Teknolust

"Terrible"

Teknolust Review


A silly cybersexual fantasy hinged on the fetishistic sci-fi gimmick of replicant women who need sperm to survive, "Teknolust" isn't much better than what it sounds like -- a porn spoof. The fact that writer-director Lynn Hershman Leeson genuinely considers this concept a high-minded metaphor makes the eccentric comedy laughable in ways that were certainly never intended.

A low-budget, one-dimensional concoction with art-house pretensions, the film employs such "futuristic" trappings as two-year-old candy-colored iBooks and a brushed-steel microwave that doubles as a computer terminal. But while its shoestring style may have come of necessity, the movie's absurdly ineffectual intellectualism and that-take-will-have-to-do performances are what really makes it hard to sit through.

Odd-bird indie icon Tilda Swinton ("The Deep End," "Orlando") stars a nerdy-virgin microbiologist with the ridiculous name of Dr. Rosetta Stone. Swinton also plays Stone's home-made clones, the clumsily sultry Ruby (who always wears red), petulant, child-like Marine (blue) and shy, cerebral Olive (green) -- the first of whom has been trained, through watching old movies, to go out and seduce men with bad pick-up lines so she can bring life-giving sperm home to her sisters. (That the injections are given intravenously is all that keeps "Teknolust" from being even more ill conceived than it already is.)

The plot turns on the fact that these men are rendered impotent by having sex with Ruby and develop a rash on their foreheads in the shape of a bar code. Soon quarantined at the very medical research facility where Dr. Stone works -- and has been hiding her breakthrough in Self Replicating Automatons (SRAs) from her fellow scientists -- the potential epidemic these men represent stumps the imbecilic researchers, who retrace their patients' steps, yet take forever to realize they'd all slept with the same woman.

Swinton (who also starred in Hershman Leeson's much better and authentically cerebral "Conceiving Ada") provides a passable sense of out-of-sync humanity to the lonely, affection-starved Dr. Stone, despite the major distraction of her really cheap Brillo-pad wig, which is coupled with huge-frame eyeglasses to maximize her geekiness. But as the clones, Swinton seems tied down to singular, semi-robotic character traits, even as they begin exploring their own humanity, as is inevitable for all sci-fi artificial life. Ruby even falls in love with a copy-shop weirdo (the palpably introverted Jeremy Davies) who shows her more kindness than the guys she has sex with in nightclub bathrooms.

Half-baked from concept to execution, "Teknolust" is plagued by contrivance (plot-pointing one-scene characters conveniently overhear pivotal conversations in coffee shops) and inconsistency (after all the time Ruby has spent in the real world, she still doesn't know donuts cost money and aren't called "succulent protein"). Faux-profound philosophy abounds regarding mankind's evolving relationship with technology ("Even mother boards require touch" is one wildly inaccurate metaphor), as does clumsy, one-note acting. A snooty investigator from a fictional version of the Centers for Disease Control (James Urbaniak) has a single defining personality trait: he never, ever removes his I-went-to-an-Ivy-League-college scarf. Another character always whispers for no discernable reason.

Even the costumes have a crude, makeshift quality about them. Ruby, Marine and Olive wear fabric chokers on which their names are written -- in glitter glue.

The very structure of Hershman Leeson's plot and the integrity of her characters begins to completely unravel in the movie's last act when all-too-easy yet entirely unexplained solutions are applied to some of the movie's big questions, while others remain unanswered, if not completely ignored. (Why isn't Stone seeking a way to sustain her replicants that doesn't involve sterilizing innocent strangers?)

But there are few elements of "Teknolust" that could hold up under any kind of common sense scrutiny to begin with. Given a bigger budget and a director who wasn't interested in waxing philosophical, this could have been a bad Russ Meyers movie starring Pamela Anderson as a sexy scientist -- and even that might have been better than what we have here.



Teknolust

Facts and Figures

Run time: 85 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 26th October 2010

Distributed by: ThinkFilm

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 23

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Lynn Hershman-Leeson

Starring: as Rosetta / Ruby / Marinne / Olive, as Sandy, as Agent Hopper

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.