2019, After the Fall of New York (1983)
|'Big Ape', who dresses like a prince of pumpkins.|
The story of Sleeping Beauty is only charming so long as nobody impregnates her while she is sleeping. Alas, a charismatic mutant by the name of Big Ape, who claims to be the most virile man alive, is implied to do just that, though it mercifully occurs off-screen. This isn't one of those sexy films, you know. Nonetheless, it's hinted at and never really addressed, and seems horribly out of place in a lively adventure film. People rightly complain about female characters whose sole merits are their fertility, but this seems to take the problem up to the next level, since the slumbering begetter never so much as speaks. She sleeps, she carries humanity's future in her loins, and eventually wakes to smile beautifully and silently, as if she were the Duchess of Cambridge.
|'They baked the Big Apple'|
The film is Italian, but is generally shown dubbed into English. Its script is enjoyable enough, occasionally delivering a memorable line or two. But the whole thing fails in its mission to be 'Star Wars'. It's the same year as 'Return of the Jedi', so a sci-fi runaround like this is surely chasing the same crowd. Despite ambition, enjoyable design and a cross-breed of Chewbacca and Han Solo in the form of Big Ape, the film doesn't pull it off. Part of the problem is probably a lack of money, part is in the direction - not that the film is sloppilyy directed, but I couldn't grasp which location led to which, and why each was important - something always clear in that famouser trilogy. Here, a swift drive down a corridor could be a triumph, a retreat, an advance towards a prize or a journey back to the President and to safety, and I could never be sure which was which.
America 3000 (1986)
|The Tiara of Frisco meets the PRESIDENT|
This is an America where men are subjugated, used as 'machos', who do the hard labour, and 'Seeders', who do the sex. Coitus is as messed up here as in the earlier film: women (or 'Fralls', as they're known) accept childbearing as a duty, and at a certain age they're tied down by their peers and impregnated by an anonymous man in a burqa. This is far more horrible than sex ought to be, or so I'm told. Since this too is not a sexy film, we never see the above occur, as the seeder is (perhaps rudely) interrupted by explosions and adventures.
|The darker the eighties hair, the more villainous.|
The film seems to be on the same page as the equivalent era's 'Doctor Who', with its crude village of slang-spouting females seeming like a cross between 'Paradise Towers' (1987) and 'The Mysterious Planet' (1988). 'Plugots got neggy smarts for tricking nobody,' and, 'Nukin' Fralls gets us nothing but nuked Fralls,' are lines I can well imagine spouting from the former story's Bin Liner or Fire Escape. I suspect they're leaning on the same sources - or at least that their bizarre flavour and look is likewise an attempt to put the style of eighties comics and graphic novels on the screen.
Mercifully, 'Paradise Towers' and 1988's 'The Happiness Patrol' spared us the ending we find here, as the armies face up against one another, but, seeing their leaders making out, discover within themselves the urge for romance, though whether this is love winning the day or hormones inflaming a long overdue season of lust, who can say? The film's incessant, sarcastic narration flares up, and we cut away to follow Aargh the Awful, this film's Chewbacca-analogue, dancing into the sunset with a getto-blaster.
'America 3000' is only available on VHS, which seems entirely appropriate.