How had I never watched this movie?
Classic late-80s apocalypse movie with strange blood sports that make no sense and people who make a living making armor out of spare tires in a desert wasteland while these pale vampire people rule the abandoned underground cities and watch the more formalized version of the blood sport for fun. It even has Rutger Hauer. It was apparently written by the same guy who wrote Blade Runner, which is how I found it. Comb through IMDB profiles and you can find some interesting stuff.
The surprising part about this movie was that the main character – our plucky hero who wants to join the blood sport team heading through his little town so he can make it to the big leagues in the city – is actually a she, played by Joan Chen of Twin Peaks fame. And holy crap – unlike a lot of other crappy post-apocalypse movies, she actually gets to kick ass! And have meaningless sex! And kick some more ass!
The brutal band of blood sport folks (who go by the ridiculous name “juggers” and run around with chains and dog skulls and yeah, but Mad Max made no sense either handwave handwave) also includes a tough female equivalent of a line backer whose whole face is a mass of scars and a big African American guy with tribal tattoos.
Did I mention that Chen’s character breaks people’s legs and bites a guy’s ear off? Brutal blood sport, right? And she doesn’t even have to die at the end! Oh frabjuous day!
J. and I enjoyed this little post-apocalypse romp for its sheer ridiculousness, lame dialogue, silly storyline, and crazy blood sports, but it really stood out to me not because of its B-movieness (I’ll watch just about any 80s post-apocalypse show and get some kind of enjoyment out of its craziness), but because it did that thing that is, sadly, really different – I got big brutal heroines and a diverse cast of characters.
I just wish they’d been better actors with a budget and a non-ridiculous script. There’s a lot of window dressing here that makes no sense (and let’s not even get into the ridiculous of the dog skull thing. Or the chain wielding. Or the… yeah, anyway).
I’m telling you, the Nyx books would be awesome on film.
For a more coherent summary of this bad movie, which helped explain some of the absent, meandering plot to ME, as well, see here (it is worth mentioning – which the reviewer doesn’t – that our heroine has sex with two people on the team, not just the team leader, and eyes up some male prostitutes, and she pays no whore price for doing so. Her sexuality feels totally on par with the men’s [read: a real person], which I appreciated).