Sunday, July 20, 2014

Embryo aka Created to Kill (1976)

So there I was, wondering what to do with my lazy, quiet, rainy Sunday morning when I stumbled across another great film available through the Internet Archive: Embryo (also released as Created To Kill).

Now, with a movie titled "Embryo" coming out just three years after Roe v. Wade, and during the wake of Women's Liberation, I was pretty sure this one was going to be loaded with someone's strong opinions.

Sure enough it was and the opinions came out a little like this:

A medical doctor, still grieving over the death of his wife (that he feels responsible for), creates a serum to escalate the growth process. His goal is to preserve life at all costs and eliminate all future miscarriages (of which his wife had three). However, he inadvertently ends up creating a super smart killing machine serum, and playing God doesn't end up working out so well. 

It's made clear pretty early on that there is something terribly wrong with the serum when his first experiment (a dog), encounters another dog - a little yapper dog that is violently silenced by experiment #1. This scene is both hilarious and uncomfortable at the same time. It was then that I decided experiment #1 was the scariest creature in this film for me.

Experiment #2, a women he names Victoria, seems to come out a little better but not quite. For instance, she is super duper smart, sexy, and better than everyone else. However, after one night of sex, her brain snaps, and now she'll do anything to preserve her own life and that's when things get ugly for other people, fast. I'm not sure what exactly this message is trying to convey, but there is one there....

What is not made clear is: who is really the evil one here? The doctor who tried to help mankind (and his conscience)? The non-willing subject that is trying to preserve itself (at all costs)? God? Science? Who knows!! Well done, horror, well done on this Frankenstein story. It's a sad, horrifying little story that is made more horrifying the more you think about it.

This is a really neat film. really neat, and rather well done. It has a few cheesy moments, and the film quality is low, but overall it's a very quality horror film that I'm glad is available to the world. 

Recommended pairing: Friends - lots of serious friends who work in the social science or simply science world. Polyester. Tiny little meat platters with  cheese on the side. Some wine but mostly hard liquor mixed with strong opinions. 

Watch it now! Compliments of an old Betamax tape!

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