It happens sometimes: a movie that Netflix thought I would love, highly rated at IMDB, and I couldn't wait for it to be over.
It is a made-for-German-TV science fiction film from 1973, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It's long, spanning two DVDs. It's based on the novel Simulacron-3 by American writer Daniel F. Galouye. The release is given the classic "Criterion Collection" treatment, given Fassbinder's reputation as a famous artsy director.
The story centers on Fred, who works for a company developing a computer system that simulates the real world; the simulation involves a thousands of simulated human intelligences, who (of course) are unaware that they're living in a constructed artificial world.
Fred has stepped into a supervisory role due to the mysterious death of his boss, Vollmer, who was acting strangely just before he met his doom. At a party, the company's security dude is about to tell Fred something shocking about Vollmer's death, but… he mysteriously vanishes before spilling the bohnen. Worse, after a short time passes, Fred is seemingly the only guy who remembers the security guy even existed. And there seems to be a shady big-business conspiracy behind it all.
This must have seemed deeply weird and inexplicable back in 1973. Without spoiling things too much: if you've seen many science fiction movies since then, it's pretty obvious what's going on.
But nobody in this movie has seen those movies, so they've got absolutely no clue. And Fred finds himself doubting his own sanity.
The movie is low-budget, slow-moving, and pretentious. (Although some find it artful.) So how much nudity could you have on German TV in 1973? Answer: Some, not a lot.