Test Pilota Pirxa (1978)

aka Test Pilot Pirx
Article 3151 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-28-2010
Posting Date: 3-31-2010
Directed by Marek Piestrak
Featuring Sergei Desnitsky, Boleslaw Abart, Vladimir Ivashov
Country: Poland / Soviet Union
What it is: Science fiction space/robot drama

A test pilot is sent on a mission to the rings of Saturn with a crew of of five other people, one of whom is a actually a robot, but the pilot does not know who. The mission is a test of whether it will be safe with humans to work in tandem with robots, or if robots will endanger the humans.

The plot description above should be taken with a grain of salt; it’s compiled from a few sources which give only a cursory sense of what the story is about, and since I viewed this movie on YouTube in Russian with no English subtitles, my own viewing didn’t necessarily clear things up. I did gather the movie had something to do with robots interacting with humans, and I suspected that one or more of the crew would turn out to be robots. There are a few striking scenes, including one involving a car chase and another in which a robot’s hands become detached from its body. However, it’s a conversation-heavy movie, and I couldn’t figure out a lot of the plot details. It’s based on a book by Stanislaw Lem, and since I’ve liked what I read by the author, I might see if I can find the book. As for the movie, I’ll have to reserve judgment, though I did notice that the special effects were rather uneven; in some instances, they could even be described as cartoony.

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