Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Future Kill
Time to see how the other half lives
Jarv’s Rating: 1 Murph. This film is shit.
Due to a small technical error, I’m having to abandon my Class of Nuke ‘Em High trilogy. Instead, I’m reviewing the bona-fides Murph worthy bucket of shit that is Ronald Moore’s Future Kill. A film that has an inexplicably epic Giger designed poster that is so far superior to anything else that takes place that it is a crying shame it was squandered on this dismal rip off of The Warriors and Escape From New York.
This film, as already stated is fucking terrible. It’s a loathsome load of shit that shamelessly steals from several actually good films, mixes the constituent parts together into a giant shit sundae, then garnishes it with an enormous loaf on top. This film is the equivalent of an American Idol winner covering the Clash in that it completely fails to understand the material it is copying and yet still pompously regards itself as some sort of artist.
It’s the near future and society has collapsed into factions. On one side is the Mutants/ Freaks and on the other are a loathsome group of dickheads that are clearly meant to be the aristocracy. They’re defined as “frats” because clearly the world is so simple that you’re either in a fucking fraternity or a pathetic neo-punk Camden twat. Because there’s clearly no middle ground. The Mutants are a peaceful group that protest nuclear power for the most part and are led by Ed. His second in command is the deeply unhinged Splatter (the only reason to watch the film). They wear shitty clothing and crappy makeup because of some ridiculous tree-hugging rationale that after nuclear power takes over the entire population will look like them: a raccoon that lost a fight in the makeup department of Boots.
Our “frat” heroes, that we’re meant to give a fuck about despite the fact that they are all without exception monumental fuckheads, have to make amends for some boring hijink or other that they’d pulled early on (some clichéd crap with tar and feathers) so have to put on the slap so that they can go and kidnap (for reasons never properly explained) a freak. Once on the wrong side of the tracks, Splatter murders their preppy dickhead leader and Eddie, pins the blame on the frat tossers who then spend the rest of the film trying to get back to civilisation. But not without a few monumentally tedious fights, a piss poor concert, and a nauseating and patronising “we’re all the same on the inside” message is dogmatically pounded at the viewer.
The acting, with the exception of Edwin Neal as Splatter, is complete shit. The actors aren’t helped by a terrible script that doesn’t at any point give them any chance to try to get the audience on side. The frats are so fundamentally unlikable that I was rooting for Splatter from a really early phase. This is not a good thing.
Aside from the dialogue being bad, and the characters being poorly drawn, the script also contains numerous plot holes. I say numerous and that’s an understatement: it leaks like a fucking sieve. For example, for no reason that I can see, one of the frats is the son of the Chief of Police. We’re told this when he rescues a freak from a beating at the hands of the cops. Yet for some reason, he doesn’t get a lift back to the right side of town with said cops. No pig on the fucking planet is going to leave the Chief’s son to a probably fatal beating- not least for the chance to win brownie points. That’s a petty example, but there are millions of them, lots of the narrative simply doesn’t make sense.
There are several set pieces in the film that piss me off, but the one I’m going to pick on is the concert. Why on Earth when they are in deep shit and fleeing from a deranged half robotic sociopath and his tooled up gang do they decide (other than for the half-baked thematic idea touched on above) to see a terrible, shitty, atrocious new-wave type band playing utterly mince protest music. And then having blundered into the bar with the band playing why the fuck do they hang around and “party” for a while? Other than, and this could be me being cynical, the makers were making a crass and unsubtle point and also needed the band to play the whole song to fill up run time. Christ this film is shit.
However, what really, really offends me (and it viscerally offends me) is that they took The Warriors for the template, but completely failed to understand what it was that made The Warriors so epic. They also aimed at EFNY for the look of the film, but this amounts to using that shitty 1970’s Sci-Fi font, a synth heavy score and dark light. However, once again, they completely failed to understand anything about why Carpenter’s film looked so effective. I’m all for stealing from good films, but try to understand what it is you’re stealing- if you don’t then all you are doing is pissing on the original. And this film has its fly open, cock out and is fountaining piss all over those better works.
As bad as this film is, it isn’t a 4 Murph effort. In fact, I’ve knocked 3 Murphs off the total for Splatter. He’s a good villain, albeit one that has been done better elsewhere. Neal has a neat line in angry snarling, and Splatter has a neat metal arm with spikes that he uses to kill people. He’s quite cool, and in a film that didn’t suck balls he’d be the head henchman. Unfortunately, this film does suck balls, and he kills the charisma vacuum Eddie to take de facto control of the gang.
Overall, would I recommend this film? No I would not- Future Kill is complete and utter shit that flits between tedium, irritation, and offensiveness.
I would recommend the poster though, even if it’s a crying fucking shame that they squandered it on a low rent shitty rip off of other much better films. Fuck this film.
Until next time,