“It came from out of left field” is a phrase people use to indicate that something caught them unaware. “Farmer McAllister’s Thinkin’ Machine” has a plot twist that not only comes straight out of left field, it blows by you and actually leaves the freakin’ ballpark.
Red McAllister (J.D. Sutton) is nagged to the point of madness by his wife, Safron (Peg O’Keef). According to her, the only thing he can do right is piss. Fair enough. Most guys are pretty good at that as long as there isn’t a toilet involved. Red wants to prove his worth, though, so he builds a robot. That’s right, his “Thinkin’ Machine” is a bona fide android that looks like a child built it. It’s got a bucket for a head, a View-Master for eyes and a copper nozzle for a penis. Safron is attracted to the faux penis, and that’s where the plot revelations end. To go further will absolutely ruin the film, and this is one case where you really don’t want to know too much going in.
If “Farmer McAllister’s Thinkin’ Machine” didn’t have such an intriguing hook halfway through it, which is far more important than the robot of the title, the movie would be just a clever little tale of homegrown ingenuity. Instead, it’s a shocking fable of love, technology, agriculture and cyberpunk ideals. The actors are incredible, and the score actually adds something to the picture, too. In the end, this is twelve minutes that aren’t Ant, and that alone makes this film worth seeing.