Return to Webmaster (review)
Genre: film noir / sci-fi / thriller
They discover that the elusive hacker is in fact none other than Stoiss' lovely mistress, Barbie, whom Stoiss seems to hold in high regard. They need hard evidence if JB is going to stay alive. And so the hunt is on.
This film was doomed from the beginning. It was the low budget 'dream come true' for director Thomas Borch Nielsen, starring mostly unknown actors, or tv-actors who had never starred on the big screen. During the shooting, the lead actor, Lars Bom, also starred in a tv-series ("Strisser på Samsø"), and became immensely popular, almost overnight. Though Lars Bom did not want to give up his role in "Webmaster" (which would have been disastrous), he suddenly had a lot less time on his hands. Partly because of this, shooting the film took longer than expected, and funds were running out.
Thomas Borch Nielsen admitted openly that his inspiration for "Webmaster" came from "Bladerunner". He wanted to capture a little of the alienation and despair in Ridley Scott's cult masterpiece, but he had no money to do it with. He tried, though. "Webmaster" was shot mostly in abandoned warehouses on Holmen, the former naval base in Copenhagen. Some of the scenes were filmed deep down in a water pumping station, with a lot of atmosphere and very tricky ladders. Decorations were often just large sheets of plastic hanging from the ceiling, and neon lights on bare concrete walls.
In the end, the film was completed. There were no money left for promotion, so a large number of extras and whatnots were rounded up, and invited to a meeting1. Everyone was equipped with a small amount of posters and flyers, and asked to go forth into the city and spread the word. There would be a small prize for the smartest placement idea.
The movie needed a musical score too, but - again - the money had all been spent. Word went out to the underground techno scene in Denmark, that musicians could get their music published on a "Webmaster" soundtrack, as long as the music could be used in the film. It worked like a charm, and I personally think that the soundtrack is great.
But the worst blow this movie suffered was the release date. It opened in the same theatre, on the same night, as "Lethal Weapon 4". The theatre's foyer was packed with movie-goers, but the only ones going in to watch "Webmaster" were the extras and their friends. It was really sad, since the film isn't bad at all. The story is old, the acting not the best (being an experienced tv-actor, though, Jørgen Kiil makes you really loathe Stoiss). The rest of the characters are easily forgotten. Still, in my humble opinion, it's the best Danish sci-noir to date.