You Do Not Compute

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“You Do Not Compute”
From the film Reboot And Reload (1984)
Directed by Caz Dastard

Surely the most potent example of ambition exceeding ability ever set to celluloid, “Reboot and Reload” should have been director Caz Dastard’s ultimate triumph. Buoyed by an intoxicating budget of 2 million (massive by Technoir standards), Dastard was determined to parade every penny on screen by investing in garish android costumes, vertiginous neon sets, and in the case of the film’s exciting factory fight-sequence, 25 smoke machines and enough explosives to bring down the Manhattan bridge (which nearly happened).

Beginning like any other hard-boiled Detective story, “Reboot’s” phantasmagoria quickly overwhelms as androids battle silicon zombies, enemies skirmish in pools of frigid antifreeze, and – in the films most infamous scene – a mad scientist, overwhelmed by grief at the loss of his synthetic lover, performs a synthetic heart transplant on himself!

It all sounds great on paper, a pulpy mess of insanity. Unfortunately, critics were almost unanimous in their dislike for “Reboot” and it’s not hard to understand why. Despite the film’s incredible promise, the resulting picture is a muddied mess of bad cinematography, obscure framings, and a pace that lurches when it should soar. Dastard, reportedly distraught even in the film’s post-production phase, was notably absent at its premier, and left New York less than a month later. Today he works as an auto-mechanic in Arizona.

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from Technoir Classics, released October 1, 2012

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Autographic Montreal, Québec

Autographic is Darby McDevitt. Sometimes other friends join in too. Darby was born in Spokane, educated in Bellingham and Dublin, and sharpened in Seattle. He now lives in Montreal where he is a Lead Writer for the Assassin's Creed series. Merci à tout le monde! ... more

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