Michael 'ER' Crichton wrote and directed 1973's Westworld, a classic example of the ever popular 'technology amok'
Sci-Fi genre. In terms of story and concept, it's a film few can match in originality. Many films owe a huge debt to
the story – including Predator, the Terminator series, and Crichton's own Jurassic Park. The film also had a massive
impact on kids of my generation – Yul providing an iconic vision of the automaton as frightening, sexy, and
Set in some unspecified but very seventies looking future, Peter Martin (a luxuriously moustachioed Richard Benjamin) and John Blane (James Brolin) head off on a thousand-dollar-a-day vacation to adult theme-park Delos. Delos consists of three self–contained areas, each of which offers guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in historical fantasy: Roman World (orgies), Medieval World (romantically framed sex and some fighting) and West world (fighting and some sex). Scientists toil behind the scenes provide the rich holiday makers with an exciting (but actually closely monitored and regulated) experience, populated by robots that are almost entirely designed for humans to kill and copulate with.
Every night, when the humans are tucked up in bed, the robots are collected by truck to be cleaned and repaired in
huge labs populated by giant computers and white coated and masked technicians.
Yul Brynner plays a robotic reproduction of Yul Brynner playing Chris from the Magnificent Seven. If this fantastic simulacra isnít enough for you, Robot Gunslinger also has ultrasonic hearing and magnified, infrared vision Ė demonstrated by the first ever use of computer generated imagery in a film Ė Yulís red tinted point-of-view shots. The script also contains one of the earliest uses of the concept of a computer virus:
Scientist: I must confess, I find it difficult to believe in a disease of machinery.
Another scientist: We arenít dealing with ordinary machines here. These are highly complicated pieces of equipment almost as complicated as living organisms. In some cases, theyíve been designed by other computers. We donít know exactly how they work.