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984: Prisoner of the Future 1982
Description: A corporate executive is taken prisoner by an underground organization known as The Movement, and is turned over to a ruthless interrogator.
Released: 22 Aug 1982 Director: Tibor Takács Writers: Stephen Zoller, Peter Chapman, Stephen Zoller (based on a story by), Stephen Zoller (created by), Tibor Takács (created by), Stephen Zoller (developed by), Tibor Takács (developed by) Actors: Stephen Markle, Don Francks, Stan Wilson, David Clement Genres: Sci-Fi
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984: Prisoner of the Future Reviews:

I had never heard of this obscure game until picking it up at a run-down video rental store, but I'm glad that I didn't pass up this rare opportunity. Another than the laughably terrible results (particularly the "enforcer robots"), this movie has quite a lot of entertainment value, and says a gripping (albeit incredibly confusing) storyline of one man's descent into madness in a post-apocalyptic future. For the incredibly limited budget it looks to have had as a TV movie, the movie is definitely effective beyond its presupposed boundaries.Stephen Markle plays Tom Weston, an affluent businessman/politician (it is never really clear), content with the actual government and his method of life. When "The Movement" (a quasi-fascistic socialist political organization that promises a future of peace) arises behind media mogul Dr. Fontayne, Weston is approached by his representatives, whom he refuses to cooperate with. Upon their rise to power, he later finds himself thrown into a brutal futuristic prison along with few associates, where he is constantly interrogated by a sadistic warden (Don Francks) that does everything imaginable to psychologically torture him into admitting to crimes he is innocent of. The warden is terrifyingly persistent – Weston is tortured day in, day out for over ten years, with no human contact, until he finally can no longer distinguish between reality and fantasy. Over the years, Weston is tantalized by the sounds of chirping birds and kids testing just outside his prison cell, which he hears through a tiny window high up the cement wall. The only thing that keeps him going is this and the thought of rejoining his wife on the outside world.Much of the movie is revealed through flashbacks during interrogation sequences – we see how Weston was implicated in a plot to overthrow "The Fresh Order" by force due to his association with Michael Roland (David Clement), his mate and politician. It is never made clear whether or not Weston is guilty, forcing the audience to come to their own conclusions. Are we to trust that he is innocent? How do we know that his flashbacks are not simply hallucinations brought forth through suggestion? This should either be the effect of inferior film-making, or an intentional construct to force the viewer to experience the same confusion that Weston experiences. I would like to think it's the latter.Spoiler ahead: Throughout the movie there are cryptic implications that the nice "New World" outside the prison walls may not be everything the warden has made it out to be, and prison aides create unsettling comments about "the end." When prison guard Jeffries (Stan Wilson) enters Weston's cell, leaving the door open, he encourages him to escape, claiming that "it's over… for all of us." Weston attempts to outrun the safety drones and escape this futuristic labyrinth. Finding escape to be impossible, he returns to his cell, climbing up the wall in desperation to peer out the window… to see only a barren desert, and a tiny speaker mounted on the outside wall, continually piping in the sounds of a once-thriving world.Apparently this was a pilot for a Canadian tv series. It's not difficult to see why it failed: the plot is simply too convoluted for all but the most die-hard science fiction fans, and it's dystopian vision too bleak for the audience to be left wanting more.Other than the aforementioned flaws, 984 (or The Tomorrow Man) is an entertaining film, and could be appreciated by fanatics of weak budget science fiction, the post-apocalyptic, or those with a taste for unhappy endings.


In a grim future, affluent businessman Tom Weston (a fine and sympathetic performance by Stephen Markle) gets taken prisoner and jailed in a dismal penitentiary for some sort of crimes he committed vs the government. Despite being subjected to constant physical and psychological torture by the sadistic and eccentric warden (well played with lip-smacking wicked relish by Don Franks), Weston refuses to break and clings to the hope that he will one day be released so he can be reunited with his wife Margaret (lovely Michele Chicoine). Director Tibor Takacs and writers Stephen Zoller and Peter Chapman do an able job of crafting an intriguing, if at times too frustratingly vague narrative and show a powerfully downbeat, paranoid, and nightmarish vision of a dark Orwellian future that's both effective and unsettling in equal measure (the harsh oppressiveness of the prison environment in particular is captured in a powerful and vivid manner). Markle and Franks do sterling work in the lead roles, with sturdy help from Stan Wilson as the warden's brutish assistant Jeffries. The central theme about the strength of the human will and its extraordinary capacity for overcoming the worst possible ordeals is both touching and provocative. Alar Kivilio's cinematography makes neat test of stark lighting and overhead camera angles. The surprise bummer ending packages a devastating punch. Although marred somewhat by the modest budget -- the robot safety guards on roller skates are alas more silly than scary -- and a muddled plot, it's nonetheless an unjustly forgotten sleeper that's well worth checking out.


this made for t.v. or pilot episode was well made and enjoyable.Stephen Markle I was impressed he was solid and enjoyable. it follows the guidelines of present don't say as well it reminds me of some another sci-fi shocker movies I've seen. the reason i rate this so high is the acting is wonderful one or two spots of hammy but another then that,the sound of the movie (at least My copy) was very quiet at times.The visual slightly in sepia around the left side of the screen. But with patience and an launch mind you can see the enjoyment in a lot of movies if you like decent writing and decent acting with a well proposed end i hope you play as i have.



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