Saturday Night (Ca), July / August 1995
by Albert Nerenberg
Johnny Mnemonic, the Keanu Reeves "cyberthriller" in which evil Yakuza villains seek Johnny's data-packed head, was promoted as "The Ulimate Hard-Drive." The film was a huge financial success but a giant critical flop. That can mean only one thing. Sequels! According to a secret movie-industry memo obtained by Saturday Night, several frightening Johnny Mnemonic "cyberspinoffs" are in the work. Much like the main character in the movie, we must download that information before it leaks into our heads and causes irrevocable brain damage.
The Ultimate Hell Drive. In this cyberhorror sequel (William Gibson meets Stephen King!) our hero's brain is digitally possessed by a Bill Gates lookalike with plans to extend his market share across the planet. His head filled with demonic binary code, Johnny's only hope is to reformat his brain in time to save the world from Windows 95.
The Ultimate Inaction Flick. This sequel takes advantage of Keanu Reeves's unique acting style: Reeves plays a character whose brain constantly freezes despite efforts to reboot by numerous acting coaches. After Catatonic has his head removed by the evil Yakuza villains he enjoys a successful career as a concert pianist.
The Ultimate Cyber-Revelation. While purporting to create a world of the future, Johnny Ironic uploads data in his head that reveal he actually represents an old-fashioned fifties sci-fi sensibility.
The Ultimate Couch Trip. The personal psychiatric files of top corporate execs are downloaded into Johnny's brain turning him into a stuttering, hand-wringing neurotic. He raves to anyone who will listen that he is being followed by people who want to remove his head. When the Yakuza finally decapitate him, the head continues to kvetch. At their wits' end, the Yakuza toss it into a New York dumpster.
The Ultimate Über-Drive. Our blond-haired, blue-eyed hard-drive-brained hero must fight off evil villains so he can deliver on the cure of German angst.