Big off-white machines with flashing red buttons, men with glasses wearing white lab coats, and lots of obnoxious buzzing and beeping flood the screen in the first few minutes of the British sci fi cult classic, The Mind of Mr. Soames. 1970s sci-fi is an acquired taste that I have not picked up on quite yet, and, unfortunately, Mr. Soames didn’t change my opinions on the genre at all. There were moments in the film that were so absurd that I couldn’t help but screech or laugh, but for the most part, it was very boring and plain.
The plot of the film is genius. Mr. Soames (Terence Stamp) is born into a coma and revived 30 years later after an innovative brain procedure, and a group of medical professionals attempt to cram 30 years worth of human development into a couple of weeks. Basically, Soames a baby trapped in a grown man’s body, and he is “raised” by a couple of doctors in an enclosed medical facility. Dr. Bergen (Robert Vaughn) and Dr. Maitland (Nigel Davenport) are the two main doctors responsible for Soames’ wellbeing and development, and most of the conflict in the film exist between the two as they are not on the same page when it comes to what is best for Soames. Bergen is compassionate and sees Soames as a human being while Maitland views him as more of an experiment, allowing the press to be very invasive with Soames’ progress. Soames ends up receiving little affection, as Maitland is more in control of his development. He is kept separate from the rest of the world and doesn’t have much positive, loving human interaction, and this causes him to completely lose it.
The film was marketed to be something totally different that what it actually is. A quote on one of the main movie posters states “Can this baby kill?” while an image of Soames’ screaming face is in the background, which is very misleading as this is not really a horror flick. The funny thing is that the film would have been much more successful if it was a horror movie. A brain procedure gone wrong that turns Soames into a killing machine with childlike behavior would be a hell of a lot better than a slow moving doctor drama.