Two years after the box office success of "Westworld", budget studio American International released the far lesser known sequel, FUTUREWORLD.
They start with an interesting premise. Massive corporation Delos, reeling from the runaway robots at Westworld, have reinvented the parks, replaced every circuit and are ready & waiting for crowds when the park reopens.
Alas, sales are weak, so Delos invites major journalists from every medium and world leaders to attend the parks and get a peek behind the scenes, to assure that everything is groovy (this is 1976 by the way).
Peter Fonda, proving once again he is the least talented acting Fonda, plays journalist Chuck Browning with much polyester clad angst and lame humor. His sparring partner and famous TV journalist Tracy Ballard comes along for a scoop.
Tracy is horribly played by Blythe Danner in a grating, over the top, mannered and ridiculous performance. It's as is she's playing every line to deaf dumb and blind in the back row of the mezzanine. Subtle it ain't.
Soon, Dumb and Dumber uncover a secret plot by Delos to replace world leaders with robots, which are now DNA replicants in some silly nod to "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".
Arthur Hill has some moments as Duffy, the President of Delos and Yul Brynner returns much too briefly to play his ominous Gunslinger from the original.
In a bad sign of how untalented the filmmakers are, they only have Brynner appear in a dream sequence, that evolves into some ridiculous S&M light fantasy with the Gunslinger lassoing Tracy with red velvet ropes and swinging around with her in circles like some horrible 1930's romance. It's even worse than it sounds.
There is a fight scene with Fonda versus some robot samurai that has to be one of the worst every filmed. My two year old grandson could defend the speed of the attack and put more into a defense than Fonda. Its so unintentionally funny it begs for the MST3K group to pop up in the front row and start riffing.
The last third of the film's suspense depends on the viewer trying to figure out which characters are the real people and which have been replaced with robots.
When the acting is this wooden, it's damn hard to tell.
What a waste of a premise. Futureworld thuds to the ground with a low budget, poorly executed whimper and gets a D.
In 2015, HBO announced they were developing a new series called WESTWORLD. In early 2016, they announced filming had been delayed indefnitely due to "production problems"....oh oh.
What could possibly go w o r n ....g..........