Episode 108: Arcade (1993)

Rundown

Sometimes, it's hard to remember how far CGI has come, what with modern horror movies replacing real blood with stupid looking CGI blood, adding pointless, unscary scretchfaced ghosts, and making things like The Emoji Movie. But then you watch something like Arcade from 1993 and remember that things were once much, much worse. This direct-to-video gem is basically The Lawnmower Man with less Jeff Fahey and fuckmonkeys, and more Seth Green and the kid from A Christmas Story. We try to salvage this idiotic plot by having Matt's brother Brian on to bring the sanity, but instead steamroll him like the bad guy in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (which also had way better CGI than Arcade). Have we mentioned that this movie's special effects are garbage? Get your VR gear and suit up with us for this week's episode of Horror Movie Night!

Arcade (1993) Trailer

Arcade (1993) Details

Arcade 1993 Poster
Directed by Albert Pyun
Produced by Cathy Gesualdo
Screenplay by David S. Goyer
Story by Charles Band
Starring Megan Ward
Peter Billingsley
John de Lancie
Sharon Farrell
Seth Green
A.J. Langer
Bryan Dattilo
Music by Alan Howarth
Tony Riparetti
Cinematography George Mooradian
Edited by Miles Wynton
Distributed by Full Moon Entertainment
Paramount Pictures
Release date

July 20, 1993 (Germany)
March 30, 1994 (U.S.)

Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Arcade (1993) Plot

Alex Manning (Megan Ward) is a troubled suburban teenager. Her mother committed suicide and the school counselor feels that she has not dealt with her feelings properly. Manning and her friends decide to visit the local video arcade known as "Dante's Inferno" where a new virtual reality arcade game called "Arcade" is being test marketed by a computer company CEO who is more than willing to hand out free samples of the home console version and hype up the game as if his job is depending on it, and it is.

However, it soon becomes clear that the teenagers who play the game and lose are being imprisoned inside the virtual reality world by the central villain: "Arcade". It would seem that "Arcade" was once a little boy who was beaten to death by his mother, and the computer company felt it would be a good idea to use some of the boy's brain cells in order to make the game's villain more realistic. Instead, it made the game deadly. The game's programmer knew there would be a problem with this, and even tried, but failed, to convince the computer company, Vertigo/Tronics, to halt the game's release because of the company's unorthodox decision to use human brain cells in the game's development.

Nick and Alex enlist the help of the game's programmer and head to the video arcade for a final showdown with "Arcade" and his deadly virtual world. While Alex is able to release her friends from a virtual prison, she also ended up freeing the evil little boy, who taunts Alex in the final moments of the film.

In the original CGI version, however, the film ends on a somewhat happier note, with Alex, her friends, and Albert (the programmer) simply walking away from Dante's Inferno, with the donor's soul seemingly laid to rest.

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