Demon Seed (Film)
See Also: Afterword to Demon Seed – Revised Demon Seed Demon Seed - Revised Edition Demon Seed (Screenplay) New Afterword to Demon Seed – Revised Dean Koontz - Collection: The Moonlit Mind, Darkness Under the Sun, Demon Seed Dean Koontz Thriller Collection Dean Koontz: Three Complete Novels (1998)
Soylent Green/Demon Seed
“THIS PRESSING IS LIMITED TO 3,000 COPIES”
Liner notes mention that Dean is the author of the original novel.
RELEASE DATE: April 8, 1977
COLOR/BW: c 94 min.
MPAA RATING: R
DIRECTOR: Donald Cammell
PRODUCER: Jaffe, Herb; released by United Artists
SCREENPLAY BY: Robert Jaffe and Roger O. Hirson; based on the novel by Dean R. Koontz.
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bill Butler
EDITOR: Francisco Mazzola
OTHER CREDITS: Music, Jerry Fielding. Set Decoration, Barbara Krieger. Production Design, Edward C. Carfagno. Costumes and wardrobe, Sandy Cole, Bucky Rous, and Joie Hutchinson…
Susan Harris __ Julie Christie
Alex Harris __ Fritz Weaver
Walter Gabler __ Gerrit Graham
Petrosian __ Berry Kroeger
Soon Yen __ Lisa Lu
Cameron __ Larry J. Blake
Amy __ Dana Laurita
Voice of Proteus IV __ Robert Vaughn
Books that mention/discuss Demon Seed:
- John Stanley’s Creature Features Movie Guide by John Stanley, 1981
- Science Fiction Films of the Seventies by Craig W. Anderson, 1985
- Androids, Humanoids, and Other Science Fiction Monsters by Per Schelde, 1993
- Replications: A Robotic History of the Science Fiction Film by J.P. Telotte, 1995
- Aliens, Robots, and Spaceships by Jeff Rovin, 1995
- Electronic Eros: Bodies and Desire in the Postindustrial Age by Claudia Springer, 1996
- Julie Christie by Anthony Hayward, Robert Hale Ltd, 2001
- Horror Movies of the 1970s vol. 2 by John Kenneth Muir, McFarland, 2002. (p466-470)
- Donald Cammell: A Life on the Wild Side by Rebecca and Sam Umland, Fab Press, 2006
- The Cinema of Donald Cammell by Jeremy Mark Robinson, 2015 (Mr. Robinson is most definitely not a fan of the film or the novel.)
- Midnight Movie Monographs: The Brood by Stephen R. Bissette, PC Publishing, 2020
p171: “Closer still, in some ways, was the externalized womb-and-fetus biologically-engineered by the computer Proteus after its campaign-of-terror, rape, and impregnation of a wealthy woman named Susan living (imprisoned in the then-futuristic computerized 1995 home of Dean Koontz’s novel Demon Seed (1973).313”
Footnote 313: “Dean Koontz rewrote Demon Seed for a completely new edition in 1997; the original 1977 novel was written with chapters alternating Susan’s and Proteus’s points of view. The 1997 rewrite did away with Susan’s chapters, streamlining the narrative into a seamless novel written entirely from Proteus’s perspective.”
p171-2: “Ectogenesis-via-computer was dramatized by Fred Hoyle and John Elliot’s serialized 1961 BBC teleplay A for Andromeda, in which Julie Christie played the computer-created woman Andromeda, nurtured with inhuman rapidity and growth in an external sterile ‘womb’ per instructions broadcast from an unknown intelligence in outer space, for an unknown purpose. With Demon Seed, Koontz took the premise further: the computer Proteus seeks to gain its freedom by literally giving birth to itself, by embedding its A.I. consciousness into a fetal infant spawned by its artificial insemination of Susan-a process vividly delineated onscreen in Donald Cammell, Roger Hirson, and Robert Jaffe’s feature film adaptation DEMON SEED (1977), starring Julie Christie as Susan with Robert Vaughn providing the voice of Proteus. Thus, the premiere 1960s British actress whose breakthrough role was playing a computer-spawned woman later gave birth, via computer rape, to the first cinematic computer/ human hybrid; such uncanny associative links are disturbing and fascinating in and of themselves. Though the term ‘biomechanical was popularized soon afterwards (thanks to the international recognition of Swiss surrealist painter and designer H.R. Giger’s work, after designing the distinctive creatures and many of the sets and environments for ALIEN), DEMON SEED’s computer/human hybrid baby resulting from Proteus’ scheme was indeed one of 1970s cinema’s most striking biomechanoid beings. It emerges from the external womb looking like a perverse fusion of human and machine technology, until it sheds its metallic exoskeleton to reveal a normal-looking but unnaturally matured human child speaking with Proteus’ voice.”
p172: “Even given these contemporary precursors, THE BROOD was unique, its premise quite unlike those of either The Manitou or Demon Seed…”
Film Articles & Reviews:
- The Old Dark House (‘Zine) No. 2, 1977, p34(4) -George LaVoo
- Pure Images: The Magazine of Film and Television, Spring 1977
Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance (IMDB)
October 1988, Directors: Kevin Macdonald & Chris Rodley
A 75 minute documentary on the life of director Donald Cammell. Demon Seed is disused from approximately minutes 57-62 of the film.
Richard E. Geis reviews the film on page 20 of his fanzine Science Fiction Review #22 (August 1977) . It starts with a correction regarding his statement in issue #21 that claims the books is a novelization.
Demon Seed was given a shout-out on the HBO series The Deuce. (Contains adult language.)
And here’s a great episode of The Projection Booth podcast all about Demon Seed.
Last updated on July 23rd, 2018