Cherry 2000: De Jarnatt’s Sci-Fi, Starring Melanie Griffith (in Red Hair) and David Andrews.

Steve De Jarnatt directed Cherry 2000, a rather silly, slow-paced sci-fi, starring Melanie Griffith and David Andrews.

Cherry 2000
Cherry2000movieposter.jpg

Theatrical poster

Produced by Edward R. Pressman and Caldecot Chubb, the film was scripted by Michael Almereyda, who went on to become a major force in independent cinema.

Grade: C (11/2* out of *****)

The tale is set in 2017, when the U.S. has fragmented into post-apocalyptic wastelands. The ensuing economic crisis results in declining manufacturing, and emphasis on recycling old mechanical equipment. Society has become increasingly bureaucratic and hypersexualized: the decreased human sexual encounters requires legal contracts prior to sexual activity. Meanwhile, female androids (Gynoids) are used as substitutes for wives.

Business executive Sam Treadwell (David Andrews) owns a Cherry 2000 model Gynoid as wife. After she short circuits during sex on a wet kitchen floor, Sam is told by repairman that she is damaged, though her memory disk can be used in a new body.

Gynoid dealer informs Sam the Cherry 2000 model is no longer produced and the only remaining ones are in a defunct factory in “Zone 7,” a particularly dangerous, lawless area. With Cherry’s memory disk stored in a device that plays back Cherry’s voice, Treadwell hires Edith “E” Johnson (Melanie Griffith), a tough tracker, to guide him to the factory, and they set off in Edith’s heavily modified 1965 Ford Mustang.

Edith is determined to complete the job so Jake’s death will not become meaningless. As they land, Zone 7 is revealed to be actually the abandoned ruins of Las Vegas. The Gynoid “factory” is actually a casino called “Pharaoh’s Casino.” Sam finds a functional Cherry 2000, and activates her with the memory disk. She remembers him, but does not understand the danger they are in, being a robot programmed only for home life and sex.

When Lester’s gang finds them, Edith and Sam evade and kill his henchmen. Escaping to the plane, Sam, Edith, and Cherry find that their combined weight prevents takeoff. Edith jumps out, despite Sam rejecting the idea. Sam turns the plane around to help the now-trapped Edith. Sam sends Cherry to get him a Pepsi, and Edith and he escape in the plane. Lester tries to lasso the plane, but ends up accidentally hanging himself.

Elaine and Sam escape, and Ginger meets Cherry, who may also be a robot.

Dismissed by most critics, the low-budget (around $10 million) the flick was a commercial flop in its initially limited theatrical release. However, over the years, it has gained some viewership du to its showings as midnight screening.

Cherry 2000 is widely known now for Basil Poledouris’ original score compose. The soundtrack release was delayed. however, due to the film being shelved for years.

Overall, the movie suffers for poor direction and weak performances from all around.  Nonetheless, that same year, 1988, was crucial for the career of the naturally sexy Melanie Griffith, who scored her first and only Best Actress Oscar nomination for Mike Nichols’ comedy, Working Girl, opposite Harrison Ford.

Cast
Melanie Griffith as Edith (“E”) Johnson
David Andrews as Sam Treadwell
Tim Thomerson as Lester
Pamela Gidley as Cherry 2000
Harry Carey Jr. as Snappy Tom
Ben Johnson as Six-Fingered Jake
Brion James as Stacy
Marshall Bell as Bill
Larry Fishburne as Glu Glu Lawyer
Michael C. Gwynne as Slim
Jack Thibeau as Stubby Man
Jennifer Balgobin as Glory Hole Clerk
Cameron Milzer as Elaine/Ginger

Credits:

Directed by Steve De Jarnatt
Produced by Edward R. Pressman, Caldecot Chubb
Screenplay by Michael Almereyda, story by Lloyd Fonvielle
Music by Basil Poledouris
Cinematography Jacques Haitkin
Edited by Edward M. Abroms, Duwayne Dunham
Distributed by Orion Pictures

Release date: November 17, 1988

Running time: 93 minutes

Note

TCM showed the movie on July 11, 2020 (as part of its Midnight Series)