Last week Josie Fraser checked out the cursed video tape from The Ring films, for this week's installment of Movie Gadget Friday she writes about the orgasmatron from Sleeper:
I'm not a great fan of slapstick or of Woody Allen, but no movie gadget series would be complete without the inclusion of the orgasmatron – the made-up gadget which has caught the publics imagination like no other, and continues to represent an imaginary benchmark for 'marital aids'. Sleeper, released in 1973, and typically loaded with the obsessions and neurosis of the time, is not such a bad film when you consider the competition in Comedy Sci-Fi – a genre that contains some of the worst excrement ever committed to celluloid.
Allen plays Miles Monro, independent health-food shop owner, who is cryogenically frozen (with the help of tin foil)
following a hashed operation on an ulcer. He is revived in 2173 to find himself the only untagged citizen in a
totalitarian state, filled with robot dogs and gigantic fruit. Escaping from both the police and the resistance, he
ends up posing as a robotic servant in the home of middle class conformist Luna Schlosser (played by Diane Keaton).
Luna introduces us to the technologies keeping the nation in a content obedience: The orb, basically a round ball that
you stroke to feel like youíre on heroin, and the orgasmatron. The orgasmatron has a fairly self-explanatory title, but
for those of you who havenít seen the film, itís like a white sarcophagus version of those automated public toilets,
and can Ďaccommodateí multiple partners. Sexual ecstasy is only a click away without the need for any messy physical
It could be argued that the real world response to the challenge of the orgasmatron has been the internet. Aside from that vibrators have one of the longest and most interesting development histories of any technology, and are becoming ever more sophisticated.
Those of you following the creepiest computer voice debate will be interested to know that Douglas Rain, who played HAL in 2001, also plays the voice of the operation-assisting computer in Sleeper.