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Allan A. Goldstein
R. Nelson Brown,
In the year 2053, the earth has been devastated by a military experiment gone awry. The ozone layer is gone, radioactive clouds drift across the plains, and unpredictable, intense bursts of ultra-violet sunlight (called "brights") incinerate anyone caught outside. In these conditions, a group of travelers are trying to get from the frontier town of Jericho to the paradise safe haven of Neon City: A doctor named Tom, an old man with a mysterious past, a prostitute, a spoiled rich girl, an untalented comedian, and a bounty hunter named Stark with his valuable prisoner Reno. They board an armored truck converted into a passenger transport driven by an ex-convict named Bulk. Along they way, the travelers deal with passing though radioactive Xander clouds, 150F degrees of "brights", unstable paved roads, and nomadic motorcycle riders who kill anyone venturing though their territory. During the journey, few, if any, of the passengers turn out to be what they initially appear. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Post-apocalyptic world terrorized by skins, 'brights' and Xander-clouds
There was a time, after seeing Cronenberg's SCANNERS, that I wanted to see every possible movie starring Michael Ironside. I pretty soon stopped this silly quest when I realized the man had already starred in way too many boring below-average B-features of the police/thriller-type. NEON CITY, however, is one of his better B-movies, and it's actually one of the better MAD MAX-clones out there.
In the year 2053 the ozone-layer is destroyed and earth's population is divided in diseased mutants and healthy people. The wastelands are ruled by the merciless Skins and earth's ecosystem is completely out of balance. Outbursts of 'brights' can incinerate a person and poisonous Xander-clouds can suffocate you within seconds. There are safe-havens throughout the wastelands, Neon City being one of them. A group of 8 persons begins a journey in an armored vehicle towards Neon city.
Fans of Michael Ironside should see this flick, 'cause he plays the type of character that we love to see him play: A ruthless bounty-hunter with a soft spot inside. His prisoner, Reno, is played by Vanity, and knowing this lady you might expect her to show some skin, but she pretty much doesn't. The acting is pretty average, but it was fun seeing Juliet Landau before her BUFFY-period. The good thing is that all the characters have a bit of background and some of them turn out not exactly what they appear to be. The bad thing is that this movie could have used a bigger budget, especially in the special effects-department. The 'bright'-outbursts are just some silly colorization-effects and I expected to see an impressive futuristic Neon City in the end, but we see almost nothing of it. The action-scenes of Skins on motorcycles attacking the armored transport are average and certainly not as impressive as in MAD MAX 2.
But still, this movie manages to hum along nicely and you do wonder about who'll make it in the end and who won't. It's not an excellent movie, but it's not bad either. Worth a watch, especially for Ironside-fans.
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