The year was 1998, computers were still practically “magic” to the average citizen. The internet was still in it’s infancy, and if you were on it you needed a phone (a landline) to access it. Virtual reality seemed like the biggest promise of this future world and it was in this atmosphere that Richard Gabai directed this film, which he co-wrote (and also has a small supporting role in) with L.A. Maddox.
Max Dixon plays John Lewis, he works for a company which apparently makes online video games. He finds bugs in the software and makes sure the games work properly before launched. As the film opens, he’s just finished fixing something called Space Bandits. Next, against his wishes, his boss assigns him to work on a program called Virtual Girl. Which is, you guessed it, a virtual reality sex program. To work on this program, John has to strap himself into a special chair, put on a headset and visor, and some attached gloves, and then he finds himself in this virtual world, where he interacts with the female character who stars in this program. Her name is Virtuality, sometimes just called Virtue. She can change the scenery at will, but typically it’s in spacious bedroom with a large round bed, and Virtue is usually in lingerie or some other skimpy clothes.
Virtue is played by Charlie Curtis. And it should be noted that in the opening scene of the film, we see some other guy, played by Scott Larsen, having sex with Virtue in that bed. He’s the original programmer. And afterward, he declares the program finished and tells Virtue that when this goes public, men all over the world will be able to use her, and he’ll be rich. She gets offended and kills him in the program, which somehow kills him in real life.
John is married to Karen, a lawyer (played by Miche Rene Straube). They’re happy, but don’t have much time for closeness, as they have a young baby, and Karen is busy with her job as a lawyer, while John is busy with his job. So while we see the first couple of times John tries out the program he resists Virtue’s advances, but eventually he gives in and has sex with her. The first scene is pretty interesting, as during the sex Virtue transforms back and forth from her own natural form to that of other women (played by Tracy Dali and Kaylani Freeman) during the sex. At first, John just think it’s harmless fun, but as he gets more pressure at work, and feels more neglected at home, he spends more time in the program having sex with Virtue. That is, until she starts acting jealous.
It’s at this part where you really need to suspend your disbelief to go along with this film. Virtue’s abilities are practically supernatural for that time-period. Even accepting the fact that John, being some kind of computer genius, is able to connect so many things in his life to computers, this was still 1998. Yet Virtue is able to change the computer code to enter his house (forcing Karen to “break in” and then the cops are called on her), set off his smoke alarm at will, and is able to project her image not only on to his home PC, but also onto his television (an old analog TV set, no less). She can also make calls from his home phone, and take over his and Karen’s cars, talking to him via the car radio and making the brakes stop working. She also wires money into his bank account, making him look like an embezzler. And more murders, including someone being killed in a malfunctioning elevator (which causes and EXPLOSION out the top of the building, yet somehow does no other visible damage to the building), and someone else whom we just find lying dead at their computer, with their hands burned off while still touching the keyboard.
It all ends with Frank being forced to once again enter the program, and face Virtue in her world, even though she controls the environment in their. Who will survive? Tune in to find out!
Despite the absurdity of the plot, I have to give the entire cast, and the director, credit. It’s all played straight. There’s no winks to the camera or anything, these folks all give it their all. It’s as is Gabai and Maddox didn’t necessarily set out to make a “softcore” film, but rather just a standard low-budget sci-fi film. Dixon, of course, is most responsible for carrying the film, as the leading man, and he does it quite well. And Charlie Curtis is the perfect antagonist. She is seductively evil. Straube also stands out in her role as Karen. Overall, a very good effort by everyone involved. Enough to give this film a Chacebook rating of 4 STARS
Categories: SOFTCORE FILMS