THE CREATION OF THE HUMANOIDS (1962)
Article #516 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-13-2002
Posting date: 1-6-2003
This is a portrayal of a post-apocalyptic society in which a decimated and no-longer-fruitful human population must contend with the rise of humanoid robots, derogatorily referred to as “clickers.”
This was Andy Warhol’s favorite movie, and though I can’t pretend to know what was going through his mind, I think I see why it might have been. There aren’t very many familiar names in the credits, but I recognize make-up artist Jack Pierce, Don Megowan (who played the Gill Man in his last incarnation in THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US) and Dudley Manlove, who played Eros in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. There are a wealth of different ways to look at this movie; it is stiff, badly shot and acted, almost devoid of action, talky and endless, and many people consider it awful. However, the talk is fascinating and is cram-packed with ideas, something you’re much more likely to find on the literary end of science fiction rather than the cinematic end. I’ve heard that the plot may have been lifted from Karel Capek’s play “R.U.R.”, the work where the word “robot” was used for the first time, and I hope to be able to read the play sometime to find out if the movie lifts its ideas from this work as well. I find the movie fascinating when I’m in the right frame of mind, but it can also definitely be a hard, frustrating slog. it also has a final line that is either absolutely fascinating or pointlessly gimmicky, depending on your outlook; I love it, as it seems to imply that the whole movie was an educational historical reenactment being shown to students in a future school, many of which were badly acted and poorly shot to begin with, so it might give an explanation as to why the movie is the way it is.
P.S. I have had a chance to scan a script of “R.U.R.” since I wrote this review, and as far as I can tell, the story in that play is totally different from this movie.