Most Disturbing "Brain Implant Goes Wrong" Scene Of All Time

The 1974 movie The Terminal Man is one of those quiet, slow-moving masterpieces of early 1970s science fiction... and then you get to a totally horrific, violent scene like this one, where the main character's brain implant finally goes wrong.

Warning: Clip may be NSFW due to violence.

Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, The Terminal Man is about a brilliant computer scientist who suffers a brain injury in an accident, and afterwards he keeps having seizures, during which he behaves with extreme violence but can't remember anything afterwards. Harry nearly kills a couple people, so doctors choose him as the first candidate for a new experimental operation to put a computer-controlled pacemaker into the limbic system of his brain. Basically, he gets wires into his amygdala, which lead to a computer in his neck, powered by an atomic battery in his shoulder. What could go wrong?


Oh, and just to amp the irony up to 1000, Harry is not just a computer expert — he's also decided that computers are competing with humanity, and will soon outsmart us and take over the world. So he's an A.I. genius who fears the computer uprising, and now he's got a computer controlling his brain.

The brain implant operation is one of the creepiest medical scenes ever, but it just gets creepier and creepier after that. They test out the wires in his brain, and discover which part of his brain they can shock to make him horny, and which part makes him laugh uncontrollably. Finally, they discover how to shut his brain down if he starts having a seizure. Unfortunately, his brain gets addicted to the shocks, and he starts having seizures more and more often. Soon, he's having them on a regular schedule, with the intervals getting shorter and shorter. To make matters worse, he escapes from the hospital.

The scene above, where he kills his girlfriend during a seizure, is totally horrifying and yet weirdly beautiful. Director Mike Hodges uses extreme closeups of stuff like the rose, the parrot, the fingernails, the TV screen, and then the blood mixed with water from the waterbed, as the red liquid slowly fills the cracks between the tiles. It's hypnotic and bizarre. Harry's violence becomes mechanical and repetitive, almost — wait for it — like a machine rather than a person.

And then the kicker: the surgeon who worked on the operation is wryly joking about what this is going to mean for his chances of a professorship in Minnesota.


There are several other scenes that are almost as disturbing and beautiful, like when Harry goes to his computer lab and starts smashing up the robots he worked on. He winds up on his knees shouting "Make it stop" over and over again, while one of his robots keeps shaking its head, over and over. The Terminal Man is a totally beautiful, creeptastic film, of the sort that they really don't make any more. [IMDB]

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i usually enjoy crichton's work but i have never seen this movie or read the book. are any any good?