‘Never has the screen brought you a more shocking revelation!’
The Creation of the Humanoids is a 1960 American science-fiction feature film about robots that use android bodies to replace the human race.
Directed by Wesley E. Barry from a screenplay written by Jay Simms (The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler; Panic in Year Zero!; The Killer Shrews; The Giant Gila Monster), based [uncredited] on a novel by Jack Williamson, the Genie Productions Inc. movie stars Don Megowan, Erica Elliott, Frances McCann and Don Doolittle. Produced by Wesley E. Barry and Edward J. Kay.
Although a notably cheap production, the film utilised the talents of veteran cinematographer Hal Mohr (Phantom of the Opera 1943; The Walking Dead; The Cat Creeps; et al) and makeup artist Jack P. Pierce, the creator of the look of so many of the classic Universal monsters. The silver contact lenses designed by Pierce and worn by the actors playing the robots are particularly distinctive and memorable.
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“The performances in Creation of the Humanoids are admittedly sub-par, and the set pieces look as if they were made on the cheap. What’s more, the movie’s underlying message of intolerance is often delivered in a heavy-handed fashion; some characters seem to be giving speeches as opposed to reciting dialogue. But, ultimately, there’s enough going on here to take your mind off these deficiencies…” 2,500 Movies Challenge
“The Creation of the Humanoids won’t please everyone and it’s certainly deeply flawed. But as an exercise in the sort of intelligent, thoughtful science fiction usually only found in novels made on a restricted budget with a degree of imagination and wit, it’s undeniably fascinating.” The EOFFTV Review
“While the ideas in the movie are very interesting, they’re very. Slowly. Explored. Which kind of works for the silvery robots themselves, but not for the paranoid humans. But the ideas themselves are thought-provoking and are a clear influence on later sci-fi properties.” Medium.com
“Dramatically, the film is slow. It is almost like an old-fashioned drawing room stage play – all the drama comes through characters talking things out. There is perhaps the tendency to talk the subject to its end – not that any of this proves at all uninteresting. The Clickers are made to look authentically humanoid-looking but blank, outfitted in boiler suits, with bald heads, green greasepaint and unnervingly blank glittering eyes.” Moria
“It’s all terribly earnest, but played with such an obliviousness to how creaky it all is that the film achieves a weird dreamlike tone which can easily put those whose minds are wandering into a doze. It ends with a twist that if you have been following the metaphors is all too logical, but if you can admire the sentiments, it’s hard to get excited about.” The Spinning Image
“The film is comprised mainly of talk, delivered in campy mannerism by an amateurish cast. Still, the talk is all fascinating, with thoughtful (if obvious) philosophical ruminations on the meaning of humanity (prefiguring Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). The film has more to offer than just talk, however, as the visual design is striking retrofuturism…” Teenage Frankenstein: Cinematic Journeys, Personal Obsessions
“The term ‘slow burn’ is an apt one when it comes to this movie […] As a whole, the movie works well enough and will please those who enjoy science-fiction at a deeper level, a picture that will make the viewer think about acceptance and hate and everything in-between, though one could easily look outside their own window to see the exact same thing.” The Telltale Mind
“There are undeniable limitations to The Creation of the Humanoids – there are lines of dialogue that drop like lead and some stiff performances from the no-name cast, and the whole thing can probably be listened to like a radio show as easily as watched. It still stands as a fascinating, highly individual artefact that said something about its own time’s moral quandaries as well as its preemptive daydreams…” This Island Rod
Cast and characters:
Don Megowan … Captain Kenneth Cragis
Erica Elliott … Maxine Megan
Frances McCann … Esme Cragis Milos
Don Doolittle … Doctor Raven
David Cross … Pax
Richard Vath … Mark
Reid Hammond … Hart
Malcolm Smith … Court
George Milan … Acto
Dudley Manlove … Lagan – Plan 9 from Outer Space
Pat Bradley … Doctor Moffitt (uncredited)
Gil Frye … Orus (uncredited)
William Hunter … Ward (uncredited)
Paul Sheriff … Policeman (uncredited)
Alton Tabor … Kelly’s Duplicate (uncredited)
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Production and release:
The Creation of the Humanoids opened in Los Angeles on July 3rd 1962. However, there was a screening in 1961 as documented by an advertising flyer and the film itself displays a 1960 copyright date. Items in contemporary trade publications indicate that it was being filmed in the summer of 1960 under a working title of This Time Around or This Time Tomorrow.