One of three shorts (from 3 directors) that make up the movie 'Future Shock' (1994), though this short was released 1989. It centres on a doctor who specialises in VR mind scans to help his patients (loosely based on the comic book where he's a mad scientist).
The Roommate is about George, a morgue worker who has many issues (in short, he's a loser). He's bullied at work, ignored by women and about to lose his apartment because he's an habitual spender.
He posts an ad on the local college bulletin board for a flatmate (1989 is the birthyear of the World Wide Web), and gets Vincent (Paxton), his worst nightmare, who slowly drives George over the edge (as slow as 34 minutes allows). It's a well-written part and Paxton plays it well.
Vincent doesn't pay his rent, he takes George's bed, leaves dishes, invites prostitutes over, trashes his car after using it in a robbery, apparently murders the prostitute, and ultimately gets him shot by the police. Oh, spoilers.
After George dies, we see Vincent back at the college, where he targets another likely victim posting an ad. What an asshole.
Then George wakes up at the doctor's office, because it was all part of the VR treatment.
But this short stands alone quite well (if you ignore the ending). It has drama, comedy, action, thriller, and some fairly well acting that makes up for a very short runtime and a tight budget.
Scott Thompson, lead role as George, Kids In The Hall regular, CSI Jimmy Price in the short-lived Hannibal TV series
Rick Rossovich, frat boy who smashes up the car, movie #5 with Paxton (Terminator, Navy Seals, Streets Of Fire, Lords of Discipline)
James Karen, you don't know the name but you'll know the face. Always small parts in small movies, but he plays them so well
Martin Kove, the doctor, it's been more than 3 decades and 164 other parts, but I only know him as "Fear does not exist in this dojo, does it? Cobra Kai: No, Sensei! John Kreese: Pain does not exist in this dojo, does it? Cobra Kai: No, Sensei! John Kreese: Defeat does not exist in this dojo, does it? No, Sensei!"
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