80s / 90s dystopian / cyberpunk science fiction

Original Poster
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 10853
You know- Mega corporations running the world. Control and suppression of the people. Urban decay, dark streets, and neon lights. New technology. Rampant crime. Perhaps a hint of ecological disaster or societal collapse. And sometimes, if you are lucky, lots of synthesizers and drum machines!

I've seen all of these movies before over the years, but I just watched them all in the same week and it made for one hell of a set of films-

Robocop (1987)
Total Recall (1990)
The Running Man (1987)
Demolition Man (1993)

Blade Runner (1982) fits, but of course it is a more serious take on the genre. Nothing wrong with that, and it is a favorite of mine, but something about those four just clicked with me. Maybe it was the bits of humor and satire? The 6000 SUX car (8.2 mpg!), The Hate Boat (TV show), actual fake news (ICS network editing footage to frame Arnold).

So, lets talk about all of these movies, but if you can point out any that go for the satire angle- or feature strong doses of that glorious 80s vibe- that would be great. And you know what, it doesn't have to be 80s or 90s only. Not like there are tons of new threads crowding the front page.

Others I have seen, but need to revisit-

Escape From New York (1981)
Dark City (1998)
Existenz (1999)
The Island (2005). Yes, it is Michael Bay but I remember liking the movie

Sitting on my shelf, but I haven't watched them yet-

Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
The 13th Floor (1999)
Equilibrium (2002)
Cyborg (1989)

I wonder if The Warriors (1979) counts, at least a little. It is set in the future but things don't look too bright. The streets look like shit and there are crazy ass gangs roaming all over.

Have never seen but am curious about-

New Rose Hotel (1998). Based on a William Gibson short story. The author who helped invent the whole cyberpunk thing.

Speaking of William Gibson, for books Neuromancer is a must read.

Video games that made me feel like I was actually standing in one of these movies or books-

Deus Ex (2000)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)
Half Life 2 (2004)











Oct 5, 2017 2:05 PM
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testing
Oct 5, 2017 2:08 PM
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Equilibrium and 13th Floor need to be watched as soon as possible. Dark City, when did you last view? If its been a bit, than that is essential.
Oct 5, 2017 2:12 PM
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I'd throw "I, Robot", "Children of Men" & "Soylent Green" into the mix somewhere.
Oct 5, 2017 2:21 PM
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Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age belongs in this thread. It's not only one of the best books I've read in this genre, but one of the best I've read period. I mildly recommend the same author's Snow Crash, which hasn't really stood the test of time and is more enjoyable for its weirdness than anything else.

Daniel Suarez's Daemon and Freedom are also recommended. They're not masterpieces or anything, but they're still highly enjoyable cyberpunk thrillers. The author is a former IT consultant and it's clear from these novels that he knows what he's talking about.
Oct 5, 2017 2:24 PM
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MellowAfternoonEquilibrium and 13th Floor need to be watched as soon as possible. Dark City, when did you last view? If its been a bit, than that is essential.

OK, I might fire them up tonight. Dark City has been way too long- three years or so?
Oct 5, 2017 2:29 PM
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MaxRennNeal Stephenson's The Diamond Age?belongs in this thread. It's not only one of the best books I've read in this genre, but one of the best I've read period. I mildly recommend the same author's?Snow Crash, which hasn't really stood the test of time and is more enjoyable for its weirdness than anything else.

Daniel Suarez's Daemon and Freedom are also recommended. They're not masterpieces or anything, but they're still highly enjoyable cyberpunk thrillers. The author is a former IT consultant and it's clear from these novels that he knows what he's talking about.

Speaking of books, go Vonnegut. Stay away from many of the films though.
Oct 5, 2017 2:30 PM
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Might as well toss these three in-

The Matrix (loved it)
The Matrix Reloaded(liked it quite a bit)
The Matrix Revolutions (hated it but it has been long enough to let that go any maybe try it again)

Seems like several of these mess with reality and memory- Total Recall, Blade Runner, Existenz, and The Matrix.
Oct 5, 2017 2:35 PM
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John Dumbear
MaxRennNeal Stephenson's The Diamond Age?belongs in this thread. It's not only one of the best books I've read in this genre, but one of the best I've read period. I mildly recommend the same author's?Snow Crash, which hasn't really stood the test of time and is more enjoyable for its weirdness than anything else.

Daniel Suarez's Daemon and Freedom are also recommended. They're not masterpieces or anything, but they're still highly enjoyable cyberpunk thrillers. The author is a former IT consultant and it's clear from these novels that he knows what he's talking about.

Speaking of books, go Vonnegut. Stay away from many of the films though.

Is the 1970 Slaughterhouse Five any good? I like George Roy Hill's other movies (Butch Cassidy, etc.)
Oct 5, 2017 2:48 PM
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More games:

Shadowrun (SNES): a unique adventure/RPG hybrid that still holds up. The Genesis one, which is totally different despite having the same name, is supposedly also very good.
Blade Runner (PC, 1997): an adventure game that takes place at the same time as the movie. With its multiple endings, it's like a playable choose your adventure novel. Still, while the adventure elements are very strong, the action ones are not.
Shadowrun Returns (PC, 2013). Similar in style to the SNES game. I'm not crazy about the Final Fantasy Tactics-esque fighting system, though.
Oct 5, 2017 2:58 PM
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So one time back in 2001 or so I was playing the original Deus Ex on PC. It was at night, my headphones were on, and I was sitting nice and close to my badass CRT monitor.

I was in a shady bar. The neon lights were buzzing, there was a slight murmur from the crowd, techno music was pumping from the bar stereo. People were wearing trench coats. I stepped out onto the streets. Trash blew in the wind, bums sat around under the sky scrapers, and some birds flew off, John Woo style, as I approached. It was a glorious moment in my gaming career.
Oct 5, 2017 3:01 PM
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MaxRenn
John Dumbear
MaxRennNeal Stephenson's The Diamond Age?belongs in this thread. It's not only one of the best books I've read in this genre, but one of the best I've read period. I mildly recommend the same author's?Snow Crash, which hasn't really stood the test of time and is more enjoyable for its weirdness than anything else.

Daniel Suarez's Daemon and Freedom are also recommended. They're not masterpieces or anything, but they're still highly enjoyable cyberpunk thrillers. The author is a former IT consultant and it's clear from these novels that he knows what he's talking about.

Speaking of books, go Vonnegut. Stay away from many of the films though.

Is the 1970 Slaughterhouse Five any good? I like George Roy Hill's other movies (Butch Cassidy, etc.)

Slaughterhouse 5 & Happy Birthday, Wanda June are the only that are worth a shit.
Oct 5, 2017 3:07 PM
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Joined: Mar 2004
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MaxRennMore games:

Shadowrun (SNES): a unique adventure/RPG hybrid that still holds up. The Genesis one, which is totally different despite having the same name, is supposedly also very good.
Blade Runner (PC, 1997): an adventure game that takes place at the same time as the movie. With its multiple endings, it's like a playable choose your adventure novel. Still, while the adventure elements are very strong, ?the action ones are not.
Shadowrun Returns (PC, 2013). Similar in style to the SNES game. I'm not crazy about the Final Fantasy Tactics-esque fighting system, though.

I LOVED Shadowrun for the SNES! This review brings back some memories-
http://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/2009/08/shadowrun_retro
Oct 5, 2017 3:14 PM
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Tank Girl
Hardware
Akira
Brazil
Cherry 2000
Demolition Man
Escape from LA
Judge Dredd
Mad Max trilogy
The Postman
Strange Days
They Live
Tron
Freejack
Oct 5, 2017 3:16 PM
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Posts: 10853
Sigh. 13 years here and I can't figure out a way to go back and edit that link to the Shadowrun review so it acts like a normal, clickable link.

Helps!
Oct 5, 2017 3:30 PM
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Posts: 126
PenarinSo one time back in 2001 or so I was playing the original Deus Ex on PC. It was at night, my headphones were on, and I was sitting nice and close to my badass CRT monitor.

I was in a shady bar. The neon lights were buzzing, there was a slight murmur from the crowd, techno music was pumping from the bar stereo. People were wearing trench coats. I stepped out onto the streets. Trash blew in the wind, bums sat around under the sky scrapers, and some birds flew off, John Woo style, as I approached. It was a glorious moment in my gaming career.

heh, I picked up Dues Ex from steam a month back. Put in 12 or so hours (I'm somewhere in Hong Kong) it still holds up. Fallout 1 just went free and picked that up...then I downloaded the Fall From Heaven mod for civ 4. That Dragon is scary...
Oct 5, 2017 3:40 PM
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PenarinSigh. 13 years here and I can't figure out a way to go back and edit that link to the Shadowrun review so it acts like a normal, clickable link.

Helps!

Yeah, don't ask the guy who owns a computer store. :P
http://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/2009/08/shadowrun_retro
Oct 5, 2017 3:51 PM
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Posts: 10853
MellowAfternoon
PenarinSo one time back in 2001 or so I was playing the original Deus Ex on PC. It was at night, my headphones were on, and I was sitting nice and close to my badass CRT monitor.

I was in a shady bar. The neon lights were buzzing, there was a slight murmur from the crowd, techno music was pumping from the bar stereo. People were wearing trench coats. I stepped out onto the streets. Trash blew in the wind, bums sat around under the sky scrapers, and some birds flew off, John Woo style, as I approached. It was a glorious moment in my gaming career.

heh, I picked up Dues Ex from steam a month back. Put in 12 or so hours (I'm somewhere in Hong Kong) it still holds up. Fallout 1 just went free and picked that up...then I downloaded the Fall From Heaven mod for civ 4. That Dragon is scary...

I haven't played the original Deus Ex in 5 or so years, but yes it does still hold up. I love all the choices- in how to mod your weapons, how to build your character (with RPG style skills and abilities), how to mod yourself with the various cyber implants, and just lots of different ways to approach a given mission- Rambo, stealth, sniper, hacker. And for a game loaded with great atmosphere, the Hong Kong parts really stand out. Great exploration in that game. Good story as well.
Oct 5, 2017 4:47 PM
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Death ProofBrazil

There it is.
Oct 5, 2017 5:54 PM
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Posts: 4441
Millennium (1989)
Rock & Rule (1983)
Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983)
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)
Hotoko no Ken: Fist of the North Star (198?)
Virtuosity (1995)
1984 (gee, I wonder when...)
Kuffs (1992) - yeah, I know it shouldn't count, but it has an urban fantasy dystopian sense about it, with plenty for fourth-walling.
Wizards (1977) - not 80s-90s, but synths up the ass (love 'em!)

Could someone else mention Yor and Solarbabies? I don't have the strength.
Oct 5, 2017 6:19 PM
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