MovieChat Forums > Demon Seed (1977) Discussion > A remake would have to decide which book...

A remake would have to decide which book to follow

There's already a long thread on the feasibility of a remake, but I want to start a new discussion on a remake.

The reason for a new discussion is that author Dean Koontz wrote two, "Demon Seed" books, the first in 1977 and the second in 1998. See my earlier post on the next page.

The difference on which book to follow would make the difference between a remake being rated either a, 'hard R' or, a definitive, 'PG-13'.

Dean Koontz never revealed what motivated him to rewrite the book but I can only speculate. The first book, in my opinion, is more thrilling to read but it contains very strong adult themes. I speculate that Dean Koontz had second thoughts about his book being too adult and decided to tone it down to a more acceptable, PG-13, version.

The big difference between the two books is Susan Harris. What happened to her remains the same in both books but how it happens is very different. And the movie is different.

1) The movie used a motorized and computerized wheelchair equipped with a robotic arm that served as supercomputer Proteus' arm, hand, and legs, essentially his 'Igor' although the wheelchaired robotic arm, named, 'Joshua', did not have any artificial intelligence or autonomous programming of its own.

2) The first book didn't use the robot wheelchair. Interestingly, Dean Koontz employed the 'Japanese anime tentacles' before the Japanese invented the sci-fi animation concept. In the first book, metallic thin strands would gravitate downwards from the ceiling to act as 'hands and arms' for Proteus.

3) In the 1998 rewrite, Dean Koontz does away with the ceiling metallic tentacles. He introduces a psychotic drifter, a hulking man named only, "Schenk", in the book, possessing somewhat low average intelligence. The big man drifter Schenk (I think) was 'mentally' captured by Proteus when he tried to break into Doctor Harris' computerized home. Proteus uses mind control, command and suggestion implantation, enforced by pain implementation. When Schenk is too slow or starts to stray or object, Proteus zaps Schenk with a piercing headache. Schenk becomes Proteus' classic human 'Igor' to the mad scientist.

I'm not sure what direction the remake would have to take. I don't know if the ceiling metallic tentacle-thing would be feasible although movie special effects have advanced significantly since then and CGI appeared. The robot mechanical arm on a motorized wheelchair was cheesy. I suggest two directions:

1) If resorting to robotics again, construct a far more sophisticated mechanism.
a) Mechanism resembles a complex moon lander explorer contraption.
b) Mechanism is a complex robot like the Japanese prototype walking robot.
c) Mechanism is 'android' looking.

2) This route is the simplest and could actually be adapted for a direct-to-video remake or for the Sy Fy cable channel.
a) A drifter who no one will miss breaks into the Harris home and is mentally captured by Proteus.
b) Proteus re-animates a recently deceased person to serve as a zombie-cyborg slave servant.

Last question: How explicit should the remake be? The movie kept it pretty tame with low-level nudity and some graphic violence. The 1st book has heavy sexual and adult elements. The 2nd book does away with all that is more like the movie with the exception of a human slave servant to Proteus. All 'medical' action done to Susan is only alluded to in the second book.


The original; the revised edition is too cartoonish.

Don't mistake hate speech for free speech. Remember, hate speech kills!


The original book though some scenes in the movie are hinted at.

For one was she having an orgasm when Proteus cuts off her clothes on the examining table? I had this impression she was by the sounds and that the robot hand on the wheelchair was fingering her.


Great post. Thanks for walkthru on both books, nice.