In the Aftermath
directed by Carl Colpaert
starring Tony Markes, Filiz Tully
Roger Corman had a cottage industry going for years where he would buy up – cheaply of course – science fiction films from Eastern Europe. He would then cannibalize the special effect footage and splice it in with newly shot footage to create a new film at a fraction of the time, labor, and expense. Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet,, and Queen of Blood are all examples of this recycling and they all work to varying degrees of success. It is only fitting that Roger Corman’s New World Pictures would attempt a new spin on this practice using a Japanese Anime instead of a Soviet space epic. Director Carl Colpaert repurposed about half an hour of Mamoru Oshii’s (Ghost in the Shell) anime Angel’s Egg by re-dubbing and editing it into a live action tale set in a post-apocalyptic near future earth.
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland Frank (Tony Markes, Valley Girl) is haunted by the image of a child like figure that rescues him after his buddy Goose is killed and Frank’s air supply is stolen. Angel lead him to a doctor, Sarah (Filiz Tully) who nurses him back to health. Angel, who is an actual angel, who has been sent to Earth to find a righteous person to bestow her angel egg upon. Angel and her side of the story are from Oshii’s anime whereas the rest is live action rather clumsily edited together.
For the most part the experiment of cutting between the animation and live action has the feel of flipping channels instead of anything nearing coherence. There are however a couple of moments in the film where all the elements merge in some delightful psychedelia. When a gas mask adorned Frank serenades Sarah by playing Horatio Moscovici’s ‘Carnavalito Tango’ on piano in a whirling dervish montage of animated and live action footage is wonderfully trippy and is easily the best thing in the film apart from some of the longer silent anime passages. This is one of those films that would have felt very much at home on USA Network’s late night flagship Night Flight where the surreal mash-up would have you doubting what you had watched the next day.
The Path To Aftermath is a newly filmed interview with producer Tom Dugan. Dugan discusses working in the post-Corman New World Pictures, cranking out cheap content for VHS (including In the Aftermath) and shooting at the derelict Fontana, California Kaiser Steel plant which was also the setting for the climax of Terminator 2.
In the Aftermath star Tony Markes is on hand for a new interview titled Apocalypse Then. Markes discusses his life as a child commercial actor, the crazy shooting schedule, the fact no one understood the anime and trying to act without anyone knowing what the film was actually about. He also discusses the literally toxic location, doing fight scenes without being able to see out of his gas mask and the opportunities to make movies during the beginning of the VHS boom where in his words “you could sell movies by the pound”.
Before The Aftermath: The Influence of Angel’s Egg features on-camera video essay from Andrew Osmond (author of Arrow Books’ Ghost In The Shell) who discusses the practice of re-purposing Japanese films, TV, and anime for western productions and delves into the importance and influence of Mamoru Oshii’s anime Angel’s Egg. He also goes in depth on the alterations made in Angel’s Egg when re-purposed for In the Aftermath.