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L. Neil Smith's
Number 757, February 9, 2014

Very good kitty

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Silicon Assassin: A Review
by Sean Gangol

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

(Contains some spoilers)

"Silicon Assassin" is another libertarian based form of entertainment that was unfairly panned by Davi Barker. "Silicon Assassin" is a web series shown on YouTube, which centers on a form of artificial intelligence that has chosen to fight for individual liberty. In the near future there is a great war that devastates the United States and allows the government to take the powers that they need to finally do away with individual liberty. As it says in the introduction, the government has basically become a twisted parody of the United States.

The artificial intelligence has chosen to liberate the people of the United States by manifesting themselves into three different personalities that come out of people's computers or cell phones. The Silicon Assassin is played Richard Hatch, who diehard sci-fi fans may remember from the original "Battlestar Galactica." He seems to have the same amount of silliness and coolness as B-movie icons, Bruce Campbell and Roddy Piper. The other two personalities, Lady Twilight and Bubble Blond Girl act more like airheaded sorority sisters.

When I saw the first episode I was somewhat skeptical of how the series was going to play out. At first it just seemed silly and juvenile. My main complaint was Deadly Tween, the annoying adolescent personality that was hell bent on going all Terminator on humanity. I know that the first video was titled "Problem Child", but what was the point to having this character? Not only did she not offer anything to the story, but she wasn't even funny. She was just obnoxious and out of place. She was like Jar Jar Binks from "The Phantom Menace", only not nearly as likeable. Let's just say I wasn't sad to see her character written out of the story.

After getting past the first video, I had an absolute blast with the rest of the series. Some may be turned off with some of the silliness of the series, but I thought the campiness is part of what made it fun to watch. It seemed reminiscent of movies such as "Evil Dead 2" and "Army of Darkness" where the story doesn't take itself too seriously. I was also pleasantly surprised by the acting in the series. I honestly wasn't expecting the most stellar of acting on a web series, but I thought the entire cast did surprisingly well. Besides Richard Hatch's kick ass performance as The Silicon Assassin, I thought Brinke Stevens was excellent as President Medusa, the story's main villain. Stevens made it seem as if you weren't sure whether you were supposed to hate her or just laugh at how ridiculously cartoonish her character comes off at times. As Jim Kelly said in Enter the Dragon, "You come right out of a comic book."

My favorite of the videos was the third one that was titled "Dead Reckoning", where we are introduced to a group of sexy female assassins, who the government uses to assassinate any opposition to the Medusa regime. Besides the joy of watching sexy women wearing skimpy clothing while packing heat, I loved the "Reservoir Dogs" style blood bath that occurs during a meeting between two government officials and the two heads of the assassin agency. When one of the officials confesses that he is a member of the underground, he also outs the other official by revealing his plans of crushing the underground, while harboring plans to overthrow Medusa. This leads to one of the most comical blood baths of all-time.

It's not to say that this series wasn't without its flaws. Though I have to give the series a pass on some of the more technical flaws in the editing, due to its limited budget. Though I was somewhat confused about the fight scene in the fourth video "Medusa Meeting", where we have a group of rebels facing down a group of Medusa's thugs. To show that the rebels had no fear of Medusa's enforcers one of the female members fool heartily challenged this Neanderthal looking man to a street fight, which predictably lead to the woman's neck being broken. Then the Silicon Assassin shows up and zaps the bad guys with his ray gun. He then lectures the rest of the rebels about how he can't be everywhere at once and needs them to take part in the fighting themselves. What I didn't understand was why the members of the underground chose to stand around and watch as one of their fighters dies a horrific death, when many of them were carrying firearms. For that matter if they had firearms, then why did the woman choose to do something as foolish as engage in unarmed combat with the Missing Link? I know that she wanted to show Medusa's henchmen that her group wasn't afraid of them, but couldn't she have gotten that point across by putting a bullet in the man's head?

Which also brings me the last video "Window of Opportunity", where there is a scene in the woods where members of the Underground who appear to be armed to the teeth end up engaging Medusa's men in hand to hand combat. This makes the engagement seem more like a bar brawl, instead of an actual battle, which brings me back to my last question. If they have guns, then why the need for unarmed combat?

Despite these minor flaws, I had fun watching these videos. While the series was somewhat silly, the reason why they were so fun to watch was because of the way that they didn't take themselves too seriously. Quite frankly, I don't understand why Davi Barker was so harsh about the last video of the series. Other than the unnecessary "brawling" scene, I didn't see anything at all wrong with the last installment. Well, the one thing I can say about Barker's overcritical view of the video is that it actually brought the series to my attention. I didn't know it even existed before Barker brought it up in the same article where he also trashed two of J. Neil Schulman's movies. I guess that it just goes to show you that even a bad review can lead to something positive.

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