Movie Reviews Index
Creation of the Humanoids (1962)
Rating: 4 Stars
D: Wesley E. Barry. Don Megowan, Erica Elliott, Don Doolittle, Frances McCann, Dudley Manlove, David Cross, George Milan. 78 mins. DVD (Dark Sky Films) 5/06
Arguably the best movie ever made (sorry, Ro-Man-you too, Ed), your Phantom's fave apocalyptic android epic finally joins the digital ranks via Dark Sky Films. Part ontological meditation, part contemporaneous civil-rights parable, this post-apocalyptic gem pits the Klan-like Order of Flesh and Blood, led by the strident Cragis (B vet Megowan), against a race of well-meaning, chromedomed automata (called "clickers" by their more bigoted human overseers). When Cragis learns that his own sister Esme (McCann) is "in rapport" with a clicker named Pax (Cross), he vows to home-wreck their happy relationship. Appropriately stiff acting by humanoids and humans alike (look for Plan 9 alum Manlove as one of the robots), Barry's low-key (indeed, nearly no-key) direction, Ted Rich's garish, precocious pop-art set design, Hal Mohr's cinematography, Universal legend Jack Pierce's robotic make-up, and Jay (The Killer Shrews, Panic in Year Zero!) Simms' genuinely witty script-to say nothing of Dr. Louis M. Zabner's "special eye effects"-combine to create an indelible exercise in sheer celluloid alchemy. While the print doesn't appear to have been remastered, it at least reps a major improvement over long-ago VHS versions we've seen. Sadly, no extras complement this one-of-a-kind classic. Dark Sky's Drive-In Double Feature disc does include Antonio Margheriti's 1965 Italo space opera War Between the Planets, though, and the price is certainly right. Like Carnival of Souls and Who Killed Teddy Bear?, among others, Creation gradually rose from obscurity via late-night local TV exposure in the '60s, when appreciative insomniacs, usually under the influence, spread the word via excited wee-hours phone calls to film-buff buds, so it's especially gratifying to see the flick come full circle back to the home-viewing fold. In fact, yours truly rushed out to purchase his first video recorder specifically to tape Creation, skedded to air that night on NYC's Channel 5. Unfortunately, we couldn't figure out how to operate the contraption in time for the taping, proving once again that there's never a clicker around when you need one. We do look forward to wearing out Dark Sky's disc, though.
~ The Phantom
The Wit & Wisdom of Creation of the Humanoids
"He will learn how to laugh and how to cry.
Be afraid and hate. To become an R-96
is a real sacrifice."
"Sorry I didn't recognize you.
All clickers look alike to me."
"My circuits are unoffended."
"Sure hate to have a bunch of cogs and wheels show me up. But then you always do."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'm circuited to be logical
but not to offend. That sometimes poses
an insoluble problem."
"I think I'll keep you here till your power
runs out. How'd you like that?"
"I'm sorry-it's the sense of humor. It's a lot more difficult to control than pain!"
"I'll have your memory pulled so fast,
you'll never forget it!"
"I've embarrassed your guests.
Shall I turn myself off?"