Terror of the Autons


I’m watching a documentary (it’ll screen on TV2 on Wednesday, 27th of Feb) about Real Dolls and the people who love them. Now, I normally enjoy being scared. It doesn’t happen often, in terms of movies and books, but when it happens, I love it. And this documentary is terrifying me.

These people, who have – or believe themselves to be having – serious relationships with these inanimate objects… And they’re creepy as fuck, of course. Very much about Masahiro Mori’s uncanny valley. They’re creepy by themselves, but what’s genuinely terrifying me is the guys who love them.

It’s not just about sex for them. The dolls aren’t purely masturbatory aids. They’re replacements for actual human contact in guys who don’t want to have to deal with women, or feel incapable of dealing with women. Listen: “They don’t react at all. But if you don’t mind that, they’re good fun. They’re certainly better than going without any female company at all.” Listen: “Especially, like, in the really early daylight, just being able to see her, you know, looking at me, regarding me, that sort of thing, and me doing the same back.”

Okay, it’s less unsettling now that I’m writing about it. But it was just that moment of mental vertigo, you know? That point where your mind takes a peek at what it thought was solid ground and finds itself over a sheer drop into utterly alien territory. People can love things.

The geometry is all wrong.

2 Comments Terror of the Autons

  1. Damian

    If this is a repeat of the doco they played on 20/20 last year, then it is BRILLIANT.

    The best lines:

    “Shit, I’m outta vaginas”

    and (something like)

    “Yeah my parents aren’t comfortable with my relationship with Jilan, just because she’s not ‘real'”

    But mostly I like it because it’s actually quite poignant, and shows how even a prurient topic like this can be tackled with some humanity.


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