Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Watching Arcade again after a few years and I realise this film is actually damn good, more so than I remember. On the surface it appears to be a standard post Tron mid 90's virtual reality movie (and there were a lot fo thoes) but there is a bit more to it, writer David S. Goyer (Blade and Dark Knight films) fleshed out the characters a little more especially our hero Alex (Megan Ward), also director Albert Pyun is on fine form giving every scene a memorable look.
The film follows teenager Alex and her friends, a group of 90's gamer kids who spend their time at a local Arcade called Dante's Inferno, one day they get to play a demo of a new virtual reality game called Arcade, they all even get free home versions. But soon Alex realises there is something wrong with Arcade, it seems to know who she is before she's even played and also her friends begin to quickly disappear, including her boyfriend Greg (Bryan Dattilo). So it falls to her and her friend Nick (Peter Billingsley) to find out whats happening and defeat Arcade at his own game.
I love the early CGI in this film, I know that is weird for me to say but I really do, since the characters are in a video game it makes total seance here, plus the early rough around the edges CG reminds me of endless nights playing early 3D games on my PlayStation, especially with some of the cool monster designes.
The actors were filled in front of a blue screen and the look also reminds me a lot of the classic TV game show Nightmare, if you've ever seen it you'll know exactly what I mean.
The film is well directed, Albert Pyun has a large body of work I'm only just starting to discover, lots of great shots in the film especially scenes dealing with Alex on a more personal side, coming to terms with her mothers suicide, or some of the creepier scenes like when one character is pretty much zombified by Arcade. I must say I love the inside of Dante's Inferno, I don't know if mid 90's Arcade's were that darkly lit or so full of smoke but who cares it looks cool.
The faces you'll most likely recognise in the film are Seth Green as teen Stilts, one of Alex's friends and John de Lancie as a software executive. Of course the leads in the film are great, Megan Ward who has built up a sizeable filmography of horror and sci-fi over the years and of course Peter Billingsley who is still fondly remembered for his role of Ralphie in A Christmas Story, though he has a lot more work under his belt including a lot of producing, writing and directing.
This is a fun little sci-fi flick, maybe more dated than other Full Moon films as it is so very 90's, but that doesn’t stop this been a great ride. Pay a quarter, push the player one button and check it out.