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Q: Name This Sci-Fi Movie ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Name This Sci-Fi Movie
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Movies and Film
Asked by: pgraves-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 03 Oct 2006 09:54 PDT
Expires: 02 Nov 2006 08:54 PST
Question ID: 770476
There is a movie I saw a few years ago on T.V. that I have never been
able to find out the name of. I did not see the beginning of the movie
so I may be a little sketchy on the initial events of the film, but
here is what I recall.

The movie was about a man who started "seeing things". Sometimes he
would like at something or someone and it wouldn't look normal, it
would be more gloomy or run down. At first he thought he was
delusional, but soon he became sure that it had to be something more.
It turned out that he was actually seeing the world as it really was
around him and that what everone else saw was a signal being
broadcasted to his brain (similar to the concept in the movie The
Matrix, but wirelessly and without any action). He enlists the help of
a female and together they try and find out the source of this
transmission. The female is extremely hesitant at first, completely
disbelieving, but eventually concedes. Their quest leads them to go to
a highly regarded area where all of the "executives" and "big-wigs"
work. I think it had some name similar to "The City", "The
Metropolis", or "Downtown". As they explored "Downtown" (once again,
that may be the wrong name) they found a building full of "important"
researchers, business men, and scientists who were supposedly "in
control" of the signal. The two stars soon set out to destroy the
transmitter of the signal, hoping to snap everyone out of this dream
world and back into reality.

However, once they destroy the box, nothing changes. All of the
scientists/important people freak out, fearing they'll lose their
power and control of the world. The two stars flee and while they're
looking around somewhere the female star, who is wearing a full white
marilyn monroe style outfit, suddenly finds her skirt fly up in the
air in full marilyn monroe style. The male star recognizes this scene
from a book he once read and realizes that there must be a vent
beneath her, even though he cannot "see" one. They feel around on the
ground and find and entry to an underground tunnel.

While exploring underground, they meet an old man who explains that he
is actually responsible for the signal. He said that some people just
need to feel important, to have power, to be in control, and so the
people "Downtown" were lead to believe that they were controlling the
signal, to make themselves feel important and powerful. In actuality
though, it was just various stations underground manned by a solitary

The two males (the star and this new older gentleman) argue over the
signal, and in the process somehow the old man dies (I believe either
electrocuted or a heart attack, but I may be mistaken on his demise).
The end result is that the signal it turned off and the two stars
return to the surface.

Upon returning above ground, they found the whole world to look
desolate and worn down. The male star went to see his parent,
expecting them to be terrified, instead he returns home to find them
acting perfectly normal. They are sitting in their living room
watching T.V. on their big screen television. The male star looks at
this and sees that it is just a giant card board box with a barcode on
it. He tries to explain things to his parents, but its futile. He
realizes that even without the signal broadcasting, everyone's brains
have gotten so used to it, that they do not need it to envision the
reality it offered. So, everyone still sees what the signal was
broadcasting, even though its off.

*****Things to keep in mind, but *may* be wrong*****
-I *believe* that his father was also injured, maybe a prosthetic
arm/leg and replacement eye or eye patch (none of which he was aware
of due to the signal).

- I *believe* that all of this supposedly started after world war III
after the planet was ravaged, again just thoughts

- I would categorize this film as a sci-fi film, probably not as an
action film though.

- I believe I saw this movie around 2000, or so. Leading me to believe
it was a late nineties or newer film. It may be older, but I don't
think so, however I *did* see it on TV, not in a theatre.
- I *believe* that this was a movie, it *could* have been an episode
of a TV show such as The Outer Limits, but I don't think so since I am
a fan of The Outer Limits (The New Series) and don't remember the
trademark closing statements normally found in Outer Limits episodes.
I know that this film was easily an hour long as I watched it, more
than likely it was a full length film.
Subject: Re: Name This Sci-Fi Movie
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 03 Oct 2006 13:58 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Your movie is "Virtual Nightmare," a neat little made-for-TV film from
2000. I recognized it from your description. This movie has been shown
on the Sci-Fi Channel and also on UPN.

"Dale Hunter ([Michael] Muhney) is an advertising executive living in
a weird alternate future, where Marilyn Monroe survived to make films
with Leonardo DiCaprio. But after an accident, cracks being to appear
in his reality, and he enlists a library assistant ([Tasma] Walton) to
try and work out what's going on before he gets 'sent to the Honolulu
office' by his employers - a place from which no-one ever seems to
return. And what is 'Arora', the mysterious product for which he's
designing commercials?"

Trash City: Virtual Nightmare

"...these two people woke up from this matrix. The world they woke up
into was dark and dangerous. At the end of the movie they find out
that dark and dangerous place is just a failsafe. If anybody wakes up,
the fail safe makes them want the original. the real world is a normal
enviroment. a tv is a cardboard box as is the washer, dryer,
refrigirator... The matrix makes you think that these things are TV's,
Dryers etc... The name of the movie is 'Virtual Nightmare'"

MFN Forums: Matrix Trilogy Leak???

"I think I saw it on sci-fi. And it was about a computer who's job was
to provide for people after a war. So it put barcodes on a bunch of
boxes and [transmitted] a signal so when the poeple saw the barcodes
they would see things like t.v. channels and stuff. And one person
could somehow see the real world... It's Virtual Nightmare (2000)"

SciFlicks SQUAD! Forums

"Virtual Nightmare (2000) 
A man drives around his small hometown in a brand new convertible. The
style of everything is 1950's but people have cell-phones, HDTV and
computers-and an announcer on the radio says something about Kurt
Cobain's children's christmas album coming out soon. Indeed a very
different world. This man starts seeing things, though, like numbers
and bar codes on everyday items-even seeing his parents as crippled,
burned-out looking people. In fact, the more he sees these things the
more he suspects that his own reality isn't real. It's finally
revealed to him by a group of people that it's really a hundred years
later than he thinks it is and that people live in this type of
virtual reality because reality is simply too horrible after the wars
and devastation. The people in the domed cities control the virtual
reality. He believes this for a while-until he figures out that even
this new reality is still virtual reality and that the real world is
something else entirely." Movie Reviews

"Virtual Nightmare (2000) 
When a junior advertising executive discovers that the world he lives
in is a total virtual reality projection designed to hide the grim
truth of an apocalyptic disaster, he risks his life to expose the
truth behind the ultimate conspiracy. Dale Hunter, a junior
advertising exec on the fast track, begins to experience visions that
the bucolic reality he lives in is a monumental scam. Seeking help
from the local librarian, Wendy, a self-professed misfit, the two
discover that the world they think they inhabit is actually a
projection of a machine, the Direct Broadcast Virtual Reality.
Designed to keep the populace happy and peaceful after a purported
nuclear and chemical holocaust has decimated the earth, the pair
confront Andrew Blake who controls the machine. When Dale and Wendy
attempt to destroy the DBVR and restore the world to its natural
state, they make an astounding and terrifying discovery."

UPNcyclopedia: Virtual Nightmare

My Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: broadcast virtual reality "virtual nightmare"

I hope this is the right movie! If not, please request clarification;
I'll be glad to offer further assistance before you rate my answer.

Best regards,
pgraves-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00

Subject: Re: Name This Sci-Fi Movie
From: pinkfreud-ga on 05 Oct 2006 10:34 PDT
Thank you for the five stars and the nice tip!

Subject: Re: Name This Sci-Fi Movie
From: bowler-ga on 05 Oct 2006 14:41 PDT
I think Pinkfreud "sees things".  Like the answers to question like this.

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