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Teknolust

Teknolust (2002) Movie Poster
  •  USA / Germany / UK  •    •  85m  •    •  Directed by: Lynn Hershman-Leeson.  •  Starring: Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Davies, James Urbaniak, John O'Keefe, Karen Black, Al Nazemian, S.U. Violet, Josh Kornbluth, Thomas Jay Ryan, Howard Swain, Diana Demar, John Pirruccello, Abigail Van Alyn.  •  Music by: Klaus Badelt, Mark Tschanz.
       Rosetta Stone is a scientist specializing in biogenetics who has made a major breakthrough in artificial biological engineering. Rosetta has created a type of Self-Replicating Automaton, which looks like a human being, but is in fact part machine and part living organism. In order to survive and reproduce, Rosetta discovers her SRAs need certain human genetic compounds that are found only in male semen. Hoping to kill two birds with one stone, Rosetta programs one of her SRAs, Ruby to seduce men Rosetta has found through a website offering paid "fantasy dates," which will provide both needed materials and ready cash.

Review:

Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Image from: Teknolust (2002)
Teknolust is like someone wrote a terrible script for a sci-fi sex comedy and then handed it to someone with the sense of humor of a pine wood box. Since Lynn Hershman Leeson was both writer and director here, I can only conclude she has a split personality. One of them must be a talentless hack and the other a Trappist monk whose funny bone has been surgically replaced with a rod of boron.

Rosetta Stone (Tilda Swinton) is a research scientist. Yes, that's her name. No, neither she nor this story has a blessed thing to do with language or translation. Rosetta has created three copies of herself; dark-haired Ruby, blonde Olive and redheaded Marinne. Are they clones? Robots? Some sort of virtual constructs? Even if you haven't seen this film, your guess is still as good as mine. They're referred to as viruses in the movie, but this script also suggests computer viruses can infect human beings, so take that for what it's worth. Rosetta keeps her copies hidden away in color coordinated rooms, subjects them to old Hollywood movies as they sleep and communicates with them through her microwave. Yes, her microwave.

Rosetta doesn't appear to have anything for her copies to do, so they basically just lounge around until nightfall. That's when Ruby goes out to find food for the copies. What do they need to survive? Human sperm. Ruby goes out, picks up a random guy to have sex with and then brings the used condom home so she can use it to brew up some tea. Ruby also runs a website, called an "internet portal" in the film. It's not entirely clear what Ruby does on her site, but it's enough to make a fan of Sandy (Jeremy Davies), a loser who lives with his mom across the street from Rosetta and company.

The guys Ruby boinks start going impotent and sterile with red rashes between their eyes that turn into bar codes. That sparks an investigation by one of Rosetta's colleagues (John O'Keefe), an undefined federal agent named Hopper (James Urbaniak), and Hopper's even more undefined associate Dirty Dick (Karen Black). There's a whole bunch of floundering around where it's never all that clear what's happening with any of the characters, leading to what I can only assume is theoretically meant to be a happy ending for all involved.

Despite the nature of the story I just described, Teknolust has no nudity or sex scenes. There's also no real profanity or violence. The dialog stinks and the actors mostly appear to be engaged in some sort of competition to see who can look and sound most like a department store mannequin. There's some decent set design but when you notice that, you know you're watching an awful motion picture.

I could never tell the difference between when Teknolust was trying to be funny and when it was trying to be dramatic, which obviously means it failed at both. As best I can figure it, this film is an attempt at willful oddity, like one of those off, off, off Broadway plays where everybody's wearing galoshes and speaking Esperanto. This movie isn't really that odd, though. Even with the whole used condom tea thing, Teknolust is like some suburban housewife's tame concept of weird. It's the crazy ramblings of someone whose creativity was burned out by watching too many middle school plays.

Unless you're entertained by stuff like a character who whispers for no reason or another who constantly has a band-aid over a different part of his body, like Les Nessman from WKRP in Cincinatti, you should stay away from this movie. It's boring and gets more boring every time it pathetically tries to be interesting.


Review by MBunge from the Internet Movie Database.