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Megaville (1990)

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A sci-fi fantasy about a world where it is illegal to enjoy any kind of media except in a place called Megaville. After catching a brutal killer named Jenson, the media police send an agent... See full summary »

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Title: Megaville (1990)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
J.C. Quinn ...
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John Lantz ...
Pamela Hastings ...
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Al Strobel ...
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Hotel Clerk (as Vincent F. Guastaferro)
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Bryan Clark ...
Michelle Roth ...
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TV Reporter (as James O'Doherty)
Leslie Morris ...
Vargas
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Storyline

A sci-fi fantasy about a world where it is illegal to enjoy any kind of media except in a place called Megaville. After catching a brutal killer named Jenson, the media police send an agent, Palinov, to infiltrate Jenson's circle of criminals in Megaville because Palinov bears a striking resemblance to Jenson. Palinov, however, begins to suffer intense headaches and has visions of the killings. His mission becomes even more confusing when the president of Megaville is assassinated and the media police seem more interested in doing business with the criminals than catching them. Written by adamdrayer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A world of mega deals, megabucks, and megalomania. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 January 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Megaloupoli  »

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Remake of Alphaville (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Eerily fascinating low-budget sci fi flick
23 April 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The German director Peter Lehner only ever made one feature film, and this is it, shot somewhere in the Western USA. It is a rather surreal dystopian vision of a not-too-distant future where two incompatible regimes live side by side. On the one hand, there is Megaville, a rollicking and open commercial metropolis where uncontrolled violence takes place on a daily basis, and we see its 'President' assassinated live on television by having a plastic bag put over his head so that he suffocates while we watch. No one seems particularly bothered by this, and no one will admit having seen who did it. This is presumably meant to be a sarcastic reflection on the 'mindless violence' of 'normal society'. On the other hand, somewhere near Megaville is a horrible regime called the Hemisphere, or just referred to as the 'Sphere'. It resembles the more derelict part of East Berlin prior to the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Just to make the film weirder still, it is ruled by a whining individual who lies in bed as an invalid, with breathing apparatus and heart monitors, perpetually on the verge of death but never actually dying. In between gasping for breath, he barks orders for people to be terminated. This may have been inspired by the geriatric Soviet leadership, as leaders like Brezhnev were said to be notoriously semi-comatose much of the time. The main character is played by Billy Zane. He has had a brain implant so that he is either Jensen who believes he is Palinov, or Palinov who believes he is Jensen. This is never made clear, and the ambiguity is intended. Whichever he is, the memories of the other have been implanted in his brain, by a device inserted there which also responds to signals from a box held by the invalid leader of 'the Sphere'. In 'the Sphere', all media are banned, and people caught watching television are rounded up by the police and executed. Into this equation comes a new virtual reality device called 'Dream-a-Life', which you put on your head and you can live an adventure as somebody else. 1990 was pretty early to be making films about the influence of virtual reality devices on human behaviour, so this film was in that respect and in others rather innovative. But the budget was so low, most things had to be left to the imagination, as there was no money to pay to show them. I think that Lehner was very creative in making something out of nothing, and that this film was quite an achievement under the circumstances. It has a 'weird feel' to it, which owes nothing to special effects, of which there are none. The film is strangely fascinating, partly because of the unexpected quirkiness of its conceptions and of various bizarre story details. It combines gritty reality, such as thugs with guns threatening to kill people and sometimes doing so, with dream-like events in which reality appears to dissolve. The film can only be seen on a 1990 video, if you can find one. It is an interesting sci fi film for those who like to keep track of them, and of special interest because hardly anyone ever saw it, so that no one really knows about it.


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