Trying to find name of obscure TV Sci Fi Movie with Mind Control Ray

Joined
Jul 22, 2008
#1
Hi! About 1999, I was watching UPN, and there was a series with a sexy, big-bosomed computer-animated woman (from a video game I think) who was the "host" of this weekly sci fi movie series.

One week, there was one of the most amazing sci fi movies I had every seen, and I am still wondering what it was, and if I can get a copy of it.

It was not particularly well made, and it was a little cheezy. But the metaphors it used were so powerful, I have always wished I could refer back to it, and show people.

If you have any idea about what this movie is, I would be very grateful!

Plot summary. (Note: This is definitely a "spoiler" of a great surprise plot. I am trying to see if anyone can tell me the name of this movie.)

A happy, Leave It To Beaver, 1950's world. A handsome youngish family man leaves his house and goes about town. He shops for a car at a car lot. The prices of the cars are alarmingly cheap -- even for the 1950's -- like, $150 for a brand new shiny big car. Everyone is sickeningly nice and "happy" and your first impression of this world is that the filmmaker was a hack and is totally overplaying a stereotype.

The man comes into his workplace -- not 1950's, actually. More 1980's. A corporate building somewhere. Lots of people working at desks, maybe in low cubicles. Everyone says "mornin!", etc. Happy happy.

Then, as the man looks out on the office floor, something surprising happens. On top of some things, glowing green letters display the name of the thing. "Desk". "Woman". "Chair." This is very disturbing to the man.

It starts to happen more. He gets really freaked out. And then, the whole world starts to look this way. It starts to appear that rather than an illusion, he may be seeing something about the way the world is. He runs home. Now, the whole world is like this, covered with glowing green descriptors. The whole world is a grid of glowing green lines -- no more the reality he thought he knew.

Then, he starts to experience a lower layer of reality! All of a sudden, underneath the reality he thought he knew, there's a disgusting, creepy reality. His beautiful clean house is now grey, covered with a hundred years of dust, cobwebs, and rats. The pantry full of food is now empty, or a little bit of rotting food. Is this what he's actually been eating all this time? Is this the house he's been sharing with his family?

He gets really freaked out and runs out of the town (perhaps something it's never seemed necessary to do before). He runs into some other refugees. They discover a domed city with a big satellite dish thing on the top. They break in, and infiltrate the city. It turns out there's this mind control ray that was set up a long time ago, and it's been blasting these layers of unreality, and keeping these people in illusion. They break the ray.

They return to their home town. Now, it turns out there's a layer underneath the "rats" layer: It's all cardboard boxes! All the furniture, cars, houses, are made of plain, generic cardboard boxes. Their clothes are simple neutral burlap sack cloth. There's a parade going on.

Thanks,
Chris
 

Tim

Creative Writer
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Location
England
#2
Hmm, wonder if it is less a film and more a twilight zone type show episode?

Very similar story in the film They Live (contained the longest fight scene in cinematic history) where a bloke (Roddy Piper) comes across subliminal messaging by alien invaders which he only sees through some hi tech sunglasses produced by an underground resistance silently fighting back.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#3
The story kinda' rings a bell but I can't recall from where. If it was on the UPN, then it is possible that it was from the revived Twilight Zone that UPN aired.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
#4
Thanks for both of your replies!!

They got me doing some research, and I'm pretty sure it was on Blockbuster Video Showcase Cinema (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999-00_United_States_network_television_schedule). But this is the only reference to this program in Google!

The series was very cheezy, and each week the big-boobed woman would introduce another movie. It did have a Twilight Zone episode sort of quality. It also seemed it could be some sort of "filler" movie. It struck me at the time that it was a great script, cheezily produced.

But the more it stuck with me, I realized it was a great script concept!
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
#7
I, too, have been trying to find the name and a copy of this movie.
I think the computer's name was Aurora - and it had a final solution for mankind. If anyone knows of this obscure, somewhat cheesy, but still very compelling movie, I'd appreciate it bigtime! Thanks.



Hi! About 1999, I was watching UPN, and there was a series with a sexy, big-bosomed computer-animated woman (from a video game I think) who was the "host" of this weekly sci fi movie series.

One week, there was one of the most amazing sci fi movies I had every seen, and I am still wondering what it was, and if I can get a copy of it.

It was not particularly well made, and it was a little cheezy. But the metaphors it used were so powerful, I have always wished I could refer back to it, and show people.

If you have any idea about what this movie is, I would be very grateful!

Plot summary. (Note: This is definitely a "spoiler" of a great surprise plot. I am trying to see if anyone can tell me the name of this movie.)

A happy, Leave It To Beaver, 1950's world. A handsome youngish family man leaves his house and goes about town. He shops for a car at a car lot. The prices of the cars are alarmingly cheap -- even for the 1950's -- like, $150 for a brand new shiny big car. Everyone is sickeningly nice and "happy" and your first impression of this world is that the filmmaker was a hack and is totally overplaying a stereotype.

The man comes into his workplace -- not 1950's, actually. More 1980's. A corporate building somewhere. Lots of people working at desks, maybe in low cubicles. Everyone says "mornin!", etc. Happy happy.

Then, as the man looks out on the office floor, something surprising happens. On top of some things, glowing green letters display the name of the thing. "Desk". "Woman". "Chair." This is very disturbing to the man.

It starts to happen more. He gets really freaked out. And then, the whole world starts to look this way. It starts to appear that rather than an illusion, he may be seeing something about the way the world is. He runs home. Now, the whole world is like this, covered with glowing green descriptors. The whole world is a grid of glowing green lines -- no more the reality he thought he knew.

Then, he starts to experience a lower layer of reality! All of a sudden, underneath the reality he thought he knew, there's a disgusting, creepy reality. His beautiful clean house is now grey, covered with a hundred years of dust, cobwebs, and rats. The pantry full of food is now empty, or a little bit of rotting food. Is this what he's actually been eating all this time? Is this the house he's been sharing with his family?

He gets really freaked out and runs out of the town (perhaps something it's never seemed necessary to do before). He runs into some other refugees. They discover a domed city with a big satellite dish thing on the top. They break in, and infiltrate the city. It turns out there's this mind control ray that was set up a long time ago, and it's been blasting these layers of unreality, and keeping these people in illusion. They break the ray.

They return to their home town. Now, it turns out there's a layer underneath the "rats" layer: It's all cardboard boxes! All the furniture, cars, houses, are made of plain, generic cardboard boxes. Their clothes are simple neutral burlap sack cloth. There's a parade going on.

Thanks,
Chris
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
#9
Wow, that's great that someone else wants to find this movie!

Yes, it was a one-off made for TV film.

Yes, that's right, at the end (SPOLER!) there's this underground place where he meets a man in a suit who's like the android representation of this computer that was set to preserve mankind and solve all its problems, with a kind of final solution thing.

Well... if I really wanted to find this out, it looks like I'd have to go (GASP!).... off the internet!, and on to real life. Because I am pretty sure it was on the Blockbuster Video Showcase, on UPN (now owned by one of the big 3 networks). Probably if I made enough calls, I could locate information about the show, archives, etc. Maybe I would have to intimate that there was some reason to go to the trouble of finding this out for me. Hmmm....
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#10
I know I have seen this movie. It was just recently too. I came in on it just after the beginning. For the life of me I can't think of the name.
If I remember correctly there is a cop that see's and he is converted to a gang of others that can see and they are the ones that take down the satellite. At the end the guy that perpetuated the lie gets mobbed by the angry citizens. Then the cop guy becomes the loved hero.
Its not
dark city
running man
they live
...

****!
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#11
Blockbuster's Video Shockwave Cinema
A mix of science-fiction oriented movies, some released commercially, others made specifically for the Blockbuster series which aired on UPN.

Virtual Nightmare
An advertising executive and a librarian discover that their world is just a virtual-reality projection hiding an awful truth. Directed by: Michael Pattinson. With: Michael Muhney, Tasma Walton, Jennifer Congram, Peter Curtin, Todd MacDonald. Premiered April 14, 2000.
Dale Hunter, a junior advertising executive on the fast track, begins to experience visions that the bucolic reality he lives in is a monumental scam. Seeking help from the local librarian, Wendy, a self-professed misfit, the two discover that the world they think they inhabit is actually a projection of a machine, the Direct Broadcast Virtual Reality. Designed to keep the populace happy and peaceful after a purported nuclear and chemical holocaust has decimated the Earth, the pair confront Andrew Blake, who controls the machine. When Dale and Wendy attempt to destroy the DBVR and restore the world to its natural state, they make an astounding and terrifying discovery.
A man drives around his small hometown in a brand new convertible. The style of everything is 1950's but people have cell-phones, HDTV and computers-and an announcer on the radio says something about Kurt Cobain's children's christmas album coming out soon. Indeed a very different world. This man starts seeing things, though, like numbers and bar codes on everyday items-even seeing his parents as crippled, burned-out looking people. In fact, the more he sees these things the more he suspects that his own reality isn't real. It's finally revealed to him by a group of people that it's really a hundred years later than he thinks it is and that people live in this type of virtual reality because reality is simply too horrible after the wars and devastation. The people in the domed cities control the virtual reality. He believes this for a while-until he figures out that even this new reality is still virtual reality and that the real world is something else entirely. This is one of the better virtual reality type movies that came out after the matrix. Some cool ideas and interesting story here.
The "surprise" ending of this made-for-TV sci/fi thriller will not surprise fans of the Matrix movies--nor those senior citizens who heard variations on the same plotline back in the days of such radio anthologies as X-Minus One and Dimension X.The film is set in the future, where the world has apparently reached perfection at last. Curiously, the modernistic trappings of the era rub shoulders with such decidedly "retro" elements as drive-in movies and rock-n-roll bars, but no one questions this dichotomy. No one, that is, except advertising executive Dale Hunter (Michael Muhney), who after surviving a car accident notices a few disturbing "glitches" in the world around him. As mentioned, practically everyone else is oblivious to such oddities, but Dale manages to find a kindred spirit in the form of a woman named Natalie (Jennifer Congram). Together, these two uncover evidence that their existence may not be an existence after all, but instead a all-encompassing illusion! Virtual Nightmare premiered April 14, 2000 on UPN.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
#13
Well, it may have read like a Twilight Zone show, but it was a full length film, no Rod Serling, but plenty of intriguing plot twists.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
#14
I have been looking for the movie on DVD, it's called "Virtual Nightmare". I cannot find it anywhere. It sends a powerful message.
It was on the sci-fi channel, but no one seems to recall it. There are so few places you can physically go to get an old movie VHS or tape.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#15
I have been looking for the movie on DVD, it's called "Virtual Nightmare". I cannot find it anywhere. It sends a powerful message.
It was on the sci-fi channel, but no one seems to recall it. There are so few places you can physically go to get an old movie VHS or tape.
Those kinds of movies sometimes go by different names. Do you recall the plot?
 
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