Virus Preview

As Jamie heads out of the apartment he almost bumps into a delivery man carrying a large wooden box. After he drops it off, Jamie waits a moment before asking the obvious question… “what’s that?” Patrick looks up confused. “Oh… you mean the box? I got a safe to keep the Obsidian Dongle in but now… you know… we don’t have it anymore.” Jamie nods. Makes sense. No need to investigate further or even think about that box. It’s obviously nothing that anybody needs to worry about. With that clearly unimportant event out of the way Jamie heads downtown whistling Starring Jason Derulo. It sure is catchy. As he approaches WARR, their local pirate radio station, he is shocked to find a “Closed” sign up in the window. Whaa-whaaa-whaaaaaa? Quickly snatching the transistor radio out of his pocket he tunes it to the station and hears only static. What the heck is going on? He walks down the street getting odd glances from everyone he sees. But really he should be giving them weird glances. Seems a bit warm to be wearing face masks. When he arrives at the second most popular local pirate radio station WGRG the owner is just locking up. “Oh thank god,” Jamie says relieved, “I have a hot new track that needs to drop fast for the latest FMV VR video game craze for the gucci crowd.” The owner understands all this perfectly but informs him that because of the virus he’ll have to send it via email. “Virus?” Jamie asks and the man snorts. “What have you been living under a rock?” Jamie, insulted, is about to inform him that no, he just happened to be saving the world for the last year (thank you very much) when everything clicks into place. A pandemic! That’s right! We’re appropriately watching Virus starring Jamie Lee Curtis. She considers it the worst film she’s made and so I’ve been pretty excited to catch it one of these days. It also had what is widely considered a terrible video game associated with that, so Patrick can have fun with that. Let’s go!

Virus (1999) – BMeTric: 60.1; Notability: 44

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 4.4%; Notability: top 31.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.4% Higher BMeT: Baby Geniuses, Inspector Gadget, Universal Soldier: The Return, Wild Wild West, Wing Commander, The Haunting, Dudley Do-Right, Bats, The Rage: Carrie 2; Higher Notability: Wild Wild West, Inspector Gadget, The 13th Warrior, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Haunting, Idle Hands, End of Days, Joan of Arc, My Favorite Martian, The Out-of-Towners, Random Hearts, Crazy in Alabama, Double Jeopardy, Instinct, Stigmata, The Bone Collector, In Too Deep, Entrapment, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, The General’s Daughter, and 4 more; Lower RT: Baby Geniuses, The Mod Squad, Universal Soldier: The Return, The Omega Code, The Bachelor, Eye of the Beholder, Wing Commander, Chill Factor, Body Shots, End of Days, My Favorite Martian; Notes: Really solid, the IMDb rating is absurdly low. We’ve almost seen all of those Higher BMeT films. Inspector Gadget and The Rage: Carrie 2 are the only non-BMT … which is incredible.

RogerEbert.com – 1.0 stars – The last half hour of the movie is almost unseeable. In dark dimness, various human and other figures race around in a lot of water and flashlight beams, and there is much screaming. Occasionally an eye, a limb, or a bloody face emerges from the gloom. Many instructions are shouted. If you can explain to me the exact function of that rocket tube that turns up at the end, I will be sincerely grateful. If you can explain how anyone could survive that function, I will be amazed. The last shot is an homage to “The African Queen,” a movie I earnestly recommend instead of this one.

(I might just have to go ahead and watch The African Queen. Although I’ll watch both … I don’t need to make a choice or anything. I don’t look forward to watching this film in broad daylight on my old dim television and being like “THIS DIRECTOR IS AN IDIOT!” when it is actually mostly me watching it like an insane person.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEFf78HegJg/

(Oh shit is that a ghost ship with the most ship? Blast from the past with Mir as well, which fell back to Earth in 2001 (a mere two years later). Really went for the “return of the scream queen” ending there with a clear jump scare a la Alien as well.)

Directors – John Bruno – (Known For: Heavy Metal; BMT: Virus; Notes: Nominated for 6 Academy Awards for special effects (and won for The Abyss). Notable for working closely with James Cameron, this was his only live action full length directorial effort.)

Writers – Chuck Pfarrer (creator: Dark Horse Comic Book series: “Virus” & screenplay) – (Known For: Darkman; Hard Target; Future BMT: Red Planet; Navy Seals; The Jackal; BMT: Barb Wire; Virus; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Barb Wire in 1997; Notes: He was a Navy SEAL, the details of which are written in his autobiography Warrior Soul.)

Dennis Feldman (screenplay) – (Known For: Just One of the Guys; Real Men; BMT: Species II; Virus; Species; The Golden Child; Notes: Brother of Randy Feldman who wrote Tango & Cash, and son of the producer Phil Feldman. Went to both Harvard and Yale.)

Actors – Jamie Lee Curtis – (Known For: Knives Out; Trading Places; True Lies; Halloween; Halloween; Escape from New York; My Girl; Freaky Friday; A Fish Called Wanda; The Fog; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Terror Train; Forever Young; Veronica Mars; From Up on Poppy Hill; Prom Night; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Halloween III: Season of the Witch; Blue Steel; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; My Girl 2; You Again; Drowning Mona; House Arrest; Halloween II; BMT: Virus; Christmas with the Kranks; Perfect; Notes: The original Scream Queen. The daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, she is also married to Christopher Guest. She’s been nominated for a Primetime Emmy (Nicholas’ Gift) and won two Golden Globes (True Lies and Anything but Love).)

Donald Sutherland – (Known For: The Hunger Games; Pride & Prejudice; National Lampoon’s Animal House; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; A Time to Kill; Ad Astra; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2; Horrible Bosses; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1; M.A.S.H.; The Italian Job; Cold Mountain; JFK; Klute; Lord of War; Fallen; Backdraft; Outbreak; Deception; Ordinary People; Future BMT: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; The Art of War; Shadow Conspiracy; The Eagle; The Puppet Masters; Instinct; Catholic Boys; BMT: Virus; An American Haunting; Fool’s Gold; Lock Up; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Lock Up in 1990; Notes: Father of Kiefer Sutherland. Won an Emmy (Citizen X) and two Golden Globes (Citizen X and Path to War). Was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2018. Is set to feature in Roland Emmerich’s action film Moonfall.)

William Baldwin – (Known For: Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Backdraft; Born on the Fourth of July; Internal Affairs; The Squid and the Whale; Flatliners; Bulworth; Aftermath; Curdled; Maximum Impact; Three of Hearts; You Stupid Man; Adrift in Manhattan; The Broken Key; Noise; Park; Relative Values; Jock; Say Nothing; Dino Time; BMT: Virus; Sliver; Fair Game; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Sliver in 1994; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Fair Game in 1996; Notes: Incredible flex by us clearing out Billy’s qualifying films within a few weeks of each other. Both him and Stephen Baldwin were Calvin Klein models prior to pursuing acting.)

Budget/Gross – $75,000,000 / Domestic: $14,036,005 (Worldwide: $30,657,854)

(Disaster, but I don’t know what they would have thought it would be otherwise? It is based on an obscure Dark Horse comic … but they were expecting what? $150 million. Insane.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (6/49): Despite its great special effects, this movie’s predictability greatly undermines its intensity.

(Oooo, I’m excited for some “good” effects from the late 90s. Reviewer Highlight: A derivative sci-fi shocker that isn’t likely to spark much interest beyond its target audience of undemanding genre fans. – Joe Leydon, Variety)

Poster – Alien Shock Wave v2.0

(I like the colors, the framing and really all the visuals. If I was walking in a theater the only thing that would stop me from being pretty excited for some dumb fun it Billy Baldwin’s face. Replace him with Gerard Butler and we’d be cooking with gas. It’s also pretty amazing that they put the giant robot face up there as if it’s a star of the film. B)

Tagline(s) – Life on earth is in for a shock. (B)

(I can’t tell if I love this or hate this. The fact that I laughed out loud when I read it is probably not a great sign for the actual quality of the tagline though. “In for a shock” seems a bit mild for how life on earth would react to an electricity-borne virus that creates killer robots. Beyond how funny it is it certainly is short, clever, and hints at the plot. So still gets an OK score. The tagline combined with the giant robot head makes for one of the more unintentionally funny posters I can remember..)

Keyword – virus

Top 10: The Matrix (1999), American Psycho (2000), Iron Man Three (2013), Logan (2017), The Maze Runner (2014), Dawn of the Dead (2004), I Am Legend (2007), Contagion (2011), Alien: Covenant (2017), Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Future BMT: 65.6 Pulse (2006), 54.8 Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 50.1 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), 40.8 Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), 39.4 The Forsaken (2001), 39.0 Jigsaw (2017), 36.1 The Invasion (2007), 35.0 The Relic (1997), 27.6 Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), 27.5 Inferno (2016);

BMT: The 5th Wave (2016), The Happening (2008), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Paycheck (2003), Dreamcatcher (2003), The Darkest Minds (2018), Species II (1998), Virus (1999)

(Huh … I guess you would argue ‘puters really went mainstream in ‘95 then. Kind of amazing just how much of an inflection that is. It was pretty much immediately from 0 to HACK THE PLANET! on that graph. Can’t wait to just smash all six of the Resident Evil films at some point.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 12) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jamie Lee Curtis is No. 1 billed in Virus and No. 2 billed in Christmas with the Kranks, which also stars Tim Allen (No. 1 billed) who is in Jungle 2 Jungle (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 6 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 12. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Because of the ship being mothballed in the James River Reserve Fleet, on the border of Isle of Wight County and city of Newport News, the ship was covered in rust and disrepair when the filming started. For the movie, one side of the ship was painted and dressed up, leaving the other half in poor condition. Hence, only one side of the ship was ever filmed on camera for the movie.

The “Goliath” robot was approximately 9 ft tall and weighed an estimated 4000 lbs. The special effects company hired to create Goliath had only three-and-a-half months to produce the robot from the initial drawings to the finished product.

In an IGN.com interview, Jamie Lee Curtis said the following about Virus (1999): “Rob Reiner, for his 40th birthday, had a bad show business party where everybody brought show business clips. Rob’s was playing a hippie on Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964) singing ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’. Virus (1999) is so bad that it’s shocking. That would be the all time piece of shit. It’s just dreadful. That’s the only good reason to be in bad movies. Then when your friends have [bad] movies you can say ‘Ahhhh, I’ve got the best one. I’m bringing Virus (1999).'” (Incredible, but I highly doubt Virus is going to blow my mind in how bad it is)

Jamie Lee Curtis has admitted to hating this film, calling it “the worst movie ever made”. She added that she lobbied hard to have the director fired and replaced by Steve Miner, who she had made Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) with. However, he wasn’t available, as he was working on Dawson’s Creek (1998)).

The lyrics of the Russian march heard during the end credits are actually the names of various cast and crew members pronounced backward.

John Bruno was about to start work on the visual effects for Titanic (1997) when the offer came through to direct his first feature.

In 1999, prolific French video game developer Cryo (also known as Cryo Interactive Entertainment) released on PlayStation “Virus: It is Aware”, their action/horror third person shooter tie-in video game that was very loosely based on this movie. The game immediately fell into obscurity. (Oh did it, because I think I’m playing it this weekend …)

Originally set for a Summer 1998 release, the film’s release was eventually pushed to January of 1999.

Chuck Pfarrer explained in an interview that the comic book was based on the script that he wrote in the early-’90s. Because of the special effects that the script called for, it was impossible to make the script into a movie at that time, and he handed it to Dark Horse Comics who published it in 1995. Several years later, when special effects technology had caught up, Pfarrer revised the original script. (Oh interesting, I wonder if I can get my hands on a copy of the comic)

In the beginning when the Captain (Donald Sutherland) is aiming a pistol at Baldwin he is holding a British Webley .455 caliber. It was the standard sidearm of the British army from 1897-1963.

Director John Bruno is a visual effects artist known for his frequent collaborations with director James Cameron.

Hackers Preview

“This is bullshit, bro,” says Rich staring sullenly at the screen. “What is?” asks Blaze. They’ve been playing the new “tech” in the computer lab for ages and have lost several thousand dollars. Dollars they don’t have. Gulp. “Well check this out,” says Rich and he goes all Beautiful Mind and Good Will Hunting on a chalkboard nearby. “Woah, you got a big ol’ brain! So what you’re saying is that the fact that the other player got three straight royal flushes is not likely.” But Rich shakes his head, “not just unlikely… statistically impossible.” And Blaze and Bryce look at each other “Woah.” But now they need to figure out what to do about it. Should they report them to the gaming commission… Rich shakes his head, it would blow his cover. They need to lure the creator of the tech out so they can get access and steal it for Gruber. What would lure a maniac like that out from hiding? Suddenly Rich has an idea, “the man is clearly an egomaniac and driven only by greed,” Blaze and Bryce nod their heads, “and what can’t an egomaniac handle? Calling his prized new tech garbage.” He quickly uses his 1337 skills to hack the mainframe and rewire the auxiliary dilator into the predictor array. Searching through files, he finds a blinking folder named “Garbage.” “There it is,” Rich says as he drags and drops the entire file into the garbage folder. With that his screen turns into a screen of mathematical equations flying in all directions. “Woah,” they all say in unison, but are interrupted by a cackling laughter behind them… That’s right! This week we’re doing what obviously must be done for the Sci-fi entry in the cycle. The inspiration itself: Hackers. While absurd that it qualifies, I also recognize that it is objectively a bad movie and is worth revisiting in BMT. Let’s go!

Hackers (1995) – BMeTric: 26.4 

HackersIMDb_BMeT

HackersIMDb_RV

(6.2 is pretty solid, I can respect that. I have a feeling this will continue dropping. Honestly it might nit even qualify if they start backfilling reviews from blogs in the future, I’m sure 80s / 90s children who grew up with Hackers will like it a lot more than the adults at the time.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  A group of young computer fanatics is framed for crimes committed by computer whiz and would-be master criminal Stevens, and have to use their own hacking skills to prove themselves innocent. No great shakes, but fast pace and vivid direction make it fun.

(THANK YOU. Yes, this movie is a lot better than the reviews suggest. And not even in a “good for what it is kind of way”, it is genuinely fun to watch and is competent at worst. “No great shakes” is throwing me off as I don’t know what that means. Also it is spelled “skillz”, so that’s a rare typo for Leonard.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql1uLyuWra8 

(Straight into my veins. I love it. I’ve never noticed this before, but in the movie the Da Vinci Virus naturally has a fake italian accent. In the trailer it is very very clearly just Fisher Stevens’ voice … while would have made the whole gambit more obvious to the FBI.)

Directors – Iain Softley – (Known For: K-PAX; Backbeat; The Wings of the Dove; Future BMT: Inkheart; The Skeleton Key; Trap for Cinderella; BMT: Hackers; Notes: The Wings of the Dove was nominated for four Oscars. He was a music video director prior to turning to film.)

Writers – Rafael Moreu (written by) – (Future BMT: The Rage: Carrie 2; BMT: Hackers; Notes: He was mostly an uncredited producer for Hallmark Entertainment prior to making Hackers. He appears to be mostly teaching since.)

Actors – Jonny Lee Miller – (Known For: T2 Trainspotting; Trainspotting; Byzantium; Mansfield Park; Afterglow; Melinda and Melinda; Endgame; The Flying Scotsman; Future BMT: Dracula 2001; Dark Shadows; Mindhunters; Plunkett & Macleane; Love, Honour and Obey; BMT: Æon Flux; Hackers; Notes: More recently has become a pretty accomplished television actor, specifically Elementary which ran for over 150 episodes. Was married to Angelina Jolie for 4 years.)

Angelina Jolie – (Known For: Girl, Interrupted; Wanted; Maleficent; Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Kung Fu Panda; Salt; Changeling; Beowulf; Kung Fu Panda 3; The Good Shepherd; Kung Fu Panda 2; Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow; Pushing Tin; A Mighty Heart; Playing by Heart; Hell’s Kitchen; Future BMT: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Alexander; By the Sea; Life or Something Like It; The Tourist; Shark Tale; Playing God; Original Sin; Taking Lives; Foxfire; Beyond Borders; The Bone Collector; BMT: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Hackers; Gone in Sixty Seconds; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 2002 for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Original Sin; in 2003 for Life or Something Like It; in 2004 for Beyond Borders, and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; and in 2005 for Alexander, and Taking Lives; Notes: A huge star both for her major film roles, and for her somewhat wild marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, and subsequent relationship with Brad Pitt which ended somewhat messily a few years ago.)

Jesse Bradford – (Known For: Romeo + Juliet; Bring It On; Presumed Innocent; W.; Flags of Our Fathers; The Year of Spectacular Men; Falling in Love; King of the Hill; Happy Endings; My Blue Heaven; Cherry Falls; Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog; Prancer; Heights; Bound; A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries; Future BMT: Clockstoppers; 10 Rules for Sleeping Around; Dead Awake; Dancing at the Blue Iguana; Speedway Junky; Eulogy; BMT: Swimfan; I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell; Hackers; Notes: Jesse B from Swimfan is third billed? Bomb. He is also doing a bit of television recently, specifically as a guest star on Shooter.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $7,563,728

(Oh no, that is a depressingly low number. No wonder we didn’t get Hacker 2: Hack the Universe, the story of how Zero Cool / Crash Override and Acid Burn, now working for the NSA, thwart an alien invasion via their 1337 hacking skillz.)

#15 for the Virtual Reality genre

hackers_virtualreality

(Goes in little cycles, and this indeed came out during one of the major peaks for this rather small genre. We’ve only seen Vanilla Sky and Johnny Mnemonic otherwise. Ready Player One was the most recent example.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 33% (15/45): Hackers has a certain stylish appeal, but its slick visuals and appealing young cast can’t compensate for a clichéd and disappointingly uninspired story.

(At the time people seemed to not like that it bought into the rebel Hacker trope that was booming at the time, and that it was a visual bombardment / mess. Reviewer Highlight: The movie is well directed, written and acted, and while it is no doubt true that in real life no hacker could do what the characters in this movie do, it is no doubt equally true that what hackers can do would not make a very entertaining movie. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Hack the Planet (A)

hackers_ver1

(I really love this poster. The general color scheme tells you a little story about the film. Obviously they are highlighted by the glow of a computer. A mysterious blue that goes hand in hand with the mysteriousness of the hacker culture at the time. I’m intrigued. It also, as a bonus, avoids having our big stars portrayed without a clear color scheme. Finally, to tie it up nicely we have a sweet font for the title to let us know they aren’t messing around.)

Tagline(s) – Boot up or shut up! (B-)

Their crime is curiosity (C-)

(Neither of these are great. Boot up or shut up is a valiant try, but comes off a bit cheesy nowaways. Do you still boot things up? Did I boot up my phone today? The second one is just bland. It’s almost like the poster sets them up as being super rad and cool and then the tagline is like “don’t worry, they aren’t cool supercriminals, they’re just curious little cats.”)

Keyword(s) – computer virus; Top Ten by BMeTric: 74.5 Rings (2017); 65.5 Pulse (I) (2006); 57.0 Geostorm (2017); 55.7 Stormbreaker (2006); 51.8 Blackhat (2015); 49.5 The Lawnmower Man (1992); 47.7 Employee of the Month (2006); 43.2 Hitman: Agent 47 (2015); 38.4 Ghost in the Machine (1993); 35.5 The Net (1995);

(Oh we have to watch the Net at some point. It is like this movie except really really boring … in my opinion.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Matthew Lillard is No. 4 billed in Hackers and No. 9 billed in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 9 + 4 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch Mindhunters we can get the HoE Number down to 9.

Notes – Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie were married shortly after the making of the film, and then were divorced four years later.

All of the hacker handles proposed by the Joey were actual handles already used by real hackers. (This film is very accurate, no matter how it seems to look on screen)

The film’s writer, director, and some cast members attended the New York City 2600 meeting, a monthly hangout of the local hacker community, to observe and talk with real-life hackers.

The “Hacker Manifesto” read by Agent Bob was actually written by a hacker of great renown in the 1980s named Loyd Blankenship, who went by the name of The Mentor. It was published in PHRACK magazine, issue 07, file 03 in 1986.

The high school scenes were filmed at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, one of a few elite, exclusive high schools for students gifted in math, science and computers. Real school seniors were extras in many scenes.

The “pool on the roof” prank is actually based on an old Stuyvesant H.S. prank of the “Sixth Floor Pool”. The original Stuy building on East 15th Street in Manhattan had only five floors, and freshman were sent to look for a pool upstairs. The building had no pool. There was a literary publication at Stuyvesant referencing the prank called “Sixth Floor Pool”. The school moved into the new building (featured in the movie) shortly before filming began. (It is a fun prank, because like … you would never actually build a pool on the roof right? People do, but it is much cheaper from a design perspective I imagine to not have tons (literally) of water on top of a building).

The character name “Emmanuel Goldstein” is taken from George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. It is also used as a pseudonym by Emmanuel Goldstein (aka Eric Corley), who publishes the magazine “2600, The Hacker Quarterly”. Corley was an uncredited consultant for this film.

The “hacking”-sequences – the scenes where you see the “inside” of a computer – are mostly motion-controlled models, because director Iain Softley thought that actual computer graphics would look too artificial. (It was a good choice and something more movies should have done for much of the 90s)

Eugene Belford uses the pseudonym Babbage at the end of the film. Charles Babbage was the inventor of an early form of the computer.

William Gibson “invented” the term “Cyberspace” in 1982 for his book, Neuromancer.

The computer they break into is a fictional mainframe computer called a “Gibson” – a homage to cyberpunk author William Gibson.

“ARF! ARF! GOTCHA”, which appears near the end, when the Gibson is about to crash, is a reference to one of the earliest Trojan horse programs, EGABTR from 1985. Disguised as a graphics utility, EGABTR spread by email, wiped out everything on a victim’s hard disk, and left only the message, “Arf, arf, Gotcha!” on the screen. “ARF” may also serve double duty as a reference to the German hacker group “Asoziale Randgruppe Frankfurt”.

All of the books identified by Dade at the club were real manuals. All but two, the Pink Shirt Book and the Unix Bible, were published by the DoD and were part of a set of books known as the Rainbow Series.

Scenes in the movie, and in Razor and Blades show, depict using a cassette recorder to play tones into a phone to make free calls. Coins dropped into pay phones used to trigger specific sounds that actually could be duplicated and used to fool pay phones into thinking you had paid for a call. This was also accomplished using a device called a tone generator. Also known as a Red Box.

Cyberdelia was built from scratch in an abandoned indoor swimming pool on the outskirts of London, with the center of the club in the depths of what was the pool. Producer Ralph Winter notes, “We never knew why, but the pool was designated an historic landmark, so great care had to be taken not to damage anything and to return it to its original state.” (Uh …. Where is this?)

The bearded London hacker is Dave Stewart of Eurythmics.

“The Plague” writes a program that embezzles small amounts of money from the company at a time, thus amassing millions of dollars in a secret bank account. He tries to distract from his crime by framing the hackers with a computer virus set to capsize an oil tanker. The embezzlement-by-increments plot is called “salami slicing.” Richard Pryor’s character in Superman III (1983) does the same thing. (Yuppppp)

The part of Kate “Acid Burn” Libby was originally offered to Katherine Heigl, but due to prior commitments to Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) she had to turn it down. (Near miss there)

The hackers take over the Gibson computer with a Cookie Monster virus that starts gobbling up all the data. This is based on a real program from the era. Cookie Monster would come up on the screen and demand a cookie. You would type “cookie” and it would go away for a while. If you typed “Oreo,” it went away for a longer period of time. (Ha!)