She-Wolves of the Wasteland

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“After the apocalypse, civilization will collapse. Fortunately, off-road vehicles and hair-care products will remain in abundant supply.”

I remember seeing this under its original title back in the 1990’s, and being unimpressed by it then. Fooled into acquiring it on DVD under its new name, time has not been kind to this distaff version of Mad Max. Phoenix (Kinmont) finds herself taking care of Keela (Sanders), who is pregnant with a male child – a rarity, in a world which, thanks to biological war, is populated almost entirely by women. Overseeing things is the Reverend Mother (Howard) and her sidekick Cobalt (Khambatta), who are intent on keeping control. And, boy, can they hold a grudge, since Keela goes from utterly flat, to giving birth, to being the mother of a kid at least four years old, in the space of about two minutes cinematically. Not quite sure what the villains are doing during this time: presumably ruling over an empire populated entirely by extras from a Duran Duran video,

This is feeble, in just about every way imaginable. The action is laughably inept, the script makes no sense at all, and the production values are entirely unconvincing. The actresses, bless their hearts, try to do the best they can, but Meryl Streep would be hard pushed to deliver the dialogue they’re given here. The makers throw in an entirely gratuitous waterfall sequence to provide the nudity the leads presumably wouldn’t do, and while there are occasional aspects that show imagination was not entirely absent [the tribe inspired by a cargo cult of television], these are few and far between. Despite one of the most inspired covers in recent history – almost worth the price of this budget DVD by itself – I struggled to remain conscious after the first 20 minutes. Even for devoted fans of badfilm such as ourselves, this is tough to handle.

Dir: Robert Hayes
Star: Kathleen Kinmont, Persis Khambatta, Peggy Sanders, Sheila Howard
a.k.a. Phoenix the Warrior

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