Superstarlet A.D.

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“Couldn’t put it better than the tagline: Apocalypse Meow!”

After civilization’s collapse, men have regressed to the level of Neanderthals, while women live in clans decided by their hair colour, with names like the FayWrays, Satanas and Tempests. Clothing is in short supply: lingerie, it would appear, is not, and nor are large, automatic weapons. Unsurprisingly, this leads perhaps to the finest opening five minutes in girls/guns cinema ever – “My name is Rachel, and I am a blonde. Blondes are extinct” – as our heavily-armed, suspender-and-stiletto clad heroines stagger round a post-apocalyptic landscape. This looks fabulous, and totally belies the fact that it cost $16,000 and was made in sixteen days.

Once the story kicks in, it’s less satisfactory, with a rambling tale involving brunette Naomi’s search for a long-lost stag film starring her grandmother. There are also a couple of utterly interminable musical numbers; whatever McCarthy’s talents (and he has a great visual sense), Rodgers and Hammerstein he most definitely is not. Mind you, it didn’t help that the actress playing Rachel quit two days in – as a result, McCarthy fabricated an “insanity” subplot, and used no less than seven different women to play the role.

In the end, 68 minutes is a blessing rather than a problem; this would likely have been intolerable at full feature length, despite great use of locations and (mostly b/w) photography. Instead, it’s a quirkily mad project that strongly suggests too much watching Russ Meyer films and hanging round strip-clubs – as one femme fatale says, “I pop pills like I pop culture.” Any similarity to how I mis-spent my own youth, is purely coincidental.

Dir: John Michael McCarthy
Star: Helen Heaven, Gina Velour, Kerine Elkins, Rita D’Albert

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