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“The Prototype”: A – GASP- Simple Sci-Fi Movie?

Whilst having a gander at new movie trailers on YouTube (something I seem to do most of the livelong day), I happened upon this trailer for a film entitled The Prototype. I’ve never even heard of this; it looks GREAT! (EDITOR’S NOTE: This is not a movie version of “Prototype,” the video game. It’s unrelated)

I really miss the days when low-budget science fiction was about ideas and not just cheap-looking CG effects. We get caught up nowadays with science fiction meaning “action movie with spaceships and junk,” which is not what it ought to be at all. Science fiction, at its core, is about ideas about the future that relate to things happening today. With everyone talking obliquely about “The Singularity,” it seems like a perfect time to revisit the age-old sci-fi staple of merging machine and man. This film’s use of the steam-punkish soldier bot who is both mechanical and organic is an excellent touch as well.

If this movie can pull off what the trailer promises (which is increasingly hard to come by these days), then this might go up there with Primer and Moon as low-budget, high-concept science fiction done right. What do you guys think and what are some of your favorite low-fi sci-fi movies? POST IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

-Kanderson is part machine now; existing mainly on TWITTER and PODCAST.


  1. Vesperto says:

    Nifty visual effects and a cool shape-shifter costume idea, but i wouldn’t call A scanner darkly a sci-fi movie.

    I add eXistenZe and Gattaca, but i’m not sure on the lo-fi.
    Maybe Crash and burn

  2. Feranel says:

    @JTSolace I thought the same thing!!! I had to wrack my brain for about 10 minutes to remember the name of the book it’s been a while since I read it. It looks and sounds like a more modern remake of The Coffin!!!

  3. Feranel says:

    @JTSolace @dedwerkz I thought the same thing!!! I had to wrack my brain for about 10 minutes to remember the name of the book it’s been a while since I read it. It looks and sounds like a more modern remake of The Coffin!!!

  4. Jerkface says:

    Or a direct rip off of a comic called the coffin with an almost identical plot and character design.

    “Dr. Ashar Ahmad has discovered a way to trap the soul at the moment of death, by placing the body in a hermetically sealed containment suit made from a new type of polymer. Heller, the head of the company that funds Ashar’s experiments wants the technology for himself, and orders Ashar killed; the doctor manages to encase himself in the suit in time to trap his soul, and sets out to stop the financier. More importantly, he has to determine what kind of life he hopes to lead, now that he is dead.”

    and here is a design for the character.

    Different but still super similar

  5. The Clone says:

    This seems to be a remake of either the classic film from 1983 (a film where the inventor creates a robot for the military, then tries to get it back), or 1992, Prototype X29A, where a crippled Ex-Soldier tries to walk again.

  6. dedwerkz says:

    @JTSolace That was the first thought i had. Even the mask design mimics the Coffin’s looks. I REALLY hope this is coincidental.

    • JTSolace says:

      …and here I thought I was going crazy. Or at very least the only one who rad The Coffin. Which is really good!

  7. Shannghis Khan says:

    Attack the Block takes the cake.

  8. Tom Triumph says:

    Kyle, comment threads are nice (there are some good sugestions here) but I’d love a wiki or comprehensive list of recent movies (last ten years?). Cube and Primer, for example (although they might be “old” at this point). Original ideas, like District 9 and Sleep Dealer are political and cultural and very low tech (not as low tech as Primer, but….).

    I’d like a list because I’ll lose a thread when I’m wanting something to watch. I’d also love to see it grow as more people discover it. Help me out, sir.

  9. ian says:

    That looks like it could be a lot of fun. I’m in.

  10. Mike says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing, Paul. But I’m ok with that; MORE robots need giant expressive eyes like that.

  11. Paul says:

    good call on CUBE. Still love that one. This looks tasty. I love the look. i’ll see your CRYSIS nano-suit design, and raise y’all 1 head of ATOMIC ROBO.

  12. Jeff MacDonald says:

    Two good ones are “Cube” and “Pi” although the latter is a stretch to call sci fi.

  13. marcah6 says:

    “The Man From Earth” is another great low budget sci fi film, plus it has a ton of star trek actors

  14. Andrew Nixon says:

    Some of the acting was a bit overdone, at first, but it actually started looking pretty cool once they got going with the robot stuff.

  15. You can’t go wrong with Corman’s “The Little Shop of Horrors”! :)

  16. Quinn says:

    Definitely ‘Attack the Block.’ That was a very good low budget movie.

  17. JTSolace says:

    Is it just me or does this look -a lot- like The Coffin by Phil Hester?

  18. Ryanz says:

    Is the the 2000’s remake of Short Circuit, minus the hilarious hijinks and “The Gutt”? Wonder who has the bigger budget?

  19. Varuker says:

    Don’t know if you can really call it low budget, but “A Scanner Darkly” pretty well fucked my brain and left it wanting more.

  20. Smailien says:

    Looks pretty good actually! Really simple, should be good.

    Everything but the head of the suit looks about exactly like a Crysis Nanosuit. ‘Course that might’ve already “ripped off” something else.

  21. Emo Yoda says:


  22. Tahoe Kamman says:

    “District 9” should definitely be on the list for great, low budget SF movies.