80s Trash of the Week: Yor, the Hunter from the Future

I’m the hunter of the future? No, Yor are! Thinking back on the 80s, it amazed me that I saw a commercial for this movie on television back then. Then again, I also saw an ad for The Evil Dead, which was sort of cool. With direct to DVD, those days are gone. At first glance it looks like yet another caveman movie about a guy named Yor, with a stone axe and a fur loincloth– but this time the producer had a bunch of Star Wars ripoff costumes left over from another project, so he became a Hunter from the FUTURE.

Reb Brown plays Yor. Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans will remember him from Space Mutiny, a delightfully horrible space opera with lasers, screaming, and a frightening lack of railings. Before he went on to such great things, Reb began humbly here as Yor, and previously in another lost ’80s turd called The Sword and the Sorcerer, also known as “that movie with the three-bladed sword that shoots blades at the bad dudes.” Reb began his career in the snake horror flick Ssssss! and peaked as Captain America in the TV movies in the ’70s. As Yor, he looks like a surfer dude who washed up in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and we meet him as he gingerly traipses down the mountainside. For a moment I thought he was one of the gay cavemen from Ringo Starr’s Caveman.

Yor just totally saved your asses, dude!

Nearby, an old man named Pag and a hot brunette in a fur bikini called Kala are hunting dinosaur babies, and run into their prey’s angry momma. Luckily for them, Yor the fiercely blond warrior just happens to be tiptoeing through the pterodactyls in the area, and beats the beast to a bloody pulp with his stone axe. He immediately begins drinking the blood of the fallen creature, to gain its strength, and he is good enough to share. Like Ralph Wiggum, Kala explains that its blood tastes like burning. They ask Yor where he hales from, and all he can say is “um, up that mountain?” For he knows not from whence he came.

We raid your villages for soap.

They go back to their village to feast on bronto burgers, where the primitive screwheads all marvel at Yor’s magnificent mop of blond hair, and his studly medallion. The leader tells him that he knows of another like him, a queen worshipped by the people of Fire. And before Yor can leave to go seek his destiny, they are attacked by a tribe of dusky ape-men. Kala and all the women are captured, so it is up to Yor to free them, lest they be subjected to ape-nookie. Pag grabs a crude bow and proves his mettle- that dinosaur blood must be like Viagra- by shooting many of the hairy interlopers. Yor ingeniously kills a giant bat– and uses its wings as a fucking hang glider– to invade the cave of the apemen. If the rest of the movie was that good, we’d have a cult classic like The Beastmaster on our hands. But alas, it never reaches that peak again. Once inside the villainous tribe’s cave, Yor rescues Kala and escapes by pulling rocks out of a dam inside, flooding out the apemen and probably killing all the other captured women. Oops!

Yor invents the hang glider from a dead bat

Poor Kala never gets a chance to thank him for saving her, despite her insistence. When they cross the desert to find the Queen of the Fire People, whose tribe looks like mummies rolled in dirt with giant marshmallow skewers as weapons, he’d rather get it on with his fellow Aryan, Roa. She’s quite the hottie, and they both have swingin’ ’70s medallions! But her people turn on her when he arrives, and he has to fight his way out with a flaming sword! Actually that was kind of cool. Kala is not pleased with this predicament, and tries to kill her. But the apemen show up again, and they kill Roa to save her the trouble. Before she dies, she tells him to go across the desert to the sea, to continue the quest of finding their origins.

Sadly little elfwina here has little screen time.

This time they trek to the hippie village, where once again Yor ingratiates himself by saving their asses from a dinosaur. They gift him with yet another cavegirl, this time an Asian girl. Come to think of it, Yor may actually be a porn movie with all the sex scenes removed for TV. The villagers show him a secret cave where they “killed a god from the sky” and the only remains are a headlight from an ’82 Chrysler. About five seconds later, some lasers come out of nowhere and blow up the village, causing Yor to smash the headlight- which is some sort of walkie talkie- and howl, “Stupid talking box! You are the cause of all this!”

Lasers? wtf dude! I’m a frickin caveman!

The survivors tell him of a mysterious island “always hidden by storms” from where the god from the sky and his “flying bird” may have come. So you guessed it, time to hop a boat and find the island. The island looks like the rest of Yor’s world, except as he’s sneaking around, he’s suddenly surrounded by black robots that look a lot like Darth Vader. He smashes one’s head off with a rock, but gets surrounded- which is not easy when the robots never actually move- and they shoot him with stun rays, and bring him to their leader, in their secret lair.

“Seize him!”

The androids are led by an evil bearded man in a cape named Overlord. Through him we learn that yes, they are on Earth, and they blew it up, you maniacs, damn you all to hell. Yor truly is a hunter from the future, and was one of the Rebels (sensing a pattern here?) who crashed while trying to overthrow Overlord, only to get convenient amnesia. All the other rebels are blond, too. For one time in history, the blond blue-eyed people aren’t trying to take over the planet! Needless to say, Yor kicks Overlord’s ass with some handy trapeze work and by stabbing him with what looks like a barber’s pole.

The daring young hunter from the future on the flying trapeze

Yor, The Hunter from the Future was one of many Italian low-budget movies in the ’80s that somehow made it to the American market. Another favorite of mine is The Warriors of the Wasteland, which was a Road Warrior ripoff, with exploding arrows and annoying kid. There’s always a kid in those movies; at least the Feral Child from Mad Max was unable to speak. He only communicated by throwing razor sharp boomerangs. Another good one is Super Fuzz with Terence Hill- the guy from the Trinity spaghetti westerns, and Ernest Borgnine as cops. Unfortunately, Yor is not up to that level. I can’t really give you any reason to watch it; it is completely devoid of boobies, and once the FUTURE shows up, it’s pretty lame. If they boobed it up and made it full of scenes like using severed giant bat wings as hang glider, we might have had something.

Beers Required to Enjoy: 3
Could it be remade today? I would love to see it.
Quotability Rating: Zero
Cheese Factor: Stinky Provolone
High Points: Batwing hang-glider, ahoy!
Low Point: the FUTURE!
Gratuitous Boobies: Devoid of boobie

Death Race vs. Death Race 2000

I remember hunting down Death Race 2000 on VHS in high school with friend Pita-San. We were nerds who played “Car Wars” and this was on the required viewing list for players of that old game; we were not prepared for its dark satire, or the crazy camp. It amazed us. We did not think such movies were made. We loved it. So I was sort of excited about a remake, which could be a lot of fun- cars exploding, over the top villains, and a dark satirical future. I was sorely disappointed.

Frankenstein’s monster car

Let’s begin with the original. In a post-apocalyptic future, America is led by a brown-shirt President who blames all our problems on the French (some things never change). The populace is kept distracted by a violent cross-country road race in which drivers gain points by running down pedestrians in their suped-up, blade-festooned vehicles. Frankenstein (David Carradine) is the favorite driver- so called because he’s been in so many wrecks that most of him has been replaced. He drives a Godzilla-inspired Corvette with razor spines from nose to tail. His biggest rival is Machine Gun Joe (Sylvester Stallone), a gangster Guido with sadly inoperable tommy-guns and a huge Bowie knife mounted on his car; others include the Nazis Mathilda the Hun and Herman the German in their V-2 rocket-propelled Buzzbomb (complete with Prussian spike nosecone), Calamity Jane (Mary Woronov, Rock ‘n Roll High School) a cowgirl with longhorns on her hood, and Nero the pretty-boy, who thankfully gets killed first.

I hate Illinois Nazis.

It’s an utter campfest, as they plow through construction crews, guys playing chicken with them, and Rebels trying to sabotage the race. Frankenstein is saddled with a new navigator that he thinks is a government spy; he wants to win this last race so he can meet the President, and give him a handshake… with a “hand grenade!” Yeah, his metallic hand has a grenade built into it. There’s fake red blood galore, but it’s all well directed- the cars are sped up a little on camera, but they seem to be going pretty fast, and the stunts are decent. Whenever they aren’t racing and things get a little slow, director Paul Bartel wisely makes the girls (even his wife Mary W.!) show off their boobies. So all in all, it’s a slice of ’70s delight.

Carradine was fresh out of “Kung Fu” on TV and needed to break away from his Kwai Chang Cane character; Sly was probably raising money for Rocky, and they both chew into the roles with relish. The newscasters who follow the race are a mockery of TV talking heads, with a Howard Cosell talk-alike and others who drip with insincerity as government stooges. The budget is all spent on the goofy cars, but everyone involved goes at it with gusto. The Arnie movie The Running Man has more in common with this than the Stephen King story it’s based on, and while it’s pacing is slow for modern audiences, there’s nothing else quite like Death Race 2000. Name another movie where the doctors would roll out the elderly patients for “Euthanasia Day” only to be run over themselves. Paul Bartel knew how to make good trash, but this and Eating Raoul are his best. If you must see the “re-imagining” in theaters now, find a way to see the original.

Machine Gun Joe’s murdermobile

Death Race is a another video game movie from that master of mediocrity, who should be banned from having a name similar to Paul Thomas Anderson’s and Wes Anderson’s. Like a dog wiping his ass across the white carpet of cinema, he’s left a brown streak across the movie rack that cannot be ignored. I’ve seen Alien vs. Predator (the most boring of all the Alien films), Resident Evil (the worst of the trilogy), Event Horizon (probably the most overrated nerd-beloved film of all time, Hellraiser in space) and now Death Race, which mixes NASCAR, machine guns, and pinball in a prison movie. I’m told Soldier is saved somewhat by Kurt Russell, so I’ll rent that the next time I’ve watched too many enjoyable movies and need a letdown.

Driving my career into the toilet

There’s nothing surprising about Death Race. Ian McShane (“Deadwood,” Sitting Target) and his gravelly voice manage to uplift his scenes, but Jason Statham coasts by, having cast off any emoting ability sometime after Cellular. I loved him in Guy Ritchie’s movies, and as The Transporter, but he’s really become Vin Diesel’s grittier brother. Joan Allen (Manhunter, the Bourne Trilogy) must owe someone a favor; she’s horrible as the steely warden Hennessy, who runs the private prison with a cool and ruthless demeanor. The problem is she only has one note. Angie Dickinson in Payback: Straight Up was believable; Hennessy is not. Hearing her say nonsensical vulgarities like “Okay you, cocksucker. Fuck with me, and we’ll see who shits on the sidewalk!” is hilarious; you’d think McShane of the legendary Al Swearingen would have coached her on how to cuss!

Mad tite whip, yo

Crowd favorite Frankenstein died in his last race, so Hennessy frames ex-NASCAR driver Jensen Ames (Statham) for murder to get him to replace the masked marauder. Carradine voices Frankenstein in the opener, which was a nice touch (there are a few forgettable nods to the first movie). The rest of the drivers are all tokens- Machine Gun Joe is now a twofer, a gay black musclehead played by Tyrese Gibson (Four Brothers); 14k is the Asian nod to the ricer Fast and the Furious crowd, there’s Pachenko the Russian, a nondescript Latino dude whose job is to yell vulgarities in Spanish, and an Aryan Brotherhood guy who’ll be the bad guy among bad guys. I was hoping there’d be an obnoxious Guido driver so I could point up at the screen and say, “hurr! he’s like me! I can now relate to this story!” They also bus in women prisoners so the gals have someone to cheer, but they are only allowed to serve as navigators- McCain must be president in 2012. The lithe ladies all have boomboxes in their cooches, which play riffs if they sway their hips in slow motion while they walk on screen. I must get Firecracker one of those. Natalie Martinez plays Frankenstein’s navigator Case, so maybe it’s just something hot Latinas are born with.

We need more uniforms like this in women’s prison

This movie is all about the action, but it’s mostly boring. Armored cars with machine-guns, flamethrowers and rocket launchers hammer at each other as they lap the track, which has Power Ups (they’re actually called this) scattered around it, like Mario Kart meets Twisted Metal. The guns barely seem to hurt the cars’ armor, and most kills are of the crash & explode variety. PWSA tries to up the gore factor now and then, but it’s bad CG the few times we see a pedestrian get plowed. We actually see a guy explode as soon as a car touches him, for example; I’d rather have fake red blood on an actual stunt man, thanks. During the final lap, Hennessy releases “the Dreadnought,” a tricked out semi with a tank gun, and its wheels have those spinning blades we’ve seen a dozen times- the token Asian’s navigator gets chewed up by it, which involves her jiggling in her seat with her tongue hanging out. The driver doesn’t even get blood on him. It would have been funnier if we just heard her scream and see him get splattered with her innards, but you can’t expect clever from this Anderson.

The infamous hand grenade!

The ending seems like an afterthought and I think PWSA (pronounced Pwissa) wrote it on toilet paper in between grunts. It’s as if they ran out of time, needed a prison break, and then forgot that they didn’t kill the evil warden. When they do escape in their death cars, try not to roll your eyes when the guards chase them in regular old police cars, as if escape never crossed their minds; the cars are all rigged with kill switches on the weapons, but Hennessy never imagined they could be bypassed. They chase them with helicopters across the only bridge off the prison island, which is protected by … a chain link fence. Even prisons that don’t hold death races have better security than this. But we ran out of time, so they need to escape easily. So much for finales.

How the remake feels!

Jason Statham, what’s gotten into you? It’s an easy paycheck, I know. I really liked The Transporter. If you can’t tell what made that more fun than the latest string of movies you’ve made, fire your agent before you lose any remaining cred. We’ll always have Turkish.

And as a bonus here are two photos from Death Race 2000 that look like they’re from an S&M movie, or a Batman porno.

Doomsday – Rhona Mitra vs. Punkapocalyptica

The post-apocalyptic movies of the ’80s had a few things going for them- we were at the tail end of the Cold War, and thousands of nuclear warheads were aimed at everybody. Now, they’re just decrepit and unaccounted for. Also, there had been an oil crisis in the ’70s and we were all concerned about fighting over it. Wait a minute. Does this mean… a new crop of post-apocalyptic movies could be at hand? Doomsday by Neil Marshall, who gave us the delightful low-budget werewolf blast Dog Soldiers and one of the best horror movies of recent years, The Descent, decides to test the waters with a little bit of 28 Days Later sprinkled on familiar classics such as Escape from New York and The Road Warrior. And mostly, it succeeds- it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Steve Martin, eat your heart out.

After a deadly outbreak of the Reaper Virus, which gives you giant warts on your face before you puke blood-snot and die, the British government seals off Scotland for 30 years to contain the virus. After a new outbreak in London, a wily female operative and her mostly stupid comrades are sent in to find a scientist named Kane, who may have a cure or vaccine. It’s not quite clear. What is clear is that London has devolved into a criminal shithole reminiscent of the future represented in stuff like Ghost in the Shell, which also has a cybernetically enhanced hottie protagonist. Here, Major Eden Sinclair lost an eye as a child, when her mother sacrificed her life to get to da choppa!!! and save her from the virus. And now she’s going back to kick some viral ass.

In 2035 Britain is shunned by the world for its Machiavellian solution to the plague. “Nip/Tuck” siren Rhona Mitra plays Major Sinclair, the black-clad super-cop leading the mission; her boss is the burly bristly badger Bob Hoskins, operating on orders from sleazy politicians who fear both uprisings and outbreaks. It soon becomes clear that if they can let an outbreak burn through areas rife with unrest, they’ll do it instead of decreasing the poll tax or raising the dole or whatever they do over there instead of bread and circuses. Chips and tellies.

Eyepatches are hot. I’d raid her booty.

They send her to see what the Scots have done in 30 years of isolation and total breakdown of civilization; the survivors seem immune, but are they carriers? Sadly, the inventors of such culinary breakthroughs as the deep-fried Mars Bar have not fared well, and having run out of haggis, they now resort to cannibalism. Our intrepid heroes roll in with two big troop carriers straight out of Damnation Alley, and get struck by a horde of Post-Apocalyptic Punks as soon as they leave the safety of their vehicles. Thanks to that One Stupid Guy who has to help a teen waif in a heroin haze, they are all slaughtered in guerrilla style with Molotov cocktails, spiked cricket bats, and makeshift weapons. It’s like Aliens in Chechnya.

Damnation Alley meets Aliens in Chechnya

Sol, the leader of the cannibalistic tribes, definitely resembles Wez from the Mad Max movies, and his hordes seem to have modeled things after post-apocalyptic movies they watched as kids. Believable enough. In a gunless society everyone resorts to knives, swords, clubs, crossbows and cudgels. Sinclair gets captured but two of her men lay low; the cannibal punks beat her up and ask her questions, but apparently draw the line at punching you hard. We soon learn that they’re just tenderizing the meat, as another captive gets roasted alive on stage. They don’t even gut him first, or make haggis. They throw Eden a chunk of him. “If you’re hungry, have a piece of your friend.”

I eat cannibals…

The film manages some controlled gore but doesn’t go over the top, especially for a bunch of cannibals; the Reavers from Serenity were much more savage. Not that your bloodlust won’t be sated by the Unrated version, which has headshots galore. I wondered how they chose the next meal, if no one’s arrived in 30 years, and everyone seems to be in their mid-20’s. Did they eat their parents? We’ll find the Castle for Adult Living, later. Sinclair escapes in a brutal swordfight with Sol’s mohawk-sporting girlfriend, dragging along another female prisoner who turns out to be his sister. They go to find dear old Dad, who turns out to be the scientist Kane they went to find in the first place.

Scantily clad women swordfighting? Count me in!

A lot of internet nerds think it all went pear-shaped here, when they run into Kane’s people, who are dressed and armed like medieval knights and peasants, and live in a fortified castle only reachable through an underground bunker. It was fine with me; I never asked where the Humongous and company found all that S&M gear in The Road Warrior, why should I ask how they learned medieval armory skills? A shield looks like it’s made from sheet metal scrap, so it’s not too hard to imagine. Kane is played by Malcolm MacDowell as a tyrant bent on bringing back serfdom, and the movie makes it none too clear that the rulers on the outside only differ in their methods.

Her abs are only slightly harder than his armor.

There’s a great duel between Sinclair and an armored knight with a morningstar, but Marshall’s supposedly inspirational vision- of a modern or futuristic soldier facing a knight in armor- is never to be. Which is probably for the better, as I’m not sure how cheesy that would be. I imagine they’d have decided to make the armor bulletproof, when the reason it fell out of fashion was because it most certainly was not. We get plenty of action besides, with a final chase worthy of a Mad Max film, with a bunch of British vehicles done up in punk-apocalyptic garb vs. a Bentley GT. Too bad Sol couldn’t scavenge up a Jaguar XKE- they manage to catch them anyway, this being a movie.

Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?

Of course it’s derivative, but let’s face it, the last movie of this type I can remember is Escape from L.A., which was fun but had a bit too much camp for my liking. Doomsday may not be a classic, but it’s certainly entertaining. The ending shows that Major Eden Sinclair could be pals with Snake Plissken, and sets us up for a possible sequel that I doubt we’ll ever see. That’s too bad, because I’d watch it. The movie’s flaws are minor- the cliche dumb guy who gets the team killed, and offing one of our favorite characters- the only guy who seems competent- to drum up some emotion in the third act.

Last Night – Remember Y2k?

I’d been meaning to see this for years- a low-key, end of the world movie from Canada that was more about how people would react to knowing the world was ending and when, than how it would end. It was more akin to the great 80’s sleeper Miracle Mile than silly stuff like Armageddon. It manages to be quite gripping by not showing or telling us what’s coming, but letting us live with a small group of people and their last days on Earth.

“This is the way the world ends- not with a bang, but a whimper.”

T.S. Eliot’s elegiac chorus from his poem “The Hollow Men” has become almost hackneyed in repetition, but Don McKellar took it to heart when he wrote and directed Last Night, a wistful look at the final 6 hours of a small group of people, and of course, the entire world. This is a more cerebral end of the world picture, reminiscent of The Quiet Earth in ways. In Toronto, we meet a small family preparing for the world to end in 6 hours, at midnight. The older mother and father are hosting a gathering, like a final Christmas send-off; their son Patrick (McKellar) becomes the link between the other folks we meet. He wants to spend the final time alone, listening to music in his apartment.

Lonesome Patrick

His friend is racking up final sexual conquests, while a woman (Sandra Oh) tries to meet with her husband for a one last romantic dinner, but he’s still at work, calling customers of the gas company to reassure them that they will keep the gas running until the bitter end. How civilized. Of course others run amok, and the loneliness and desperation of an inevitable, unavoidable demise rests heavily on everyone’s shoulders. The film creates a singular mood that is quite compelling, and the actors are well suited, culled from the incestuous Canadian film industry. David Cronenberg plays the gas company man, with surprising talent. The film is charming in how people cling to societal conventions even in the face of apocalypse.

Sandra does some last-minute shopping.

Patrick meets Sandra in the street, after he car is vandalized and she waits on the trolley for a driver who will never come. A mother and child wait stubbornly on the train, unable to realize that the system has already fallen apart. Patrick decides to help Sandra get to her husband, and tries to borrow a car from some friends- but they need it for a violin recital. You see, he’s finally got a chance to play at the orchestra, and would you like to come? Not if it was the last day on Earth, apparently. These subtle jokes keep the tone from becoming too depressing, and gives us a chance for a little introspection and inevitable dinner conversation after it’s over- what would you do?

Patrick knows his sex-hungry friend has a few cars; but he is loathe to part with any of them, because he wants to die with a classic car collection. And two is not a collection; that’s just a guy with two cars. He who dies with the most toys wins, not just a bumper sticker, but a way of life.

We never learn what’s causing Earth’s sudden destruction at midnight, except that it’s been constant daylight for the past 6 months. No night, no stars; an arctic summer for everyone in Toronto, at least. It made me wonder what things were like on the other side of the world, with six months of darkness, or if the world was heading into the sun; it’s never explained, which is good, because it’s not meant to be a science fiction picture like The Quiet Earth. It’s a good drama with some mild laughs and epiphanies, and it really drew me in to feel for the characters. A nice chance of pace from your typical end of the world film.

The movie came out in 1998, when many people were concerned about with millennial doomsday predictions, or the anticlimactic concerns over computer malfunctions. Countries that spent millions in preparation seemed to fare as well as those who didn’t, but the turning of the great odometer inspired a slew of disaster movies. This is the anti-disaster movie, and a good way to spend some time, thinking about what you’d do; better than similar pap like The Bucket List, anyway.

80’s Trash of the Week: Night of the Comet

The Cold War inspired many post-apocalyptic nightmares from Hollywood in the 80’s, but Haley’s Comet only inspired a couple- Lifeforce and Night of the Comet spring to mind. I happen to have watched both last week, so I’ll be inflicting reviews of both of them on you soon enough.

Red sky at morning, sailor’s a zombie.

Night of the Comet is a silly post-apocalyptic teen fantasy about a comet wiping the Earth mostly clean of adults; well, except for a few survivors and of course, the inevitable zombies wandering the earth in a cannibalistic rage as the calcium in their bones is dissolved by comet dust.

I told you, I don’t wanna see “the creature from the black chinos.”

It’s a good B movie and never tries to rise above it. It even feels like an old 50’s movie, beginning with Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart– The Last Starfighter), a spunky gal working in a movie theater when everyone else is out watching the comet graze the atmosphere.

Those were the days.

She’s a video game junkie, playing my favorite- Tempest. She’s got her initials REG in all the spots except one, where a mysterious “DMK” has gotten one of the top scores. This makes her feel miffed, so she gets her angst out by going upstairs to make out with the projectionist. He likes to trade films like It Came from Outer Space with other film nerds; this lets us know what kind of movie we’re in for. When she wakes up in the morning, everyone has been replaced with a pile of red dust and clothes, and a scary black dude with a cap attacks her. This is nothing new for an 80’s movie, where he would fit the mugger stereotype, but he’s more interested in eating her internal organs than snatching her purse.

Gimme your wallet… and your liver!

She wanders the city on her dead boyfriend’s moped, and eventually finds only a few people have survived intact- her ditzy cheerleader sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney- Chopping Mall), and a young trucker named Hector. Together they seek shelter from the few cannibals at the local radio station, which is still broadcasting. It’s pretty boring for them (and us) … So what would a few teenagers do if all the adults were dead? Go to the mall, of course!

80’s overload

The mall scenes are reminiscent of the much better Dawn of the Dead, emphasizing the emptiness of the consumerist lifestyle. It seems to have influenced the Dawn of the Dawn remake too, because they run into the rent-a-cops who once ran the place, still staking out their turf. In the meanwhile, we cut to a remote underground science lab where eggheads Audrey (Mary Woronov from Eating Raoul and Rock ‘n Roll High School) and Brian (Geoffrey Lewis from the Clint Eastwood orangutan movies) are discussing what to do with the survivors… they’ve heard the kids on the radio.

Santa will trade you presents for your sweet internal organs.

The story wobbles on the tightrope between a campy teen horror like Night of the Creeps and a more thoughtful movie like The Quiet Earth, where the allusions are much more clear. This makes it a little dull in spots, but the characters get to shine. Hector is sort of a typical heroic lunk, but he never does anything mean or stupid to further the plot; the girls are likewise realistic, with the older Regina a sharp tomboy, who reminded me of Linda Fiorentino in Vision Quest.

Stupid mall ninjas.

It comes off as a bit of a satire, and while it’s certainly trashy, especially when the scientists show their true colors, it doesn’t dip into exploitation at all. No gratuitous boobies here, and the violence is usually played for laughs. I give writer-director Thom Eberhardt credit for giving the movie its unique mood and tone, but wag my finger at the sloppy “DMK” payoff at the end- it’s too flippant, and he ends up with the wrong girl! Watching the teens turn into chiding parents was a nice touch, though. If you like 80’s movies, this is one of the lesser-known ones in the post-apocalyptic genre that is worth hunting down.

Robotron 2084: Save the last human family

Beers Required to Enjoy: Two
Could it be remade today? No friggin’ way
Quotability Rating: Low
Cheese Factor: Sharp
High Points: Great premise and tone
Low Point: Weak ending
Gratuitous Boobies: Cheerleader in bra and panties

What pause buttons are made for.