Tuesday, January 1, 2013


A while back I couldn't sleep, and after some channel-surfing I came across this micro-budget oddity on TV. Seeing the tacky color sets and the all-around cheesiness, I figgered it'd be good for a few laughs and decided to watch a couple of minutes.

Instead I stayed with it to the end, fascinated. The plot deals with humans who have invented androids that are so perfect -- and lifelike -- that they threaten mankind's power and very existence. So paranoid humans set up a resistance.

Sound familiar?  This is 1962 remember, a full 6 years before Philip K. Dick would publish his novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep and two decades before that book would be filmed as Blade Runner.  COTH even shares that film's plot twist, in which the robot-hating protagonist discovers the truth about himself.

Philip K. Dick was a he a fan of cheap scifi movies? Perhaps COTH's premise was old-hat in SF literary circles of the 1950s. That doesn't alter the fact that it still predates Dick.

The film also bears a strong resemblance to the 1st season Star Trek episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"  But whereas Star Trek regarded the idea of humans being transferred to "perfect" robot bodies for virtual immortality as a horrifying and inhuman disaster which Kirk must stop at all costs, in COTH it is fascinatingly treated as a happy ending.

COTH should be seen by all Blade Runner fans, and by any movie buff intrigued by poverty row.

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