City Limits (1984) Poster


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I wanted to like it
Seb25 September 2008
A bunch of teens on bikes living in a post-apocalyptic city? That sounds like the premise for a pretty fun movie to me but sadly it just wasn't to be.

The costumes are nothing short of ridiculous even allowing for the fact that this was the 80's and although that sounds petty it constantly reminds you that this film has just been flung together much like the actors costumes. There's no plot, no characters, absolutely nothing to cling on to so the film just rolls along with not much happening. At one point I thought the film had given up and started again but it was just a bit of footage reused. Or maybe it just looked the same because honestly ten minutes after this film ends you won't be able to remember a single significant scene.

It's a shame because every once in a while you catch sight of something in the distance that looks a bit like a plot and the film perks up slightly. I can't recommend this film but I like the setting so it gets an extra point for that and it does have curiosity value because of the unusual cast.

It's a dud though, even for fans of bad movies.
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"You ever read Insect Man #47?"
Backlash00718 September 2002
Well, once again, I'm the only person in the world that liked this movie. From reading all of the terrible reviews, I almost changed my mind about that. City Limits is about rival biker gangs feuding in a post plague-ridden America (you know, poor man's Road Warrior). It's a good B-movie written by Don Keith Opper from The Critters movies. The only thing that no one could deny was the great cast. John Stockwell, James Earl Jones, Kim Cattrall, Rae Dawn Chong, John Diehl, Robby Benson, Don Keith Opper, and even Kane Hodder are all running around in this movie. The best part is that the gangs use comic books to make major decisions. That's classic. City Limits is absolutely nothing special, but that's why I love it. I suppose B-movies are somewhat of an acquired taste nowadays. So, if you enjoyed the Road probably won't enjoy City Limits. But if you like post-apocalyptic films that are B-movie treasures (garbage to most) along the lines of Def-Con 4, Cyborg, and Fist of the North Star, you should like City Limits.
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Don't restore the lights to this city!
InzyWimzy12 March 2004
City Limits is so mind boggling since it can't make it's mind up if it's an apocalypse/biker/romance/comedy. Admittedly, I have never seen a society relying so heavily on comic books and the significance of Insect Man. Add lots of crappy costumes, cheapo sets and even more cheapo actors, typical 80s soundtrack drenched with crappy casio tones and James Earl Jones impatiently waiting for his check and City Limits will have you wishing for Soonya Corp. to take over!! Guest starring (oh, I don't think so) Robbie Benson as the epitome of corporate lifestyle refusing to die in the apocalypse. And Kim Cattrall, one of the dues she had to pay early on. She was great in Big Trouble in Little China, why this Kim?? I still laugh seeing James Earl Jones shooting a shotgun and delivering fine lines like, "Damn boy. I told you to find adventure, not to drag it home." Watch this MST style and it becomes a tad more entertaining.
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What the...?
mr2sheds12 September 2005
I'm so mad at this movie. The plot was absent. The acting was awful. The sound was unintelligible. I can't believe that this came out the same year as Back to the Future! Poor James Earl Jones! Poor me! There was a montage in the middle of the thing that referred back to things that were apparently cut out of the film. The costumes were cheesy, and the hair--don't get me started on the hair! You know, I do kind of enjoy a B movie, but I need something to chew on. Some fixed reference point--like a character name or something. I mean, even the credits were inept...they lasted for about 15 minutes and were filmed in irritate-o-rama--a cheesy stop-frame thing. I've had more enjoyable infections.
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How to make a post-apocalypse movie for $5.00...
Wizard-819 July 2000
Though I enjoy the post-apocalypse genre, even I'm hard pressed to mention anything that I liked in this dung heap. Well...some of the music wasn't bad, though it got repetitive eventually. The rest of the movie I was simply amazed at how lame the action and story were, and how cheap everything looked. This actually got released to theaters? Amazing. I hope James Earl Jones and Robby Benson only accepted their (tiny) roles for the money.

Maybe this is fun to watch in the MST3K version - but it's certainly a chore to watch in the original version.
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Nice cast, Comic Books as bible, and a topless Kim Cattral.
Son_of_Mansfield14 September 2003
Gee, are we done with the high points already? This is for the people who watched Mad Max and said, "this is nice, but why can't the gangs wear dumb plastic masks, have even less personality, find their savior in John Stockwell, and be weak enough to be ruled by Robby Benson? Add in a script by Don Keith Opper(Critters) and you start to realize why many people consider the eighties to be a horrible decade for cinema. James Earl Jones(Conan the Barbarian, The Star Wars Trilogy), Rae Dawn Chong(The Color Purple, The Principal), John Diehl(A Time to Kill, Stripes) deserve better; not that anyone deserves this movie. This is like Battlefield Earth lite without aliens. That is the kindest thing I can muster. Tony Plana(Three Amigos!) and Jennifer Balgobin(Repo Man) appear in small roles. In my opinion Jennifer could probably destroy John Stockwell in a fight. Less discriminating video heads may be pleased, but I find this movie dull and more than a little pointless. Put this together with Porky's and you have a full frontal shot of Kim Cattral(rejoice or recoil as needed.)
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it took me five viewings to get it
zee22 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I really had to study this thing to find out the plot, which I think is this: after total economic collapse, a young man leaves the countryside (where there is plenty of clean water, food being grown in fields and chicks willing to have sex in cisterns) to pursue a vague rumor he has heard of fun-fur-wearing motorcycle gangsters in the city. There, food, water, electricity are unavailable (so wouldn't the trend of movement be from city to country?) and a Bad Guy, played unconvincingly by Robby Benson, who doesn't like the gangs (because of reasons never explained-- if he wants to rule his world, he needs people to rule, and they appear to be the only ones left in the city). And there's a rival gang identical to the main gang, and a comic book culture (I suppose it was predictive in this) and unsuccessful fights which result in them regrouping to James Earl Jones's house where hero-guy bonks one of the motorcycle gang girls. But at the end, the gang returns to the city and succeeds in defeating Benson (I think) and all is well because they achieved their goal, well, they never really had a goal, and one must assume there's still no water or food in the city, so maybe after the closing credits end, they all die. One can hope. Five times through to understand this much, and I wouldn't swear to half of it.

However, it only takes one viewing to see this is incomprehensible crap with horrible sound (not that I think we're missing anything by missing some dialog). Some of the actors are phoning it in; some are trying for sincerity, so maybe they had a different shooting script that made them capable of mustering caring or maybe they were on better drugs than the writers, editors, and sound guys.

On the good side, Benson gets one of the oddest screen deaths I've ever seen, and you have to admire the actors for wearing fun furs under hot lights.
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Dull, unfocused jumble of footage pretending to be a movie
lemon_magic16 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"City Limits" is not nearly as badly made as some of the "Bottom 100" movies described here on IMDb. It's got better sets than something like "Robot Monster", better production values than anything Coleman Francis or Bill Rebane ever did, and somehow it attracted some actual acting talent (both known and unknown).

But the movie commits two unpardonable sins: it's boring and it has a plot that is barely comprehensible and makes no sense (if Robby Benson wants to crush the juvenile motorcycle gangs in the city, who is he going to sell things to afterward? All the adults are dead, remember and nobody else seems to be left in the city?)

I feel especially bad for Robby Benson in this film - his scenes are airless and disconnected from anything else in the film and he sucks in them. (Not his fault - given his lines, blocking, and the cinematography, he could hardly do anything else.)

On top of that, the costumes are lame wannabe affairs, the dialog is under-baked and under-rehearsed - whole scenes go by where not a single actor gives a believable read - and the whole comes off like a dystopian ABC after-school special.

I saw the MST version of this (yes, I can make a fair judgment of a movie by the MST cover, because I enjoy their japes but know they often are unfair in their coverage of a movie so they can be "funnier"), and even with their added entertainment, it was slow going.

You can skip this one...or if it happens to come on cable or something while you're watching, you can fall asleep in front of the set to it.
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Weak on pretty much every level.
Comeuppance Reviews12 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In the future, two rival gangs are vying for turf: the Clippers and the DA's. Lee (Stockwell) leaves his rural life behind and heads to the big city to be part of the action, and gets embroiled in the gang warfare. Mainly this includes riding around on modified motorbikes and wearing silly outfits. But their masks are pretty cool. Even more trouble forms in the guise of Carver (Benson) who wants to control the city, or possibly the world, and is willing to use the gangs towards his evil ends, even pitting them against each other. Will Lee and his buddies prevail? At the outset of this movie, we're informed that what we're seeing is "fifteen years from now", but the Vestron VHS box tells us the movie takes place in the distant future of 2003. But one character's Masters of the Universe (1987) coat really tells us what decade we're in. But apparently Steven Seagal's personal style had an impact, as a lot of people in the future wear fringed jackets. While City Limits isn't quite in Shredder Orpheus (1990) territory, it is a bit reminiscent of Wired To Kill (1986). These are not favorable comparisons, as this movie seems like it could have been directed by Albert Pyun. When are filmmakers going to learn that annoying characters doing annoying things does not a movie make, and you cannot skip character development. Isn't that movie-making 101? This movie makes no sense, and it's hard to imagine anyone, whilst making it, thinking it was a good idea, much less NOT a total waste of everyone's time, but here you go. It's total shelf-filler tailor made for the expanding video store market in the 80's. It seems only the Italians can make entertaining post-apocalyptic movies. Basketball fans may get a kick out of the fact that one of the roving street gangs in this movie are called the Clippers, but it falls on deaf ears for mostly everyone else, including us. Also Robby Benson does what we call a "sit-down" role, where a character never moves from his seat.

Why did James Earl Jones agree to be in this? Sure, this movie may be boring, pointless and adds nothing new whatsoever to the post-apocalyptic genre, but the filmmakers were shrewd enough to realize Jones has a commanding voice, so they had him narrate this slog. Seeing as how it was the 80's, and JEJ wears this brown fur coat in the movie, and how he's the narrator of course, only one thing comes to mind: Teddy Ruxpin. But this movie is an insult to Mr. Ruxpin as whoever wrote the cassette that was placed in James Earl Jones did a horrible job. Only Jones' professionalism prevails.

It's easy to see why MST3K chose to do this movie. It's just weak on pretty much every level.

For more action insanity, please visit:
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Post disaster future rubbish
zeppo-218 January 2005
I sometimes think my expectations for a film are often aimed far too low. I only wanted to watch this film because I'd read that Kim Cattrall got her tits out...and then I had to wait over an hour for that.

So..was it worth it? future is going to be far worse than we could ever possibly imagine. The awful scenario of the 'Terminator' series is a picnic compared to this horror! Because 15 years in the future we will all dress like 1980's 'New Romantics' and have BIG hair in the style of 'Duran Duran.'...Kill

A biker gang fights an evil big business and that's it really. This is the sort of film I would love to hear an DVD audio commentary from the people involved and what they made of it. I can't believe they set out to make such a bloody terrible film, what were they attempting to do? Obvious that some people were just taking the money and running but the writer, director, producer? All a mystery.

Some films are so bad they are fun to watch in a perverse way but this is just dull and boring, although, seeing respected actor, James Earl Jones, taking out the baddies with remote control radio Spitfire planes has it's bizarre, surreal moment to be sure!

Though, I very much doubt that he or any other members of this will be putting it on their CV...

Stay or watch the Mad Max films instead.
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A used tissue could've made a better film
DanRaccoon9 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I only watched this film on MST3K so I could bare watching the whole thing, but watching it on that show didn't take my attention away from the film itself. I could still notice the sadness and the general rubbish of the movie. It looked more like a music video for a 80s rock band than a actual movie.

There's a lot of bad points to this, such as the acting. It was boring, plain and it didn't make me react at all, just made me want to go to sleep more than anything. Also the acting of the mentally handicapped character was pretty unconvincing as well, and slightly offensive. I mean he was portrayed as somewhat of an idiot and someone who doesn't get anything, even the part when he was eating the dog food was completely wrong for the character he was supposed to play. It's not how it works and how the character should've been portrayed. I don't mean to make out that this movie is rubbish just because of this, it's rubbish for many reasons.

The action was like watching paint dry, I just couldn't get into it because it was just so corn. The fighting scenes for one was very slow, it seemed like they were both scared of injuring each other when they were fighting, even though they were wearing god knows what inches thick. It's all staged of course, but you have to make it seem like it isn't, which wasn't very well pulled off here, that along with the other forms of action within this movie such as the bike riding and carnage etc.

The only thing that was least unbearable about this movie was the theme. I mean an apocalyptic world is a good setting for a movie I've found with watching others such as Children of Men or The Matrix, but the difference between those movies and this one, is that they were very well written and everything about them was great and provoked the right reactions out of you when you watched them. But this, the only reason I didn't fall into a trance-like state was the fact I was watching it on MST3K, which is where it is only worth watching.

In short, boring, corny and generally you'd just rather go to sleep than watch it.
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Another movie shot in the warehouse district...
DashingD8 April 1999
It took a lot of talent to make one really big pile of crap. James Earl Jones looks as if he'd rather be somewhere else and one can only imagine what the heck was going through Robby Benson's mind when he signed on.

It deserved every bit of abuse it received when it was featured on "Mystery Science Theater 3000."
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Like a movie that almost wasn't. (spoilers)
Pepper Anne20 September 2005
City Limits find initial appeal for it's readily identifiable cast (particularly if you're a regular viewer of obscure films such as these) which includes John Stockton,Rae Dawn Chong, James Earl Jones, and briefly Ricky Benson. Not to mention at least an intriguing plot (with all of the political possibilities) of teens abandoned in a post apocalyptic setting where they form feuding factions as they seek to rebuild, one struggling to build its power while the other struggles for a peaceful existence (not to mention, a somewhat failure of modernity), and interesting sociological study for sure in the development of power and governance.

Unfortunately, the film has a poor script (especially, dialog), mostly poor acting, and scrap shooting budget (including poor sound engineering) which detract from the value of the aforementioned qualities of cast and plot. Many of the scenes tend to drag on, many of the events in the film are made painfully obvious (aided by horrible acting), and worst of all, it looks to be shot along stranded California farm landed or in garages and other cheap, scant locations you might expect from the late-night variety of science fiction and fantasy shows you see on cable. I find this last point to be significantly disappointing where you expect visual flair (even if improvised for lack of budget, but creatively so) from your science fiction films to match the possibilities laden in the story. Fans of highly obscure science fiction who's stories often compensate for forgivable absence of display, you may be pretty disappointed with this one. I'd recommend Prayer of the Rollerboys as an acceptable substitute.
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zerogirl4215 July 2005
My boyfriend is a huge MST3K fan. I usually watch the movies and laugh along, but this was the worst one ever. Even with the jokes of Joel, Crow and the others, nothing could make this turkey fly. The female lead is the woman who starred in Mannequin and she's the best actress in there. The wardrobe people even managed to make her butt ugly and look like a man. There's no eye candy for anyone in here. Sometimes that can be a saving grace in these films. The shots are so dark, you have to squint to see what's going on. All I can think is that the lights were turned low to hide the terrible sets and wardrobe. All I can say about the plot is that it's abysmal. The only reason I'm even giving it 1 star is for the kitch value of seeing James Earl Jones in his worst role ever. About half way through, I noticed my boyfriend (who had been looking forward to seeing this all week) was fast asleep. There was no way that I going to endure this crap alone. If you want to see a better B movie set in the future, may I suggest MST3K's "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank." It's an early Raoul Julia movie. He escapes his Orwellian society by watching the banned, controversial film "Casablanca." It's pure B-movie, futuristic genius. Don't waste your time with "City Limits." Even "Angel's Revenge" is better.
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Tito-816 May 2000
I watch many bad movies each year, but every once in a while, I come across a film that is without a single redeeming quality. This is one of those rare films. Quite simply, everything and everyone in this movie stinks. Perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on the actors, because some of them have shown talent in other films, but how desperate must they have been to appear in this dud? The story is dull, the action is lame, and nothing about this movie is original. Only watch this movie if someone gives you considerable financial compensation in advance.
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Stargate, ID4... this movie spawned evil
Jonah Falcon21 November 1999
Of the better known stars -- like James Earl Jones, Kim Cattral, Robby Benson, Dean Stockwell's son John -- lies an evil beyond anything with mortal men can conceive of.

Dean Devlin, producer of Independence Day and Stargate, acts in this turkey. Argh.
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You won't want to be in the city limits for long...
Aaron137513 August 2016
I saw this film as a part of an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and I hope that the film is a complete and utter incoherent mess is due to the edits done by this show in conjunction with the edits that the video distributor did to it, because if not, this film is more incoherent than any of the Coleman Francis films that were riffed on the show! That is saying a lot by the way as Skydivers and Red Zone Cuba are at times almost random scenes stitched together! This one has James Earl Jones, Rae Dawn Chong and Kim Cattrall and not a whole else to really talk about other than the fact this film also features future producer Dean Devlin in a small role and has a girl with a nice butt at the beginning of the movie. I sat there watching this thing in amazement as people do random things and do this and that and this is supposed to pass as a movie.

The story, what I can make of it, a guy wants to join this gang called the clippers in the city because that is the hip thing to do. Seriously, this film may have been the birth of hipsters. So he just leaves a really hot chick so he can ride motorcycles because it must be the most awesome thing to do. Well he runs afoul of another gang and he may or may not have killed someone, never really clear. There is some people trying to turn the lights on, but that isn't cool man, but driving around on motorcycles that take gas is! A guy sits behind a desk and does absolutely nothing in the film, but he's the man, man and it isn't hip to be the man! Lots of general riding of motorcycles, people use guns, rag tag group reforms and does their things on their bikes and radically different and hip outfits! My guess is people who liked this movie have children that now vape.

This made for an entertaining episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but like I said, cuts they may have made to this film may be the main reason this film was so messy. I would try and track down an unedited version of the film, but I don't think I could sit through it without the riffs. It isn't a horror film like, The Incredible Melting Man that has some good goo effects that would be worth seeing unedited. About the only thing this one is going to offer is seeing that one girl's butt at the beginning and thanks to the fact Joel was not quite quick enough with that umbrella, I saw enough.

So, this film is pretty bad. It makes Coleman Francis movies seem like they have a point and it may be a film that foretold the coming of hipsters. Other than that, there is not much to it. You like a bunch of people running around and people on motorcycles and a lousy action scene at the end then this may be your cup of tea. However, this thing for the most part is a sorry mess and is not anything I would want to watch without MST3K. I thought Solarbabies was kind of a strange and outlandish movie about an apocalyptic future, but at least that one did a better job making it look like some weird future world. This one, not so much. Also, it is not heroic in the least to crush an unarmed man behind a desk and it is also a very anticlimactic way to take out close out your action scene.
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Stay away.
ofpsmith25 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The time period is 15 years from now. Yes. 15 years from now Earth will have gangs fighting each other while wearing clothes that even Lady Gaga would think are too eccentric. But they join forces to battle the evil Carver (Robby Benson) who plans to take over the world or some crap like that. Overall the movie was really stupid. I knew it wasn't going to be good, and those low expectations were met. Just a lot of this and that about bikers and gangs. It felt like the script was written by a 10 year old boy. I watched it on MST3K so I did enjoy their mockery of it as I always do. But the movie itself is just stupid. Watch the MST3K.
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Oh boy.....
PeterAndTheWolves26 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Hello , my dearest fellow IMDb's. Well, I saw this "vehicle"but then the MST3K version........and even Crow/Tom and Joel could not change my constant wondering; how the hell is this "thing"made possible??????! Oh my Good Gracious God.....BAD , really bad..I mean REALLY BAD. I saw a lot of filth being grinded trough the minds of Joel/Mike/Trace and Frank f.e., but this ....tomorrow(27 December), I am going to report ill for my work(serious!), let's hope it was the amount of food that sickened me...... Aaron Lipstad? Shame on you!! There are countless young new directors waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves and knowing your "golem" terrorized our eyeballs could make them really feel like a hopeless pile of driftwood!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, oversee, was this movie serious? Was it released on cinema circuit?? I really would like to know this. ATTENTION PEOPLE, HERE IS A SPOILER:"They survive!" Eh....what actually?? hahahaaa. Cheers my friends. I am going to bed, listen to some music and get up at 08.00O'clock so I can call my boss to let him know of my bad condition..........:)

bye bye
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justinaddis710 April 2004
I know that this film isn't the peak of cinema, but maybe there's something to be said for not scrutinizing a film so hard that you miss the basic intention. While people will argue over whether or not it is entertaining, I found it to be so, mostly because I wanted to be in it. Not the film, but the story. I actually bought into the plot, enjoyed the premise of a world without parents where angst filled, reckless and rebellious comic book lovers were left to their own devices, and yet seemed to make it work! The music was very good, and the imagery was very nice (especially Mick's "Metropolis" shirt). I know the outfits seem a little stupid, but has anyone been in the East Village recently? Not an excuse, but simply a reminder that extravagance isn't necessarily contrivance. No, the action sequences weren't brilliant, but they were fun. And the stars in the film, despite the fact that many will say they were slumming, all do their best and I think it shows. I just really like this film. Not the stuff of The Oscars, but a fun, retrospective look back into the 80s subcultures.
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And upon his head...
Tim McNeil10 May 2002
John Stockwell appeared to have a promising career ahead of him. He co-starred with Tom Cruise in the horrible "Losin' It," with a car in Stephen King's "Christine," and with a dinosaur in the quite forgetable "My Science Project." For whatever reason, he, James Earl Jones, Rae Dawn Chong, Kim Cattrall, and Robby Benson signed on to make this post-apocalyptic story. But he wears a (very fake) animal skull as a motorcycle helmet, and for that reason alone the first few minutes of the film are worth watching.
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All-Star Cast = No-Star Rating
Gislef21 December 1998
Considering the "name" stars involved in this flick (James Earl Jones, Robbie Benson among others), you'd think this film could rate above a 1 star. No such luck. This post-Mad Max, post-apocalyptic rip-off hits the same lows as most other such attempts, but finds some unique qualities of its own to make it even worse. Take one-part Mad Max, one-part The Warriors, mix well, and turn into foul-tasting hash. There are some feeble attempts at action and excitement, but even the ineptly staged action sequences defeat that. A yawner.
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