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Frame by Frame

Creation of the Humanoids

Creation of the Humanoids is a one of kind film, in every sense of the word.

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.

Click here for a detailed production history of this deeply unusual film.

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About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of thirty books and more than 100 articles on film, and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. To contact Prof. Dixon for an interview, reach him at 402.472.6064 or wdixon1@unl.edu. Visit him at his website wheelerwinstondixon.com.

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