Past tech in movies redux

Ground Zero LaserDisc

I was pleasantly surprised to, once again, see some consumer technology of the past show up in a movie. This time, it was a “new to me” movie I recently picked up on LaserDisc called “Ground Zero”. This movie is from 1988 and is about a film journalist stumbling across a cover up by the Australian government regarding A-Bomb testing in the 1950s.

In the first few minutes of the movie, the main character enters his apartment and turns on a monitor to reveal a game of computer chess in progress. You can barely see the keyboard of the computer he’s typing on, but I thought it looked like a C64 bread bin. Sure enough, in a long shot of the apartment later on in the movie, there it was: a C64 bread bin, 1702 monitor and 1541 floppy disk drive.

Ground Zero C64 Scene

Now in most cases, old tech like this is used just as simple props – nothing is really plugged in or being used the way they were designed. But, in this case it appeared as though the C64 and it’s peripherals were actually hooked up and running the way a typical setup would. The movie was low budget, so I’m assuming there wasn’t much of money for special effects, so I guess they just used the C64 as it was.

Oh, and the chess game was either “Chess Master”, by FHD Software or Compute!’s “Chess”. At least these are the closest matches I could find, based on what I saw on the monitor screen in the movie.

I found it very amusing to see a Commodore 64 being used in such a way in a movie.


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