The Human Duplicators (1965)

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Post  BoG on Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:38 am

The Human Duplicators (1965) Humandup
I obtained a DVD-R of this film from Sci-Fi Station. Richard Kiel plays the alien Agent Kolos, sent to Earth by a bad galactic empire to create android duplicates of key people. I'm trying to think - wasn't there a similar plot in Futureworld (1976)? Kiel actually has a lot of dialog in this, to my surprise; he was previously in The Phantom Planet (1961), dressed up as a goofy alien; he may have impressed the producer, Hugo Grimaldi - or just impressed him with his height. Kiel also played a very tall alien in the famous 1962 Twilight Zone episode, To Serve Man - but had no dialog in that one. However, note also that he's not even credited on the poster even though he's the main villain. The flying saucer here is very bad - kind of a moving fancy lamp shade.
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Kolos teams up with a local mad scientist played by George MacReady, who I just saw not too long ago in The Alligator People (1959), where he played a... mad scientist Rolling Eyes . Or is it actually an android duplicate of the mad scientist? (You have to keep track of the plot twists). Unexpectedly, Kiel's alien begins to develop feelings for the mad scientist's daughter (Aww... Rolling Eyes ). The film is a bit slow in the middle half but has quite a bit of action otherwise. This action doesn't always make sense, though. The androids are superhuman, unable to be stopped by doors or by bullets, but in a couple of fight scenes with the hero (George Nader), they seem to fall down and fall apart rather easily (a favorite shot of the director is an android falling to the floor and breaking into pieces; eerily, this was, uh, duplicated in the film Westworld).
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MacReady also has a couple of female assistants - androids - and another one named Thor ( Question ). Some of these plot threads also reminded me of the later, less known Scream and Scream Again (1970), which also involved duplicating humans. Hugh Beaumont distracts certain viewers if they are familiar with him from a well-known TV series. There's a big fight scene near the end when Kiel takes on a bunch of androids. BoG's Score: 4 out of 10
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This is an interesting sci-fi curiosity due to the cast. According to Wikipedia, this film was released on VHS with a different title (Jaws of the Alien) after The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) came out, capitalizing on Kiel's new popularity. And, this was one of the films skewered on MST3K.
The Human Duplicators (1965) HumanDuplicPoster

Last edited by BoG on Thu May 26, 2011 3:31 pm; edited 2 times in total
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The Human Duplicators (1965) Empty Kiel on Human Duplicators

Post  BoG on Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:16 pm

Richard Kiel had a column in the first issue of Cinema Retro (2004) titled Richard Kiel's Hollywood Tall Tales, in which he reminisced on his experience of playing the role of Kolos in The Human Duplicators (Kiel mentions that his tales are 100% accurate; the "Tall" is in reference to his height). The film was a product of the Woolner Brothers, who owned some theaters and were known for putting together double features.
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Kiel found out back then (early to mid-sixties) that making friends with gate guards at small studios was one way to get valuable info. He found out that filming for a science fiction movie was about to begin, directed by Hugo Grimaldi. Kiel located Grimaldi in a commissary and sat down in his line of vision; this tactic worked - Grimaldi walked over to Kiel and began asking questions. Kiel got a call from Grimaldi the next day about a role in the movie - this was actually a smaller role, as Kolos' butler.