Westworld, 1973


[Theatrical release poster by Neal Adams]

Westworld is set in an idilic the future where people, for a steep price, can go to one of three resorts designed around specific time periods in history. There are no rules in these resorts, allowing guests the ability to do whatever they please and with whomever. There is so much freedom, because almost the entire resort staff is composed of Robots that look and act like humans. The only other true humans are those that are in the control room and act as Big Brother for the safety of the guests and the bots.

This film is a mix of Terminator (1984), Cabin in the Woods (2012),  Jurassic Park (1993), and Alien (1978). We have robots that defy their human creators and defend themselves (though it is unclear if this is AI or faulty programming), we have a control room underground with quiet little control once their creations are set loose on them, and we have robots following their programs till the end, even when it comes to disregarding human life to complete their mission.

The film leaves the audience looking at the one known sole survivor of the breakdown within the three parks- we are not given information about his rescue, his life after, or even if he is truly the last guest, but it does not matter. What matters is that in a world where there are no rules, and humans are allowed to indulge in all their desires without restraint (whether it be the guests, or the Big Brother figures), the world begins to crumble.

**Note from P: I think that this is a precursor to Jurassic Park/The Lost World (1990, 1995). A resort for entertainment that goes horribly wrong. (And in the film Jurassic Park there are dinosaurs (played by robots) that eat people! How convenient, Stephen.)

**Note from K about P’s comment: Michael Crichton, the author of The Lost World and Jurassic Park, was the writer to the Westworld screenplay 18 years prior to his writing of the futuristic thriller novels.

–On Thursday, P and I will be attending the NYC premiere of the new HBO series Westworld. Hopefully, it not only lives up the the many questions that the original Westworld started to venture into, but it also serves to entertain and make the audience question their own morals.


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