Westworld & Runaway

April 23, 2017
11:45 am

Screening as a double-feature as part of our ROBO-BOOGIE series! Michael Crichton's obsessions with artificial intelligence and theme parks run amok combine in his exceptional directorial debut, WESTWORLD. A mashup of two extremely complimentary genres - WESTWORLD follows two guests (James Brolin and Richard Benjamin) who arrive in an robot-populated old west theme-park. As their visit progresses, the robots begin to experience massive breakdowns and malfunctions, rendering them capable of violence against park guests - turning a harmless vacation into a race for survival. Exploiting his image from THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, Yul Brynner turns in an instantly classic performance as The Gunslinger (so chilling was his presence on screen, that John Carpenter later cited it as the inspiration for HALLOWEEN's Michael Myers). Widely regarded as a classic of the genre, and later remade as the popular HBO series, WESTWORLD is an essential early foray into the concept of artificial intelligence and the concept of humanity being turned upon by its own creations. A hell of a vacation. Not done with robots by 1984, Crichton once again tackled the subject of human-robot relations, only this time with Gene Simmons in tow in his underrated fifth film, RUNAWAY. Featuring a smorgasbord of boxy robot designs, including acid-spitting robot spiders, RUNAWAY manages to combine a buddy cop story, a rom-com, and an action movie into one explosive keg of robo-dynamite. Tom Selleck stars as a blue collar police officer with the dubious assignment of handling malfunctioning household robots, who gets thrown into a world of corporate espionage and intrigue after he witnesses the first robot murder. RUNAWAY represents an unacknowledged career high for Michael Crichton (and probably Gene Simmons), an endlessly fun, action-filled, sci fi cheese-fest. Did we mention the robot spiders? (Screening from a rare 35mm print) Join us for a rare double-feature screening featuring gun-wielding robots, unstoppable humanoids, and lots of robicide.