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Automatons

3.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fresh off a limited theatrical release and shot in Robo-monstervision, a black-and-white retro style reminiscent of old television series and even older movies, AUTOMATONS is a tip of the hat to the imagination and humanity of shows such as The Outer Limits and One Step Beyond. The deceptively simple cinematography evokes a time before big-budget CGI--and thus a time when theme and content were more important than empty action and special effects.
The story focuses on a lone woman in a post-apocalyptic world where humans have been engaging in a futile war of competing philosophies and belief systems. Newcomer Christine Spencer stars as the Girl, who lives in a crumbling laboratory repairing outdated robots while fending off the destructive video beams of the Enemy Leader. Cult horror star Angus Scrimm (Phantasm) stands out as the Scientist who has seen it all.
As potent as The Day the Earth Stood Still or Android, AUTOMATONS is a must-see for all science fiction fans.

Review

...the movie's loving attention to light and shade transcends its hermetic setting and meager budget. At times the buzzing static and fizzy backlighting recall the glistening surrealism of the filmmaker Guy Maddin... enormously endearing. --Jeannette Catsoulis, NEW YORK TIMES

Ed Wood, the notorious director of Plan 9 From Outer Space and Glen or Glenda, has risen from the dead and returned to filmmaking as James Felix McKenney... And I mean that as a compliment. --V.A. Musetto, NEW YORK POST

Automatons is an excellent homage to the movies of yesteryear, and will be quite a thrill for anyone who misses those old days. --Steve Anderson, FILM THREAT

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Christine Spencer, Brenda Cooney, Angus Scrimm
  • Directors: James Felix McKenney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: FACETS
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Y2Q9TA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,712 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I like low-budget indie films and this one is no exception. Unlike other reviewers, I thought Angus Scrimm was the acting high-point of the film. It is essentially a too-long TWILIGHT ZONE episode with 1960s DOCTOR WHO style (too cheap to be called "special") effects. While I liked much of the film, I did not like the conscious attempts at varying the black levels from scene to scene to make it look "weathered" (this technique did not work in the fan-made H.P. LOVECRAFT SOCIETY films either -- invariably when directors try to play this game they overdo it and it doesn't look "real" -- it just jumps out at you as being "fake"). I also did not like all the gratuitous gore 1 hour into the film. "Real" old films did NOT have this due to the film codes of the day -- so again it just looks "fake", not "real".

My problem is that I have NEVER been able to see the entire film. So far I have bought three DVDs from different vendors and they all freeze 1:08:25 - 1:16:03 into the film on multiple DVD players and you can't get past the bad spots on the DVDs to even see the end of the movie. I just gave up on this DVD at that point.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've tried watching this like 6-7 times and every copy I tried has the same problem, there's an air leak in the disc. What this means is during the layer break the data is screwed due to corrosion. When I watch it after about an hour it starts stuttering. 10 mins after that it completely stops with about 15-20 mins of movie left. Someone needs to shoot the head of the QA dept at the pressing plant they used.
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Format: DVD
First of all, this dvd is so damn expensive for the sake of B type 50s look fakeish extra low budget sci-fi movie.
It should have been cheaper and should have had more inspection and had carefully looked through from the expert before being released.
All or most of the product were stopped during playing and even me during watching the movie stopped almost at the end of the movie and had to go to the site called vimeo.com and accessed through my facebook account without doing anything and watched the last 3-5 minutes for free which was pretty lucky.
But all the other audiences who bought the same dvd complaint about the same problem even worse because they even experienced the dvd being stopped at the middle of watching the movie, it was not even almost at the end. They must have been really angry.

The movie was as I told you already tried to recall the look of 50s old fashioned sci-fi movie and added some of the very brutal images made by robots killing humans, some bloody stabbing shots, some slasher images with body parts being cut out with swords, some with rifles and we see the images of human penatrated by bullets in their stomach all the way.
The image of the screen is rather very bad I way VHS image at best to show as if it was coming right from the 50s as I already mentioned.

Some critics said it's a retro genious attempt, I say it's a so so trial but some dark going towards the cliff to kill oneself that we all know what will come at the end.
The end will be as we all guessed the tragedy which is all human will be extinct.

The robots are rather fakish mostly actors are inside try their best to look like robot movement rather pity to look at but somehow was quie ok too with special sound effect and all.
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Format: DVD
Starting today, visitors to New York Public Television station WNET's
Reel 13 website can view Glass Eye Pix's award-winning film,
AUTOMATONS, in its entirety. The film is available to watch streaming
for free along with additional AUTOMATONS content, including an
exclusive Reel 13 interview with writer-director James Felix McKenney:

[...]

Also available is the option to download a high-quality digital copy
of the film for anyone who makes a donation to Channel 13.

The Village Voice exclaimed "Robot radness achieved!" and the New
York Times said that "the buzzing static and fizzy backlighting
recall the glistening surrealism of the filmmaker Guy Maddin...
enormously endearing" when AUTOMATONS was first released in theaters
in 2007. The film was directed by DYI auteur James Felix McKenney who
also directed CANNIBALLISTIC!, THE OFF SEASON and the forth-coming
SATAN HATES YOU and HYPOTHERMIA.

Says McKenney, "I'm incredibly excited to have our film be part of
Reel 13. I have been a huge fan of Public Television my whole life.
In fact, AUTOMATONS is almost entirely inspired by my a large part of
childhood spent staring through the snow at a tiny B&W television
with a coat hanger for an antenna to watch DOCTOR WHO, THE PRISONER,
MATINEE AT THE BIJOU, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and the classic films
of Hitchcock as well as Universal horror movies on my local PBS
stations in Maine and New Hampshire. I think we've found the perfect
online home for our little film."

AUTOMATONS is the third film in Glass Eye Pix's ScareFlix series and
is currently available on DVD from Facets Video.
Read more ›
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