series created by Marvin Mercer and Nick Stephenson


written by Dominick Cappello


Looks like I drew the short straw… Well, actually, “Futureworld” wasn’t so bad the second time around. I recall being very disappointed the first time I viewed this film because it differed so much from the original with a whole new cast save for a Yul Brynner cameo. But, now I appreciate that it did something different. As Dr. Jelly explained in his article, “Westworld” was a Dr. Frankenstein-man-made-monster-runs-amuck film whereas “Futureworld” is a pod person-who can you trust-paranoia type film. Our protagonists are reporters Chuck (played by Peter Fonda) and Tracy (played by Blythe Danner). Delos has bounced back from the disaster at their theme park where the robots malfunctioned and went on killing spree. Seriously? How the hell did they not go out of business? Regardless of the danger, Delos still have Romanworld and Medievalworld open to the public, and have replaced Westworld with Futureworld and Spaworld. Spaworld looks really lame and just a redress of Romanworld. The reporters spend most of their time at Futureworld. Chuck is pretty suspicious from the start because a former Delos employee turned whistleblower was murdered while on his way to a meeting with the him. It is revealed early in film that the sinister corporate people running Delos are planning to create duplicates of all the VIPs visiting the park. I think it might have been better to hold off on the reveal until the reporters figured it for themselves. As it is, we in the audience know what’s going on long before the main characters do and they’re forced to play catch up. Chuck and Tracy bicker for the first half of the film before eventually becoming lovers. “Westworld” was a bromance with no major female characters, so this film must have felt obligated to have a romantic subplot. I mentioned being disappointed the first time I saw this film and one of the main reasons was that Yul Brynner as The Gunslinger, the awesome villain in the original film, only appears in some sort of bizarre virtual reality erotic fantasy had by Tracy. I mean, The Gunslinger was the inspiration for both Michael Myers and The Terminator, but his appearance in this film seemed like raunchy fan fiction. Chuck and Tracy befriend a maintenance worker and together they uncover the plot to replace VIPs with duplicates. The duplicates have orders to eliminate the people they’re copies of and to take their places in the real world. Delos considers this to be a public service as the duplicates will supposedly make the world a better place. In a suspenseful climax, Chuck and Tracy destroy the duplicates, then pose as the duplicates so to fool the people at Delos and escape the park. A happy ending unless you consider that Delos proved when the whacked the whistleblower earlier that they can have someone killed even outside of the park. I only recently learned that there was an extremely short-lived TV series back in 1980 called “Beyond Westworld” about the manhunt for the duplicates who have already been strategically placed around the world. Maybe we’ll make Dr. Frisbee give the episodes (all five) a watch.

– Dr. Rochester

Author: Dominick

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