Life After Lost (and 24): Day 5

So here we are on the fifth and final day of our group rehab. If you still haven’t found something to ease the pain of the post-Lost/24 world, it’s time to take a completely different approach. Instead of looking for more examples of compelling action, crisp writing, finely-honed characters, and great special effects, let’s try something completely different: the worst movie ever.

(For the sake of argument, I’m sticking to movies with a vaguely geek-related theme. If I didn’t, I might have to finally get round to watching the DVD of the Ultimate Weapon in which a toupee-clad Hulk Hogan plays a mercenary who discovers the Special Forces unit which hired him are actually IRA terrorists and he must now destroy them in the jungle to rescue his daughter…)

Before I get to the worst geek movie ever, there must be a dishonorable mention for Countdown to Chaos, also known as Y2K the movie. The plot is simple: fears of the Millennium Bug prove not only accurate, but understated, and the hero is a computer whizz who needs to stop a nuclear station melting down.

Now, I’m one of the people who doesn’t believe Y2K was completely overhyped: the reason nothing happened is because we actually did something about it. But this is wonderfully entertaining dross, in which everything that can go wrong with the change over to midnight does go wrong. And of course, there’s the important lesson that the 17 time zones which get to midnight before the US can go screw themselves because it’s only American peril which counts.

But the worst geek movie ever is Terminal Error. Wikipedia’s attempt to summarize the plot is as follows: ” An ex-employee of a computer firm wants revenge and befriends the boss’s son giving him a MP3 file containing a computer virus. This virus creates havoc all across the city by poisoning the water with chlorine, making planes crash and ultimately developing an intelligence of its own.”

So what makes the movie so joyously bad? Yes, partly it’s the awful acting, terrible dialog (“I helped create you… and now I’m going to help you die.) and clich├ęd characters, notably the disgruntled hacker with Hawaiian shirt and disheveled ginger hair. But really the movie is made by the portrayal of technology. Imagine every questionable line about firewall parameter mainframes from 24 and take it to the max. Without wanting to give too much away, the virus literally speaks to people, makes a an ASCIII face from green-screen text, and turns out to be vulnerable only to a Nintendo Gameboy.

Buy, beg, borrow or steal.

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