Mark Damon Hughes Cyberpunk: Video [Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics] [about]

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Blade Runner
Pretty much essential viewing for the style, though it doesn't have as much of a message as _Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?_. I don't want to get into the religious debates on the different versions or Deckard's status as a human being. Keep it to yourself, the world's had enough of it.
Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken show the potential uses and abuses of simsense; the predecessor of Strange Days. Again, this is source material, not cyberpunk itself.
A Clockwork Orange
Yes. Over and over again.
Demolition Man
"This fascist bullshit makes me want to puke." "{BZZT} John Spartan, you are fined two credits for a violation of the verbal morality code. Be well."
Mega-cool parody of the cyberpunk genre. If you don't understand what's so funny about cpunk or this movie, YOU are the butt of the joke. Might be a good look at what corporate arcologies are like. This director is also said to be directing the Snow Crash movie, which gives me quite a bit of hope. I'm sure it'll be crushed soon by the soulless machine of the media zaibatsus, but I live to hope.
This is another perfect cpunk movie. Dark and depressing and with all-powerful corporations ruling the world and trying to steal your body, and a nice ramping-up of your paranoia level.
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
A bunch of aging rebels without clues trying to save their hangout from an obscenely large, powerful, and corrupt corporation. The Men In Black Trenchcoats are just *TOO* damned cool (they inspired the game Syndicate).
Max Headroom
"Pictures don't lie, at least not until you arrange them creatively." -Murray
"A full belly and a diverting show makes a bad revolutionary. Television is the opiate of the people. Long may it be so." -Ned Grossberg
"TV! My world, my empire, my voice... your pleasure." -Max
"Television frightens me." -Edison Carter
As well it should, Edison. As the years go by, Max is less and less bizarre and closer and closer to reality; our 20 minutes are almost up. As RPG source material, note that reporters, jockeys, netrunners, producers, and a rogue upload are the heroes of this, not a bunch of drug-crazed psychopaths - information is the only weapon they need. Most cpunk gamers should be forced to watch Max on continuous loop like Alex in _Clockwork Orange_.

When Sci-Fi Channel did a 14-hour "Maxathon" of all of the episodes, not only did I tape them, but I also watched the entire thing in that one sitting. That does weird things to your brain; I highly recommend it.

Natural Born Killers
Oliver Stone once again does something right, this time deconstructing media and our obsession with violence, using the tools and techniques of media to examine itself. I was very impressed, even despite that annoying twit of a female lead.
[Woody points to camera] "There's our witness!", indeed.
Some of the FX are kind of hokey, but the plot is well-written, it's realistic (the gunfight at the beginning shows the sheer masses of ammo that can be fired to absolutely no effect in the real world), and it analyzes what "humanity" means when you're more metal than meat, or even an uploaded personality.

The "sequels" by Full Moon Video (there's a hint for you) aren't related, and suck hard.
Prayer of the Rollerboys
Teaches some essential lessons: nobody can be trusted and everyone has deeper motivations for what they're doing than they show on the surface (in the gang's motivations, the protagonist with his father-figure, and his girlfriend). Oh, and the gang, the urban decay, and the `homeless relocation centers' are pretty darn cool. You'd think rollerblades would be passé by the 21st century, though, wouldn't you?
Robocop, Robocop II
Incredible satire of cpunk, while still being great cpunk movies; Murphy's struggle to regain his humanity after his entire life was taken from him is symbolic of mankind's struggle to keep a soul in a technological age that has discarded everything that used to matter to us. I'm not sure why they even bothered to make a third movie or a TV show without Peter Weller, though (and boy did those stink). I guess in that struggle to retain their souls, the producers lost.
The elite design a sport to imprint a lesson on humanity and teach us to grow up and stop believing in heroes, and yet through Johnathan's rose-colored goggles they're the villains, and he sends us back to barbarian-mode, cheering the triumphant warrior. A very perceptive and disturbing film, if you see what's going on.
Excellent coverage of robotics and the application of believable technologies, and at least some of the social impact - changing roles for the police as crime and public protection becomes more technological. The assassin scuttlers are lovely devices, too - rather than one large vulnerable system, just spread a bunch of small systems for multiple redundancy and just as much efficiency. While it's not a cyberpunk movie per se, it's very useful as source material.
Split Second
A perfect cpunk mood movie. Dark, depressing, with constant rain, a psychotic killer who steals human hearts, and protagonists who are only a little less psychotic: "He went over the edge. Now he lives on anxiety, coffee, and chocolate." "We need bigger guns. BIG FUCKING GUNS! We're gonna go get big guns, right? That's where we're going, to get big guns. Stone, we need some big big fucking guns!" Also, it has Kim Catrall, and no movie with Kim can be all bad. "Gee you're swell, Kim Catrall!"
Strange Days
"The question isn't if you're paranoid, it's if you're paranoid ENOUGH." (okay, that's originally a Pat Cadigan quote, though it's probable that she was an influence here)
Great setting, interesting characters, Bassett & Fiennes were perfect for their roles, and most of the plot was brilliant. Excellent use of music to manipulate the audience's emotions (f'r'instance, I vomited whenever I heard Juliette Lewis, and that's the response you're supposed to get to that "toxic waste bitch" of a character (and "actress"), too). Unfortunately, there's a midpoint scene that gives away the climax, and the denouement should have been replaced with the police blowing everyone away - "right, wrong, you're all dead" would have fit better - maybe let Mace survive to suffer, maybe not. The happy-happy kiss-kiss end sucked hard. So *VERY* close to perfection, and yet so far.
Most of the plots were generic cops & robbers stories, but a few broke that mold ("Carlotta's Room", "Unknown Soldier", and the weather terrorist episodes come to mind as the best of them - if you don't feel blown away by these, there's something wrong with you), and the technology and culture were very well done - it's well worth watching to get a feel for the genre. The acting is even decent (Shatner's character appears rarely, and he's not that bad in his role as a pompous, overbearing windbag). The novels are written by Ron Goulart, and are actually quite good. The TV movie theme song by Warren Zevon is *REALLY* cool and the lyrics very appropriate, too; every time I hear it, I then can't get it out of my head for days or weeks. o/` The skies are full of miracles, and half of them are lies. o/`
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
I saw this with the following reviewer, but was unable to coherently describe my hatred of this movie. Here's his description:

"Man jams re-bar into his legs, gets hit by car. Guy in car penis turns into large power-drill which kills girlfriend. Two guys fight, merge, and then attack the city.
Cheesy and deeply disturbing. Death is preferable."
-Doug 'Duckman' Poston

They Live
"I'm here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I'm all out of bubblegum."
Alien invaders turn out to be yuppies and suits. Or maybe it's the other way about. Either way, so what else is new? Subliminals from hell.
How bleak a future do you really want?
Until The End Of The World
A realistic view of a near future environment that's not too depressing, but you should stop it after the world ends, the rest isn't very interesting (that may sound stupid, but it's true). The soundtrack has a few very good songs.
"Death to videodrome! Long live the new flesh!"
It's not just television, it's reality. You're going to have to learn to live in a very strange new world.
Wicked City
Alien invaders and really bad stop-motion FX (after the first 15 minutes either the FX got better or I got used to them). The plot and what it is they want are important - pay attention, you will be tested on this. Of course, the punch line for the ending is that we already *DO* need the same thing as the Reptoids...
Wild Palms
Great movie. The plot is intense and cynical, and is the only real reason to watch it - the FX are too flashy and high-gloss to be really effective, but it's a wonderful story, and deconstructs Scientology, VR, TV, conspiracy theory, and almost everything else. Bill Gibson gets a momentary cameo in it, regretting coining the word "cyberspace" (after his last few books, he *SHOULD* regret something, but that's not it), and Oliver Stone does an amusing self-promotion in it.
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