For this week’s installment of OM/YE, I reluctantly decided to watch a movie that, at first glance, looked like it was going to be horrible. Now I’m not sure if this is a spoiler or not, but Android, in fact, turn out to be quite bad. The good news, though, is that it was almost bad enough to be entertaining.
The title sequence of the movie immediately lays down hints of what the movie is really ultimately all about: sex and robots. As the space-age music plays and the intro credits roll, we see the character we will come to know as Max playing with some humanoid metal toys, doing exactly what many young boys in that decade were doing with their sisters’ Ken and Barbie dolls: playing sexy time. In the first scene of the movie, we get a firm understanding of just how much a 1980s-era adolescent Max really is. First he’s getting worked up by watching some type of sex-ed film, then he gets a nagging intercom call from Dr. Daniel (Klaus Kinski) who is turning in for the night, and then he starts playing a video game that looks barely more sophisticated than Space Invaders. And, like with any good adolescent, once the parental unit has gone to sleep for the night, the hilarious hijinx ensue.
In Max’s case, hilarious hijinx means letting a ship that is sending a distress signal come in and dock for assistance, even though he knows the Dr. Daniel would be pissed. How could he help himself, though—the distress call comes from a woman, and Max has never seen a real live woman before. What Max doesn’t know is that the woman and her comrades are some sort of space bandits, who are intent on robbing Max’s outpost before going on to do the same at other space stations. When the two guys—Mendes and Keller—first board the outpost, Max begins to grow concerned. He calms down once the woman who made the distress call, Maggie (Brie Howard), finally boards. He’s transfixed immediately and behaves in exactly the way you would expect of a teenage boy who has never seen a real woman before. The bandits quickly pick up on the fact that Max is “special,” but because they don’t know he’s an android they think he’s just incredibly stupid and naïve and are happy to take advantage of him. He leaves them in some guest quarters and we learn that Maggie is reluctantly sleeping with the malevolent ringleader, Mendes, in order to keep some relative peace among the gang.
The next morning, when Max is forced to tell the good doctor what he’s been up to, Dr. Daniel is furious and goes with Max to the guests’ quarters where he intends to throw them out on their asses. But then Dr. Daniel sees Maggie, and proceeds to display some incredibly awkward creepy faces as he barely manages to keep from blowing his load right then and there. He then welcomes the bandits to make themselves at home and let Max know if there’s anything they need.
We soon learn of Dr. Daniel’s plans, as he invites Maggie to join him for lunch and tells her that he’s building a female android and that he wants to hook her up to it in order to get it working properly. Maggie, who seems like a pretty tough girl, tells him, “You’re saying you wanna hook me up to the android and stimulate me – like sexually? That’s the weirdest line for getting into my pants I’ve ever heard – and I’ve heard them all.” Of course, she doesn’t rule out the possibility entirely, and tells Dr. Daniel she’ll think about it and let him know.
We begin to pick up on some of the tensions between Mendes, Keller, and Maggie as they argue about how they’re going to get their ship fixed and be on their way. Meanwhile, Max is growing increasingly fixated on how he’s going to get Maggie to fall in love with him and take him to Earth, and Dr. Daniel suspects that Max is suffering from Munich syndrome in the way he’s relating to the bandits. With each of the characters striving to achieve their mutually antithetical goals, lives are lost and created aboard this space station as we discover exciting new information about Dr. Daniel and the lovely android Cassandra. You’ll have to watch to find out.
For an obviously low-budget movie, this flick does prove to be entertaining in a train-wreck sort of way. I’m still fascinated by the fact that the actor who portrays Max isn’t even credited. I mean, sure, he wasn’t great… but can a guy at least get a credit for his title role in the film, or what?