The movie version of the Terminal Man came out a few years after the novel, 1974, and it was just awful. Again there will be spoilers ahead. I had a hard time actually watching the whole thing and it’s barely over an hour and a half long. It actually has quite a few actors in it who are pretty famous, but I will never watch it again. The most notable person I recognized was the guy who played Harry Benson, I know him as Jack from the TV show Just Shoot me, he plays the owner of the magazine. It follows the book sometimes, several scenes are straight from the novel, but then it decided to try and be artistic or something and added in a bunch of stuff that made zero sense and wasn’t in the novel. There is actually a scene in the movie, after Benson escapes and kills the stripper, where he is sitting in this strange room with a bunch of mirrors and there is a giant weird robot thing that he is laying on and hitting with a metal pipe and screaming. It made no sense and was just randomly thrown in.
In the book he goes on quite the killing spree and they can’t find him and he eventually is found in the basement of the hospital trying to destroy the computer. In the movie he kills the stripper, goes to his psychiatrist’s house and attacks her, she ends up stabbing him and then he runs away. In the book he kills several more people after his run in with the psychiatrist and attacks one of the doctors, hurting him really bad and then ends up in the hospital basement. In the movie he randomly shows up at a cemetery, hops in an open grave that someone is about to be buried in and then writhes around with a gun until the cops show up and shoot him. The movie ends abruptly after that, it was like they ran out of money or something and said screw it we’ll end the movie this way. The costumes were very strange, the surgery scene seemed to take up a good third of the movie and then it had the really weird ending that made absolutely no sense. Throw in the random robot scene and you have one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. The novel, while not Crichton’s best, was at least readable and entertaining but the movie is so bad that I would not recommend it to even my worst enemy.
Up next in the Michael Crichton Experience I have several movies, Pursuit is the next one, and I have the DVD so I may give it a watch this weekend. I am thinking of modifying my timeline though, I found several of the detective novels that Crichton published under a pseudonym in the 60’s and another one he wrote with his brother that also has a movie, and I own both so I am thinking I will change it up a bit before I get to The Great Train Robbery. In the meantime I am really getting into The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov, and I think I will be finishing it before I move onto the next Crichton book. Stay tuned to the blog for a MCE timeline update!