He is taking a journey to bottom of the post-apocalypse movie bin. He's hoping to contribute reviews of some of the forgotten treasures and bad movies associated with the end of the world. He says he's been searching for the last few years for these films and the After Movie Diner seems to be the perfect place for his blunt, some would say, comedic writings on movies and we here at The Diner couldn't agree more!
So, here, we present to you Peter's review for the crap-tastic America 3000.
I am a massive movie nerd, more specifically I'm a massive sci-fi nerd. Yeah, I know, it instantly brings to mind “Star Trek fan” but it's quite the opposite actually, I'm not a big Trek fan; Star Wars on the other hand, massive fan.
I, actually, much prefer the sub genres of science fiction, most notably the post apocalypse sub genre, so much so that my website was named Cine-Apocalypse.
My first review was for zombie apocalypse flick, Survival Of The Dead, George A. Romero's 6th film in his 40 odd year saga of the living dead. Yeah it's not the best film ever made but it's decent.
Anywho, the reason I specifically mentioned the post-apocalypse is because of this article and any, possible, subsequent articles or reviews. Being such a big fan of the PA genre, I've kinda dedicated the last few years to seeking out the sadly forgotten and not so sadly forgotten films that take place after the end of the world. The idea is to not look at the classics like Mad Max or The Postman, Waterworld, The Stand etc...but instead to look at the more obscure flicks.
So to kick off this, possible, series of looks into the waste bin of the wasteland, I'm looking at Cannon's $25 budget PA flick, AMERICA 3000.
What can I say about this absurd excuse for a movie? Quite a bit as it happens. It's one of those films which is easy to review because there is so much wrong with it. Bad films are always easier to write about than good films. Now I could write page after page for something like Tank Girl but only maybe a page for something like Dark Knight. It's because The Dark Knight is a good film and as a writer, I'd just be telling you what you already know; with bad films, however, you can pull apart scene after scene in an amusing fashion and it may even change your mind as you think about it.
America 3000 is a terrible film but it's one of those films that has the ability to prevent you from switching it off, you really need to see where this is going and because of that, the film goes from being a "so bad it's bad" film to a "so bad it's actually quite a lot of fun" film.
The film kicks off with a voice over, not the kind of voice over you'd expect to hear in a post apocalypse movie, you know the kind, explaining how the world became a wasteland, how the earth dried up and technology died when the bombs exploded; this voice over is more comedic, it introduces you to who you think is a main character but in fact is only a secondary character.
Basically we're in the future, it's 900 years after WW3 and civilization has reverted back to a sort of stone age. The women are the rulers, living in camps in different cities, sort of like factions, and men are used as slaves. Most of the men are thick as fuck or have had their tongues removed, much like the humans in Planet Of The Apes, only this time we get Chuck Wagner instead of Chuck Heston as our hero male.
Wagner plays Korvis, one of about 3 men who have some sort of intelligence. Korvis, along with our narrator, manages to escape from the camp of the women, ruled by someone classed as the “tiara”, like a queen I guess or a princess. She's played by Laurene Landon, one of the worst actresses ever to grace the screen. You may remember her as the big haired vice cop, Teresa Mallory in William Lustig's, slightly better than average, NY Horror "Maniac Cop" anyway, she's terrible, I mean she's...nope, she's terrible.
Korvis and... lets call our narrator Dave, escape and venture out into the wasteland, a place that looks suspiciously like a disused quarry, where they plan to start their own No Homers Club. Well Korvis and a group of free men decide to rescue the male slaves being kept by Landon in her camp. While there, they accidentally wake the women who look like they had a massive piss up the night before and a small battle ensues. During the battle, the men break out a monster, well I'm guessing he's supposed to be a mutant, they never actually say, and this mutant monster, Chewbacca kinda thing turns out to be the comic relief. It does absolutely nothing except play with a warning siren for the majority of the film. Actually, at one point, he puts on a helmet, I guess thats something.
Korvis splits from the group after escaping the camp and finds a bunker belonging to the former President of the US. Apart from the skeleton of a technician, the bunker is empty. Oh I forgot, 900 years after WW3 and all the computers are still working too (?). Korvis finds guns, ammo and a gold fire suit. The whole point of the film is to see if Korvis can make Landon fall in love with him and make men the Alphas.
I'm sorry, I know my plot rundown is a bit long winded, I did try, but, to be honest, I just couldn't finish it. I saw no point, it's really one of those films you need to see to actually believe it exists.
The film's production is quite poor. The costumes all look like something cobbled together from leftover costumes from films like Warrior Queen, Death Stalker and The Beastmaster. The women's camp is just a bunch of tents surrounded by a wall and the women's hair? Put it this way, WW3 clearly left the world with 900 years worth of hair spray. Ive seen less subtle hair dos in a Cyndi Lauper video.
The script isn't too hot either. It has some very familiar moments, ok I say familiar but what I actually mean is they ripped other films off, especially Planet Of The Apes, Logan's Run and... the list could go on. The dialogue however, isn't too shabby, the men and woman have adopted a sort of variation on the Droog's vocab from A Clockwork Orange. It's not bad.
While America 3000 is a very, very bad movie, it also has a certain charm to it. Director David Englebach clearly set out to make a fun film and, in that sense, he did succeed. It's just a shame that it's very amateurish and let's not start on the monster/mutant/chewbacca thing again. While I could see the film was hugely flawed, it didn't ruin my enjoyment of it. I watched the entire 90 minute run time and never once considered switching it off. It's like I said, it's one of those films that has the ability to prevent you from pressing the stop button because I felt I needed to see where the film went. Now I've watched a lot of crap movies in my 32 years on this planet, so I think my tolerance for trash is pretty good.
All in all, yes, America 3000 is a terrible film but stick with it and, you never know, you, like me, might have a blast with it; an awkward blast but a blast none the less. I'll watch it again at some point but I need to watch something with a little more professionalism put into it first.
Just to let you know, not every review or article will look at the bargain basement of PA films. There are some genuinely great, forgotten and obscure films that I plan to talk about so, if this goes according to plan, you may get to find out more about my end-of-the-world movie journey.
If you catch him at the right time, he may explain his hatred for hipsters and flip flops and he might even do a little jig if you give him 20p. He also has a massive....DVD collection.