Reviews/Halloween Treat

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Baron's review

Taking a bit of a different slant with this one. Our own Robotman has graciously asked for one of my reviews of his own subject material; and I'm more than happy to oblige. Since he says that the finished product is 99% faithful to the script, I don't see any difficulties commenting on the story itself, aside from the SPOILERS.........

For starters, the plot is consice; an alien-created female robot, designated Unit 469, is sent to Earth to gather information about human sexuality. She encounters a knowlegeable female subject, Tina, who proceeds to educate her, once she's convinced that 469 is indeed a robot. After a fair amout of back-and-forth discourse, and some practical experience to demonstrate the information, 469 satisfies her programmed objective, but not before a final twist is added, which nicely leaves room for a sequel.

A plausible scenario, which isn't too cluttered up with tangents or gimmicks. What makes this piece work, and work well, is Robotman's attention to detail. He takes pains to ensure that Unit 469 (played by Tara Indiana) comes across as strictly a machine; there is no human emotion whatsoever, outside of the odd feminine mannerism (which can be easily construed as part of her programming). And the script maintains this discipline throughout, thus finally giving us an accurate portrayal of a wholly mechanical entity, which 99% of all other stories fail to do, to some degree. It is this simple fact, that finally places all of the "robot cliches" into a proper context - the repetition, the malfunctions, the proper functions ("..Processing..." ); all are more believable because 469's mechanical nature is heavily stressed through the entire script.

This attention to detail is applied to the appearance of 469, as well. RM stipulated that she be heavily made up, but not to the point of "cliche"; ie, no "doll dots" on the cheeks, ghost-white skin tone, etc. As the screen caps show, 469's appearance is a subtle exaggeration of makeup; just enough of the Tammy Faye approach to emphasize her artificiality, rather than blatantly going overboard with a "clownish streetwalker" approach. Again, this is further enhanced by strict guidelines as to her movements, speech, and clothing, which all combines into the closest depiction of a totally artificial woman that I've yet come across. The final impression is very much that of a machine in human female form, with virtually all human traits either minimized, or eliminated.

And finally, the "twist" ending works well, bcause there is no obvious hint given before it actually happens. **SPOILER ALERT** Tina's revelation of her own robotic nature comes across much more believeably, because she is scrupulously human, right up to the point of revelation; the script offers no suggestion that she's anything but human, until the appropriate time. Again, 99% of all other attempts to do something like this fall short, because they "telegraph" the twist well in advance, thus destroying the element of surprise.

In all, "Halloween Treat" is a treat indeed, because of the attention to detail; a fact that far too many big and small screen efforts seem to lack. While not a huge fan of either A: girl-on-girl sex (not my bag, but nothing against those who are), or B: sex scenes in general (it's more fun to participate than watch, IMHO), this script still is enjoyable, because of the robotic emphasis throughout - the idea of inherently sexless machines investigating this most human trait is more acceptable because (as far as the story goes) they are sexless machines - the homosexuality element doesn't exist, in this context. In terms of creating and capturing the one illusion that so fascinates us, "Halloween Treat" is the best effort so far - because its' female robots are so believable.

In due time, I'll get around to getting my own copy of the film to complete the review, but for now, I'll place a humble seal of approval on "HT," and recommend it to all who might be interested - and I'll congratulate RM on a very, VERY thoughtful approach to a job well done!! The entertainment industry is in DESPERATE need of minds like yours, mate!! Icon biggrin.gif


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