The film had NO help at all, promotion-wise: if there was an advertising promo on TV or radio, I didn't seehear it. The only newspaper ad I saw was on it's opening weekend: a dingy, sludgy B & W head-shot photo of Andy as Val-Com, behind jail bars, with headline: "WANTED! Runaway Robot!" ( which was also the poster in front of the 3 movie theaters I saw it at --NOT the nice little color poster on this site, with headshots of all the cast, and cartoon of Crimebuster --which really wasn't THAT good--they OUGHT to have used an action scene from the film itself--didn't they have an onset photographer? A poster is supposed to HELP a prospective audience decide if they want to SEE the movie--there were SO many people who couldn't get into their sold-out choice, and wanted to know WHAT Heartbeeps was about--and that poster didn't help! That dingy pic, and the only other photos supplied to papers were so indistinguishable in B & W that they were worthless. ) There was NO trailer for the film: only a slide at one theater, consisting of the word "Heartbeeps" inside a heart-shape, with a Cupid's arrow through it, and one that was a totally black picture: just Andy and Bernadette's voices saying "Val-Com! My pleasure center is malfunctioning!" "So is mine; do you think we ought to tell our owners?" THAT is no help to people who hadn't been aware of the movie.
During the filming, Andy told reporters that he couldn't eat, once his plastic lips were applied, so he would "load up on breakfast, and fast" during the day's shoot. I don't know WHAT Bernadette did: but at the time, I'd wondered why they didn't just sip protein drinks through long straws, or eat astronaut-style puréed food via tubes?
Phil-Co, the baby robot, seemed to have been the pre-curser to Short Circuit's Johnny-Five, with the same eyes, similar face. I've been trying to find if they had the same designer, but no help. I have vintage magazine articles about the film, and the design team was immensely proud of their work, and were going for a special award for their innovative device to create stenchless "smoke" for Catskill's cigars. Just shortly thereafter, LucasFilm did NOT use that device, though they OUGHT to have, for Return of the Jedi's scenes with Jabba the Hut: a man created "steam" around Jabba, by blowing cigar smoke into a tube, joking that all he needed was a glass of brandy, and he'd be a happy man. I thought that LucasFilm's using of real tobacco products was insensitive to people who were upset by smoke.
John Williams, who had then recently succeeded the late, great Arthur Fielder as the maestro of the Boston Pops ( which was THEN a ratings hit--but it never recovered from Fielder's death, and is now a shadow of it's former glory ), was using the show to promote films with which he supplied the music. He'd premiered "The Empire Strikes Back" score there; and you would think he'd have helped Heartbeeps along, by playing a few numbers there? The one thing that critics had liked of this film was Williams' score--yet it was NOT available for purchase! I saw one vinyl album, in 1982, with half Heartbeeps, half another film--but it disappeared. I only just tonight saw the CD listed on THIS site, and have ordered it. If I can ever get a scanner, and time to type out the articles, I'd like to create a Heartbeeps tribute site. I liked the movie, and don't care what dissenters say!
The only trouble with the film, was, that near the end, it was messed up, logic-wise: the robots ran away from the factory to have the freedom to decide their own fate, make their own choices; yet, when the junkyard owners tell them that Phil needs to go TO the factory, to have a "purpose" programmed into him, they don't even question it; they just glance meaningfully at each other, and they go. Along the way, each of the adults lose battery power, and "die." They aren't REALLY dead, as they are robots, and only need new batteries, yet it is treated as "death," with little Phil crying over them, and rolling away. So, what was the POINT of this? Phil never gets back to the factory, and gets "a purpose!" AND of course, the junkyard owners COULD'VE driven them, or given them all battery recharges, with back-up batteries; but the real point was to have this poignant scene, where the robots all wore down, and Phil is left to cry.
At the end, Val-Com is a golf instructor, and Aqua-Com is --I'm not sure what. Catskill is an ENTERTAINER--what ELSE is HE supposed to be? I'm not sure that they made it clear. The junkyard owners seem to be taking it easy, lying on chaise lounges, drinking lemonade from Phil, their "bartender." Val's and Aqua's new "daughter," Philsia--I think the name is--maybe it's Sylvania--doesn't seem to be much more than a table lamp.
There is missing footage, which is sad--from photos I surmise that the stuff missing includes a sweet scene, where Phil is having a Christmas, with Val gifting him with a car's steering wheel; Aqua is supplying a horn; Catskill has taken the firefighter helmet to give to Phil, as we saw; and they have Christmas trees. I don't know if any missing footage supplies better logic, or if the writers just couldn't think of a better crisisresolution. The film was trimmed to 72-75 minutes, to pair it with other failing films. No other reason than that. For a DVD, I would LOVE to be in on creating, as I want to see interviews with the castcrew and John Williams, and the Merv Griffin interview. The making-of footage; and reediting and restoring the missing footage to make it better.
Review by danarose_crystal from the Internet Movie Database.