Let's All Remember, And Try To Forget, The Terrifying Doll From Arnold Schwarzenegger's The 6th Day

Now streaming on Hulu is Roger Spottiswoode's 2000 sci-fi action flick "The 6th Day" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, meaning it's high time everyone who missed it in theaters 22 years ago (and that was a lot of people; "The 6th Day" was something of a bomb) can discover its cool future setting, somewhat clever story, and truly weird scene wherein Schwarzenegger gets to act opposite his own clone. "The 6th Day" is not a classic awaiting rediscovery, but it is a pleasantly distracting afternoon's entertainment, providing a few fun visual sci-fi gags and nifty technologies to get one's inner Trekkie grinning. 

For example: "The 6th Day" is set in the near future, and there are a few shots of old, beaten-up Volkswagen New Beetles (still novel in 2000), implying that the revamped cars would go the way of their long-lived predecessors. This near future is also replete with some clever sci-fi tech, some of which is in place now; there is a "smart fridge" that lets you know what groceries you're low on, something a consumer can now buy. Most notably, the cloning of animals and human organs has become commonplace, and citizens can now carry their dead pets down to the mall and get them cloned — at RePe — before their kids come home from school. 

Perhaps creepiest of all: Outlet stores also sell realistic human dolls — with real skin and hair — that swivel their eyes and can interact with humans. The doll in "The 6th Day," named SimPal Cindy, is a demonic horror from beyond the grave, but is presented to the audience as an adorable, high-tech novelty. 

And, thanks to the resourceful prop collectors on icollector.com, you can now buy Cindy and keep her in your home. Presumably, as a prop to frighten trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

The best dad ever

In "The 6th Day," the Schwarzenegger character, named Adam Gibson, is a little bit of a Luddite, and isn't wholly comfortable with getting the family dog cloned at RePet, choosing a SimPal Cindy instead. Cindy, voiced by Andrea Libman (a veteran voice actress who plays Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy on "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic"), invites its owner to sing songs or play, and insistently interrupts Adam Gibson while he makes a video telephone call from the back of a car. In order to turn off Cindy's mechanism, Adam tells her to go to sleep. Watching the creepy doll slowly die in Schwarzenegger's arms is as scary a sight as anything from a "Child's Play" movie. It doesn't help that SimPal Cindy seems to have bruised skin and mussed hair. She looks like a kidnapping victim. 

Oh yes, and later in the movie, SimPal Cindy will be found in the back seat of a car belonging to the film's weapons-toting villains (there is a clone conspiracy afoot) wherein Michael Rooker screams at the doll, leading to one of his henchmen exploding it with a laser gun. SimPal Cindy's smoldering head topples to the floor. Even Rooker appears to be shocked. The doll's last words are "I have a boo-boo." 

Several versions of Cindy were built for "The 6th Day," including the talking version, and the version that got shot. As one can see on icollector.com, the exploding prop — handily placed next to a $1 bill for scale — didn't have working eyes, a detachable head, and a gaping chest wound to contain the film's pyrotechnics. The complete version is, as of this writing, still available for purchase for $475.00. It did not sell when initially posted in November of 2019.

Do something about that doll

The scariest thing about SimPal Cindy is that "The 6th Day" wants the audience to accept it as completely normal. Sure, it's an example of where cloning technology will take consumer products in the near future, but SimPal Cindy is depicted as being preferable to cloning a dead dog. To this author's eye, buying a new dog based on the DNA of the last one seems like a perfectly acceptable way to get pets (this is assuming that the near future saw an effective campaign of spaying and neutering strays, reducing the need for pounds and pet adoption). SimPal Cindy is a mere toy meant to look as real as possible. It cries when you yell at it and giggles at your jokes. Testing Cindy's limits of consciousness would be a natural game for kids, teaching Kindergarteners about the Turing test. 

So, dear readers, be sure to experience the strange, scary SimPal Cindy in the passably entertaining and ultra-slick Hollywood sci-fi epic "The 6th Day" on Hulu today. There's no way you could possibly regret the experience. If you love the film, and you want a SimPal Cindy of your own, know that she's out there ... Out there in the world ... waiting ... waiting for you ... And watching.