Teknolust (2001/2004)

by | Nov 26, 2010 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Teknolust (2001/2004)

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Karen Black, Thomas Jay Ryan, Jeremy Davis, Josh Kornbluth
Director: Lynn Hershman Leeson
Studio: ThinkFilm/Microcinema.com MC 1092
Video: 16:9 color
Audio: English PCM Stereo
Extras: Film festival discussion with Tilda Swinton & Lynn Hershman Leeson, DiNA art installation – artificially intelligent Bot can carry on conversations with people on current events, Theatrical trailer
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: ***

Well, it’s Tilda Swinton in one of her several lesser, low-budget movies. So be warned, unless you’re a fan of the Academy-Award-winning Scottish actress. It’s certainly a nerd-appealing movie, with its accent on computer technology, and was in fact the first feature film shot at 24 frames on HD video. To the dirty old men out there, don’t get your hopes up, because in spite of the title there is absolutely no lust in this movie, and it is basically the first feminist sci-fi movie.

A shy, lonely and geeky virginal scientist (Rosetta Stone) has somehow created three self-replicating automaton clones from her own DNA, and has them secreted away in Power Ranger color-coordinated bedrooms in her basement, communicating with them by a video built into her kitchen microwave. (Why is never explained.) All of them are played by Swinton, but only the most active one (Ruby) looks like her.  Actually, Ruby looks like a rather poor drag queen in a red dress. The other two look nothing like Swinton, so I guess you could say she’s a good actress. They all three wear chokers with their names in big letters on them so we can keep them straight – thank you very much. Another reviewer said this was too much of a Cat-in-the-Hat movie…

If you’re a child or have a sensitive stomach, stop reading right now. The three cyborgs are immortal, but they require the sustenance of male Y chromosomes found only in sperm, which they inject into themselves in the hand (ouch!), and also drink tea made from it. The “succulent protein” is collected the old-fashioned way, but those scenes aren’t really shown. One of the poor shlubs who has his brief meeting with Ruby – the active collector of the three – is Josh Kornbluth, and he is hilariously perfect for his role. The dozens of men who have so been targeted afterwards become impotent and develop a bar code and a rash on their foreheads. (Also unexplained.) Karen Black is predictably interesting as a rogue investigator of some sort. Ruby drives a cute little car and the San Francisco scenes are fun. She also makes money for the three clones via her own popular sort-of sex website. Yet there’s a scene where she is at a loss when asked to pay for some doughnuts at a shop (also unexplained, along with why the robots need to eat food at all?) All she has in her purse are condoms.

The research lab where Rosetta works attempts to find out the cause of the strange virus. It has something to do with not only the men but hard drives and electro-magnetic powers of the cyborgs. All four Swinton characters are searching for love, and Ruby finally gloms unto a loser copy-shop worker (again unexplained). The ending begins to fall apart, the plot is not clear, and some of the dialog is terrible. Teknolust is part of a four-DVD erotic package (along with Secretary) with Spanish soundtracks offered on Amazon.  I’ll bet there are some extremely disappointed Hispanic purchasers of that set.  If you still seek this DVD, bear in mind that the cover displayed online is different than the cover of this DVD from Microcinema Distributors. The extra on the DiNA web agent is actually very interesting.

 — John Sunier

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