Starring: Peter O'Toole, Vincent Spano
Director: Ivan Passer
Edition Details:
Region 0, PAL



Movies don't change, but we do. Take as example this 1985 drama about a Nobel laureate in genetics (played by Peter O'Toole with his usual bombast) who wishes to re-clone his wife who has been dead for some 30 years or so. The last I saw this film was as 19-year-old first year university student upon its original cinematic release.

Bit of a hard-to-find item, I jumped at the chance of plucking a DVD copy out of a bargain bin (along with Hercules in New York - but that's a different story).

Unfortunately the movie wasn't as good as I remembered it to be. Or let me rephrase that: the concerns expressed in the movie - most of them involving late adolescent horniness - are no longer as pressing today as they were back then.

For make no mistake: Creator never really addresses any of the issues raised by its sole science fiction element, namely making a clone of a long-dead beloved, in effect bringing such a person back from the dead again. There are several problems with Peter O'Toole's scientist character wanting to do this, starting with the obvious age differences. Let's say O'Toole is 50 (he's actually a lot older in the movie) when he manages to re-clone his wife. That means by the time his wife is twenty, then he'll be 70. (Remember: real clones wouldn't be popped ready made out of some vat as they were in Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent The 6th Day.)

The age difference would just be too big and unless she suffers from some serious Electra complex, there is really no way that she would actually see anything in him.

This brings us to the second problem with O'Toole's scheme. There is nothing to guarantee that the new clone of his wife would be the same. After all, we are more than our genetic make-up: we are also the sum of our environments, social milieu, upbringing, etc. What will they have in common? Twenty years of M-TV won't exactly result in someone who will find O'Toole's taste in classical music endearing.

Besides, the idea just seems so plain wrong . . .

Like I said, none of these ideas are investigated in Creator. The re-cloned dead wife conceit is merely used as a metaphor for O'Toole's clinging to the past and not immediately falling for a 19-year-old Muriel Hemingway (what is wrong with the man!?). Instead we have two parallel love stories, and even a subplot involving some interdepartmental university politics and backstabbing. When this doesn't seem enough there's a drawn-out girlfriend-in-a-coma plot. All set to an annoying "uplifting" Terms of Endearment type of tune that will soon have one gnashing one's teeth.

THE DISC: This region-free disc is distributed by an outfit called Hollywood DVD Ltd. which seems to specialize in either long-forgotten movies like this and The Final Countdown or outright straight-to-video trash such as Hercules in New York. I picked it up for the price one would pay for a movie ticket and a popcorn.

What you get is the usual static menu, scene access and crummy looking trailer. Surprisingly the movie is presented in wide screen (unlike Hercules) and looks quite good except for some print blemishes and a pixilated image with some darker scene. Sound is also clear. No extras, sure - but not bad for the price of a cinema ticket.

WORTH IT? Creator has its fans who proclaim it as one of the better 1980s rom coms. This it may be, but that isn't saying much as it is the decade that brought us the likes of St. Elmo's Fire. I also counted myself as one of those fans . . . until I saw the movie again.

RECOMMENDATION: An unremarkable movie and an unremarkable DVD. Skip it.



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