Episode 58: Arcade (1993)

Duuuuuude, we’re trapped inside a video game! What, again?? No, this is not Gamebox 1.0, which is, ummm….a moovie where we’re trapped inside a video game, no this is Arcade, also known as Cyber World, the 1993 Full Moon version, and that means a much higher budget and big stars! Well, not really, but it is an interesting mix of stink, low budget graphics, a really good cast, and udder fun stuff – so head over to Podbean and check out the latest Indie Film Cafe episode and hear what the Indie Film Kids have to say about this flick, this time joined by indie writer, producer, and actor Dustin Hubbard!

Oh no! It’s Actium Maximus! No, no, its just Arcade, the villain in Arcade, the film.

Alex (played by Megan Ward) has just lost her mother, who committed suicide, and her friends, Greg (Bryan Dattilo), Nick (Peter Billingsley) and Stilts (Seth Green) are trying to help her deal, which includes hanging out and playing games at the local gaming arcade called, weirdly enough, Dante’s Inferno (btw, the MooCow was an OG mid-80’s mall rat, and spent many a full moon at every arcade in the tri-state area, and none of them had names beyond Funland or Fun Zone, or simply Arcade). But there is a new game in town being test marketed, one which promises to be sooooo very much moore than any game anyone has ever played before – hawked by a creepy CEO named Difford (Star Trek’s John de Lancie) as the ultimate in virtual reality. Well hell, with that kind of carrot what teenager, full of coins and hopped up on Mountain Dew, isn’t gonna bite? And bite they do, and of course unfortunate shenanigans follow.

You’ll game your eye out! Wait, wrong moovie!

So, yeah, that’s the basic premise behind the film, somewhat underwritten by David S. Goyer (Demonic Toys, The Puppet Masters, Dark City), and capably directed by B-moovie vet Albert Pyun (The Sword and the Sorcerer, Kickboxer II, Dollman). The cast is great, and they really bring the rather flat story and characters to life in a way that pretty mooch saves the film, which is good because the equally flat graphics have certainly not aged well since 1993, and actually seem moore appropriate for games in the mid-80’s. Still, a lot of experienced hands went into the making of this film, and it shows, so its no wonder that Arcade has been cowsidered one of Full Moon’s moost popular titles from their extensive catalog. The writing cud certainly have used moore polish – character depth aside, a number of plots points (such as a little murdered kid’s brain cells to ‘fuel’ the virtual reality, which creates the main villain) seem half-baked and silly. But clearly Goyer would go on to bigger and better things, so perhaps he just had an off day. But even wearing its flaws on its sleeve, Arcade is still a pretty entertaining film.

I’m in every film in the 90’s. No, really, check. I’ll wait…

Well, the votes are in, and they range somewhat: Moody and Dustin Hubbard, big fans of the flick, gave scores of 2.5 and 1 respectively, while the crusty old MooCow chipped in with a score of 4.5. That gives Arcade a Stink Total of 8, and a Stink Average of 2.7, making Arcade one of the lowest scoring films of Season 3!

You can find the classic trailer for this film HERE, and the extended VHS trailer off of Trancers 3 HERE. Fans of the theme can here it HERE. Pick it up on dvd from Amazon, or go directly to Full Moon Features (when it in stock!) and get a copy from them. Crikey, you can get it on Aussie Ebay as well! And for you penny-pinchers out there you can check it out for free on Youtube (a low res version, with Spanish subtitles), at least until it gets pulled. Cowever the best way to get it might be Prime. Get the poster at the Movie Poster Shop, among udders.

The MooCow says if yer lookin’ for some cheesy nostalgic throwback fun, look no further than Full Moon’s Arcade – just be sure to bring plenty of quarters…

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