In 1962, former child star Wesley E. Barry directed one of the most thoughtful and unusual science-fiction films of the era, Creation of the Humanoids. Shot on a few spare sets in lurid, primal color, the film depicts a futuristic society, decimated by the after effects of nuclear war, in which robots, or “clickers,” have begun to take over society, because the humans are all infertile due to the lingering effects of radiation.
To stop the robot takeover, Craigus (Don Megowan) and his fellow members of the “Order of Flesh and Blood” mount a continual campaign or harassment against the “clickers,” in an attempt to have they destroyed. As the film unspools, however, it becomes obvious that this will be more complex, and more ironic, than Craigus or his followers imagined.
The film’s visual style is unique in contemporary cinema, consisting of long master shots of several minutes duration, with close-ups lasting equally long, as the camera stares in somnolent stupefaction at the spectacle unfolding before it, as if Creation of the Humanoids itself was directed by a robot, which, in a sense, it is. Andy Warhol, famously, declared it the “film of the year,” and the connection to Warhol’s own supremely distanced works is absolutely clear.