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  • This movie does seem to be older than 1977 when you see it, yet it is very nice. Nice enough to have searched for it on Imdb. The film depicts a rarely seen machine intelligence, one that has a conscience, a purpose and a cool calculating mind. One would expect that from a machine, but usually machines in movies are stupid, mean, vengeful, everything a computer should have no reason to be. The ending is also great, showing the stupidity inherent in extreme human emotion. A must see and a classic. Demon Seed could seem to many troubling as it forces you to think and ask questions many of us prefer to refuse to ask. The nature of humanity, moral and thought are all put into question by this movie. See it and answer those questions for yourself.
  • Susan Harris (Julie Christie), wife of a scientist working in the field of advanced robotics, becomes a prisoner in her own home when super-computer Proteus IV, who also wants to spread its seed by impregnating Susan, takes charge of her life. I rented "Demon Seed" because I felt like watching something with a brain, and based on a lot of positive IMDb reviews, I was praying for a smart sci-if flick. My prayers were answered.

    The acting in Demon Seed is fine. Robert Vaughn was creepy as hell as Proteus IV, both sinister and relaxed at the same time, in fact he does an even better job as an evil computer here than Douglas Rain did as HAL-9000 in 2001: A space Odyssey.

    The film benefits greatly from an intelligent screenplay, penned by Robert Jaffe and Roger O. Hirson. The dialog is thought provoking and thankfully never really insults the audience's intelligence.

    Helming the director's seat is Donald Cammell, who directs with a firm hand and injects a claustrophobic and uncomfortable atmosphere into the film, also managing to maintain the suspense scenes well. Interestingly, he apparently condones the film (assuming that calling the film a 'piece of sh*t' warrants that…).

    As others have pointed out there are some dated aspects to the production. The special effects were sparse but thoroughly unconvincing, the only exception being the mesmerizing computer screens that consist of ever-changing shapes and colors that are shown on Proteus's computer terminal. The film takes place in the 'distant' future—1995, I believe—yet it looks like it's right out of the 70's, no thanks to the cars, clothing, computers and hair styles that give away the films age. This is a small complaint but an annoying one, though it's easy to ignore once you get involved with the story line.

    "Demon Seed" is an intelligent sci-fi film that's pretty rare but if you happen to see a copy of it, pick it up if you're in the mood for something smart.

    7.5/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you know anything about Donald Cammell's checkered career watching 'Demon Seed' can be quite a strange experience because you can't help but wonder what it might have been if Cammell was able to bring his original vision to the screen without studio interference. For those unfamiliar with his sad tale watch the astonishingly original 'Performance' that he wrote and co-directed with Nic Roeg, then try and see the documentary 'Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance' which fills in the gaps from that landmark to his untimely suicide in the 1990s.

    Anyway, I can only comment on 'Demon Seed' as it is, and it's a very strong, intelligent and scary SF/horror movie. Recently activated super computer Proteus questions Alex Harris the scientist who created him (played by Fritz Weaver). He wants to know what the information he is gathering and problems he is being asked to be solved are REALLY all about. Not getting satisfactory answers he decides to rebel, and takes control of Harris' fully automated home, which is occupied by his estranged wife Susan (Julie Christie).

    Almost immediately Susan and Proteus are at odds. Proteus won't accept non-cooperation with his plans, which include Susan's impregnation, and she becomes a terrorized prisoner of the "evil" (?) computer. What follows is a battle of wills and wits, which makes compulsive viewing. 'Demon Seed' may be dated in the FX department, what SF over twenty years old isn't, but it compensates with suspense, style and food for thought. Plus one of the best endings of any 1970s SF movie! Make sure you see this one.
  • BOOBEAR6617 November 2004
    This movie deserves much more ratings & reviews. This movie was great back in 1977, it was so much ahead of its time. Even in 2004 this is still a great movie.When I was younger & seen this movie, I thought " man what a cool house ", then once the stuff started happening, I was like " oh man it fights back ", need I say for awhile I was scared of stuff in house ( TV, fridge, stove, stero). I have this movie on VHS & have lent it to friends to watch, they all enjoy it , some not as much as I, but they all agree this movie is ahead of its time. I strongly suggest anyone who has not seen this movie, don't listen to the reviews, go watch it for yourself & you decide.
  • Demon Seed is a solid, independent science fiction thriller, regretfully overshadowed by the tragic fade of its director Donald Cammell. He was a devoted filmmaker who never really could depend on much support from both critics and distributors. His career started in a minor key, with `Performance' suffering from a lot of re-editing. Similar problems with his last film `Wild Side' drove him into committing suicide.

    Don't let the technical mumbo-jumbo at the beginning of `Demon Seed' trick you…The first half hour leads you to believe this film is a theoretical suspense-thriller but in fact, the premise is more simple and appealing to a wider audience. `Proteus' is the name of a super computer, designed by scientist Alex Harris, in order to help him with his research. Yet, Proteus is so smart he soon develops an own will. Continuously growing stronger, Proteus perpetrates Alex's house and keeps his wife as a hostage. Proteus's goal is to impregnate Suzan (Julie Chrisie)…

    Proteus is like a feared computer-virus in a pre-internet era! A super computer thinking & handling for itself! Which is, according to me, a very successful horror formula. The absence of a villain in the shape of a man helps increasing the tension. The setting of the over-protected house is great and causes uncomfortable feelings of claustrophobia. Julie Christie (the female star of `Don't Look Now') is great and almost carries the entire film. The visual effects in `Demon Seed' may look a bit dated by now, but the film still contains one of the greatest decapitations ever and…an outstanding ending! I swear to you…if you thought the whole movie was only so-so, the last 5 minutes will make you think more highly of it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I admit it,I have been seduced by this sci-fi classic, there isn`t much to say, except this: DEMON SEED IS A MUST SEE!. Demon Seed contains critical and political views on the technology in the future. With an megalomanic computer which are taking over an house, and even get pregnant with the human lady of the house(played by Julie Christie)this movie contains suspense at the best. The computer takes over the house....but will the computer (which is called Proteus,if I remember correctly)take over the world...the answer is within each viewer. Not unlike Hal in 2001 the error is caused...as always by human behaviour.

    The director of this masterpiece; Cammell, deserves a lot of credits for Demon Seed. The movie is a golden moment in the film history!
  • I watched this one yesterday and all I can say is:wow!Very clever,intelligent and stylish horror/sci-fi with some memorable visuals and lots of suspense.Julie Christie("Don't Look Now")is excellent in the lead role,and Donald Cammell's direction is well-handled.The film is pretty hard to find,so if you get a chance watch it!9 out of 10-a must-see!
  • Demon Seed is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Dean R. Koontz. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first saw this film. Needless to say, I was impressed. Whilst the idea of a megalomaniacal computer is not new, it is used to great effect. Proteus IV is a computer that actually questions the tasks it has been made to do and what the relevance of those tasks are. It also seems to have emotion and is heard several times to other characters in the film that he does not wish to hurt them when they are not co-operating with his demands. Although aspects of this film are now dated ( particularly the computer equipment ),Proteus IV's interesting philosophy, Julie Christie and Fritz Weaver's performances and the unexpected creepy ending make this film worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This visionary and tense cautionary sci-fi tale brings to mind HAL from 2001, of course, and maybe "Rosemary's Baby", but also later films such as "Altered States" (the psychedelic sequences) and "The Terminator" (the birth of Skynet?). It's economically directed, disturbing, has intelligent dialogue, and will have you glued to your seat. Julie Christie carries it practically single-handedly in front of the camera, and Robert Vaughn, who provides the disembodied voice (both calm and menacing) of the computer Proteus, gives perhaps the finest performance of his career! There are some awesome visuals in this movie - it can also function as a head trip. *** out of 4.
  • What a great movie! Let's see, what do we have here... First of all, great actors. Julie Christie is not only a real beauty to watch, her fantastic performance as the impulsive and emotional wife that is very wise in her way really rocks. Fritz Weaver is also perfect as the rather emotionaly cold scientist and the rest of the cast also performs very well in its rather small roles. Please take special note of the Asian actress (the linguist of the team), too bad she hasn't much scenes. The voice of Proteus (Who's that actor by the way? I've never heard of him.) is perfect in its calmness and menace. The script is a masterpiece - Proteus' and Christie's battle of wills and points of view is fantastic. Proteus as the non-emotional perfectly logical genius that realises that there must be more ("eternity does exist, but the price of admission, death, is too high for me to pay") and Christie as the emotional woman full of wits ("how do you want to understand humans when they can't even understand each other?" she asks Proteus). Proteus is not mean per se (for example he makes strong points for the saving of the enviroment when he refuses to do certain tasks), he is just purely logical at the beginning and tries to break out of his small nutshell, also because he is treated like a slave by the scientist that invented him - Proteus seems to have became capable of feelings. The directing is great, it's always a pleasure to watch the wonderful camera angles and editing of this movie. The computer animations may look dated now but that doesn't rob them of their timeless beauty. The electronic music is great and really enhances the experience of watching this movie. A soundtrack album has been recently released by FSM, go and get it! The ending is wonderfully creepy (Proteus made the child resemble the dead daughter!) but one really wonders what will happen. Because of the strong points Proteus made for saving the enviroment is doesn't seem to be altogether bad to have somebody like him as a human, but what else will he want to have - complete domination of the world? Wonderful food for thougths and since the whole movie isn't the usual easy understandable just-switch-your-brain-off-and-be-scared Hollywood crap it isn't surprising that some people find it to be extremely dumb - the movie just throws your own numbness or even dumbness back on you if you aren't open minded or still have a good taste. A rare treasure that really deserves a release on DVD! Especially today with the discussion about increasing involvement of computers in our daily life this movie is more worth watching than ever, also because of the wonderful dialogues and the questions that are asked.
  • When we realize today how the computers changed our life ,"demon seed" can easily be looked upon as a film ahead of its time.A bizarre cross between "Rosemary's Baby" and "2001"'s "Hal 9000" ,one feels ill-at-ease after the viewing .The screenplay may seem far-fetched but today it can become a transparent metaphor :we might be the computers' prisoners and it won't improve with time.The computer might know intimate details about us,he may "rape" us in a way.

    But what remains impressive today is how the director and the script writers managed to sustain interest while using only one character most of the time.Most of the time,the audience is left alone with Julie Christie and the "monster" (there are snatches of "Frankenstein" too),and the viewers can easily identify with her character.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Julie Christie gives a gutsy performance as the unlucky wife of a scientist (the always creepy Fritz Weaver) who becomes the obsession of a rogue computer and its out of control libido. DEMON SEED is much better than one would think, perhaps because it takes itself so seriously---it's like Rosemary's Baby only with scientists and a computer instead of a coven of witches and Satan. Robert Vaughn (before he started accepting EVERY role offered to him) is the computer's sinister voice. From director/tortured soul Donald Cammell & made in the demented editing style he and Nicolas Roeg cultivated throughout the '70s (see PERFORMANCE or the snail-paced MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH).
  • This is a truly classic science fiction film, and it was actually way ahead of it's time when it was released back in 1977. The topic of artificial intelligence is still very relevant today, and just one look at Eagle Eye is proof enough. Everything about this film is top notch: directing, acting, script, score, cinematography, etc. are all first-rate. I was very sad when I looked for it on DVD a few years back and could not locate it. Fortunately, it is now available in DVD format. I also echo the sentiments of another reviewer who commented on the sad demise of director Donald Cammell, who was extremely talented but misunderstood. Another interesting film directed by Cammell in his later years is White of The Eye, which was released in 1987. It is a suspense thriller about a serial killer on the loose in Arizona, and it stars David Keith in a great performance. Check it out, and definitely check out Demon Seed if you haven't seen it already. You won't regret it. 8 Stars.
  • My mixed (at best) feelings about the film as a whole are reflected in the range of previous comments. My response to the contributions of composer Jerry Fielding, however, is unadulterated awe. The harmonic richness and complexity of his music sometimes seemed wasted on the films they accompanied - i.e. "Funeral Home", "Grey Lady Down, some of the Michael Winner collaborations et al - both the attention to detail his scores displayed and the complexity of response his music evoked were simply not supported by what was on screen. In fact, some of these films probably could have been served just as well if not better either by a relative hack or simply by a composer more able to work at "half-mast" on a given project - i.e. Goldsmith, Williams etc. Fielding's effectiveness was not restricted to scoring intense and/or violent scenes - witness his brief, exquisite interludes early and late in ""Junior Bonner", the heartbreakingly beautiful music underscoring Warren Oates' tortured efforts to express his feelings to Isela Vega in "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" or for that matter the many gentle moments of respite in "The Wild Bunch" itself. Still, some of the most imaginative and memorable marriages of sound and image in the history of film are provided by Fielding in just such intense contexts, often in scenes anticipating or immediately following violence and especially scenes of violation – i.e. the rapes of "Straw Dogs", the near rape of "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia", the rough sex / bondage of "The Nightcomers", or the not-in-itself particularly violent but perhaps even more disturbing – more violating – situation played out in "Demon Seed" 's centerpiece. However unbelievable or even ludicrous this scene's premise - or the "science" underlying it - may seem, the emotional journey the film's protagonist is forced to take is massive and mind bending (the scene turning into something somewhat reminiscent of the penultimate scene of 2001). Fielding's music is more than up to the task, amply supporting and even expanding the scope of this journey.

    Anyway, I think I've expended enough syllables. Fielding is one of the extremely small group of film composers whose work is just as absorbing and memorable with or without the image. So, to all those who are interested – follow the IMDb links and search … and look and listen …

    P.S. As a previous poster has noted, the soundtrack recording is available on a cd pairing it with the score from "Soylent Green" by Fred Myrow. It was released by FSM (Film Score Monthly) on their Silver Age Classics label.
  • Dean Koontz's novel about a computer wanting to keep its legacy alive by basically having a woman impregnated with his essentials if you will has some merit and a lot of fault. Director Cammil does a real good job of keeping the suspense going throughout the first three-quarters of the film. The ridiculous plot and how it is executed almost seems plausible during this time. Much of that is directly due to Cammil's subtle direction and the acting of leads Fritz Weaver, and in particular, Julie Christie. Christie is the central character in most of the film as a woman that has been locked in a specially high-tech house by a computer called Proteus(voice done very nicely by Robert Vaughn). It seems Proteus doesn't want to perform the tasks he has been asked to do and wants to have a child with Christie. Well, I was able to not dwell too much on the scientific un-reality of such a plot strand because of the acting, atmosphere, and some very well-crafted scenes, but things just got out of hand in credibility in the last quarter of the film. Without going into too much detail, the actualization of the plot's climax and the necessary downfall of viewer credibility is just too powerful a force at the films climatic end. I was laughing and shaking my head from side to side with disbelief that so incompetent an ending would actually be thought to work by all parties involved. Anyway, Demon Seed is interesting, quirky, and something fresh at least for me. While definitely leaps and bounds away from being a good film, it is not a bad film either. I found it to be quite entertaining for the most part and at least one more condemnation on the success and rate of success our world has with creating and trusting too much in technological advances and artificial intelligence.
  • Dr. Alex Harris (Fritz Weaver) has developed a computer called Proteus IV with organic artificial intelligence and lives with his estranged wife Susan (Julie Christie) in a fully automated house administrated by the computer Alfred. When Alex decides to separate from Susan to work harder In Proteus IV, the computer asks for an open terminal to study the human behavior to increase his knowledge. Alex refuses to give a terminal to Proteus IV, but he forgets that there is one at his home. Proteus IV uses the terminal to take over Alfred and trap Susan at home. He also decides to have a son with the wife of his creator to become immortal.

    Forty years after its release, "Demon Seed" is a dated, but still fascinating sci-fi horror film. In the 60's and 70's, Julie Christie was sort of muse with magnificent cinematography including "Dr. Jivago", "Fahrenheit 451", "Don't Look Now" and has another wonderful performance. "Demon Seed" shows a scary view of artificial intelligence and has a great open conclusion. The character Walter Gabler is forgotten in the story. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "Geração Proteus" ("Proteus Generation")
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Oh boy,.......this movie is terrifying and mesmerizing!! When I first saw this way back when, it was too slow for me. Tonight? It gave me goosebumps.

    Proteus is built by a scientist on the verge of divorce. In fact, he is moving out of the house and separating from his wife. Unfortunately, he has left the house under the command of a computer who is later borrowed by Proteus. Inhabited by Proteus. Proteus is a HUGE brain and can figure out things the human mind cannot. But when Proteus decides he wants a child, he decides that the scientist's soon to be ex-wife will do as the mother and begins to imprison her so he may impregnate her!!!

    Absolutely creepy and terrifying!! Frightening. Die hard computer fans will be quick to point out how dated the computer terminals are but there is no denying the fear that this film instills!
  • qrt725 June 2001
    For it's time, this film deals with some pretty advanced stuff, namely computer AI. It's a fairly well executed and quite convincing psychological thriller. Although the computer equipment in the film looks incredibly dated (big chunky TV and lots of flashing primary-colours).

    At times I found the movie had a few holes in it, and i'm amazed that Christies character was unable to escape. It only took a bit of nous, but then again, the female character is a bit stereotyped. From that point of view things are a bit predictable. However, once the inevitability of the story is accepted, the dramatic tension as the computer reveals its desire to take human form via Christie is pretty gripping and quite atmospheric, turning bleaker as it the picture progresses.

    I'm not sure about the ending though, but I guess it's intended to make the viewer think, so that's fair enough.

    Pretty good for a one-off viewing.

    7/10
  • It is late in 2004 and THE DEMON SEED is not out on DVD. Does anyone know when it will be released? I remember watching the trailer on HBO and it scared the crap out of me! The thought of every opening to your house suddenly closing up is scary! I am sure it will be a matter of time until THE DEMON SEED comes to DVD (and I hope they include the trailer), last month they finally put IT'S ALIVE and its sequels out. As it stands now I am waiting for not only THE DEMON SEED but also BEYOND THE DOOR (Juliet Mills), THE CHILDREN (Gale Garnett) and THE MANITOU (directed by William Girdler). If anyone reading this knows any inside info I would appreciate it.
  • RFS2321 October 2001
    The film 'demon seed' caught me unawares. I was expecting a half decent movie but what I watched was pure magic. If you have not watched this film I would recommend you do. Proteus, the AI computer is every bit the equal of hal 9000, and this film has much of the 'weird' energy that is though out 2001. Proteus is basically much smarter that the men who created it. It is not actually a 'baddie', sure to humanity it is evil, but proteus decides (rightly?) that humans are insane and that he will not co-operate and assist them in destroying the earth.CLASS
  • While the ending of this film will no doubt irritate most, the film itself is a strange, trippy experience...one I am glad I took. But it certainly is an odd film....and one that is utterly ridiculous when you think about it. So, my advice is to watch it and just don't think!

    The film is about a super computer named Proteus. It's more advanced than anything before it and it differs from other computers because it longs to achieve consciousness. And, to do so, it kidnaps its creator's wife and forces itself on it. Its aim is to create the first human-computer hybrid...one that will enable Proteus to interact with the real world as a humanoid.

    While the plot is very simple, the filmmakers managed to make it all seem so possible...a sign of good sci-fi. I must warn you, however, that the film is quite disturbing--especially as it torments and ultimately forces itself on the woman. Strange, indeed, but very well made.
  • DEMON SEED stars Julie Christie (DON'T LOOK NOW) as Susan Harris, who's brilliant husband, Alex (Fritz Weaver- CREEPSHOW) has designed an organic, artificially intelligent super computer called PROTEUS. A "thinking" computer is seen as a wonderful tool, able to do all of the tedious tasks that man has had to grapple with for so long. PROTEUS will do the "dirty work", freeing mankind for less mundane, more fulfilling endeavors. At least, that's the idea. The Harris' are in the middle of a separation, due to an inability to agree on what is truly important in life. Alex moves out, leaving Susan to live in their fortress-like home, which is a "smart home", wired for every contingency. One day, PROTEUS decides that it wants to do things its own way, rather than worry about the humans who created it. So, after absorbing all the knowledge it requires, PROTEUS simply stops taking orders. Soon enough, PROTEUS infiltrates the Harris house, using its systems to enable it to fulfill its true objective. The rest is a battle for survival / supremacy between Susan and the Deep Mind that needs her for its plan to work. Voiced by Robert Vaughn, PROTEUS is pretty creepy from the first time it "speaks". Ms. Christie's character carries 90% of the movie, exhibiting suspicion, terror, and growing desperation. A classic, rather prescient 70's sci-fi / horror film, it somehow escapes much of the cheeeze that could have made it a joke. Instead, it holds up fairly well. Watching a human being attempt to reason w/ PROTEUS is chilling, since it has no capacity for emotion, and is focused entirely on its ultimate goal. There's also a very interesting "helper" constructed by PROTEUS that makes a -smashing- debut! Highly recommended...
  • Fritz Weaver and Julie Christie play Alex and Susan Harris. He is a brilliant computer scientist who has designed a new super-computer named Proteus, which has an artificial intelligence, and has just become self-aware, wanting to now branch out of itself, and connect with other computers, then the world, which of course Alex scoffs at. His wife Susan is a child psychologist, still grieving over the death of their daughter, who then finds herself trapped in their automated home(run by a computer called Alfred) which Proteus decides to override with his personality, in order to gain possession of Susan, and achieve his dream of sentience...

    Bizarre film has an intriguing premise and good acting, but a far-fetched and exploitive story; points for originality, but last scene will either leave the viewer stunned or amused with disbelief, possibly both!
  • Demon Seed successfully for-sees smart-houses, a crucial point in the viability of this movie and something we can really respect. It also examines sentience in a super-computer. Obviously the success of Hal from 2001 (1968) had a lot to do with this creation. And there are also advances in prosthetics/robotics, as well as laser printing and video image manipulation. This is an insanely prescient forward look for 1977. The wonderful extension of the computer's power into the real world is a fantastic journey, truly astonishing, with truly gifted imagination, and of great credit to the writers. The graphics were also impressive in a pre-digital world, both technically and imaginatively, although I docked a point for the soundscape which was often old-fashioned, and when not, generated machine sounds that were hard to bare. The other rather curious part of the script is the computer's refusal to aid and abet a mining operation that would have devastating effects on local wildlife. I was around in 1977, and anyone out there who believes the older generation had no environmental consciousness need only site this movie as proof of the contrary. And Demon Seed is just such an exciting thriller. The computer doesn't have things all his own way, yet it comes up with solutions to problems that are diabolical and underline a superior intelligence, all very chilling indeed. All up, Demon Seed is a must-see sci-fi show, and a real eye-opener.
  • Susan Harris is alone in the house when, suddenly, doors lock, windows slam shut and the phone stops working. Susan is trapped by an intruder...but this is no ordinary thug. Instead, the intruder is a computer named Proteus, an artificial brain that has learned to reason. And to terrorize. In "one of her finest, most vulnerable performances" (Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic), Julie Christie plays Susan in this taut techno-thriller based on the Dean Koontz novel. Packed with suspense, surprise and special effects, Demon Seed follows Susan's desperate attempts to outmaneuver and outthink her captor. Then Susan learns what Proteus wants: its own child, conceived in her womb and destined for domination.
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