MovieChat Forums > The Terminal Man (1974) Discussion > What did I just subject myself to?

What did I just subject myself to?


Slow moving torture.

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[deleted]

I am glad I am not the only one with this opinion. This film is uninteresting, slow moving, pretentious, and meaningless. George Segal is too good to be in this material. The script pretends that it has some profound science fiction morals and notions (which isn't dealt with enough), when in fact its underlying plot is very drab, routine and predictable. The director tries to inject style and imagery to cover up the film's barrenness.

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George Segal was wasting his peak years in drivel like this.

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I saw parts of this movie on tv back in the '80s and hated it! It was slow and boring, but also disturbing and depressing.

If you believe in Jesus Christ and are 100% proud of it put this as your signature

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[deleted]

It's a really slow movie, the parts that are usually exciting in other movies are very unexciting here. But what this movie excels at is the visual composition. It's a very solid succession of well constructed shots, like in a comic book. If you knock out one frame out of every shot and just look through those, it'd make perfect sense even without dialogue. I wish the script was that good.

There are some familiar faces, like two guys from The Thing as the scientists, Sal from Robocop as a reporter and the store owner from Taxi Driver as one of the surgeons/doctors. Also there's a tunnel used later in Blade Runner and a very familiar tile design in a cocktail scene.

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You are either a moron… or you have terribly misunderstood me. Why would I word it as “wasting his peak years” if I did not feel he had committed something substantial to film? Bye Bye Braverman, Where’s Poppa, Born to Win, Blume in Love... all brilliant. I also have quite a high opinion of Loving, Rollercoaster, Deadly Game, and The Owl and the Pussycat. This, on the other hand, is full-blown tedium.

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[deleted]

Well, clearly you subjected yourself to a film that was simply not to your personal tastes. In point of fact Segal had grown bored with the films he was appearing in, and saw projects like 'The Terminal Man' as an antidote to typecasting.

I find 'The Terminal Man' an unusual and engrossing film, with a central (titular) character that isn't really likeable, has no real redeeming qualities, and in fact is an a$$hole, who views everyone around him with comtempt, and as his inferior. Harry Benson may well be a genius (we are told this at the beginning of the film), but he's also a liar and possibly a psychopath, and it is strongly implied that his recent attack on a family member is part of the larger pathology of his burgeoning psychosis towards a computer-driven society.

Harry's decision to undergo the procedure that ironically dooms him is not out of a real desire to win back his former life, but merely to avoid a lengthy incarceration, either as a criminal or a mental case. He is abetted by the medical scientists performing the procedure, who are more interested in getting their names in lights, than prickly details like medical ethics, morality, and whether or not the subject (who is a genius; this was established earlier) is playing his keepers for fools.

The cold, clinical sterility of modern medical science is perfectly evoked in the film's production, a relentlessly unemotional, detached landscape of beings in gowns and uniforms who completely believe in the security and integrity of their world. Harry's procedure is carried out without the Hollywood artifice of film music or melodramatic camera angles, and we, almost like the prisoner that Harry sees himself as becoming, are made to observe the painstaking placement of the first electrodes into his brain. The effect, for those with reasonable attention-spans, is mesmerizing.

Any more about Harry Benson we simply are not allowed to know; he just isn't on screen long enough, with brains unjangled, for us to learn anything more about him, anything that we might cling to, and thus sympathize with. It's an easy reach to simply write him off in our minds, yet because of the absence of anything else, it is (or rather should be) impossible. Alone, sitting at the bottom of a grave (conveniantly) freshly-dug, preparing himself for the inevitable showdown with gun-toting, helicopter-riding authorities, we can't help but feel sorry for this miserable, failed human being, who doubtless thought, at several points in his life, that he had everything figured out (he was a genius; we were told this).

The 19th century gave us Werther, and Werther's Syndrome, and suddenly the world (or at least Europe) was confronted with the desperately fragile nature of the human mind. Harry Benson, an angry, disturbed loner, who ultimately embraces violence and suicide-by-cop as an antidote to his problems, was obviously a new type of Werther, one who came along way ahead of his time. If you take the time to look around in the present day, you will see that Harry Benson is still with us, and 'Harry Benson Syndrome' a phenomenon that is recurring now (like Harry's seizures), with increasing, and alarming regularity.

I'll take 'The Terminal Man' over 'Fun With Dick And Jane' anytime, thank you very much.

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Etherdave,you nailed it. bravo.

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[deleted]

Agreed. Mindnumbingly boring and awful. What a disappointment.

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