Saturday, September 4, 2010

FUTURE-KILL Movie Review


In the near future, a new class division has been created in the cities, the uptowners and the downtown mutants, who look more like people that listen to way too much Adam Ant rather than biological abnormalities. These mutants stage elaborate protests against nuclear weapons, and have been the focus of several newscasts. Oblivious to the suffering that happens downtown are a bunch of fratboys who, after a botched college prank, are asked to go downtown and kidnap the leader of the mutants, Eddie Pain. Lurking downtown however, is a mutant named Splatter (Edwin Neal), who is all too familiar with suffering, and loves nothing more than to dish it out. When the boys locate Pain and Splatter, Splatter's twisted logic leads him to murder Pain in a power move, and then blames it on the innocent fratboys.

As word gets out of Eddie Pain's death, the mutants begin a citywide hunt for the now on-the-run fratboys, who are hopelessly lost. During their sprints from alley to alley, the fratboys come across Julie, a local mutant who is being attacked. The fratboys save Julie, and in exchange, she begrudgingly agrees to help them find a way out of the downtown city. When their paths cross with Dorothy Grim (Marilyn Burns), another mutant who has decided that Splatter must be killed if the mutant cause is to succeed, the group arms themselves and head into Splatter's lair for one final confrontation.

FUTURE-KILL uses the basic storyline premise of THE WARRIORS, and infuses ideas generously borrowed from THE TERMINATOR, REVENGE OF THE NERDS, THE ROAD WARRIOR and Penelope Spheeris' SUBURBIA, with a none-too-subtle stance against pending nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. First time director and co-writer Ronald W Moore (who incidentally never made another movie after this) pieces together a hodge-podge of physical gross-out comedy, weak suspense set-ups, a few good gore moments. The cracks are filled with prerequisite 1980s cliches including blue-washed lighting, a synthesizer score and an utterly pointless yet still fun sequence in a nightclub where a live band plays not one, but two full songs as the fratboys dance and mingle with the mutants.

For most, the main selling point of the film will be a chance to see the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE stars Edwin Neal and Marilyn Burns on screen together again. The two don't actually spend that much time together on screen, and Burns' role is more of an extended cameo rather than the co-star billing she gets. Neal, who was extensively involved in the film's creation, is obviously having a great time on screen in his full armor outfit, and Burns' looks damn sexy in her low-cut leather n' metal combat gear.

FUTURE-KILL is a prime example of low-budget 80's indie exploitation, which is big on heart, poor on execution, and whose poster, an art piece created by H.R. Giger specifically for the movie, promises a character twice as cool as any that make it on screen. 1980s b-movie horror and sci-fi junkies should enjoy this one as long as you know what you're getting into, but make sure to watch it with a few friends and a twelve pack; it makes for is easy cannon-fodder and talking back to the screen.


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