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  Attack of the Killer Computer Try Technophobia
Year: 1989
Director: Derek Ford
Stars: Peter Gordeno, Jeremy Mark, Tiga Adams, Sarah Jane Palmer, Sally Anne Balaam, Marie Harper, Joanne Breck, Jill Jameson, Vanessa Astell, Susie Silvey, Julie Edwards
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rich and successful music producer Bono Zorro (Peter Gordeno) is listening to the tapes he has recorded today before he heads for home, but as he does so he notices movement in the studio and asks his assistant to turn the lights on. Thus revealed is Melanie (Sally Anne Balaam), an aspiring singer looking for her big break who has brought a tape with her; however, Bono is more interested in watching her dance and persuades her to cavort for his pleasure as he phones up a friend of his, Jane. He thinks he could have quite the evening's entertainment if he manages to take Melanie back to his swanky apartment, but there's a problem he has not foreseen as yet...

Which might well be given away by the title, unless you were watching this under its other name, The Urge to Kill, though chances were you were not going to be watching it at all for it was never officially released. It arrived at the arse end of the careers of two exploitation moviemakers, producer Dick Randall and writer/director Derek Ford, responsible for a fair few notables in their field between them but finding their particular brand of smut falling out of favour as the eighties turned into the nineties. If they had hung on a few more years they might have capitalised on a new market for softcore, especially of the nostalgic variety, but alas they passed away.

This left a sad little example of how out of touch they were with current trends, as the villain here was the computer which runs Bono's home for him, voice activated natch and able to respond in vocal fashion, though our hero was not aware of how sentient this overblown door-opening gadget had actually become. This being the end of the eighties, the craze for depicting exciting computers was beginning to run out of steam - the internet was about to make waves in that area, but not yet - but nobody had told Ford as his bad girl technology looked at least five years out of date, and even overshadowed by the comic strip The Thirteenth Floor from shortlived but well-recalled Scream.

Past evil supercomputers had been offered names like Proteus, Colossus and HAL 9000, but here the mad machine was called Sexy, which was about as embarrassingly corny as they come, though apparently stood for something computery in initials (best not to ask). "She" had an alter ego who would show up to mess with Bono's head (not the U2 lead singer, but what a curious choice of moniker, as surely there's only one Bono?), and that appeared in the form of a naked woman looking like a cross between Roseanne Rosannadanna from Saturday Night Live and the green lady at the end of the original Star Trek credits, only naked. As our lead character invites women back, Sexy grows jealous and puts paid to their fun by, for example, dissolving them in the shower (lots of showers in this).

In an attempt to seem more transatlantic, everyone was dubbed with an American accent, though while the action never ventured outside it was plain that a British location was being used. Adopting the conventions of the slasher flick mixed with the de rigueur "get yer kit orf!" sequences both Randall and Ford had made their respective fortunes with, there were two ways of looking at this, either as a work which depicted women as sex objects as Bono regards them - in spite of Gordeno's charm, best known on Gerry Anderson's U.F.O. series, he's a real snake in this - or as a scathing take down of his unreconstructed attitudes which sees him hoist by his own petard. That depended on how generous you were towards the filmmakers, as the fact remained they had generated a lot of money by cashing in on the male audience's keenness to see naked ladies, and by this time on this evidence they were becoming rather jaded. This wasn't much of a horror movie in truth, but for casting a cynical eye over sexploitation it was prime camp ripe for lampooning.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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