Truth About Computer Security Hysteria
'Fatal Error' was itself a fatal errorRob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Friday, 26 March 1999
TBS VENTURED INTO the made-for-cable business with "Fatal Error," a movie scheduled to air on Sunday about a deadly computer virus. Like all über-viruses, it can jump out of the computer to kill you in grisly ways. (This one turns people into a calcium version of Lot's wife.) TV Guide reviewer Susan Stewart gives it a score of 2 out of 10, yet her bosses highlighted the movie in Sunday's Guidelines with a quarter-page "Close-Up":
Antonio Sabato Jr., Janine Turner and Robert Wagner star in this 1999 cable tale that's based on Ben Mezrich's Reaper. Dr. Nick Baldwin (Sabato Jr.) and Army biologist Samantha Carter (Turner) are baffled by a string of mysterious deaths caused by a virus that — in a matter of seconds — turns victims into calcified corpses. After the duo determine the deadly agent isn't air-borne, they figure out it's actually a computer virus that's killing people. It's being unleashed through a cutting-edge technology owned by a media mogul (Wagner), who plans to release the product worldwide in a few days. Directed by Armand Mastroianni.
In a nutshell: two medical doctors race to stop Internet armageddon while computer virus experts stand by helplessly. "Sneakers," "Hackers," "The Net," "Independence Day," and now "Fatal Error." God help anyone whose name appears in the closing credits as a technical consultant.
The Internet loves to use catchy abbreviations. Let's call this movie "FatErr" for short.