Dick Van Patten
|Time: 88 mins.|
SYNOPSIS: A futuristic amusement park becomes a deathtrap when the androids and computer systems used in it begin to murderously run amok.
BOTTOM LINE: Long before JURASSIC PARK, Michael Crichton created this theme park gone deadly science fiction thriller. In this instance, instead of genetically-engineered dinosaurs, it's reconstructed, robot-run adventures where rich vacationers can experience life as it really existed in three different eras the decadence of ancient Rome, the sauciness of medieval England and the gritty spirit of the Old West. Benjamin and Brolin are two regular guys who want to experience the lawlessness of the wild frontier. They get their wish in spades. The unrestrained drinking, carousing and gun-slinging are more exhilarating than they imagined, that is until the robots decide to start "playing" for real. The fun stops when Benjamin finds himself alone and on the run from an unrelenting gunslinger (Brynner) bent on his demise. He gets no help from the park operators or other guests since all have been taken out in a murderous robot rampage. At least he got what he paid for: the kill or be killed reality of the gunslinger. Ahead of their time in 1973, the effects are dated and fairly unimpressive; however, the acting and plotting create enough suspense to counteract the lameness. Benjamin is a better director than an actor, but he's perfectly suited as the nerd on the run. What raises the film above pure camp is Yul Brynner. He doesn't have many lines, but his menacing presence is felt whether he's onscreen or not. He makes this worth watching.