Sunday, June 30, 2013

She-Wolves Of The Wasteland/Phoenix The Warrior (1988)

**This review contains spoilers**

Before I jump into this review, I just want to say thank you for helping me reach over 1,000 views for The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia! That's my first review to reach and go over a thousand views, and I couldn't believe it. So again, thank you!

After a series of bacteriological wars and the plagues that followed them, Earth is nothing more than a barren wasteland, and the male population was decimated into oblivion. With help from bounty hunters, and her ruthless enforcer, Cobalt (Persis Khambatta), Reverend Mother (Sheila Howard) took control of everything, as ruler of the world. Using her powers and black magic to kill off the remaining men, Reverend Mother made the choice to breed only women within her sperm banks.

One day, Keela (Peggy Sands) is attacked by Reverend Mother’s bounty hunters, but a Sand Trapper named Phoenix (Kathleen Kinmont) saves her. Demanding answers for her protection, Keela tells Phoenix the truth: breeders gave Keela the only male seed on Earth, so Keela can give birth to a male child with the hopes of restoring balance to Earth’s population. Believing in the just cause, Phoenix agrees to protect and watch over Keela. Eventually, Keela gives birth to her son, Skyler (Sklyer Corbett), but under Reverend Mother’s orders, Cobalt and her forces relentlessly pursue Keela, Phoenix, and Skyler.

Five years after Skyler’s birth, Reverend Mother plans to drain Skyler’s life force, so she can strengthen her weakening powers, and become invincible in the process. A rogue male (James H. Emery), who escaped Reverend Mother’s sperm banks, agrees to help Phoenix, Skyler, and Keela reach a desolate island in the sea to escape Reverend Mother’s clutches for good. But the group runs into some trouble while traveling through the Badlands, and Keela decides to risk everything to save a kidnapped Phoenix from Cobalt’s “fight to the death” arena.

Yeah. I understand what She-Wolves Of The Wasteland was going for. They were trying to make a mindless fun B-movie/post-apocalyptic action flick, but the final product is an epic fail on every level imaginable. I won’t be too harsh on the poor production values and noticeable audio problems, because you have to expect that from a B-movie, especially one from the 80’s.

But EVERYTHING else is beyond horrendous. The acting is terrible. Kathleen Kimmont is just a look, and that’s it. Peggy Sands is somehow worse as Keela, and it sounds like she’s reading her lines from cue cards step by step. Khambatta’s Cobalt is so ridiculous and over the top. Yeah, I know that’s the point, but she’s too cheesy to take seriously, and too brutal to laugh at (Cobalt cuts off the ears of her victims). I don’t think anyone could’ve saved the Reverend Mother character. Bottom line, Reverend Mother’s appearance is too cartoonish for a primary antagonist (she wears a black robe, wrinkly all over, pale, and her body is hooked up to some machine, which is supposed to be a life support system, with a bunch of big wires sticking out on the floor).

Looking for lots of nudity? Well, you should find another movie. She-Wolves Of The Wasteland gives you a few topless scenes, but that’s about it. The most obvious “eye candy only” scene involves two topless women sunbathing or taking a bath (hard to tell what they were doing) under waterfalls. The waterfalls scene goes on for a while, but again, it’s nothing shocking, or gratuitous.

Usually, when it comes to imperfections in B-movies, I look the other way, because B-movies are supposed to be silly fun. But She-Wolves Of The Wasteland pushes everything too far. Poor execution, incompetent directing, horrendous acting, and too many question marks. A short list of some mind-boggling questions:

-Who’s supposed to be the main character? Keela or Phoenix? I guess that’s why they changed the title of the movie (Phoenix The Warrior was the original title), because everything you see on-screen leads you to believe Phoenix is the main character. But on the other hand, Keela is carrying mankind’s last hope. Just another annoying conundrum in the storyline.

- What the hell is a Sand Trapper? They never bother explaining this.

-Okay. Keela is pregnant. BUT you literally can’t see any signs of Keela being pregnant, and a few minutes after she announces her pregnancy to Phoenix, she gives birth out of nowhere?

-What happened to Keela and Skyler? You know, the woman carrying mankind’s last hope, and the kid, who could save the world. The last scene in the movie (which is also the same exact scene used for the  intro) shows Phoenix riding a white horse on the beach…..and that’s it. Sorry, B-movie or no B-movie, you can’t just forget about two very important characters, and not give the audience some kind of explanation.

The lame final showdown between Keela, Phoenix, and Reverend Mother was just pitiful. Reverend Mother has Skyler in a cage, and guess what Keela does to stop her? She pulls out the wires to the machine that’s keeping Reverend Mother alive, killing her. So the most dominant and powerful force in the world is killed, because someone pulled a bunch of wires? Ugh. It was a train wreck to sit through, but the preceding battle between Phoenix and Cobalt was better.

She-Wolves Of The Wasteland stays in its own frustrating safe zone. When it comes to nudity, violence, and dialogue (one “cunt” isn’t enough to raise an eyebrow), everything is too tamed to be shocking. And I couldn’t laugh, because the parody performances and writing are atrocious. Hard to think of any redeemable qualities from She-Wolves, so I’m going with a zero.

Rating: 0/10

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