Thursday, January 12, 2012

DOOM'D Review: Tank Girl (1995)

I have one name to say to you that will pretty much tell you whether or not you’re going to be into this movie or not. Rachel Talalay. She wrote and directed Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. Now, I assume all you have seen the Nightmare on Elm Street series and it “kinda” ends with Freddy’s Dead. Going through the series it pretty much gets sillier and crazy as it goes along. And I fucking loved it. Now, if you are the kind of person that liked Freddy’s Dead, then you’ll probably have the same kind of tastes in movies that will allow you to enjoy the glory that is Tank Girl. Also directed by Rachel Talalay.

I love her IMDb credits. Freddy’s Dead. Some movie called Ghost in the Machine. And then Tank Girl. And then it’s a B-line to TV street from then until now. I think she has a series case of the Fred Dekker’s, make 3 movies, none of them go over very well, nobody gives you work ever again.

Anyway, off topic. Let’s talk about Tank Girl. I fucking LOVED this movie when I was a kid. I rented it way too many times. I just thought it was the greatest gods damn thing ever. But then society moved on and tried to bury it in its dust.

Well over a decade later I find it again. I have it in my possession and then I wait: Because only a movie of this caliber must be watched in the year of our destruction: 2012. So here we are, 2012, and Tank Girl is taking over!

The story is extremely bizarre and difficult to explain but I’ll do my best. It’s the post apocalypse. A comet hit the Earth 11 years ago and it hasn’t rained once since. A global corporation (Water & Power) control everything. They have the water, they have the power. Tank Girl is hanging in the outskirts with her band of revolutionaries when they are suddenly stormed by W&P and she’s taken captive. She is then forced to do a job for W&P, she must find a group of thieves called The Rippers. They are a serious thorn in W&P’s side. So Tank Girl goes to find them but not before recruiting a new side kick: Jet Girl. So together they find the Rippers. The Rippers happen to be the end result of a mutation of Human and Kangaroo. (HAHAHAHAHA) So, from there they become friends and together they head out to take out W&P forever.

And implied Kangaroo sex happens. Originally supposed to be REAL Kangaroo/Human Sex.

Besides the Kangaroo part that actually sounds like a pretty groovy story. The thing I leave out though is all the BALLS OUT WACKINESS. Tank Girl is a poster child for the fashion revolution. She dons, at minimum, 300 outfits in this movie. Each of them tight spandex and checkered/overly colored/fluffy/shiny/and oh so naughty. There is even a musical number smack dab in the middle. Tank Girl’s personality is that of a 5 year old trapped in 25 year old’s body. Her comebacks are always hilarious. Like, she lips off to the people at W&P so they put her in a straight jacket and shove her in a freezer for several days. Then the leader of W&P comes in to check on her and the first words out of her mouth are, “Geez, it sure is hard to play with myself in this thing.” HAHAHAHA I love you Tank Girl.

And the Kangaroo guys. Oh man, I’m pretty sure that’s the reason I loved this as a kid. Hell yes! Kangaroos! Kicking ass! And one of them is Ice-T!

A role which certainly helped him win a shot at Law & Order.

WHA-WHA-WHAT!? Yes, yes it’s true. The tough guy Ripper is none other than Ice-T in the pinnacle of his career. This movie is actually quite strife with talent. Jet Girl is played by an up and coming Naomi Watts. She is extremely wantable in this movie. She is to the movie Tank Girl what Kaylee is to the TV show Firefly. She’s a cute girl, she wears glasses, she’s a mechanic, she loves electronics, she’s a total nerd, and even though she does everything in her power to be unsexy, you can’t help but be attracted to her the most.


Then there’s the immortal Malcolm McDowell. I swear he does these kinds of movies as a vent for some internal insanity he needs to release so he can perform better during his better roles. Like, he did Cyborg 3 to get his craziness out so he could perform better in Star Trek: Generations and then did Tank Girl to wind down from that epic performance. I just love that man. His voice, his presence, any time he’s in a movie I’ll watch it. That guy just makes everything better.

Couple more things I’d like to mention before I wrap this up. Tank Girl is actually based off a british comic strip. So as you’re watching the movie, there are a SHITLOAD of comic stuff flashing on the screen. The opening credits are all over a backdrop of comics. Transitions between scenes feature comics. Times when they’d rather not spend the money on a “rebuilding a machine” montage, they instead crank sound effects over a backdrop of comics. It’s actually pretty cool and I liked that aspect of this movie.

Also, the guy that wrote this also wrote Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines so take from that what you want. (I liked that one too)

And finally, the special effects in this movie are quite amazing. The green screen effects are done with precision and are rather convincing. The models and real props are very impressive. The Tank itself is pretty sweet. It's kind of shocking that a movie of this caliber was able to come up with the budget that it did. I can't imagine trying to pitch this movie to someone and expecting to walk away with millions of dollars to make it. Somehow they managed to get it and that makes this movie all the better.

So we have hated Director, hated Writer, a good cast, a crazy post apocalyptic story, a ton of action, Jets, Tanks, things blowing up, Kangaroo mutants, a musical number, lots of pretty colors, sexy, fun punk rock music, a good cast, swearing, blood, and a guy getting the water sucked out of his body. Throw that all in a blender and what do you get?

The greatness that is: TANK GIRL. Watch it. (Currently available on Netflix Instant)


  1. The funny thing is that the comic scene transitions/montages were only there because the writers actually forgot to film those scenes!

    I vaguely remember that Malcolm McDowell's character undergoes a head operation, and after it we only see him in shadow, then when we do see him, he looks exactly the same! Is that the case?

  2. That does happen to Malcolm McDowell, yes. His arm is cut off so he has a badass prothsetic attached, but there's something wrong with his they cut it off. Annnnnnd....SPOILER....attach a hologram to it, so his face is the same as before but now it's a hologram.

    I didn't know they forgot to shoot scenes, I figured they couldn't afford those scenes so they just plugged those in there. I was fine with it, didn't distract from the movie at all. I just thought it was funny they went that route.

  3. I haven't seen this in forever, and a couple years ago when I looked at a bunch of comic book movies, people mentioned this one and I'd forgotten all about it. Now that it's on Watch Instantly I need to make it happen.