By: Olivia Call
Creating a fun and fearful set of films, Park City at Midnight became the section of movies that were most intriguing and fun to watch and were only played on or around midnight. Virtually Heroes was one of the films I had the pleasure of watching in this unique section of films. Directed by G.J. Echternkamp with screenwriter Matt Yamashita, Virtually Heroes was a film surrounding the concept of a realistic world that lived as if they were in a video game. Presenting a nerd version of a romantic tale main character Sergeant Books questions his video game existence and yearns for something more in life, which included a woman. Except once he finds and saves her, mishaps keep occurring where she continuously gets kidnapped; leaving Sgt. Brooks to start his game over and over so he can compete the level and win her love. With help of his animated, funny, and patriotic sidekick, Sgt. Brooks takes on different versions of Vietnam attacks from old 70s films in order to defeat each level of life so he can win the heart of his fearless female.
The film in its entirety represented one giant myth, which was video games. Showing how life would be if people lived like video games, audiences were pulled right into the story and ended up having moments of rooting on the main character. These characters lived in the myth that they would forever be stuck in their repetitive lifestyle with no change to live any other form of life. Like most people Sgt. Brooks got bothered living in his mundane way and wanted to find another lifestyle to live. The two men, with help from Luke Skywalker, ended up realizing that action stars are the myth they were supposed to follow.
On the independent vs. mainstream spectrum Virtually Heroes would lay at an 8. The unique storyline was not what made the film independence, but also the way the film was made was what made it different from others. Shot as if they were in an actual video game the most unique point of view was when the characters decided to battle. Later revealing the uncomfortable camera’s on their backs, the actors said it was the most fun to shoot. The idea of the director was to include old Vietnam footage that conceptualized the idea that it was a war game. The entire concept, acting, and lively storyline were what made Virtually Heroes a highly independent film.