Demon Seed ★½

Besides Demon Seed presenting itself as being laughably bad and beyond inconceivable at times, I couldn't help but feel bad for the entire female species while watching this late 1970s Dean Koontz adaptation.

Not only do we have to worry about being objectified by men, apparently super computers have that same desire. We just can't win! "All I need is your body, now clean these lenses."

Susan Harris is the wife of scientist Alex Harris, he's a computer man. Before delving deeper into his newest project, Proteus IV, an artificial intelligence intended to cure cancer, he set up a computer system in his personal home, aptly named Alfred, which, apparently in popular culture is synonymous for butler. These people are so fucking lazy that they can't even turn doorknobs, turn off lights or make a cup of coffee--their home computer does everything for them. They didn't show it, but I'm pretty sure they had Alfred wipe their asses as well.

Alex has decided he wants a separation from his wife, Susan. Because it was his decision, he allows her to remain in the house as he finds another place to stay (although he doesn't even need a place because he spends his entire time devoted to Proteus IV). As soon as Alex named his artificially intelligent project, Proteus, he should have known he was going to end up with a protean creation.

Proteus IV stays true to its name and evolves, wanting nothing more than to grasp the inner-workings of what it is like to be human, the only thing it can not compute. Restricted to what Proteus calls a "box," it wants out. While Alex is away, Susan finds that Alfred has been overtaken by Proteus. She becomes a prisoner in her own home, because as I said earlier, she doesn't know how to turn doorknobs without the help of Alfred. This makes it all too easy for Proteus to put the film's title, Demon Seed, to good use. Although, admittedly, demon is a bit of a stretch, it should have been called - A.I.: Artificial Insemination.

Setting aside all logic, Proteus wants to use Susan's womb for its own chance of selfish immortality. What else is new?

Demon Seed had me fooled, ever briefly, that it was a progressive film from the late 1970s. Putting into perspective the use of women, holding her back in the home, away from a career, taking away her choice of having to carry a child. The glimmer of hope is extinguished once Susan must be saved by a man on a several occasions.

The original tagline of the film read, "Never was a woman violated as profanely... Never was a woman subject to inhuman love like this... Never was a woman prepared for a more perverse destiny..." Except this isn't true, women have been subject to this horror since the dawn of time. The only thing new here is that instead of a man forcing her to stay in the home, barefoot and pregnant, it's a fucking computer.

Even with the entire brain melting, blood boiling plot aside, there are scenes so ridiculous, the only thing I could do was laugh. Seeing as how a voice coming from a hard drive can't do much physical harm to a human, Proteus menaced Susan with its own slapped together creation. In a scene meant to be suspenseful, I burst into laughter when I heard my husband say - WATCH OUT!!! IT'S A WHEELCHAIR WITH AN ARM ON IT!"

If I were to take anything away from Demon Seed, it would be the slight, mischievous grin, tilt of my head, curling of my brow and whisper of a proclamation - "I wish I had a door buzzer that shocked annoying little kids."

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