InAWorld where oppressive {{MegaCorp}}s rake in billions of ill-earned dollars while treating their [[{{Salaryman}} workers]] like slaves... a Toronto production company decided to adapt one of Creator/JohnVarley's ''Literature/EightWorlds'' short stories into a MadeForTVMovie. Finding financing from New York Creator/{{PBS}} station WNET and [[WTHCastingAgency somehow acquiring]] Creator/RaulJulia as the lead, they unleashed a production called ''[[PunBasedTitle Overdrawn at the Memory Bank]]''. It was the third (and last, due to not being able to get funding for any more) in a series of films by PBS that were adapted from literary works of science fiction. The first two were 1972's ''Between Time and Timbuktu'', an adaptation of several Creator/KurtVonnegut stories, and 1980's ''Literature/TheLatheOfHeaven'', based on the Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin novel of the same title.

In a future that is only marginally more dystopian than the present, [[AwesomeMcCoolname Aram Fingal]] is a bored programmer working for [[MegaCorp Novicorp]], and earns his superiors' ire by "scrolling up cinemas" at work, particularly ''Film/{{Casablanca}}''. The solution, of course, is "prophylactic rehab," a two-week (or two days, depending on the scene) vacation in which his consciousness is "doppled" into a wild animal at a nature preserve. Under the supervision of Computech Apollonia James, Fingal experiences life as a decrepit old baboon until the animals on the preserve get trashed on ripe fruit and [[HolodeckMalfunction place his temporary body in danger]], prompting him to activate an escape clause.

Unfortunately, a little hellraising kid screwed around with the label on Fingal's body, so the technicians supervising his little adventure have no idea where it is. Once this news leaks out via an industrial spy, the all-powerful Novicorp chairman orders that Fingal's mind be stored in the [[MasterComputer HX368 supercomputer]], which runs everything from finances to the [[WeatherControlMachine weather]]. Meanwhile, the technicians race to hunt down Fingal's body, since he only has a few hours [[YearInsideHourOutside real time]] before his mind starts to break down without it.

At first Fingal creates a simulation of a typical work day, but he quickly grows bored and starts boinking a simulacrum of a hot co-worker. Once cybersex loses its charm, Fingal builds his own version of Casablanca, complete with a Rick character that is his own digital double. Apollonia warns him not to cause too much trouble, but our Fingal is a little rebel, and starts messing around with Novicorp finances while inside the [=HX368=], also causing catastrophic weather disasters around the globe in a fit of whimsy. Soon the Chairman is dispatching his own electronic agents to kill Fingal, while Apollonia sides with the renegade programmer as she tracks down his body.

At a final showdown at Rick's bar, Fingal "interfaces" with the mainframe, orders the Chairman into a month of compulsory rehab, redistributes Novicorp shares to the downtrodden employees, and makes new ''Casablanca''-themed identities for himself and Apollonia as he vows to fight the system. It's like if someone combined ''Film/FightClub'', ''[[Literature/NineteenEightyFour 1984]]'' and ''Film/TheMatrix''...

For the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' version of the film, please go to the [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S08E22OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank episode recap page]].
!!This short story provides examples of:

* EasySexChange: One of the staples of Varleyverse; people are actually considered a bit weird if they don't at least try out both genders at least once, and it only takes a few hours to complete. So Fingal's really, REALLY lucky he got his body back unchanged...
* HardWorkHardlyWorks: Zig-zagged. To pass the time, Fingal takes a computer programming course. Since time is accelerated for him, it takes only hours in the real world, but felt like six months of effort to him.
* KlingonScientistsGetNoRespect: "Only a retard would want to be a medico!" Medical science has advanced to the point where it's actually very ''easy'' to fix up people's bodies. End result: amazing surgeons are treated with the same regard as greasy auto-mechanics, and paid about as well.
* YearInsideHourOutside: In the short story, they told Fingal that they were searching for his body all over the world, at various doppling institutes, for six months, when really they were searching for his body at the one institute for six hours. But had he ever realized that because he was in the computer he was experiencing time dilation, he would have GoneMadFromTheRevelation and broken everything. (The Literature/NineteenEightyFour elements were [[AdaptationExpansion not present in the story]], and the company was really just trying to be helpful.) This element was somewhat in the film with the "Cube Time/Fingal Time" display, but never really discussed.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AndYouWereThere: Not only is Fingal trapped in a Virtual Reality, but Apollonia and the Novicorp Chairman are in there as well, fighting to save/kill him respectively.
* ApocalypticLog: Apollonia sees a report describing the danger of a [=CompuTech=] staying in contact with a decaying Identity Cube. The tech is seen staring vacantly into the camera, having had their brain fried. Or possibly just having drunk a 40-oz. of Steel Reserve.
* TheArtifact: Some of the things that make no sense in the movie are leftovers from the short story that aren't as well explained or just dropped in. For example, Appolonia appearing as Venus is basically because in the simulation, she was only able to really appear to Fingal through bizarre phenomena, and after he accidentally reroutes a bunch of finances by screwing with things she gets through to him in the most direct way possible: divine intervention.
* CaptainObvious: A lot of Apollonia's narration consists of stating stuff that's blatantly obvious, and recapping things that we've seen just moments ago. Even Mike and the Bots get annoyed by this pretty early on.
* ChromaKey: Used for most of the special effects. Since the movie was not actually shot on ''film,'' and was instead videotaped, this results in lots of [[SpecialEffectsFailure pixelation artifacts]].
* ContemplateOurNavels: Taken quite literally in one scene:
-->'''Apollonia:''' Listen to me, Fingal. Your navel's very deep. I can't even see to the bottom of it! And if you fall in, I can't guarantee to pull you out!
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Novicorp's Fat Chairman, who is willing to allow Fingal to die for no apparent reason (and ignoring the fact that Fingal's death, attributed to Novicorp's product, would likely send the company into fiscal ruin). Of course, once Fingal starts screwing around with [=HX368=], all bets are off.
* CreepyChild: Marco. He's probably meant to be a horny young teenager, but the way he [[DudeShesLikeInAComa fondles a woman's unconscious body]], insults the staff, and messes around just for fun, makes him seem more like a hellspawn.
* CutLexLuthorACheck: Appolonia mentions that Fingle has an amazing talent with computers. Indeed, considering he managed to do all this with minimal training, one wonders what Fingle would have been able to do if The Chairman decided instead to hire Fingle as a programmer or a security expert (or other more nefarious Novicorp-sponsored positions that are surely there) and then trained him to do things properly.
* {{Cyberspace}}: The [=HX368=], while not the internet, is seemingly connected to just about everything.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Apollonia chews Fingal out for wasting his imagination on a "one-handed exercise."
* DeusExMachina: The climax, wherein Fingal "interfaces" to defeat the Chairman... none of it is explained or built up at all, so it just comes off as this.
* TheDitz:
** Tooby the "Short-Bus Techie" as he's called, speaks with an odd cadence as if he has a mental problem, at least over the two-way. He speaks normally in person, but whether the actor was trying to simulate a bad connection over the two-way or simply forgot he was supposed to be reading his lines like that isn't known.
** The Medico who talks with Appolonia in a few scenes also comes across as rather ditzy.
* {{Dystopia}}: A milder example. It's implied the world is run by three MegaCorps (TransCorp, LexiCorp, and NoviCorp) who control everything from the economy to the weather. However, all it takes is for one corp to leak one mistake from another for the media to near-instantly bankrupt that corporation, showing that they're not invincible institutions, and the physical/financial standard of living appears to be pretty good. The chairman gives the heroes plenty of chances before resorting to evil, and their [[spoiler:escape to open up a small bar at the end is treated like an unquestioned happy ending]], not a life as fugitives. In fact, if the kid never switched Fingal's card (a kid who's traditionally mischievous without draconian repercussion), nothing bad would have even really happened in the story. Its strongest dystopian feature is the suppression of human empathy, creativity, individualism and other social concerns.
%% * EightiesHair: Apollonia.
* EverythingIsOnline: This is how Fingal, trapped in the [=HX368=], is able to muck around with virtually every single computer system in the world.
* FatBastard: The Novicorp Chairman.
* FatSweatySouthernerInAWhiteSuit: The Chairman may or may not be from the South, the movie never establishes where it's set, but he nonetheless fits this trope shockingly well.
* FutureFoodIsArtificial: With a name like Flavo-Fibes, you just ''know'' they taste like plastic. Not to mention Reconst, a drink whose name just screams "[[{{Squick}} I'm made of faecal matter!]]" [[note]]It's likely just pseudo-futuristic jargon for water, since the word appears to be "reconstitution," abruptly shortened.[[/note]]
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: After what from his perspective are weeks or months stuck with only projections of his own mind for company (and after he gets bored living out his sex fantasies, obviously) Fingle hacks the computer his personality is stored in and starts screwing with the company and entire planet just for something to do.
* GRatedDrug: "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sclerocarya_birrea#Popular_culture Marula Fruit]]" (called "maruba" in the film, for some reason), which apparently makes the animals used by the dopplers drunk. [[note]]This is a leftover from ''Animals are Beautiful People'', a nature documentary that the filmmakers used for the stock footage of the dopplers. The documentary made the claim that the fruits contained alcohol that intoxicated animals, which is a persistent, but disproven, myth.[[/note]]
* IndecisiveParody: Accounts for most of the more bizarre moments, for example the {{Creepy Child}}ren who almost get mustard on someone's exposed brain.
* InherentlyFunnyWords: The filmmakers seemed to think it was "anteaters." It's the only explanation for the constant anteater bashing. In the real world viewers thought it was constant use of the words "Fingal," and "dopple," which the [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]] crew gets a lot of mileage from in their treatment of the movie.
--> '''Mike''': I don't want to bungle or bobble the Fingal dopple.
%% * {{Jerkass}}: Slavin, [[InformedAttribute allegedly]].
%% * MasterComputer: [=HX368=].
* MisappliedPhlebotinum: In this future world, they apparently have the technology to remove someone's mind and transfer it to other bodies, and nobody is using it for immortality or life-saving procedures. Instead it is being used to place people's minds into animals for brief periods of time because they got a bad performance review at work.
** In the other stories set in the same universe, Varley describes this being done routinely. The tension of the story comes from the problem that the process for doppling between bodies normally uses a storage unit not designed for long-term storage of a personality; when Fingal's body turned up missing when they went to copy him back, just letting the unit sit would quickly result in the image turning to garbage, 'killing' him (based on other stories in the universe, he would have had an archived copy he could be restored from, although many people blow off making regular backups, even though everyone was entitled to an annual backup and as many more as they wanted to pay for, so his last backup could have been years out of date). They had to hook Fingal's memory unit into the Novicorp computer to keep it active so it wouldn't start degenerating. None of this appears in either the short story or the film, so it's one more of the unexplained aspects of the world of the film.
%% * {{Mondegreen}}: "My nuts?"
* TheMole: Appolonia's shift replacement Djamilla is apparently a Lexicorp spy, since she breaks the story of Fingal's misplacement to the public.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** Remember kids! You can't have ''Casablanca'' references without a Creator/PeterLorre impersonator!
** A Marlene Dietrich {{expy}} sings "Falling In Love Again" from ''The Blue Angel'' - in Rick's bar.
* OneNationUnderCopyright: Much is made of the powerful Novicorp and its rival Lexicorp; the only mention of actual governments is an offhanded reference to the British Parliament.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: Or, in this case, "[=IY479=]" (the name of the computer, [=HX368=], with each character incremented). It gets worse. Once the Chairman learns Fingal knows the password, he changes it to something extremely stupid:
--->'''Fingal:''' Wait a minute! Why didn't I think of that before. Its so simple. Reverse the access code. He probably thought I'd never try something so simple.
* PlayfulHacker: Fingal just wants to watch old movies when he should be working.
* PragmaticVillainy: In a scene deleted from the ''MST'' version, The Chairman decides to immediately terminate Fingal and send his family a telegram and a bouquet, but he's talked into retrieving Fingal instead when Appolonia points out that letting someone die as a result of doppling would shake consumer confidence in [=NoviCorp=]'s products so severely that it could bankrupt the company.
* RunningGag: Anteaters are mocked with regularity.
* ScrewYourself: As Appolonia says when Fingal has sex with a simulated version of a coworker (from his own head, mind), "Now he's started playing around with himself!"
%% * SesquipedalianSmith: Apollonia James.
* SlapSlapKiss: Although the actual kiss comes sometime after the slap, the mood does go romantic immediately after the slap.
-->'''Apollonia:''' Fingal... I want to do the right thing... I'm just not sure what that is...
* SmallReferencePools: Fingal's ''Casablanca'' simulation comes complete with a Creator/PeterLorre character who hangs around for almost the whole movie before he helpfully sacrifices himself to buy time for Fingal. In ''Casablanca'', Lorre's character Ugarte is a OneSceneWonder who shows up, gives Rick the {{Macguffin}} and then dies off screen. The film seems to muddle a lot of details of ''Casablanca'' with those of ''Maltese Falcon''.
** Though as there is also a Shout Out to ''The Blue Angel'' in the bar, it's possible Fingal just likes old movies in general and is blending several together, with Casablanca just the most prominent.
* StalkerWithACrush: Felicia, a co-worker with whom Fingal is smitten, thinks of him as this. She's pretty much right about him too, especially given how he treats a VR Simulation of her later in the movie.
* StockFootage: The part of Daisy the Baboon will be played by the James Uys nature documentary ''Animals Are Beautiful People''. The first twenty seconds or so of the opening credits to ''Casablanca'' appear frequently in the film.
* StopTrick: Used on occasion whenever something/one appears or vanishes from the VR simulation.
%% * TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture
* UnbuiltTrope: The film is not very well made but it's way ahead of its time regarding virtual reality stories. What appears cliche to anyone who's seen ''The Matrix'' was much fresher in 1984, cheesiness aside. May also constitute EarlyInstallmentWeirdness for its entire ''genre.''
* VideoInsideFilmOutside: Thanks to the Daisy footage coming from an old documentary.
* ViewerFriendlyInterface: Complete with what looks like a 72-point screen font.
* WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture: "Reconst," "flavo-fibes," "identicubes". "Medico," surprisingly, is an informal term for doctor or med student recognized by Microsoft Word and Firefox.
* WhatTheHellHero:
** Appolonia gives Fingal a thrashing when she catches him using his "powers" to have virtual sex with the image of a co-worker.
-->'''Appolonia:''' If this one-handed exercise is all you can think of to do with your life, you're a very little man, and I'm very disappointed in you!
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: When Apollonia appears as a Messenger from God, she speaks in a hybrid of anachronistic English and modern slang.
-->"[[NarmCharm Hold thy horses, wait it out.]]"
* YearInsideHourOutside: Although several days (maybe even months, according to onscreen graphics) seem to pass within Fingal's simulation, only a few hours pass in the real world. This is, in fact, a plot point: they have only a few hours to find Final's body before the computer will no longer maintain his personality.
* YourMindMakesItReal: "It was eerie, watching Fingal create his own reality simulation around him! Especially since he didn't even know he was doing it!"