Android (Aaron Lipstadt / U.S., 1982):

The revenge of the nerd, told in the shadow of Blade Runner. The analog cordiality of the project is expressed during the credits, with stop-motion dolls set to a Moog sonata and followed by a blast of soul in outer space ("Searchin’ for My Love," by Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces). The space station is a metal maze with a garden at its center, the gawky humanoid (Don Opper) assists the nutty professor (Klaus Kinski) and pines for action. The bride of Frankenstein is the tawny, vacant Eve (Kendra Kirchner) in the laboratory, but the android is far more interested in hitching a ride to Earth with the intergalactic "anti-corporate terrorists" (Brie Howard, Norbert Weisser, Crofton Hardester) who’ve crashed the post -- Opper has learned about the planet from Capra movies, though, judging by his reaction to Howard’s compliment about his kissing ("Well, I’ve been doing a lot of research..."), he’s studied Woody Allen as well. Aaron Lipstadt’s brand of erudite, low-tech sci-fi posits Ooper first as a meek Stan Laurel and then an elongated Nosferatu, and scores the rising of the Evil Maria in Metropolis to James Brown ("This is a man's man’s world / But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl"). Kinski has at least one choice moment, bouncing Euro-trash romanticism off the synthetic babe he’s put together ("Vhat ve do for love ees beyond good und evil") minutes before his great, shaggy head is separated from his body. Dick’s "electric sheep" are modified for the times: the bully is slain, the father is overthrown, and the blonde cheerleader is snatched, to the delight of video-game dweebs back on Earth. James Cameron is credited as a "design consultant."

--- Fernando F. Croce

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