Thursday, February 16, 2017

Michael Crichton Week: Westworld

And we are back! Now the lag of the week has been migraine land so I apologize. Today we look at an amazing concept that has been made pop culture for more than 30 years. A film written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton. Depicting a Western theme park filled with androids. More than a few issues arrive and certain controversy. This is Westworld.

So the hat really does make me look silly then?

In the far away time of 1983 (hehehe). A high-tech and realistic amusement park called Delos. 3 separate themed worlds populated by the androids with Westworld, an old west town, Medieval World, a town of antiquated Europe and Roman World, the ancient depiction of Pompeii. Each world is jam packed with androids so sophisticated they are equivalent to humanity, it is uncanny.

For a thousand clams a day, guests can enjoy any adventure in the park, including boinking the droids or challenging them to a fight to the death.  Delos' commercial tags the adverts with Boy, have we got a vacation for you!" Enter our adventurers, Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin of Catch-22, Love at First Bite, Saturday the 14th, Witches' Brew, Deconstructing Harry, Marci X and Keeping Up with the Steins) first-time visitor and his buddy John Blaine (James Brolin of Marcus Welby, M.D.,The Car, Steel Cowboy, The Amityville Horror, Night of the Juggler, Hotel, Indecent Behavior II, The Expert, Extreme, Pensacola: Wings of Gold, Traffic and Burlesque) as they each engage the Gunslinger (Yul Brenner of The King and I, The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, Romance of Horsethief, Fuzz, Anna and the King, Futureworld and Death Rage), an android computing and calculating potential gunfights and boy if doesn't look a bit like that Chris Larabee Adams from The Magnificent Seven.

We don't take kind to yer kind around here. boy.  Tourists.

The pistols given to the guests have sensors that prevent them from shooting humans or anything with a higher body temperature but allows for the gunfights with the androids with a lower temperature. The programming of Gunslinger giving guests ample time to draw their guns and shooting him with the android always returning the next day for a new duel.

Several glitches seems to be spreading throughout the androids. The techs notice the robots among Roman World and Medieval World start breaking down or having some sort of systems failure. Chief Supervisor (Alan Oppenheimer of The Six Million Dollar Man, Wuzzles, He-Man and The Masters of the Universe, The Transformers, Ghostbusters, Rambo, Bionic Six, Mama's Family, The Smurfs, Murphy Brown and The Legend of Prince Valiant) is having problems computer virus would be less than feasible establishing the complicated organisms not too different from human beings built by other computers. He has to admit as a whole, they still don't really know how they work a hundred percent.

You got a bug on your shirt.  Lemme get that for ya.

The malfunctions get worse as Blane is bitten by a robo rattlesnake. In Medieval World the Black Knight (Michael T. Mikler of War Party, Thunder Alley, Ice Station Zebra, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid and Westworld) cared not for a guest's advance on one of the serving wenches and proceeds to gut the guest. At the bordello, Martin and Blane relax after a bar room brawl when Gunslinger challenges both men to a showdown. The guys treat it like a gag until Gunslinger gut shoots Blane while Martin flees for his life with Gunslinger in pursuit.

Have all the androids gone completely crackers??? Can Martin get out alive??? Will he get a refund???

You know you have seen too much TV and film when you recognize too many faces such as Dick Van Patten as the Banker, Majel Barrett Roddenberry as Miss Carrie and Norman Bartold as one of the medieval knights. With a budget estimated at $1.2 million, this film grossed 10 million in theaters and cleared another 4 million via VHS rentals.

Nominated for a Hugo, Nebula and Saturn awards is the first of feature films to use a digital image processing to give the androids machine code and viewing.  Its practical effects look a bit hammy now but were spot on for their day and inspired generations of movie makers.   Because of the success of Westworld, a sequel Futureworld and Beyond Westworld TV series came. Of course most are aware of the HBO current series in 2016.

Heh, he's just upset he can't grow a magnificent Brolin beard.