Two self-aware characters in a "Call of Duty" style video game struggle with their screwy, frustrating existence.

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Two self-aware characters in a "Call of Duty" style video game struggle with their screwy, frustrating existence.

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Roger Corman's cheapest film.


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18 January 2013 (USA)  »

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Virtual Warriors  »

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$114,000 (estimated)
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For the upgrade scenes, actor Robert Baker had to use a huge foam suit from Roger Corman's prop collection. He hated it. See more »

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Hilarious and smart
12 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

Well, what do you expect? The film opens with Robert Baker gunning down generic bad guys COD style, with stylistic throwbacks to arcade games like Street Fighter. The title credits are set to a fun chiptune/Call of Duty/Capcom mash-up, and the rest of the score doesn't disappoint. Baker meets up with his trash-talking, tea-bagging partner (Brent Chase), who could put Leeroy Jenkins to shame, and they set out to kill guys in tan (who are, of course, tougher than the ones in black). It's not so much a parody of video gaming as an homage to gamers and the characters they control, and it's a fun one.

This isn't your average treatment of video games, where the actors are mashing buttons on controllers from different systems that aren't plugged into anything. It's clear the writers actually know their audience or did their homework. The attention to detail is surprisingly good, complete with some topical Easter eggs. That being said, it should be rewarding for non-gamers too; it's not your average shoot-em-up war movie.

It's interesting to see what happens when characters act on gaming logic as if it were normal. It's not just pulling an absurd number of guns from your bag - it's comments like "I think I can keep you safe if I lock you in a closet" that reflect the gaps in virtual realities back at us. And the actors handle these things well enough that you can suspend your disbelief for a while.

Some of the scenes are a bit awkward, as the cuts between stock footage and new material are quite obvious. This is only a problem for the action sequences though - otherwise, the editing is great.


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