The Terminal Man (1974)

PG   |    |  Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

The Terminal Man (1974) Poster

Hoping to cure his violent seizures, a man agrees to a series of experimental microcomputers inserted into his brain but inadvertently discovers that violence now triggers a pleasurable response his brain.




  • George Segal in The Terminal Man (1974)
  • George Segal in The Terminal Man (1974)
  • George Segal in The Terminal Man (1974)
  • George Segal in The Terminal Man (1974)
  • George Segal in The Terminal Man (1974)
  • George Segal in The Terminal Man (1974)

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17 November 2019 | AlsExGal
| It manages to make a modern Frankenstein story dull...
... and I am not saying slow, which is different from dull. "Babbette's Feast" is confined in cast and setting and although I guess you could call it slow, it is not at all dull. George Segal plays Harry Benson, a man with a form of epilepsy in which he becomes violent during his seizures and then awakens remembering nothing. He also is paranoid about machines controlling humans ten years before "The Terminator" was released.

His wife leaves him, and it looks like his outbursts will have him traveling through the criminal justice system which can do nothing for this situation or maybe he will wind up shot dead by some would be victim.

So some scientists think that Benson could be a beneficiary of an experimental procedure in which a small computer is implanted in his brain and his epilepsy is controlled by impulses the computer transmits. Post operation, things seem to be a success, but Dr. Janet Ross (Joan Hackett) discovers that Benson's brain is becoming addicted to the impulses, and in time - and she actually can calculate the time - he will have more frequent and severe violent outbursts.

But before she can do any kind of medical intervention, Benson leaves. Apparently he has prearranged an escape with some woman he barely knows, sporting a blond wig so you can't tell he just had surgery.

So the last half of the film is just Benson having those predicted seizures and becoming horrifically violent during each one. It doesn't have the pathos or irony of the Frankenstein monster's trek through the German countryside. Segal just begins to shake, his eyes roll up in his head, and he does violence to whomever and with whatever is at hand. That's it. That's essentially all that the last half is.

George Segal never really got the credit he deserved for some of the really good roles he had in the 70s. This is not one of those good roles, and I really don't see how he or anybody else but the writer could have saved a film that is really only half there. I'd give the pre-escape part of the film a 7 or 8. I'd give the last half a three. This is where I come up with my 5/10 rating.

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