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Entry updated 26 July 2021. Tagged: Film.

Russian animated film (1985; original title Kontrakt). Soyuzmultfilm. Directed by Vladimir Tarasov. Written by Viktor Slavkin, based on Robert Silverberg's "Company Store" (in Star Science Fiction Stories 5, anth 1959, ed Frederik Pohl). Voice cast includes Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy and Evgeniy Steblov. 10 minutes. Colour.

After making planetfall, a colonist (Kaydanovskiy) (see Colonization of Other Worlds) is attacked by Monsters, but is saved by the Force Field of friendly sales Robot QBF-41 (Steblov) – though it turns out that QBF-41 had released the monsters, which he now shrinks to manageable size (see Great and Small): the man shoos him off. The colonist's supplies are being sent through a Matter Transmitter provided by his employer, an Earth company; however, he is angered to discover hidden costs are being sneaked into their invoices. QBF-41 tries to be helpful, but their Alien employer is as unpleasant as the Earth company's representative, turning the robot off for acquiring a sense of humour.

The two companies fight, ending their presence on the planet. Shivering from the cold, the colonist manages to restore the power of the robot, who in return generates heat. The pair look forward to a life without capitalism (see Economics). The closing scene, presumably metaphorical, reveals the planet to be a flower. This was another strong sf film from Tarasov, though a little undermined by some of the attempts at Humour. [SP]


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