(1974, Rated PG) Elliott Gould (Sean Rogers), Trevor Howard (Col. Azarin), Joseph Bova (Dr. Lucas Martino), Edward Grover (Finchley), John Lehne (Haller), James Noble (Gen. Deptford), Lyndon Brook (Dr. Barrister), Michael Lombard (Dr. Besser), Kay Tornborg (Edith), Joy Garrett (Barbara), John Steward (Frank Heywood). Screenplay: John Gould (based on the novel by Algys Budrys). Director: Jack Gold. 93 minutes.
Tags: Psychological Thriller, Cold War, Existential
Notable: Also released as Roboman and The Man in the Steel Mask. Various sources list the film’s release date as 1973, 1974, and 1975; the film’s opening credits show MXMLXXIV — 1974.
An important American scientist is burned nearly to death in an automobile accident inside the borders of the Soviet Union. He is returned after six months, only his right arm and his brain still intact; the rest of him is a silvery, robotic imitation of a human being. The FBI agent assigned to bring him back to his work on the top-secret Neptune project is not satisfied with the artificial man’s identity. The arm is real; the fingerprints and DNA identity are real. What about the brain — is it the scientist, and even if so, has he been brainwashed into being a Soviet agent? Who is he… really? Continue reading “Who?”
By Deborah Schupack
Publication Year: 2003
Tags: Pretentious, Avoid-At-All-Cost, Pointless
A Vermont housewife finds that the last boy on the bus, the boy who hasn’t left the bus because he doesn’t seem to know that he’s arrived at his home, both is and somehow is not her son Charlie. He looks mostly right, sounds mostly right, but he is different; rather than being a severely asthmatic weakling, this boy seems more robust, even more mature. No one — not the bus driver, the sheriff, the neighbors, the husband, the older daughter — can tell if this is really Charlie. Each falls back upon the strange, perhaps inexplicable observation, “You’re his mother; you should know.” Continue reading “The Boy on the Bus”
By Henrik Stangerup
Publication Year: 1982
Tags: Social Morality, Science Fiction, Existential
The world of Stangerup’s main character, Torben, is both strange and familiar. Some of its elements would seem to be part of modern day Europe – perhaps Denmark (the author’s home country), or Sweden or Switzerland – while other elements seem part of a future that had only been conceived in George Orwell’s nightmarish visions of 1984. In this strange, familiar, antiseptic, perfectly balanced world, Torben kills his wife Edith in a fit of rage, and he is taken away by the Helpers to a state hospital. He is treated well, with compassion, and with understanding and forgiveness that surpasses all human comprehension. When his case of aggression has been duly dealt with, he is released back into his caring, clean, orderly society, free from any stain of crime or guilt. Continue reading “The Man Who Wanted to Be Guilty”