Westworld – tape 1938

On this tape, presented as a Moving Pictures presentation, is Michael Crichton’s Westworld.

I like the opening advert, presented in 4:3.

Our two heroes are James Brolin and Richard Benjamin. Benjamin would go on to be quite a good film director. Brolin would go on to be Thanos’ father.

Yul Brynner was genius casting as the malevolent Man in Black, one of the robots in the theme park. He was the Arnold Schwarzenegger of his time, someone with a huge physical presence.

Majel Barret plays the madam in the saloon.

Oh look, it’s Jared Martin, who I mostly remember from Fantastic Journey.

Nice to see the park is writing all its code in assembly language.

I know Westworld is all iconic and everything, but I can’t really get past the core premise of the whole thing, which is a theme park that caters solely for murderers and sex tourists. I mean, I know it’s not that many steps away from Grand Theft Auto, but then I’m not a fan of those games either.

While we’re on the logic of the park, how the hell do they keep the guests safe during a bar fight? There’s chairs being thrown, bottles being broken. It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

Things go wrong incredibly quickly. One second the staff running the park are slightly worried at a higher incidence of faults in the robots, the next Yul Brynner has shot and killed James Brolin, and the fat man in medieval world has been run through with a sword.

Also, the film has almost no plot. For an hour, people are just playing at cowboys, then people are being murdered and Richard Benjamin is running away from Brynner. I love the horse on one of the tables in this shot.

Nice fire gag.

There is, I’ll admit, a brilliant back from the dead moment with Brynner’s robot.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 26th February 1995 – 23:00

After this, there’s a trailer for a series of Vietnam movies.

Then, there’s the start of The Afterlife of Grandpa, during which the recording stops.

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4 comments

  1. I cannot STAND the HBO series, despite Thandie Newton acting her socks off. Not clever as it thinks it is.. still preferable to “Beyond Westworld.”

  2. Gotta agree with Victor, the original is a cult classic with great suspense, an iconic villain, a twisted sense of humour and a fascinating theme about how leisure exhibits our worst impulses. The TV series has no jokes, takes ages to get anywhere, and takes itself so seriously that it’s impossible to enjoy.

    1. I don’t hate the series, but I do find it hard to care when all the interesting characters are robots. And the show has really amplified the yuck aspects of the premise. It’s all about rape and murder, and nobody seems to want to even address this. Everyone who goes on holiday there should be on some kind of register.

      1. I know! The appeal of the original premise is that the tourists get to act out a movie, but in the TV remake the appeal is that you get to be the scum of the earth. I suppose there are people that would work for, but you’d cross the street to avoid them.

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