Parts: The Clonus Horror, also known as Clonus, is a 1979 science fiction horror film about an isolated community in a remote desert area, where clones are bred to serve as a source of replacement organs for the wealthy and powerful. It was produced by Walter Fiveson and Myrl Schreibman, directed by Robert Fiveson, and stars Dick Sargent as the laboratory director and Peter Graves as a corrupt politician. The production cost of the movie was $257,000.
The film takes place in an isolated desert compound called Clonus
, where clones are bred to be used as replacement parts for the elite, including a soon to be president
-elect Jeffrey Knight (Peter Graves
). The clones are kept isolated from the real world by workers of the colony, they are promised to be "accepted" to move to America
once they have completed some type of physical training. Once a clone is chosen to go to "America," they are given a party and a farewell celebration
with their fellow clones. The clones are then taken to a lab where they are sedated and placed in an airtight plastic bag where their bodies are frozen in order to harvest their organs
. The story surrounds one clone who begins to question the circumstances of his existence and eventually escapes the colony. Pursued by compound guards, the clone enters a nearby city. He is found by a retired journalist who takes him to his sponsor, who happens to be the brother of Jeffrey Knight. Knight's brother and son argue over what to do with the clone. Knight's son returns the clone to the colony to reunite with his newly developed love interest, only to find a trap waiting for him. Meanwhile, Knight, along with hired thugs of the Clonus project, arrive to interrogate Knight's brother and son. Knight is seemingly killed in the ensuing struggle with his brother, but reappears the next day at a press conference.
In June 1997, Parts: The Clonus Horror was featured as an episode of movie-mocking television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Director Robert Fiveson said that he felt "honored" that the film made it onto the show.
The Island suit
The big-budget 2005 DreamWorks
production The Island
, also about a colony that breeds clones to harvest organs for the elite, mirrors Clonus
in a number of ways. The makers of Clonus
filed suit, claiming copyright infringement.
On August 25
, the court presiding over this case ruled that it could proceed to trial.
According to a 2007 interview with Clonus screenwriter Bob Sullivan, DreamWorks and Clonus Associates reached a settlement, the specific terms of which are sealed.
Similarities in both films
- There is a secret community of clones who are being grown so that their organs can be harvested in order to extend the lives of people who are wealthy enough to afford it.
- When a clone needs to be harvested they get "randomly" chosen to go to the non-existent utopia that they have been told about: "America" in Clonus, "The Island" in The Island.
- The community of clones is closely monitored by video surveillance and uniformed guards, who closely observe the actions of the clones.
- The main character is an inquisitive clone living in the community who finds clues about the outside world, and eventually escapes the community.
- A woman which the community staff try to keep the main character from getting too close to and who becomes the love interest for the protagonist, urging the protagonist to return to the facility after escaping.
- The project director sends assassins after the character.
- The main character gets betrayed by a genetic parent/sponsor he seeks and contacts in the outside world.
- The President of the United States (candidate for President in Clonus) is known to have a clone.
- The cloning program is exposed at the end of the film.
- The film has been released by Mondo Macabro under the title Clonus.
- The Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the film has been released by Rhino Home Video as part of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Volume 12 DVD set. The original, uncut version of the film, without the Mystery Science Theater 3000 commentary, is not included in the set. The set features an exclusive interview with director Robert Fiveson.