skinned humanoids with pinball eyes intelligent and almost human enough to be employed as live-in lovers. They even have a pseudo-religion, a computer mainframe known to them as the Father/Mother”Then there’s the Order of Flesh and Blood, a quasi-masonic religion and secret police rolled into one, who are concerned about their dwindling control over the planet. Enter Captain Craigus, a Flesh and Blooder investigating the clickers’ plan to create a super-robot, one human enough to circumvent the Prime Law and be able to kill – or at least clone humanity out of existence.

A deathly serious movie masquerading as a cheap B picture, it attempts the grand ideas of a science fiction novel. What does it mean to be human – to lie, and to kill? Who or what is God, and what is a soul? It’s a distillation of the collected works of Isaac Asimov, right down to his Three Robotic Laws, with shades of Blade Runner (only twenty years before the film, and six years before Dick’s novel!). However hard it tries, however, it can’t hide its B film budget, and is dialogue-heavy at the expense of the visuals, somewhat limited to its grey sets (to match the humanoids) with startling splashes of reds and blues. Pretentious and utterly original, and with a Phillip K. Dick ending worth the occasional snooze over, we’re proud to present the 1962 The Creation Of The Humanoids.(Andrew Leavold)

No comments: