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DEMON SEED (1977) – Episode 162 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“I’m going to bypass your forebrain and speak directly to your amygdala” Bypass the which and go directly to the” whatdala?” Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr- as they assimilate the AI presaged in Demon Seed (1977).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 162 – Demon Seed (1977)

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 A scientist creates Proteus, an organic supercomputer with artificial intelligence which becomes obsessed with human beings, and in particular the creator’s wife.


Demon Seed is Chad’s pick and for him, it’s a little hard to look at what are supposed to be advanced computers back in 1977. Even so, he really likes the performances from Fritz Weaver, Gerrit Graham, and especially Julie Christie. And, oooh, that baby! Bill observes that for a low-budget movie with a dopey, ridiculous premise, the filmmakers get a lot of things right in this forward-looking take on artificial intelligence. Bill, too, lauds Gerrit Graham’s performance but compares the trippy visual effects to really bad screen savers. The “ridiculous premise” of Demon Seed puts Jeff off a little; he just can’t buy the articulating polyhedron-puzzle-thingee that is produced and manipulated by Proteus even though he agrees it is pretty cool. When Doc first viewed Demon Seed as a youngster, he was struck by how the computer took over the house and shocked the young girl. Conceptually, he enjoys the “ahead-of-it’s-time” feel of Demon Seed. In the end, what really saves this movie, in Doc’s view, is Julie Christie’s performance.

If you’re in the mood for a 1970s prediction of AI and a really creepy, brass-plated baby, don’t forget about Demon Seed. As of this writing, it is available to stream from multiple free-with-ads streaming services, including tubi and Wicked Horror TV. Demon Seed can also be streamed from many PPV sources and is available on physical media as a Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray.

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror two-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In two weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule, chosen by Doc, will be Horror Hospital (1973). Is it a good sign when a movie has multiple titles and release dates?

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.