Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Klaus Kinski, Don Keith Opper, Brie Howard, Norbert Weisser, Crofton Hardester
Director: Aaron Lipstadt
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Eccentric scientist dr.Daniel & his shy assistant max lead a quiet life on their space station where they carry out illegal research on androids until they receive an unwelcome visit from 3 fugitives one of whom is female.... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Much more than human...
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 10/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Androids... automatons that are created from biological materials and resemble humans...from Fritz Land's 1927 classic Metropolis to Ridley Scott's 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner, the notion of artificial life becoming more human than human has long been an interesting and somewhat neglected aspect of science fiction genre within film (personally, I think the main interest in this type of technology is put forth by men wanting to create their ideal woman and perform whatever sick, twisted desires lie within their perverted, depraved souls...I mean a woman who will do whatever you want, whenever you want and not complain about you leaving the toilet seat up? Free will is certainly a wonderful thing, but it shouldn't get in the way of having a good time).
Android (1983), directed by Aaron Lipstadt, whose primary work afterwards has been on TV shows like Miami Vice, The Equalizer, and Quantum Leap to name a few, stars the talented, but entirely creepy and obtusely intense Klaus Kinksi (Crawlspace) along with Brie Howard (Tapeheads), Norbert Weisser (Midnight Express), Crofton Hardester (The Devastators), and Don Keith Opper (Critters) as Max 404. Not only did Don have a starring role in the film, but he also wrote it...
The film mainly takes place on a fairly deserted deep space research station, once bustling with life, but now home only to Dr. Daniel (Kinski) and his android companion/man servant Max 404. Dr. Daniel has been feverishly working on a new prototype droid, one much more advanced than Max (all this work is done in secret out in space as due to a past incident on Earth involving rebellious androids and the killing of many humans, androids have been outlawed...at least that's the gist of what I got). Anyway, life is pretty quite on the station, and Max is growing bored. That soon changes as three escaped convicts, hijacking a prison shuttle ship, seek refuge on board the station due to a damaged engine. Dr, Daniel sees this as a prime opportunity as he's been needing a compatible female (no, no...not what you're thinking...) to use in some weird way to juice up his newest android, one with female characteristics..some sort of biological jumpstart...and one of the three escaped prisoners just happens to fit the bill. Max, who just recently learned of some disturbing news regarding his own future, decides to try and see if, once the they get the engine to the damaged shuttle craft fixed, the escapees will allow him to tag along to Earth, but they have other plans, and given that they are convicted criminals, you can imagine they involve something less than of an altruistic nature. There's a certain pathos to Max, one of a being forced into existence, now trying to find his place in a society that sees him as less than what he is...
I have to say, this film pleasantly surprised me, as it was better than I thought. I really enjoyed the acting throughout, especially that of Opper. He presents a wonderfully naïve character, one with limited human contact, very awkward, but eager to learn and please. His efforts to develop human characteristics come out in interesting and quirky ways, much like that of a child trying to emulate what he observes through interaction with his elders. Oppers naturally buck teeth seemed in opposition to that of a created being, as such apparent physical aspects wouldn't seem to be something one would incorporate into a constructed being, but then that's just my own opinion. Opper does a great job making the audience believe he is what he's supposed to be, an awkward, clumsy, sometimes shy artificial man. Kinski's role seemed less than I thought it would be, as his character seemed secondary to the rest, especially since he seems to be used a lot in the promotion of the film. He is the biggest name in the production, so obviously the makers of the film wanted to capitalize on that, even though his part was somewhat small. I will say he seemed awfully creepy (some would say eccentric, but to me, I would call it creepy perverted), especially when working with his new female construct ("She vill be da perfect voman!") and his voyeuristic tendencies, but then just about any film I've seen him in, he seems to exude a sort of European creep/sleaze factor, one akin to a Jess Franco film...maybe it's those bug eyes and his lack of blinking. At first his character seemed to pursue his work with purely scientific goals in mind, but then that changed later on, becoming a bit freaky. The sets are decent, for the time, and look like sets and props used in the television show Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century (1979), starring Gil Gerald. The film had an early 80's feel, the sets, the music, etc., with a late 70's sensibility, the sexual aspects, the brief nudity, etc. I liked the little bits of humor, along with a smattering of originality, as it seemed to `humanize' the film, stretching it beyond just a standard science fiction type thriller to something more. Does it work? For the most part...it's an odd, multi-faceted story, simple, yet complex within the characters and their motivations. And in the middle of it all is Max, with the pure and simple desire to exist and become much more than human.
Anchor Bay Entertainment, a leading company in releasing the more obscure films to DVD, movies that would otherwise probably never see the light of day past a previous VHS release, presents beautiful wide screen picture here. The colors are sharp and the picture is clear. The audio is also very good, coming through very well. As far as special features, provided is a theatrical trailer for the film, along with an audio commentary track by the director Aaron Lipstadt and writer/actor Don Keith Opper. Given that this was the first film by both men, I was highly impressed and certainly pleased by their efforts.
Murder is a serious crime max
Matthew D. Phillips | Outer Limits | 02/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A fave from my teenage years - this is a charming and intelligent sci-fi B-movie with good peformances from all involved. Klaus Kinski plays a wayward nutty frankenstienesque scientist living alone on a space station with his android servant: Max 404, a bumbling android who yearns to know what it means to be human. Kinski believes himself to be on the brink of a major breakthrough but the corporation are about to pull the plug on his dodgy experiments. Enter three escaped convicts that fly into their airspace whilst on the run from the law - when Kinski learns there is a woman on board he allows them to stay as she would be ideal for his grand experiment. Max too is fascinated with her - queue many humourous, touching and tragic moments and a great minimal synth soundtrack - this film is a little known sci-fi gem with a heart - just don't expect star wars!"
One of Corman's better entries
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 10/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw that the 1982 film "Android" came out on DVD, I knew I needed to take a look. I have recollections of watching this movie on cable back in the early 1980s, but I remembered almost nothing about it. It's a movie brought to us by Roger Corman, the man behind the 1980 B budget space opera "Battle Beyond the Stars." It's a film starring Klaus Kinski. And it's a movie that shamelessly rips off "Star Wars," "Blade Runner," and probably a half dozen other science fiction flicks of the time. Oh yeah! The presence of Kinski alone makes "Android" required viewing in these parts. I'm a big fan of the man with the golden hair and penetrating gaze, and I'll go out of my way to dig up virtually any film that has Kinski bringing his unique presence to the story. Sadly, Kinski disappears for large parts of the movie, but that's acceptable. He's as weird as always when he does take the time to show up. Besides, the rest of the story manages to hold the viewer's interest entirely independent of the manic Kinski. The words "interest" and "Roger Corman" don't often go together, but "Android" somehow pulls it off.
"Android" opens in a galaxy far, far away...well, somewhere in California where you can shoot a film on the cheap. It's set well into the 21st century when humanity has extended its reach across the solar system. Mankind has also managed to perfect the art of building androids, high performance machines that look and act like humans. Of course, some problems arose with the androids, problems requiring a ban on building new prototypes on earth, so companies now engage in secret research on floating space stations. That's where the movie takes place, with a scientist by the name of Dr. Daniel (Klaus Kinski) and his android servant Max 404 (Don Keith Opper billed as "Himself" in the credits). It's lonely in space, so Max 404 spends most of his time playing games and looking at pictures of human activity. He seems to yearn for knowledge about the human race, wants to interact with people on earth, but Dr. Daniel won't let him. It's far more important to stay in space working on a new android system--a female model called Cassandra (Kendra Kirchner)--than waste time with sentimental yearnings. But Max is about to receive a present in the form of three weary space travelers, and he'll have tough decisions to make.
These three wanderers are actually escaped convicts desperate to return to earth. Maggie (Brie Howard), Keller (Norbert Weisser), and Mendes (Crofton Hardester) need to land on the space station to elude their pursuers and repair their ship. They attempt to pose as legitimate travelers, not easy when you're a raving psychopath like Mendes, but the three quickly become part of the space station's daily routine. Max 404 is fascinated with his visitors, especially the attractive Maggie, and in no time at all he's excited about the prospect of joining the trio and returning to earth with them. Dr. Daniel has other plans. In a plot twist lifted from every mad scientist film ever made, at least any involving women, he needs Maggie's "feminine essence" to complete his Cassandra project. Everyone onboard, it seems, wants something from someone else. Events come to a head when a ship full of intergalactic cops arrives at the station seeking to come aboard and arrest the convicts. What will Max do? Will he report this development to Dr. Daniel, as his programming requires? Or will he try to cover for the criminals in the hope that Maggie and company will acquiesce and take Max to earth?
It's difficult not to like "Android." The special effects and set pieces aren't bad at all considering the low budget. To pull off a science fiction film set in space on a meager budget is a task most filmmakers fail miserably at (look at the Italian post-apocalyptic actioners for proof of this assertion), but director Aaron Lipstadt makes the low rent production values work for him by eschewing lots of action scenes in favor of placing the characters center stage. Opper hits a homerun as the curious Max 404, coming across as a simple child who learns to grow up and make tough decisions quite quickly. Brie Howard is hot in an early 1980s way, and her dinner scene with the odd Kinski ranks as one of the film's finest moments. Perhaps the film's only downfall involves the twist ending, which I thought was a bit too contrived and gimmicky considering what we saw in the previous hour. Oh well. The filmmakers probably thought they needed one of those "Aha!" moments so typical with low budget movies. "Android" works extremely well as a character study about freedom, needs, and the connections between people that they shouldn't have resorted to standard science fiction cliches to end the film.
Anchor Bay did an outstanding job bringing "Android" to DVD. The picture quality is good for such an old, cheap film. Extras include a commentary track with Lipstadt and Don Keith Opper (who also wrote the script) and a trailer. The commentary track talks about something that every film starring Klaus Kinski should cover: how difficult it was to work with the mercurial actor. Kinski is a legend in the film community for his over the top outbursts, and it's nice to know that this picture was no exception. Anyway, "Android" is an entertaining film that I would definitely watch again. It's got an intriguing plot, good execution, and looks great on DVD. Definitely pick up a copy if you're a science fiction fan.
Android with Style
Donna R. Heltzell | Longmont, CO United States | 07/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great sleeper movie. Max is sort of like Data's older brother. He wants so badly to be human. This movie has some surprise twists and a wicked sense of humor, especially in the ending. For once the underdog wins. One of my favorites of the not-often-seen movies."