276 – Westworld (Patron Sponsored Episode)

In the 1970’s the future was populated with robots designed to be cowboys and sex workers.  It’s time to clean up your six-shooter and join us for a look at Michael Crichton’s often-overlooked 1973 classic sex-with-robots film, Westworld.

This episode is a special episode brought to you by our patrons at Patreon who help fund this podcast.  Come join them and help us reach our next funding perk goal – a look at the 1950 George Pal classic, Destination Moon,

And once again, a big thank you to our patrons!

One thought on “276 – Westworld (Patron Sponsored Episode)”

  1. The 70s! A bygone age where Richard Benjamin is a big movie star!

    Westworld was one of the first films I saw on the big screen, though nothing compared with going to the drive-in to see Racquel Welch in One Million Years BC.

    The hovercraft is cool. Very cool.

    Majel Barrett looks as though she’s :really: enjoying being a bordello madam, rather than a prissy nurse.

    Everytime I watch this I can’t help but wonder if James Brolin is bitten by the Electric Snake from Get Smart.

    Shouldn’t the robots have the same heat sensitive guns that the guests have?

    I always wonder what happens when the people in the opening advert (“It’s the Men!”) get back to the office, after announcing to the world that they’ve spent two weeks in non-stop robot sex orgies.

    By coincidence, I watched Futureworld the other day. I know one of you opined that your choice of world to visit would be “Star Trek World”, however you should be warned that Futureworld is less Star Trek World and more “Buck Rogers Space Disco World”.

    The score works surprisingly well, particularly once the mayhem gets going. Prior to the mayhem there’s far too much banjo pickin’ music.

    I particularly like that the film doesn’t fall for the trope of “Big Corporates are Bad!”, and instead has management agree to close the park for a month once all the guests leave. Just as in Jurassic Park, the management does all the right things – safety procedures in place, extensive risk analysis – but is undone by the scientists not fully understanding what it is they’ve created.

    I think one of the reasons the film works so well is that they don’t over-explain why the robots go crazy. We no longer understand them because “computers are designing computers”, but what’s actually going on? Perhaps the file with instructions “DON’T SHOOT GUESTS. DON’T STAB GUESTS. DON’T STRANGLE GUESTS.” is corrupted – the robots perform their normal routine, but without inhibitions. At the other extreme we’re left to wonder whether they’ve evolved free will and are taking revenge for their slavery. Or perhaps it’s not revenge, but just exercising choice. The very lack of explanation makes them … inscrutable. Inhuman.

    I’m always struck by how Yul seems taken aback, ashamed, when his face is melting off from the human’s trick. It’s a little window into how the robots are no longer simply machines.

    The biggest problem with Westworld is that the movie doesn’t have an ending, it just stops. There needs to be a deeper message, a revelation, which just isn’t there.

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