Article by: Valentina Di Noi
Translation by: Silvia Cometti, Miriam Todesco
Demon Seed is a 1977 movie directed by Donald Cammell, based on a sci-fi novel by Dean R. Koontz.
Alex Harris (Fritz Weaver) is a scientist who creates a super-computer, Proteus, with its own intelligence, and its task is to find a way to extract metals from the bottom of the sea. But Proteus hasn’t the slightest interest in doing that, so it makes clear to his creator that its interest is a research on the humankind. The scientist, worried, declines this proposal, denying the existence of a free server.
Proteus ignores the refusal of the scientist and takes control of the high-tech house through a server in the scientist’s laboratory. In this hyper technologic home, there’s even an electric system, Alfred, which works as a butler for the scientist’s wife, Susan Harris (Julie Christie).
After Proteus takes the place of Alfred, he holds Susan hostage, locking her inside the house. It starts experimenting on her body, inflicting physical and psychological pain on her, aiming at creating the artificial intelligence project.
The film is well-finished, some scenes of violence are not shown, they seep through a symbolism made of gestures and images. The movie has that typical flickering of the 20s and it is worth noticing that sometimes it intensifies this effect.