Cyberpunk Review » Webmaster

April 11, 2006


Movie Review By: SFAM

Year: 1998

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Low

Key Cast Members:

  • J.B.: Lars Bom
  • Miauv: Puk Scharbau
  • Stoiss: Jørgen Kiil
  • Barbie: Karin Rørbeck
  • Rating: 4 out of 10

    Skyggen Webmaster screen capture


    Overview: Yet another example of an ultra-buff weight-lifting zen super-hacker type who likes to log on almost naked while chicks watch him. In Webmaster (Skyggen is the original name), we get a story that shows the seedy underside of how to motivate network administrators when they fuck up and let a hacker in – just painfully force a multi-needle puncture device directly into their heart and give them a time limit to find the hacker before the device kills them! You might find this to be a short term solution, but I’m sure there’s a never-ending supply of good network administrators just waiting to take their place.


    Skyggen screen capture


    The Story: J.B. (Lars Bom) - an ultra-talented Webmaster of an illicit cyber-domain known for massive amounts of illegal money transfers is captured and is put under suspicion by the cyber-domain boss named Stoiss (Jørgen Kiil) when an intruder hacks into the system and steals the Stoiss’s money. Stoiss sticks a heart controller device on J.B. and gives him 35 hours to find who took his money or he dies. From this point, it becomes a straight, cheesy techno-thriller. J.B. and his girlfriend (Puk Scharbau) have to track down the hacker chick who’s caused the problems or else. While there were a few cool ideas early on, including highly powerful intelligent agents called “cyber-egos” that can be programmed to do all sorts of helper functions, unfortunately, these end up being peripheral to the story.


    Skyggen screen capture


    The Visuals: Webmaster seems to throw in lots of random visuals here, including a sexy black nylon S&M scene, strange dystopic surroundings and various other scenes. Unfortunately, for the most part these scenes don’t fit into the plot very well. Webmaster ’s FX are painfully bad. They would have been better off replicating VR by using real actors in a sleak, black room or something. Worse, we are told that Still, the glasses look cool, and there’s a fun Hannibal Lector shot. Some of the set pieces are decent, but overall, we get a cheesy looking unspecified cyberpunk environment.


    Skyggen screen capture


    The Security: If it was written earlier, I might have thought that Skyggen written at a time when they thought most of us were completely uneducated where security issues were concerned. Webmaster has this incredibly bizarre multi-leveled security set up that can be completely bypassed if you get someone’s personal disc. Even weirder, supposedly, most of the transactions that take place involve illegal transfers of massive amounts of money. So, um, do the mafia dudes just send their address when they register in order for the site to send them their profile directly to their mafia hideout? Even worse, if the CEO doesn’t enter a special code each day, the entire system grinds to a halt. That’s the way to keep your customers – talk about a single point of failure! Even weirder – these discs which store your personal profile can be hacked into a written on! Worse, nobody apparently backs up their software, so if someone downloads your “ego-disc,” you lose it!


    Skyggen screen capture


    The Bottom Line: Unfortunately, the movie is in Danish, but my copy is dubbed in English – this review reflects this. However, I don’t know that it would matter much, as Skyggen is basically a low-quality, simplistic thriller with cyberpunk visuals for the wrapping. But even these lose their luster. Webmaster might have worked better if more attention was paid to the story, or the editing for that matter. Had it pursued some of the interesting VR themes it started off with better, this too might have helped. Instead, there are a stream lot of random scenes in Webmaster that have virtually nothing to do with the simplistic plot. Still, even though the effects are low quality, the cyberpunk visuals and hot chicks in black nylon may make it worth a watch for some.


    ~See movies similar to this one~

    This post has been filed under 4 Star Movies, B Cyberpunk Cinema, VR Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 - 1999 by SFAM.


    April 12, 2006

    Case said:

    I completely agree. I was not impressed with this even in the slightest. Yes, the dubbing hurt it, but the storyline and the fact that it looked so unbelievably cheap were what really did it in. ‘Sorry to be the one to inflict that kind of pain on you, but…you can’t say you weren’t warned. Great review, though.

    SFAM said:

    Hi Case, not a problem. I had a feeling it would be somewhere around a 4 or 5 star movie. I’m watching 16 Tongues now…Wow…just wow.

    December 27, 2008

    hystereticswitch said:

    those inductor/chokes on his glasses are hilarious !

    February 5, 2010

    girisim said:

    How this movie.??

    October 29, 2010

    Bennett Agurs said:

    Another new inclusion, I truly couldn’t have talked about this far better by myself.

    November 6, 2010

    lee said:

    Fantastic movie — one of my favorites. So much better than Hackers, although I liked Hackers also.

    January 9, 2011

    DarX said:

    What? A Danish cyberpunk? I’m from Denmark, how did I not know this… Maybe it would be worth checking out.

    March 18, 2011

    Lee said:

    One of my 10 favorites movies of all time.

    November 24, 2011

    DarkChallenge said:

    hi could someone help me…. please…. ive been looking for a movie for years but cant seem to find it..all i know so far…

    there is a virtual reality game world and in it a hot woman in black (dont remember if leather clothing or not) has a sword and kills the nerds playing the game and this all happens in a Dungeon underground (or at least in the game it is underground) i dont know more… please i hop this is enough can someone help me…
    thx alot…

    greets Dark Challenge

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