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Westworld (1973)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Michael Crichton

Starring:
Yul Brynner/Gunslinger
James Brolin/Blane
Richard Benjamin/Peter
PLOT-CRUNCH
Two dudes, one cool cat (Brolin) and one insecure dog (Richards), tap a Western theme park populated with robot cowboys named Westworld. It’s a place where you get to be the hero, don’t get hurt and get to nail robo-broads. Meanwhile, where do I sign? But I digress. So when the bots go buck-nuts, the shit hits the shan and a battle for survival ensues.
THE LOWDOWN

"Sloppy with your drink? Get this boy a bib!” – The Gunslinger

Ahhh the perks of not having new horror movies on the big screen at the moment. I get to go back and watch some older and more potent stuff, gems like Michael Crichton's 1973 ride Westworld. I loved it the first time I saw it and jizzed on it even more on this second round. A pioneer of the genre if I’ve ever seen one. Sattle up yall! YEEHAW! Watching Westworld today made me realize just how many genre classics are in debt to it. Jurassic Park (which Michael Crichton also wrote) owes it primo stogies for basically ripping off its initial premise and replacing robots with Dinosaurs. The Terminator owes it a full contact lap dance for taking its killer robot device and doing pretty much the same thing with it, minus the time travel angle. All that was missing was a "I'll be back." And I may be reaching over here, but RoboCop owes the film a couple of tequila shots for semi lifting its satirical look at consumerism. Had to be spat.

On its own Westworld was rich! The initial premise grabbed me by the Stetson and Saloon brawled me at frame 1. I mean, how cool would it be to take a vacation at a far west resort with robots you can shoot and dames you can court (i.e. polite way of saying: plow a quattre pattes)? VERY COOL! And thankfully, I got the grand motherf*cking tour via two likeable cowpokes played wonderfully by charm galore James Brolin and Richard Benjamin. I bought these guys, I wowed with them, was engaged by their friendship and hence believed in the nuttie situation they were in. They were peeps to ride the river with that’s for damn sure! And when Richards gripping character arc kicked in down the road, it was right as rain. Now that I think of it the first hour of the film or so basically acted as a slow burn build up. But I was always jacked in, always entertained, digging on Westworld through these heroes. What else can ya ask for? Hand job aside of course.

Now I can’t go on yapping about this film without addressing the inimitable Yul Brynner as the hard case robot known as The Gunslinger. Decked out in the same outfit that he wore as the iconic Chris in The Magnificent Seven and oozing of sheer menace (that stare...brrr), Brynner was right as a trivet. He alone jacked up the suspense and fear level of the affair to fuck yeah! Couldn’t get enough of him. Another plus here was Crichton's eye for style, especially when it came to his arresting shootout scenes. They slyly took the Sam Peckinpah highway in terms of slow-motion whoring and uber coolness resulting in my jaw dropping a couple of times (loved the through the window, off the second floor bit). The psychedelic 70’s score by Fred Karlin also worked this one right, adding to the unsettling feel of it all. Finally, I dug the sneak peeks into the adjacent worlds (medieval world looked dope), the flick’s final plot turn was a surprising one (didn’t see it coming) and although dated by today’s standards, the special effects were on the money and got the job done. Sometimes dated can work for a movie, add to its charm this was one of them times.

So any complaints? A couple but nothing to call your ma about. The film did have holes within its own internal logic (why give robots REAL guns, why can some robots drink and others cant), a couple of visual blunders (that dead robot, breathing) and didn’t got far enough with the bot sex angle for my tastes (having it addressed was still pretty cool though) but other than that, Bob's your uncle. Overall, Westworld was fine as cream gravy! A fun from start to finish little film with good actors, great action/suspense scenes and better ideas. Don’t squat on your spurs. Draw and take this one down!
GORE
We're treated to some red wet squib shots, opened up robots, burned robot face and more! Not a gorefest but I got what I needed.
T & A
Cleavage is the most that we get out of these buckets of bolts. Kind of a bummer, if you’re gonna have dudes nailing rob-dames, show some skin yo!
BOTTOM LINE
Westword was as hot as a whorehouse on nickel night! It was 3 in the morning when I slapped this sucka in the DVD player; I was dead tired and full as a tick but I still managed to stay in the zone for the whole thing. What a blast! Ingenious, good cast, effortless pace, razor action and random creepiness (Brynner rules!), Westworld hit the spot like a wake me up before you go-get the f*ck out of my house BJ. Sure, the story had some plot holes and it could have been a tad raunchier if you ask me or my talking poodle Wan-choo, but on the whole…ACES! Quit beatin' the devil around the stump and see it!
BULL'S EYE
Westworld was the first theatrical feature directed by Crichton.

This was the first film that used digital image processing to pixellate photography for its robot POVs.

Westworld was followed by a sequel Futureworld (1976) and television series named Beyond Westworld (1980) which was cancelled after 3 episodes.

John Carpenter once said that Yul Brynner's character was an inspiration for Michael Myers in Halloween.
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12:00AM on 05/27/2010
I always loved this movie as a kid and still do now. Excellent story, perfect cast, great action and suspense...everything you could ask for. God I wish they made movies like this still
I always loved this movie as a kid and still do now. Excellent story, perfect cast, great action and suspense...everything you could ask for. God I wish they made movies like this still
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4:46PM on 05/24/2010
Amazing to me still how what feels like a minor (albeit very entertaining) '70s genre movie inspired (not-too-subtly in some cases) a whole host of celebrated movies. And Yul Brynner, as far as I'm concerned, was never better.
Amazing to me still how what feels like a minor (albeit very entertaining) '70s genre movie inspired (not-too-subtly in some cases) a whole host of celebrated movies. And Yul Brynner, as far as I'm concerned, was never better.
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2:57PM on 05/24/2010
It's James Brolin, had a brain fart there : )
It's James Brolin, had a brain fart there : )
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2:45PM on 05/24/2010
Saw it with my Dad at the theater when I was a kid......which reminds me.....wouldn't "JOSH" Brolin have been a kid then too???

You mean JAMES Brolin.
Saw it with my Dad at the theater when I was a kid......which reminds me.....wouldn't "JOSH" Brolin have been a kid then too???

You mean JAMES Brolin.
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1:06PM on 05/24/2010
This was always a fave of mine, relatively unknown nowadays though. Yul is the man :D
This was always a fave of mine, relatively unknown nowadays though. Yul is the man :D
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