Thursday, May 1, 2014

For Your Consideration: BARB WIRE (1996)

Given that the summer movie season is upon us and that we're getting a glut of superhero movies in that time, I thought it appropriate to look back at a deservedly forgotten comic book film Barb Wire, starring Pamela Anderson...

Sometimes I wonder when the discussion for bringing Wonder Woman to the big screen comes up, if there's at least one executive who brings Barb Wire up as a reason to wait.

Don't let opening stripper scene in water fool you - this movie is a straight up remake of Casablanca. If Humphrey Bogart had breasts and a penchant for corsets, we'd be calling it a ripoff.

In the event you haven't seen this movie (or Casablanca), here's the synopsis.

In the not too distant future, America is embroiled in the second world war - what it was about, apparently none of our business. What does matter is that there's a new style of government called the American Congress and they like to dress like Nazis. Our story is set in Steel Harbor, a city that's free yet, imprisoned with crime and home to our heroine, Barb. Barbara Karpinski if you happened to know her before the war, that is. She owns a nightclub, but acts as a bounty hunter during the day to pay the bills. Despite these two professions, she takes no sides and shows no emotions (which may or may not have been a acting limitation as opposed to a character choice).

And in true Casablanca form, a ex boyfriend wants her help to get out of town. Because we've all seen Casablanca, we know she does.

And lets face it. Humphrey Bogart had no business wearing anything figure hugging.

Lets just also talk about the night club where she does a stripper act under a torrent of water - which means that business hygiene standards of the future will have deteriorated dramatically between now and 2017

Nazi-chic is really big in the future. Then again, it's incredibly slimming and great for the government official on the go.

Alternately, Pamela Anderson does change outfits in this movie. Its just she owns a lot of corsets. Black ones. At least she's getting a lot of support, which I can't emphasize enough - its critically important.

One common thing I find in a lot of these movies is that they're mostly shot in darkness, either inside or outside. So shady interiors....

Or deep dark night....

Shady interiors....

....back to night...

Remember the time Tobias from Arrested Development decided to pursue a career as a leather daddy?

Not sure why I thought about that. Now back to the movie.

I'm not saying that Pam Anderson has had a lot of lip injections, I'm just saying she always looks like its a struggle to keep her lips closed over teeth....

Perhaps it would help if Pam was able to emote actual emotions while acting. Which may or may not be the definition of acting.

You're wet and in a unhappy future with nothing but uncomfortable leather bustiers to wear. Emotions are not a priority. Which is why she makes this face in every scene.

"Hey Barb, the resistance is getting shut down by fake Nazis."

"Barb, we're splitting a pizza. Do you want to chip in?"

The weather may change, the hair gets styled, but you could set your watch to Pam Anderson's acting face.

I'd be cheating everyone if I didn't address this character:

A man who lives the life of a vagrant on the streets of Steel Harbor, surrounded by garbage and mysterious amounts of food. The abandoned ditch digger is his castle, the homeless gypsies his court, and the celebrated minds of society (aka Pamela Anderson) seek his council.

Therefore, he has been cleverly named Big Fatso.

This movie dares to go where Casablanca clearly was afraid to.

What's Ron Howard's brother doing in this movie? Does it matter?

What about this? Was this important to the story? Meh.

I'll say this for the future - it may be bleak but at least there's no water and ammo shortage.

Also, cows are still thriving to meet the demands of the leather industry. We can all sleep secure knowing that future has everything covered.

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