Although best known today as the creator of “E.R.” and the author of “Jurassic Park,” Michael Crichton was also an overlooked sci-fi auteur whose films included the classic original “Westworld,” the chilling “Coma,” and the Tom Selleck-Gene Simmons cult film “Runaway.” His most overlooked film, however, is the ahead-of-it’s-time “Looker” from 1981 starring Albert Finney as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon whose clients are dropping off like flies. All of the models who are dying work for sinister James Coburn and have recently had very minor surgery done to make them “perfect.” Together with Susan Dey, who is working for Coburn and wants to know what’s going on, Finney uncovers a plot to take real models, kill them, and turn them into computerized images. These images will then be used in the worst advertisements ever, both political and for products, and will turn the audience into virtual zombies. Only Finney can stop the madness, by killing the people responsible in scenes that resemble “They Live” and “Videodrome.” If that’s not cool enough already, there’s nudity and an awesome ray gun that zaps you out of consciousness so you’re one step closer to being a victim of computerization.
This film has both a relatively believable and very scary plot along with a ton of action. Director Chrichton correctly guessed that computers would be taking over for actors on the future, and that audiences would be seduced into watching terrible advertisements. He also guessed correctly about plastic surgery becoming popular. This film becomes one of the best 1980’s sci-fi films because it is plausible, scary, sexy, and fun. Available in a widescreen DVD with the trailer and commentary by Crichton, this film is not to be missed by any serious sci-fi fan!