Circuitry Man (1990)

R | 93 mins | Science fiction | May 1990

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HISTORY

The film begins with the following written prologue: “Forty years after the ocean died, and the last tree fell in the last rain forest, the air became unbreathable. Mankind moved underground into government controlled environments. There, they continued to ravage the last frontier...the HUMAN MIND.” Following opening credits, a card introduces the location as: “Subterranean Los Angeles The near future.”
       End credits contain the following information: “The producers wish to express their gratitude to: Best Western International; Karen Bohannon-Gaunty, Esq.; The Burman Studio; Melissa Cobb; Steve Coscia-Ensoniq; Joan Danto; Steve Fayne; Fritz Friedman; G-4 Productions; Michael Gordon; Hugh & Keltner; I.R.S. Records; Bob Kavaloff—Associated Film Promotions; Ross Levinson; Monica Lipkin, Esq.; Robert Mintz; Cindy Sison and Dan Hildebrand. Filmed entirely on location in and around Los Angeles, Lancaster, and the I.R.S. Entertainment Center, Universal City, California.” A disclaimer, slightly altered from the standard film disclaimer, states: “Any similarities to actual persons, living, dead or synthetic, or to actual events or firms are purely coincidental.”
       The 24 Apr 1988, 4 Jun 1988, and 5 Jun 1988 editions of the LAT and 21 Aug 1990 Seattle Times explained that Circuitry Man began as a twenty-minute UCLA film school project and was screened at an on-campus theater in 1988. As noted in the 25 Jun 1989 Orange County Register, Circuitry Man marked the feature film debut of writer-director Steven Lovy after his graduation from UCLA.
       Principal photography began 27 Jul 1989 in Los Angeles, CA, according to the 15 Aug 1989 HR. Circuitry Man filmed for four days in the Antelope Valley, sixty miles ... More Less

The film begins with the following written prologue: “Forty years after the ocean died, and the last tree fell in the last rain forest, the air became unbreathable. Mankind moved underground into government controlled environments. There, they continued to ravage the last frontier...the HUMAN MIND.” Following opening credits, a card introduces the location as: “Subterranean Los Angeles The near future.”
       End credits contain the following information: “The producers wish to express their gratitude to: Best Western International; Karen Bohannon-Gaunty, Esq.; The Burman Studio; Melissa Cobb; Steve Coscia-Ensoniq; Joan Danto; Steve Fayne; Fritz Friedman; G-4 Productions; Michael Gordon; Hugh & Keltner; I.R.S. Records; Bob Kavaloff—Associated Film Promotions; Ross Levinson; Monica Lipkin, Esq.; Robert Mintz; Cindy Sison and Dan Hildebrand. Filmed entirely on location in and around Los Angeles, Lancaster, and the I.R.S. Entertainment Center, Universal City, California.” A disclaimer, slightly altered from the standard film disclaimer, states: “Any similarities to actual persons, living, dead or synthetic, or to actual events or firms are purely coincidental.”
       The 24 Apr 1988, 4 Jun 1988, and 5 Jun 1988 editions of the LAT and 21 Aug 1990 Seattle Times explained that Circuitry Man began as a twenty-minute UCLA film school project and was screened at an on-campus theater in 1988. As noted in the 25 Jun 1989 Orange County Register, Circuitry Man marked the feature film debut of writer-director Steven Lovy after his graduation from UCLA.
       Principal photography began 27 Jul 1989 in Los Angeles, CA, according to the 15 Aug 1989 HR. Circuitry Man filmed for four days in the Antelope Valley, sixty miles north of Los Angeles in the “high desert,” the 1 Dec 1989 LAT reported, and hired two dozen motorcyclists to portray “marauding villains.” A spokeswoman for the Antelope Valley Film Commission said the production generated nearly $31,000 for the local economy, including $85 per day paid to the motorcyclist extras. While filming at an underground garage in downtown Los Angeles, the production was temporarily shut down and fined by the Los Angeles Fire Department for igniting explosives and conducting chase scenes without a permit or a fire safety officer on the set, according to the 18 Aug 1989 DV.
       The 11 May 1990 HR noted that Skouras Pictures Inc. acquired worldwide distribution when the film, billed as “cyber-punk” science fiction, was screened 15 May 1990 at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Circuitry Man premiered in Seattle, WA, later that month, the 23 May 1990 Seattle Times reported. The 1 Nov 1990 HR noted that the film opened in only one Los Angeles theater.
       Several of the principal actors, including Jim Metzler, Vernon Wells, and Dennis Christopher, returned for a made-for-video sequel called Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II, in 1994, the 6 Oct 1994 Seattle Times reported. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1989
p. 25.
Daily Variety
22 May 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 1990
p. 12, 18.
Los Angeles Daily News
31 Oct 1990.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Apr 1988
Section L, p. 34.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jun 1988
Section E, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
5 Jun 1988
Section M, pp. 34-36.
Los Angeles Times
1 Dec 1989
Section F, p. 19A.
Los Angeles Times
31 Oct 1990
Section F, p. 5.
Orange County Register
25 Jun 1989
Section B, p. 7.
Seattle Times
20 May 1990
Section K, p. 2.
Seattle Times
23 May 1990
Section D, p. 1.
Seattle Times
21 Aug 1990
Section B, p. 4.
Seattle Times
6 Oct 1994
Section E, p. 1.
Variety
6 Jun 1990
p. 28.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
I.R.S. Media Presents
A Miles A. Copeland III Paul Colichman Production
^ICircuitry Man^R From I.R.S. Media
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Prod mgr
2d 2d asst dir
Dir, 2d unit
Dir, Spec video eff
Asst dir, Spec video eff
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Unit photog
Spec photog
Gaffer
Key grip
Best boy grip
Grip driver
Best boy elec
Elec
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Still photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, Addl photog
Asst cam, Addl photog
Gaffer, Addl photog
Best boy elec, Addl photog
Tape op, Spec video eff
Tape op, Spec video eff
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst to prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Asst art dir
Conceptual consultant
Loc and concept artists
Signage des
Paintings in saloon by
Marbleized walls by
FILM EDITORS
Videotape ed, Spec video eff
Videotape ed, Spec video eff
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Const foreman
Paint foreman
Prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward supplied by
MUSIC
Mus score
All songs prod by
Eng and mixed by
Piano, The band
Bass, The band
Drums, The band
Guitar, The band
Saxophone, The band
Mus score arr by
Mus score arr by
Computer programming, eng, mixing and guitar by
Mus supv
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Spec sd eff des
Re-rec
Re-rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
ADR mixer
ADR mixer
Transfers
Transfers
Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Pyro tech
Pyro tech
Modelmaker
Titles and opticals
Optical supv
Addl opticals
MAKEUP
Spec makeup eff des by
Principal makeup and hairstylist
Principal makeup and hairstylist
Swing makeup/Hair
Asst eff makeup
Eff makeup crew
Eff makeup crew
Eff makeup crew
Eff makeup crew
Eff makeup crew
Eff makeup crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Exec in charge of prod
Marketing consultant
Story consultant
Prod coord
Transportation coord
Transportation asst
Transportation asst
Driver
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to Mr. Copeland
Asst to Mr. Colichman
Asst to Mr. Colichman
Asst to Mr. Reich
Asst to Ms. Phillips
Asst to Mr. Lovy
I.R.S. Media financial affairs
I.R.S. Media prod accounting
I.R.S. Media prod accounting
I.R.S. Media prod accounting
I.R.S. Media legal affairs
I.R.S. Media legal affairs
I.R.S. Media legal affairs
I.R.S. Media legal affairs
I.R.S. Media legal affairs
Craft service
Catering
Catering
Casting asst
Extra's casting
Unit pub
Unit pub
Prod coach motorhomes and trailers by
Post-prod facility, Spec video eff
Prod coord, Spec video eff
Prod coord, Spec video eff
Projectionist
Payroll services
Payroll services
Prod financing
Prod insurance
Completion bond
STAND INS
Stand-in
Martial arts coord
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
ANIMATION
Main title seq des by
[Prod] by
Tube ride computer simulation des by
[Prod] by
[Prod] by
Computer anim coord and anim body scanner
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Theme from Circuitry Man," written and performed by Deborah Holland, published by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Big Biscuit Music, administered by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Criterion Music (ASCAP)
"You Do This To Me," written and performed by Deborah Holland, published by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Big Biscuit Music, administered by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Criterion Music (ASCAP)
"Judgment Day," written and performed by Deborah Holland, published by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Big Biscuit Music, administered by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Criterion Music (ASCAP)
+
SONGS
"Theme from Circuitry Man," written and performed by Deborah Holland, published by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Big Biscuit Music, administered by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Criterion Music (ASCAP)
"You Do This To Me," written and performed by Deborah Holland, published by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Big Biscuit Music, administered by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Criterion Music (ASCAP)
"Judgment Day," written and performed by Deborah Holland, published by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Big Biscuit Music, administered by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Criterion Music (ASCAP)
"I Can't Stop Cryin'," written by Deborah Holland, performed by Deborah Holland and Richard Goldman, published by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Big Biscuit Music, administered by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Criterion Music (ASCAP)
"Veil Of Tears," written by Deborah Holland, performed by Deborah Holland and Richard Goldman, published by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Big Biscuit Music, administered by Animal Logic Music, Inc./Criterion Music (ASCAP).
+
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
May 1990
Premiere Information:
Seattle, WA premiere: May 1990
Los Angeles opening: 31 October 1990
Production Date:
began 27 July 1989 in Los Angeles
Copyright Claimant:
IRS Media, Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 March 1990
Copyright Number:
PAu1350484
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
93
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30292
SYNOPSIS

In subterranean Los Angeles, California, Lori Flak’s wrists are tied to bedposts as Jackee makes love to her. Suddenly, “Yoyo,” a young woman, enters the room with two men, tells Jackee to leave, and informs Lori that “Juice,” a female gangster, needs her services as a bodyguard. Lori accompanies Juice and Yoyo to a club, where Juice meets “Plughead,” a man whose bald head contains computer sockets wired into his brain. Juice exchanges a suitcase filled with narcotic-like “pleasure chips” for Plughead’s suitcase of money. When Plughead plugs one of the computer microchips into his head, he is pleased with the sensation. Juice tells him he can get a vehicle from a “retired tunnel rat” named “Jugs” and sell them for “a fortune” in New York City. During the deal, they are interrupted by Danner O’Merrick, a handsome “pleasure ’droid,” or “Romeo,” who used to deliver Juice’s microchips to New York. Putting a corkscrew to his neck, Danner threatens to kill himself if Juice does not reveal the whereabouts of his “lost love.” After Danner is disarmed and sent away, Juice explains to the others that the bio-synthetic ’droid is searching for his ideal woman, who is actually only a program inserted into his mind. He delivered microchips for free, thinking he was going to meet her. When Lori sees that “Beany,” one of Plughead’s men, has a policeman’s badge, she yells that the deal is a set-up. Yoyo plunges the room into darkness. Lori grabs the suitcase of chips and hurries Juice away, but Plughead knocks her unconscious and snaps Juice’s neck. As he prepares to kill Lori, she awakens, slashes him with a weapon, and runs away ... +


In subterranean Los Angeles, California, Lori Flak’s wrists are tied to bedposts as Jackee makes love to her. Suddenly, “Yoyo,” a young woman, enters the room with two men, tells Jackee to leave, and informs Lori that “Juice,” a female gangster, needs her services as a bodyguard. Lori accompanies Juice and Yoyo to a club, where Juice meets “Plughead,” a man whose bald head contains computer sockets wired into his brain. Juice exchanges a suitcase filled with narcotic-like “pleasure chips” for Plughead’s suitcase of money. When Plughead plugs one of the computer microchips into his head, he is pleased with the sensation. Juice tells him he can get a vehicle from a “retired tunnel rat” named “Jugs” and sell them for “a fortune” in New York City. During the deal, they are interrupted by Danner O’Merrick, a handsome “pleasure ’droid,” or “Romeo,” who used to deliver Juice’s microchips to New York. Putting a corkscrew to his neck, Danner threatens to kill himself if Juice does not reveal the whereabouts of his “lost love.” After Danner is disarmed and sent away, Juice explains to the others that the bio-synthetic ’droid is searching for his ideal woman, who is actually only a program inserted into his mind. He delivered microchips for free, thinking he was going to meet her. When Lori sees that “Beany,” one of Plughead’s men, has a policeman’s badge, she yells that the deal is a set-up. Yoyo plunges the room into darkness. Lori grabs the suitcase of chips and hurries Juice away, but Plughead knocks her unconscious and snaps Juice’s neck. As he prepares to kill Lori, she awakens, slashes him with a weapon, and runs away with the suitcase. When Yoyo and her henchmen appear, Plughead tells her Lori killed Juice and took the chips. Lori arrives at Danner’s house, knowing that he can “run the maze” to New York City, but he refuses to go until Lori assures him that his girl friend is there. They acquire a 1964 Ford Galaxy 500 XL convertible from “Jugs,” a crippled mechanic encased in a machine, who is happy to give the car to a vintage “bio-synthetic” like Danner because, like the Ford Galaxy, bio-synthetics are not manufactured anymore. Jugs says the underground maze will take them to Denver, Colorado, and from there they can take a series of sewers to New York City. After Lori and Danner leave, Plughead and Yoyo arrive, and Plughead inserts a wired needle into Jugs’s brain to extract the information he needs. They commandeer Jugs’s red pickup truck and give chase. Later, policemen Beany and Squaid arrive and find Jugs dead. Meanwhile, Lori and Danner are attacked by large leeches that drop into their convertible from the ceiling. “Leech,” a “tunnel rat” who gained his nickname by eating leeches, rescues them. He wants to accompany them to New York, but explains that the trip requires going “topside,” even though the air is too polluted to breathe. He has oxygen canisters they can use in the car if they put the top up and close the windows. Leech tells them to drive through a wall, which is only a hologram, and suddenly they are driving across the desert. Realizing he lost his quarry, Plughead guesses Lori and Danner have gone topside and uses the memory he stole from Jugs to take the same hologram exit. Later, when Leech’s oxygen canister runs low, Danner stops at the Last Gasp Café in the middle of the desert. In a game of pool with a truck driver, Danner wagers the Galaxy against several oxygen bottles, but when he clears the table with only one shot, the trucker realizes Danner is a machine and refuses to honor the bet. Outside, Leech steals the car, and Lori and Danner enlist the trucker to follow him. Riding in the semi trailer, with an oxygen bottle beside them, Lori tries to convince Danner that his girl is only a fantasy. He is unable to recall what she looks like, but he remembers how good it felt to be with her. Meanwhile, Plughead and Yoyo encounter a biker gang led by “Fatch,” and explain that they are chasing people carrying valuable pleasure chips. When the gang stops the truck, Lori and Danner escape. He tells her to keep running with the suitcase and their one oxygen bottle, while he distracts Plughead and the gang. When Danner returns to the truck, the bikers have staked the driver to the ground and are ready to pull him apart with their motorcycles. Plughead links into the trucker’s brain in time to feel his pain as his limbs are ripped from his torso. The bikers also tie Danner down, but when Plughead plugs into his brain, he gets only static. Conversely, Danner retrieves Plughead’s memory of Juice telling him that Danner’s girl friend is only a “ghost circuit” she uses to make him work for free. Plughead spares Danner, but gives him a knife to kill himself. Meanwhile, Leech picks up Lori along a highway and decides to take the suitcase to New York City, but he needs her because he has no idea where to deliver it. Meanwhile, Beany and Squaid find what they think is Danner’s body, but he awakens and steals their motorcycle. Now that he knows his lost love is an illusion, he realizes he has romantic feelings for Lori and heads for New York City. When Lori and Leech arrive at the rendezvous, Jackee, her old boyfriend, meets them with a gun and tapes her wrists together. Juice, her neck in a brace, accompanies him. Suddenly, a bullet hits Jackee, killing him. Plughead, Yoyo, and several bikers surround them. Knocking Lori unconscious, Plughead carries her away from the others and prepares to plug into her brain, but Danner follows with Jackee’s gun and shoots him. As sparks fly from Plughead’s chest, Danner realizes his adversary is a “circuitry man,” a more advanced creation than a simple bio-synthetic. Subduing Danner, Plughead plugs into his mind and takes him into a virtual landscape of apocalyptic carnage, where they fight until Danner kills him with a sword. When Lori finds Danner standing over Plughead’s body, they embrace and kiss. Nearby, Yoyo picks up Leech in the pickup truck, sees that he has the suitcase, and asks where he wants to go. Danner, using a computer device, transports himself and Lori to a pre-Apocalypse beach at sunset. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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