Directed by Rachel Talalay
Starring Lori Petty, Malcolm McDowell, Ice-T
Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett•s post-apocalyptic heroine, Tank Girl, came and went from theaters so fast, some theaters didn•t even have a chance to get to the end of the movie. In a huge miscalculation, someone thought that a big budget mainstream release of a minor cult comic was a good idea• not! Sure, the comics had a loyal but small readership, but there was little in the pages likely to signal mainstream hit. The film has, however, found a bit of a groove on home video, thanks not only to fans of the comic but to fans of quirky offbeat cinema as well. The movie might actually have worked better as a no budget, straight to video flick along the lines of Hell Comes to Frogtown, but that was not to be.
Lori Petty nicely embodies the role of Tank Girl, mixing sex appeal, swagger, and a drill sergeant•s mouth. Malcolm McDowell plays another hammy psychopath, actually outdoing his role in Star Trek: Generations from the same year. And Ice-T shows up for a few minutes as a killer kangaroo. The plot • which was far more linear than the comics ever dreamt of being • has something to do with the struggles against a tyrannical water company, but there are also plenty of battles and Cole Porter musical numbers to keep things lively.
At times, the film looks like they merely shot a bunch of different scenes and then tried to use voiceovers and comic art to tie it all together. The result for the uninitiated was probably a bit painful, but to Tank Girl fans, it was awfully damn close to the source material, at least in it•s feel. Now the film comes home in a lush DVD transfer with ear-aching 5.1 surround sound. The low priced disc, as part of MGM•s Avant-Garde Cinema collection, features only a trailer and a language and subtitle option. No behind the scenes, commentary, or other goodies appear. But for a truly odd experience, try watching the film in French. You•ll start to understand that whole Jerry Lewis thing.