Monday, April 7, 2014

Radioactive Dreams

Released in 1985, Directed by Albert Pyun

 Starring John Stockwell, Michael Dudikoff, Michele Little

Well this wasn't what I expected! Given that I hadn't seen any trailers, because I couldn't find any in English, I went into this movie on the title alone. And I'm glad I did. I like surprises.

What we've got here is a mid-eighties Post-Apocalypse Hell meets 1940's private eye noir, or more acurately, imagine the Blues Brothers bumbling their way through the streets of L.A. in the mid eighties, after everything's been bombed and there's no law. Sound fun? It is.

"Make sure you get my good side"

John Stockwell (Top Gun) and Michael Dudikoff (Bloody Birthday, Enter the Ninja) play Phillip and Marlow, who have been holed up in a bomb shelter for the last fifteen years after a nuclear war led to every nuke in the world being set off, except one. Left alone to raise each other while their father's vanished, their only entertainment was a stash of 1940s mystery novels and detective movies, from which they taught themselves how to dance and shoot and talk fast like a couple of real swell Dicks. I'm guessing Dick meant something different in the forties. Lord only knows what Hell it must be for two boys to go through puberty in a bomb shelter with nothing but magazines, books, and each other. But that's a movie none of us want to see. What we do see is the day they pack up what gasoline they have onto their pops old car, grab some cigarettes and sunglasses, dress up in sharp suits like a couple of Joe Fridays, and go out to see what's become of the world.

What they find is Edge City, a swarming metropolis of big hair, sweaty babes with bigger tits, and radioactive nightclubs with bigerer attitude. It's good to know that in the Post-apocalypse future everyone will still be talking like it's 1986, I just hope the girls are still that hot! The costumes are well done, but it's so dark in most scenes that it's hard to get a good look at everybody.

A couple of Edge City's best and brightest with costume designer Joseph Porro

So our boys wander in after rescuing a girl from certain doom at the hands of a couple of radiated freaks, none of them realizing that she accidentally dropped a pair of keys in Marlow's lap while using her tongue to steal the gun from his belt. You just have to see it to get it. It turns out these are the two keys needed to launch the one and only remaining nuke, and whoever possesses them is sure to be the most powerful person in the now truly free world. How she got the keys in the first place, and what she's doing running around with them by herself getting raped by the Toxic Avenger, who the hell knows. But now that our boys have them, they instantly become the man with the ball, and naive and gullible as they are, it takes about seven women jamming their tongues down their throat before they realize these chicks aren't after them for their boyish good looks.

Whassa matter kid, Can't you Kiss and drive?

I wont give away the rest, but the whole thing is an hour and a half of hairspray, gun toting kids, and heroes that always enter with an eighties power-rock backup band and a fog machine. My one gripe with a movie of this mid-range quality is they hired about three too many smoke wizards, and sometimes it's hard to tell what's going on through all the fog. Man it must've been a good living to run a fog machine in the eighties.

There's also the more serious aspect of the two facing their coming of age and reconciling their loss of innocence in a cold and bitter world where they have to kill to live, and women, like in their books, can't always be trusted. As Phillip says to one girl who crossed them, "We used to be a couple of real swell and decent guys, ya know? Now we're not much better than you." The girl in this case, Rusty, is played by a beautiful young thing named Michelle Little, and it's hard not to feel bad for her. She just seems too damn cute to leave.

I give this one three mutated Joey Ramones out of five, it's fun, funny, cheesy in all the right ways, and there's tits, which is always nice. The soundtrack is great and I've left a link below, it's often cited as a favorite part of the movie. The main characters seemed a bit annoying at first, but their development from bumbling wannabe gumshoes to sharp dressed men in hats is done wonderfully, and the mix of fast-talking-high-pants-wearing private eyes in the middle of a PA wasteland is truly original and refreshing.

Radioactive Dreams! See it. Share it. Love it!

Check out the soundtrack here