PLOT: When a computer hacker unlocks an advanced Artificial Intelligence program called AImee, this artificial femme fatale gradually takes over his life and sets out to destroy anyone who opposes her.
REVIEW: Full Moon founder Charles Band has always had his eye out for the “next big thing” in entertainment and technology. He was one of the pioneers of the home video age, having started his own video distribution company in 1978. He cashed in on the brief 3-D resurgence in the early ‘80s. Full Moon’s 1993 film Arcade drew attention for the amount of CGI it featured. He started his own streaming service (FullMoonFeatures.com). So it’s no surprise that he happens to be the director of the movie that stars “the very first AI-created femme fatale in film history”. That would be AImee, the title character in the new Full Moon project AImee: The Visitor.
Scripted by Roger Barron (which is actually a pseudonym for Thirteen Ghosts screenwriter Neal Marshall Stevens, who has also used the name Benjamin Carr when writing for Full Moon), the film stars Dallas Schaefer as misogynistic – no, make that misanthropic – computer hacker Scott Keyes, who hides away in his rathole apartment, spending his life eating fast food and watching porn. When he’s not hacking. His sibling associates Hunter (Felix Merback) and Gazelle (Faith West) live right down the hall, which allows for the entirety of the movie’s 68 minute running time to take place in and around one questionable apartment building. The story begins when Hunter and Gazelle bring the “key to the Black Strand Alpha source code” to Keyes, and this information happens to unlock AImee.
The artificial intelligence program instantly wins Keyes over by appearing to him as an attractive redhead, offering to call him master, telling him he is her owner, and saying she only exists to help him make his life more productive and fulfilled. Given that he is a compulsive masturbator, she’s also interested in helping increase his orgasmic thresholds… an endeavor that includes making deep fake videos for him that show him participating in pornographic scenarios. Like having a threesome with porn stars Liz Jordan and Lexi Lore.
AImee is focused on psychological thrills overall, but there are moments where it gets a little more Surrender Cinema-minded. (Surrender Cinema being Full Moon’s erotica label.) That brief threesome scene is one of them, and when another sex scene comes along later – because Gazelle, inexplicably, has romantic feelings toward Keyes, despite him being a rather disgusting character in general – it may lead the viewer to think this is going into full-on Skinemax territory. But AImee doesn’t take well to seeing Keyes have a physical relationship with another person, and once the love triangle is established, things get very dark and dangerous in this apartment building.
Full Moon has let it be known that the name AImee is meant to stand for Advanced Intimate Model of Euphoric Entertainment, which is why she’s so focused on pleasing Keyes. But there’s more to the character to that, and Band and Barron didn’t attempt to hide it. When you have two men in black roaming around and talking about this being a “case study of (AImee’s) effectiveness in the wild”, it’s clear the situation is going to take a negative turn for Keyes and his pals.
The main selling point for AImee: The Visitor is that the title character was created using modern AI technology – in fact, the movie even starts with text on screen informing the viewer of this. Telling us, “AImee herself is not portrayed by an actor, nor was she designed using digital special effects.” That’s either impressive or ominous, depending on your view of AI – but for the average viewer, I don’t think it will mean much that she’s AI instead of CGI. She is an intriguing, threatening character, though. Barron did a good job writing her interactions with Keyes and the others.
Full Moon movies are often an acquired taste (and that’s a taste I acquired at a very young age), but AImee: The Visitor is a solid low budget thriller that might have broader appeal than the average tiny terror horror films and Evil Bong / Gingerdead Man horror comedies the company is best known for. There are very few characters and even fewer locations, but Band and Barron crafted an interesting story here and I had a good time watching AImee infiltrate Keyes’ life…then try to destroy it.
AImee: The Visitor will be released through the Full Moon Features streaming service on September 29th.