Dir: Michael Shackleton
Star: Chip Mayer, Sue Kiel, Richard Moll, Richard Haines

After the apocalypse, food, water and fuel will be in desperately-short supply. There will, however, be an abundance of hair color, gel and other salon-quality products. That's the message we take away here, as an astronaut (Mayer) returns to Earth after his mission to launch an SDI satellite actually succeeds in triggering World War 3, killing almost everyone on the planet. Years later, he's still roaming the country, looking for a rumoured underground "paradise" of abundant supplies he was told about. He encounters a woman (Kiel), living on an abandoned boat, but just when they've started to bond (by which I mean, have very shadowy, eighties soft-core sex), she's whisked away by Kragg (Moll, who confusingly would subsequently appear in a film called The Survivor). He found the "paradise", and took it over, turning all the fertile women into a personal harem, as he seeks to rebuild earth's population, er, single-penised. The immaculately-coiffeured spaceman infiltrates Kragg's lair, intent on getting his baby Momma back, only to find himself captured.

This cheap version of the post-apocalypse has some interesting ideas, but terrible logical flaws in its execution. For instance, ammunition is clearly (and understandably, given the 99.9% reduction in users) not in short supply. But when the astronaut escapes, and starts swinging around Kragg's central hall on chains, the solution, rather than shooting him, is to send minions swinging after him on other chains. Presumably because sync recording audio is hard, there's also far too much voiceover, both literal and figurative, with both hero and heroine conversing more in internal monologues, and even Kragg doesn't so much talk with people, as at them. However, the film isn't entirely without its ideas, does a fairly good job at making its low budget work for it, emphasising the isolation on a personal scale, and Moll does a surprisingly-good job at making Kragg more than a one-dimensional villain. Hell, I'd have voted for him. So it's not irredeemable. However, neither is it good enough to merit more than passing attention, and struggles even to sustain that.

[January 2014]

Mission accomplished (kinda)
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