Today I thought I'd dig into my stash of crappy 1980s post-apocalypse movies, a
genre which I was reviewing in bulk a few years ago but burned out on. 1986's
America 3000 is fairly typical of the rock quarry-and-hair spray style of
cheap and dirty PA filmmaking, another non-descript stone in the huge scree pile of
movies that piled up at the base of 1982's seminal post-nuke epic The Road
Warrior. It offers a few new quirks, but really nothing we haven't seen a
hundred times before.
Criminally, America 3000 has not yet been released on DVD, so I had to use
an avi burned off a hazy, blurry, skippy VHS rental tape that has seen a lot of
wear and tear over the last 23 years. As such, the screen captures leave a lot to
desire (sorry, email me if you have a better copy).
Let it begin!...
As the title suggests, the setting of the movie is America in the year 3000. A
opening card says that it's now "900 years" after the great and ending WWIII, a war
fought with nuclear weapons that left much of the surface of the planet looking
like Nevada and killed off almost the entire human population. Doing the math, we
can tell that the Nuclear Holocaust took place in 2100, and later internal clues
support this late War Date. From the ruins rose a new order, a society led by
females. These Amazon-like women warriors reign over the nuked land, making all
the rules and laying down the law with spikey effectiveness. There are numerous
enclaves of women around the former-America, living in "Coms", which I assume is
short for "Community", and they can be seen as independent City States. Each Com
has a leader called the "Tiara", a rather insulting label, I say, though she doesn
't actually wear a tiara. All of this is explained to us by an annoying-as-fuck
voiceover from a minor character that reeks of post-production desperation by the
director when the test audience of mutants and hillbillies couldn't understand the
Through nine centuries of post-holocaust survival, characterized surely by wasting
plague, unrelenting death, radical genocide, extreme starvation, and hopeless
despair, one thing has remained constant as the evening star...women will want big
1980's hair. Aquanet hairspray, Suave mousse, volume enhancing shampoos, natural
bristle round brushes, hairdryers, teasers, jumbo curling irons, and hot rollers
all have survived the End of Days, resulting in every woman on the planet looking
like Lita Ford or Susannah Hoffs. Perhaps it's some sort of radiation-induced
genetic change in female DNA, causing their hair to naturally appear teased and
permed? [Editor Pam: That must be it. Most of those styling aids won't work
without electricity, so how else could their hair look like that?]
Fashions are typical wasteland leathers and metal studs, and sports bras are
apparently all the rage in the future. All that are missing are shoulder pads and
leg warmers and America 3000 becomes an Olivia Newton John video with post-
More ladies. They look like backup singers for
Weaponry is 10th century at best, with crossbows, crossbow pistols, spears, knives,
and war clubs predominating. There are also what I will call "frisbees of death",
which seem to be old hubcaps sharpened and tossed at an enemy's head like Odd Job's
bowler. Transport is via horseback (bareback) or shoe leather, with just a few
wooden donkey-carts seen. Building materials are mostly wood and fabric, with old
ruins used extensively. The best (or at least the most inventive) part of this
movie is probably the new words introduced into the English language of the year
3000, quirky catchphrases and hokey describers that borrow from the "ancient
tongue" of their forefathers, using strange words that have no real meaning
anymore. I'm reminded of A Clockwork Orange or Axler's Deathlands
book series (both on opposite ends of the cultural literacy scale). At the end of
this review I'll try and list the new words.
Technology of the future! Notice the short length of
the bowstring, simple physics and ballistics should tell you that a bolt wouldn't
fly very far or have much penetration power from this weapon.
I wonder why no advancement in the last 900 years. This level of cultural
regression and reversion to a pre-Iron Age is something you might expect in the
first generation or so, but surely after nine centuries you would see more growth
in our amazingly industrious species. I just reread Miller's fantastic Canticle
for Leibowitz last year and it presents perhaps a truer picture of humanity
regaining much of its lost technology and knowledge after the Flame Deluge. For
that matter, I see some parallels with Adam's Horseclans series, which paint
a similar picture of our species following a nuclear war in the far distant past
(up for reprint, I hear, yay!).
Two views of America in the year 3000, typical of the
desert landscapes this movie takes place in.
Anyway, the main action takes place in "Frisco Com", a town situated in a wooded
scrubby valley surrounded by the inhospitable desert (no obvious water source seen
though). There are maybe 50 women and as many male slaves here. Frisco Com is
circled by a very low wall, with tents and shanties inside, plus one adobe building
for the Tiara and a few rock and mortar shelters for community buildings. Is this
a permanent settlement? Is this the best they could do, wandering herders in
Africa make better settlements. Women like to make pretty homes and decorate and
stuff, right? [Editor Pam: Yes, but you forget the effort they have to put into
their hair to get it to look that way. Wood-fired hot rollers, solar-powered
hairspray--that doesn't leave much free time.]
We open as a group of captured men are brought in, dirty, mangy, shambling
outlanders who the women treat as little better than cattle. The head woman (the
Tiara) walks down the line of them, checking for cooties and worms and probably
arthouse goatees and fratboy sideburns, assigning each man a role as either
"Seeder" or "Macho" (sex slave or laborer). We meet two teenage boys named Gruss
and Korvis. Gruss is just a scared kid, but Korvis is more rebellious and is able
to fight his way free. In the chaos, Korvis steals a horse and rides away, taking
Gruss with him.
The Tiara is pissed that they have escaped.
The Seeder and Macho thing deserves some exploration. What other attributes or
qualities decide who gets to be what? Is it just physical? Swinging jacks get to
be Seeders and lunking gorillas get to be Machos? Seeders are branded with some
sort of special mark and seem to be given showers and shaves, while the Machos are
herded into corrals and pretty much left to sit in their own feces when not out
lifting heavy things for the women. And there are also "Toys", eunuchs who are
maybe used for their brains and not their brawn (the dialogue is unclear), who have
their tongues cut out and their junk sliced off to "make them docile".
Eh, ladies, would you pick any of these men for
Ok, back to the movie. Korvis and Gruss are chased into the "Contams", where the
post-nuke radiation is still feared. As they gallop along they pass a half-buried
rusty sign that says, "Denver Brighton", suggesting strongly that Frisco Com is
close-ish to the old city of Denver, Colorado. So Frisco Com can't be San
Francisco as I originally thought, right? I hate it when my post-apocalyptic
movies make me think too hard about geography.
Off now to "Camp Reagan", an old nuked pre-war Army base out in the hinterlands,
where the "free men" are forming an army. This base (filmed in the Israeli
desert), is pretty crude, consisting of one big metal tower and a few shabby tents
surrounded by a wall of wooden ammo boxes filled with sand. A rusty BTR armored
personnel carrier sits half-buried in the sand, along with an old field howitzer
and the junked remains of a Willys jeep (this looks like a dump outside an Israeli
Army base, if you ask me). Where is the food, where is the water? They can make
identical wooden boxes but they can't irrigate a field?
Now, there are other men living independently in the wilds of Western America,
unaffiliated savages and hermits who live little better than Stone Age hunter-
gatherers. They are dumb and hairy, speak in grunts and groans, and use rocks for
weapons. Where are the women who gave birth/nursed these men? Where did they come
Hairy hermits. [Editor Pam: Okay, now I see why
the men three screencaps ago are sought after.]
We see a group of these hermits ambush a Frisco Com food convoy along a wooded
road, lurching out from behind bushes to throw unconvincing styrofoam rocks with
guttural shouts. The women circle the wagons and go into Rambo-mode. Reya (the
Tiara) has the best kung fu moves, including an awesome Captain Kirk-style flying
double-leg kick! The hermits kill three women and steal some food but are driven
off by another woman wielding a bullwhip (!). The last hermit on the field stabs
Reya in the stomach with a knife before expiring himself.
Flying kick! Yeah, baby!
Back to Frisco Com for a few minutes. We see that there is a huge hairy radiation
-induced mutant named "Aaargh the Awful" kept in a cage. Yes, that's his name,
seriously. They say that, "fallout from the Great Nuke caused Aaargh to take a
detour from the human race", which is cute, if nonsensical. The women use Aaargh
in a "test of strength" for young warriors looking to become elite fighters. The
mutant is played to be funny, like Harry and the Hendersons, but just comes
across as forced comedy relief in a movie that really doesn't need it. Hey, how
about other animals, mutant or otherwise? None are seen but horses and donkeys,
but they are all wearing leather so there must be cows/bison around somewhere,
right? No mammalian source of meat and protein? No chickens or turkeys to give
eggs? Nothing came in to fill the ecological predator/prey void left when 99% of
humanity died 900 years ago? Where are the swarms of mutant cockroaches clutching
Aaargh the Awful! Comedy
Also, in the town is an old man who cares for a stable of young boys (!). Now, not
to cast any aspersions on the fine ladies of Frisco Com, but we know that they only
keep males around for one of two purposes: lifting heavy things and playing hide
the weasel. So either they are raising up new generations of laborers like
puppies, or these kids are being, ahem, used for purposes that are best left
unsaid. Well, to be fair, I guess they could be using the smaller boys for labor
tasks that require small fingers and slight stature, like crawling into burrows
looking for mutated rabbits or something.
Old man with little boys. The boys have necklaces
painted on, perhaps marking them as Toys?
Mortally wounded Reya is brought back to the town and everyone gathers around. A
"healer" with a metal first aid box and a stethoscope around her neck tries to save
Reya by giving her a potion to drink, all the while chanting "red cross, red cross,
red cross". But the Tiara is too far gone, and utters the cliched line, "I'm going
cold, real cold..." just to let us know her time is up.
With her (almost) last dying breath, Reya picks her daughter Vena to be the new
Tiara. With her (for real) last dying breath, Reya tells Vena of a mysterious map
that she keeps in her royal chamber. "Follow it..." are her final gasping words.
From this can we deduce that the Tiaraship of the tribe is hereditary? Or maybe
the Tiara can pick anyone she wants to be her successor, regardless of sisterly
relations? How does this work?
Passing the torch (some amulet thing is the scepter
of power in this culture).
Vena is played by 29-year old B-movie queen Laurene Landon, a platinum blonde with
boobs in desperate need of a more supportive bra and lips locked permanently in
Pout Factor Seven. While Vena is now the new Tiara, she clearly doesn't want it at
first. She even tries to give it away to her more aggressive sister Lakella, but
the rules dictate that Vena has to take the yoke if she wants to or not. This, of
course, doesn't seem a very smart way of ruling, insuring that at least a few
leaders will be either incompetent or unwilling to keep the community safe and
We rejoin Korvis and Gruss now, as we see them scavenge the battle site (where Reya
was stabbed a few scenes ago). We see instantly that both men are now much older,
maybe ten years or so. So, clearly this is some time in the future, as was the
ambush scene/power transfer? A little exposition would have been helpful! Adult
Korvis, our film's hero, is played by Chuck Wagner, who was also Mikal from The
Sisterhood, a very similar PA movie from a few years later. For the
subject material and the general lack of talent and skill around him, Wagner does
an admirable job in his role as Korvis, breathing just enough life and energy into
the stock character of wandering outlaw to make the movie interesting when he's
onscreen. Had things worked out differently for him, Wagner might have made it big
in Hollywood. Wonder why not?
In some insert shots, Korvis and Gruss find a suitcase with a dorky Victorian
tophat and a simple spelling book. Gruss takes the hat as his personal trademark
and Korvis learns to read from the spelling primer. "I am a man!" he announces to
the world, somehow mastering the written English language from a 26-page cartoon
book with one simple word per letter (he also knows "horse", whoo!).
Korvis is hooked on phonics!
Anyway, a rival band of women now show up at Frisco Com, trotting in on horses to a
driving faux-rock beat. They are led by Morha, the "Tiara of Kansas", a post on par
with the Tiara of Frisco (that's a hella long ride from KS to CA, so again, surely
Frisco Com can't be San Francisco, right?). Morha is a butchy brunette who is into
leather and rough bi-curious sex, a woman with a violent streak to match her love
of hairspray. Frisco's Vice-Tiara Lakella (Vena's sister) meets them at the gate,
greeting them with this dorky crossed-knives-and-oath thing. Much ado is made
about the travelers being offered "safe shelter", evoking Bedouin tribal customs
perhaps. Also, it strongly suggests that the matriarchal system is widespread
across the former USA, extending at least from the western coast to the Great
Morha, Tiara of
Morha had figured Lakella would be the next Tiara, so she starts to stir up
trouble, gently and passive-aggressively poking Lakella to go up against her
sister. Lakella "could call for a death challenge" against Vena, suggests the oily
and Machiavellian Morha. She feels she could control Lakella more to her own
advantage this way.
Lakella, she's hot and
Just then Vena comes out of her command hut (wow, she cleans up well, if I do say
so myself, even if she looks like Ann Wilson from Heart). Morha and Vena greet
each other like sorority sisters, but you can tell it's fake, more so on Morha's
side. "Tonight's for partying, not for talking...", says Vena. Just like a kegger
at the Delta Psi house, whoop!
An old woman (the cliched "teller of stories", yawn) starts recounting the legends
of the past. Wait, no written language? No singing minstrels or bards? No
advance in archiving or literacy in 900 years? Really? Anyway, the old woman
tells of the "Great Nuke", when the "Mericins" and the "Commies" destroyed the
world and brought upon the "Living Curse". Eventually, it has been told, a "clean
woman was born to rule the world", and the female-centric system was born. Again,
seriously, stories confirming hierarchy or lineage are common in pre-literate
societies, but surely after nine centuries there would be at least a rediscovery of
the written word and the cultural growth that comes with that, right?
Old woman, who looks like
This old woman then steps up and swears in Vena as the new Tiara, to rule the women
of Frisco Com until the "Prezeedent comes back". Huh, so who was in charge up to
tonight, was Vena just the pro-tem Tiara? And that's cute how the legend of a man,
the fabled Prezeedent, returning has come, Quetzalcoatl like, into their mythology.
It's odd that a matriarchal society that treats men like dirt would venerate a
male authority figure from the past, even to the point of looking forward to his
eventual return to command.
After exchanging "solemn swears" and slapping forearms with the old woman, Vena
sets fire to funeral pyre topped with Reya's body.
Vena torches her mom.
That night we have a drunken orgy, with lots of homemade booze and giggling girls.
Two bits from this scene stay with me. First when Lakella shows off her knife
tossing skills on human male targets, one of which cashes out with a dagger in his
forehead. The women just shrug and replace the corpse with another terrified man.
It's never, ever good policy to kill off your slave laborers when there is a
limited supply of them. The other is when we see a quick shot of Morha bringing
what looks like a ten-year old boy into her tent for some, eh, "entertainment".
It's just a blink-and-miss moment, but it speaks volumes about the relationship
between men and women in this new world.
Morha also likes the ladies,
if you know what I mean.
Meanwhile, in her quarters, Vena looks at that map that her predecessor left for
her, but doesn't understand what it means. Her BFF Lynka enters and they chat.
Lynka is pissed about being tapped for "seeding" next month, which she calls "a
cold act". It's clear from this that not all the women are happy about having to
bump uglies with Seeder men (even though it's been established societal tradition
for ever). Vena sympathizes and says she'll be at "the birthing". Lynka is the
only one of Vena's friends who is on her side (her sister Lakella is a rival), and
she tells Vena that she's going to be "Number one, real hot."
Lynka giving Vena a huggie.
Meanwhile, fourteen free men, led by Korvis and Gruss, are encamped outside the
town's walls, planning a daring assault. They plan to raid the food shelters and
free the slaves, and kill any woman that gets in their way. "Nuke'm all." says
Gruss, and the men nod in agreement. Korvis, by the way, has a nice pair of pre-
war binoculars, a 900-year old piece of anachronous technology that has somehow
remained intact for all these centuries to find their way around Korvis' grimy
neck. This is the single most advanced technological item we have seen up to this
point in the movie.
They attack Frisco Com at dawn right after the orgy dies down, when nearly all the
women are drunk and asleep. There are no tactics, just a bum rush to the walls and
then sneak around inside. Korvis jumps over the four-foot high wall, strangles a
sleeping sentry and opens the gate to let the rest of them in. Listen to what you
just read, he jumps over the four-foot high wall and opens the gate. Why didn't
the rest of them also just jump the ridiculously low outside wall? The men start
to steal weapons and food.
Low wall (also note that
Korvis is wearing Converse hi-tops).
During all this muckery, Korvis spies a partly-nekkid Vena amidst swoony piano
music and gauzy camera lenses (PG-13, to my surprise). He seems a bit aroused,
though he doesn't do anything. How does the urge to mate with sexy girls become
lost? Does that get selected out of the gene pool to the point where sex is just
for babies and not for fun?
Not Vena, but some other drunken warrior chick
sleeping it off. My respect for their prowess in battle has taken a
The Machos and Seeders don't want to be freed, surprisingly. It's not the
Stockholm Effect as much as the knowledge that life inside the community of women
is better than outside of it. At least they get fed and have a roof over their
heads (slaves tend to be more productive and less restive if they are fed and taken
care of). Plus, the Seeders get to have lots of sex, so I'm not sure what the
appeal of living out in the desert with a bunch of stinky men eating raw rat flesh
would have for them. But, predictably, Korvis lures them into open revolt with the
promise of "hot eats", while at the same time appealing to their lost honor and
pride at being men.
The Machos hear the speech.
Korvis then accidentally frees Aaargh the Awful, who starts howling and leaping up
and down to wake the women up. The mutant even grabs a turn-crank siren and lets
it wail to alert them of the attack (suggesting that Aaargh the Awful is not so
much a captive of the women as perhaps a "cooperative partner" or maybe "honorary
member with fur" of the tribe). The annoying voiceover says, "It was downhill from
there", and he's oh-so right. A running fight explodes, and at least one woman and
one man are killed before the men escape out the front gate. As the last man out,
Korvis cuts down the ropes supporting the gate, which stops the chasing girls in
their tracks, helplessly shaking the bars of the gate as the men flee. What? What?
What the hell? Remember the four-foot high wall not two paces away from the edge
of the gate (which in itself is maybe only seven-feet high)? Hello? [Editor
Pam: They're probably still hung over.]
"Curses! Foiled by height!"
Once the women get their act together, they chase the men out into the badlands on
horseback. There are maybe two dozen men now, nearly all heavily armed with stolen
weapons, against just four woman riders, but for some reason the men never think to
turn and make a stand. Korvis draws them off alone, galloping away on a horse with
a large, artfully tattered American flag as a blanket. Everyone rides bareback in
this movie, but with bridles and stirrups, which just looks odd.
Horse with flag.
Korvis leads them into a rock quarry (yeesh, where else?) but finds himself trapped
and has to go aground. On foot, and unwisely exposed on an open rise, Korvis is
shot in the chest by Vena. Oddly, Vena isn't too happy about killing the man, as
she's plainly curious about his smarts (though how is she to know that he's the one
who organized the raid?).
You see, Vena also remembers (somehow) that this man
was the same dreamy Zac Efron-esque boy who escaped from her mother's clutches a
decade ago, way back in the first scene of the movie.
The crossbow bolt buried in his chest, Korvis falls backwards into a hole in the
ground, crashing down many dozens of feet to the bottom, amazingly unhurt by the
fall. And it turns out that the thick spelling book (hung around his neck in a
pouch) stopped the arrowhead, so he's ok. Down in the cavern, Korvis almost
immediately comes across a large, metal bank vault-looking door! He opens it with
brute strength, and centuries-year old air rushes out as it cracks open.
Korvis has found a secret pre-war underground bomb-proof bunker, a "FleetSatCom
Tracking Control Station" to be specific. In the well-lit anteroom, he finds a
dead man still at the controls, decomposed and desiccated a bit, true, but I still
question how anything remains at all after 900 years? They didn't have bugs in
here, no cockroaches, no flies, nothing? And I assume there is some sort of
nuclear power reactor to keep the lights running after nine centuries? [Editor
Pam: I don't know of any sort of nuclear reactor system that could be left
unattended for 900 years and still produce power, but maybe by 2100 somebody will
have come up with one. Even if there was one, wouldn't the lights have burned out
over the years?] I should also note that in the similar The
Sisterhood, also starring Chuck Wagner, a pre-war bunker was discovered and
altered the course of the future.
The bunker, with corpse in
In cabinets along the wall Korvis finds a rack of Laser Assault Rifles (L85 bullpup
looking weapons with shiny blinking lights on them). The rifles have instruction
booklets hanging from the barrels, and Korvis teaches himself how to use one in
about five seconds. Oddly, an over-the-shoulder shot of the booklet shows that
it's printed both in English and in Hebrew! This movie was filmed in Israel,
remember, but you still have to wonder why an official manual in a US government
C3I bunker in Western America would be dual-printed in Hebrew. Perhaps, and I know
I'm over thinking this, the pre-war America of 2100 was converted to Judaism and
Hebrew was the co-official language?
Manual for the Laser Assault
He then finds a small presidential suite (where he could rest and recoup if forced
to hide down here). To keep the Chief of State entertained there is a Bally Medusa
pinball game and an old school Centipede arcade stand-up down here (uh, Centipede
in 2100, really?). Poking around, Korvis activates a long-delayed video message to
the president from a general directing the war. The general tells of how the
initial nuke attack was a computer error, but the subsequent counter-attacks and
counter-counter-attacks were enough to blitz the world (ah, that explains all).
Korvis takes a gold full-body radiation suit, a big 1980s-style ghetto boom box
(with working batteries!), and a bunch of loot and leaves the bunker.
Message for President.
The old man who was watching the young boys in Frisco is out looking for his
escaped charges when he meets Korvis coming back from the bunker on his horses
(hey, how did he get them back?) in his full gold radiation suit.
The old man, who is quite spiritual, thinks Korvis is the fabled Prezeedent
returning to Earth! This is a bumbling Monty Python comedy relief scene, with the
old man hamming it up with abandon and the soundtrack bouncing along cringingly.
Korvis plays the game, saying he's come back to free the enslaved men. The old man
tells Korvis of Vena, Morha and the "seeded" Lynka, which gets Korvis a-thinkin'.
You know, Chuck Wagner is having a ball in this movie. He alone of the cast seems
to be fully aware that he's in a crappy b-movie and he's enjoying every minute of
it (and who can blame him, he's getting paid real money to run around the Negev in
a leather loincloth, beating on stuntmen with swords and kissing pretty girls, name
a better way to spend a few months in the summer.).
Talking with the old man. [Editor Pam: That's the
fanciest anti-contamination suit I've ever seen. By 2100, nuclear facilities must
have had money to burn. And it seems to end at his ankles, which makes the
Meanwhile, Vena is off wandering the rad-blasted wastelands, following that map
that her mother gave her. Tracked by Lakella, who has been giving her static (Vena
should kill Lakella, the only way to hold power is to be like the Mongols). Vena
enters a cave marked on the map and finds "Thunder Rocks", which are crude
gunpowder bombs with fuses. When she brings them back to the town, a woman
admonishes her that she "broke the regs, you'll bring the curse upon us!" Ah,
maybe this why they don't use old technology? Some sort of legendary curse put
upon the Old One's Magic?
Hard to see, but Vena is holding a Thunder Rock with
a long fuse.
Back at Camp Reagan, the free men, led now by Gruss since Korvis is still MIA, are
making real men out of the freed captives. They dunk them in water (where do they
get their water in this radioactive desert?) and comb their hair, turning them
normal again (sure). The mutant Aaargh the Awful is also here, having followed
them on foot. They can't do anything about Aaargh, who is too strong to wrangle,
and he smells terrible and keeps breaking stuff (like my roommate Abdul in college,
but without the bhala snacks and the horrid Sufi rock CDs).
Washing the men.
Korvis comes riding in on his horse, boom box blasting a cover-band version of some
random Def Leppard song. He's brought some stuff from the bunker of the "Merikans
", including a Laser Assault Rifle and four boxes of grenades (odd that he only
brought one rifle). He's also brought along a collection of pre-war goodies, such
as shaving cream, Playboy magazines, flashlights, flares, comic books, cookies, and
the like. The men are amazed by all this alien technology and gadgets and it's
predictable that one of them blows himself up playing catch with a grenade before
they figure out how to work everything (a comic book shows them how to use the
grenades, really). Aaargh the Awful takes a can of Haze brand deodorant and
gleefully runs around spraying himself in the face (comedy, oiy!).
Korvis passes out grenades
and wisdom of the ancients.
To the women's "Seeder Camp" now, where the ladies who are picked to be seeded
(have babies) are sequestered from the main Frisco Com while they "get bigger".
This basically undefended location, populated only with kids and pregnant women, is
at the pre-war "Paradise Oil and Gas" building, plus some shacks and lean-tos.
It's said specifically that if a woman gives birth to a boy they "throw it away".
What? Where do all those free men come from? And the hairy hermits? Are there
free women out in the hinterlands who lead normal lives? Why don't we see any of
these societies? And if you are Frisco Com, how do you replenish your stocks of
Machos and Seeders if you (or someone) don't keep the male babies? There must be a
whole other layer of civilization, with radically different male/female
relationships out there somewhere.
Vena's best friend Lynka arrives here to mate with her "chosen Seeder". An older
woman tells her to "just lie down and close your eyes" while her arms and legs are
spread and tied down. A man in a hood enters and gets busy with her right away
(foreplay in the year 3000 consists of walking across the room). Lynka seems to be
actually enjoying her first time, despite her anxious attitude before. Sex is
portrayed as this near mystical act that only women in their "breeding time" do and
no one talks about. I can't imagine a culture when women don't talk about sex with
each other, can you? And how often does a woman "get seeded"? Until she's
pregnant, or is it just once? And it would seem that every single woman in Frisco
Com is of breeding age (18-30 and in good health), why is it that only certain
women at certain times are given the red card, so to speak? So many unanswered
Lynka gets some loving.
Meanwhile, Korvis has decided to attack the Seeder Camp and kidnap Lynka to use as
leverage against her sister Vena (he learned of this from the old man). Four free
men attack, led by Gruss, who shoots the only two woman guards with the Laser
Assault Rifle. The rifle shoots a red bolt and doesn't seem to cause more than
localized heat damage. And yet, the women die instantly, even the one who was only
hit in the stomach. You would think it would just burn a cauterized hole in her,
not kill her in the blink of an eye. People survive wartime stomach trauma far,
far worse than this all the time.
Little puffs of smoke?
The men burst in mid-coitus, ruining a special Hallmark moment for Lynka. They
tell the Seeder that he's a free man now, and he pulls off his hood to reveal a
rather handsome dude (who is probably wondering with some concern if being a "free
man" means he won't be banging cute bound chicks anymore). When she sees his
chiseled boyish face, Lynka smiles with approval (huh?). Well, I guess nearly all
the males she has seen in her life have been furry, stinky slaves who haven't
showered in their lives, so this is pretty impressive to her.
Later that night, Korvis and the rest of the men sneak up to Frisco Com and fire
flares over the town (nice perimeter security!). The women come out to marvel, as
all females are amazed by pretty lights. The men use the flares to shock and awe
the town to the pounding horns of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture on the boom box
(Caddyshack, anyone?). Once he has their attention, Korvis then uses a
loudspeaker to tell Vena to come alone to "meet the Prezeedent at the edge of the
Contams". A woman faints!
Flares, really just
Vena is all for meeting the Prezeedent, but Morha thinks it's a "man trick". Morha
thinks the Prezeedent will be a Kansan like her, but Vena says the prophesy is
unclear, though she's sure it will be a man. Morha tries to turn Lakella against
Vena now. "Show your Com who a real leader is!" Morha growls and offers to put the
full weight of Kansas behind Lakella if she chooses a coup. But they need Thunder
Rocks and Lakella knows where Vena got them (the cave, she followed, remember?).
Stirring up trouble.
The next morning Vena comes riding out alone to meet the Prezeedent (Korvis in his
suit). Lynka is freed and Korvis takes Vena to the underground bunker (though
hopefully he found a better entrance than falling fifty feet flat on his back).
Down in the bunker, Korvis takes off his helmet and tells Vena that he's "a man"
(the term seems to be foreign to her, oddly) and not a slave. Emotions and biology
get the better of them both and they make sweet sweet monkey love (to the soft
piano keys of some Jefferson Airplane ballad).
While they are banging, back in Frisco Com, Morha riles up the women to war against
the men. There is some dissention amongst the locals (as they don't trust the
"outsider" Tiara), but all the women are eventually swept up in the fever and the
bloodlust. Lakella returns with Thunder Rocks from the cave (a lot was cut out in
the final edit, I think). A column of women warriors on horseback then ride out to
attack Camp Reagan, Lakella and Morha in the lead with Kansan women mixed in with
the Friscans in the van. Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait. They know where Camp Reagan is?
And they just let it be established and fortified under their noses? It must be
geographically close, as the women take no provisions or baggage train with them,
just weapons and hair care products.
The men see them coming and prepare (they have a rough line of walls to hide
behind). They pass out their stock of pre-war grenades, unsheath their knives, and
hunker down. Surprisingly, this final battle is excellently paced and well-shot,
better than most similar battles in crappy post-holocaust b-movies. The women
charge, circling the compound, and crossbows, Thunder Rocks, and grenades take a
heavy toll on both sides. Horses fall down and thrown stuntwomen roll in the dirt
(ouch, those horses look like they actually hurt themselves, someone call PETA!).
Morha is downed early, killed by a grenade blast, leaving Lakella to lead the
attack. Even though Gruss clearly has his Laser Assault Rifle, it disappears early
and is never seen again (huh?). Aaargh the Awful is a bystander, hiding behind the
defense works and comically putting on a helmet!
Eventually, the women breach the defenses and the line collapses under pressure
from both sides. The rest of the battle is bloody close-quarters hand-to-hand
combat with knives and clubs dealing havoc and death. Several of the women are
fanatic warriors, including Lakella with her throw-back kung fu style, and many men
are killed. But the men take advantage of their superior physical strength and the
motivating fear of extinction and fight back furiously, eventually turning the
tide. Lakella is finally killed by Gruss, and the men get the upper hand.
The famed face-to-boob combat technique, which kept
the Boche out of the streets of Paris.
The women eventually abandon the field, limping away carrying their wounded. It's
a pyrrhic victory for the men, however, as behind them the women leave Camp Reagan
a blazing shambles with most of the defenders dead or dying. Final tallies for the
battle are (and this is just what is seen on screen) roughly 70% casualties on both
Meanwhile, Vena and Korvis are done boinking, they snuggled, he ran his fingers
through her hair, she traced the outline of his biceps with her fingertip, they
talked about wallpaper patterns for the dining room, they discussed going up to the
Catskills for the holidays to see her mom, and they agreed that no matter how
popular it is, "Seven" is still a pretty shitty name to saddle a child with. Most
importantly, they have both pledged to go back to their warcamps and get their
respective sides to start a new order of humankind, one based on love and respect
and boinking. Unfortunately, while they were gone, the savage attack occurred on
Camp Reagan. Korvis gets home first and is truly enraged, he thinks Vena tricked
him with her feminine wiles. He goes riding off towards Frisco Com, with the few
remaining men following behind.
Korvis has his angry-eyes.
Vena also makes it home to see that half her women are dead and blood is flowing
freely. Before long, the men show up spitting venom and there is a showdown
outside the walls. Just when it looks like it's going to get ugly, Vena and Korvis
start kissing again! The rest of the men and women are taken aback, and start to
look at each other differently, winking and smirking and generally acting like
college kids at a TGI Fridays. They toss down their weapons, join hands and hearts
and all is better. So, uh, like, then uncounted generations of inter-species
warfare, brutal gender discrimination, and established mores of violence and
bloodlust just get pitched to the side? Just like that? Because two people
started kissing? Seriously?
"hot plastic" super awesome
"neg" or "neggie" no, none
"number one" the best
"check" or "check-check" yes, affirmative
"The Prezeedent" the President
"regs" rules, regulations
"hot smarts" brilliant, smartyhead
"scan" or "heavy scan" look, see, view
"cold hard" hard work
"high sun" noontime
"pain you" hurt you
"whatzit" what is it