A while back, I spent a whopping $5 on this 50-movie set, Sci-fi Invasion. That adds up to 10 cents per movie. Let’s see what 984: Prisoner of the Future has to offer.
Here’s what happens: It’s the future, and a “new regime” rules the U.S. A man is imprisoned, and he doesn’t know why. As his captors try to torture information out of him, he dreams of revolution and escape.
Speculative spectacle: Every couple of years, somebody makes a “futuristic prison” movie, such as Fortress, Alien3, and, most recently, Lockout. This one is, obviously, a lesser entry in the subgenre, more interested in making a political statement than in sci-fi action. Near the end, the movie randomly introduces some robot guards, but by then you’ll be too bored to care.
Sleaze factor: Torture, torture, torture!
Quantum quotables: Warden: “No judges to bribe, no team of lawyers to hire. Gentlemen, welcome to tomorrow. Your trials were all played out yesterday. Your guilt is one of the foundations of our new order.” (The entire movie is filled with this type of jargon.)
What the felgercarb? The opening text crawl states, “Sometime in the future, a maximum security prison stands somewhere in North America.” How is that the future, exactly?
Microcosmic minutiae: The internet tells me that this is actually an unsold TV pilot, allegedly called “Tomorrow Man.” How on Earth were they planning to turn this into a series?
Worth 10 cents? I’m not a politics guy, so this movie isn’t my style. If you are a politics person, the movie’s “the government is bad” message is so generic and heavy-handed, I doubt you’d enjoy it any more.
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