Saturday, November 08, 2008

Nightmare City 2035

"I feel like I'm in two places at once," intones Deputy Minor McDowell (Maxwell Caulfield). It's no wonder he's feeling a bit scattered as he's in a pastiche of about a half dozen science fiction films. McDowell is a loyal cop in a corrupt system led by Commander Valentine (Todd Jensen who gives gravitas via his extended verbal pauses). Things change for the steadfast law officer when he's targeted by a rebel faction who fuck with the chip in his head, allowing him to see his ornate metropolis for what is truly is--a burned-out shell of a city, still smoldering after a global disaster. Yup, the internet crashed and everything went to pot.

The leader of the rebels, Kyla (Alexis Thorpe), has a super-duper chip in her noggin that allows her to communicate with machines and even shoot beams out of her eyes (yeah, it looks as silly as it sounds). She wants to take down The Illusion which placates the populace. She's such a party pooper.

With major nods to They Live, Minority Report, Equilibrium, Aeon Flux, The Matrix, and more, Nightmare City 2035 tries hard to be topical if not original. Reference to an Orange Terror Level and leading via fear are anything but subtle commentary on the Bush administration.

Stultifying sincere, Nightmare City 2035 entertains in that "cheesy Sci-Fi channel movie" way, proudly defying logic, screen direction, continuity, and capable special effects (a digitally multiplied crowd has one chap wearing a loudly-striped shirt, turning the film into a "Where's Waldo?" exercise). Definitely worth renting if you're in need of hackneyed dialog, overdelivered by amateur actors.

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