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|Index||11 reviews in total|
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.
While I won't pick out the articulate details of the movie, or take an
active defense as to why I thought this movie is good, I will say I
liked this movie. This has to be one of the better sci-fi movies I've
Imagine it, you traveling across the continent to a safe-haven - the ONLY one left on Earth. Your transportation; a shoddy-looking bus with others, crammed like sardines. Your obstacles; everything. From crazed bandits to violent solar storms, this leaves you imagining yourself in place of one of the characters on that bus. Quite a thrill, isn't it?
Food is heavily rationed, medical aid is meager, and death is engulfing. Great, great setup for a storyline (which could have been better in several ways, although I'm fine with it as-is).
Okay, I for one liked this movie. Now granted, it doesn't compare to the special effects that are around today, but overall, I enjoyed it! It had an interesting plot, lots of action, nice character development, and an excellent performance by Michael Ironside. This movie held my interest all the way through until the last scene. It is categorized as science-fiction; however, there was very little scientific lingo, so it is easy enough for anyone to follow. I especially enjoyed how the characters began as strangers in the movie, and slowly melded together into a sort a renegade troupe, determined to stay alive. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who can get there hands on it!
The plot: A bounty hunter joins a group of travelers seeking sanctuary
at Neon City, a city deep in the dangerous, post-apocalyptic
Neon City is obviously a big rip-off of Mad Max, but it also takes equal influence from old Westerns. Despite that, I still love this movie. Maybe it's the fact that Michael Ironside stars as a good guy, a rare role for this badass actor. Maybe it's because it rips off some amazingly awesome movies, and it reminds me of them constantly. Maybe it's because it was part of my college years, and I just couldn't get enough of these cheesy, late 80s/early 90s post-apocalyptic Mad Max ripoffs. Maybe it was because this is actually a pretty decent movie underneath the layers of "homage". I've always thought that this forgotten B movie could have been a cult classic if only it had gotten a little bit more attention.
If you're expecting a big budget, amazing sets, famous A-list actors, mind-blowing special effects, and an original plot, then, yeah, you'll be very disappointed. However, if you're a fan of B movies, then you'll probably have no problem overlooking the faults.
"Take a deep breath, it may be your last. Welcome to the year 2053!" In
the year 2053 the world is a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In this movie
it is called "The Outland", with a blatant disregard for the Sean
Connery film of the same name. "The Outland" doesn't have a lot of
clean air or water. People are eating dogs for sustenance.
Enter Harry M. Stark (Ironside), a no-nonsense bounty hunter who looks like Jack Nicholson. His job is to bring Reno (Vanity) back to Neon City. He handcuffs himself to her because she is always escaping. There are so many outlaws in "The Outland" that one can collect "Red Star Credits" for bringing them to justice. What you can exchange these for aren't explained. Is it like Skee Ball tokens or "Coconut Coins"? The world may never know.
Luckily there is a bus going to Neon City. The movie never explains where they are and how long it takes to get to Neon City. The bus driver is named Bulk and he is played with aplomb by Lyle Alzado. As if the name "Bulk" wasn't enough, he is nicknamed "The Killer Tomato" because "He crushes people's heads as easily as an overripe tomato". Bulk and Harry don't get along at first because Bulk is an ex-con that Harry brought in.
Also going to Neon City in this bus are a bad stand-up comic looking for work, a sketchy doctor with a mullet, a spoiled rich girl and a woman who looks like Hillary Clinton. Riding shotgun with Bulk for most of the journey is a mysterious Asian man named Wing (Arsenio "Sonny" Trinidad) Along the way there are many obstacles and pitfalls. Besides the obvious personality clashes, there are roving bands of killers dubbed "Skins". They ride souped-up, broken down motorcycles if such a thing is possible. There are continuously chasing the bus and shooting at it. We don't know why. Stark shoots back with a laser that makes a classic laser noise: "Pew! Pew!" The many chase sequences are very repetitive and strongly reminiscent of the "Orange Grove Chase" from the classic "Cobra" (1986).
Other dangers our heroes have to face include something called a "Zander Cloud" which is a poisonous cloud. It would make more sense if it was a "Zzand Cloud". Similarly, there are some hot lights which are a silly menace that pads out the running time. Not to mention if they are so hot, why don't they melt all the snow around the area? They take a million breaks on the way to Neon City and they could have gotten there a lot faster. The importance to getting to Neon City is negated with all the breaks. One of the important breaks involves healing water that Harry and Reno take. It doesn't make much sense.
After all those breaks, they finally get to Neon City which is just a "Neon Room" (No city is actually seen) They are welcomed into the room by none other than "The Office's" Creed Bratton (Who was also a grip on the film). Already overlong at this point, after multiple endings Stark confronts his commanding officer (who is also evil) and is named "Jenkins".
There are some twists as far as relationships are concerned: Will Stark and Reno stay enemies or become an item? Will that annoying comic get his comeuppance for selling poison to cave-dwelling burn victims? And will Bulk get his wife's ring back from the "Skins"? and is Wing (once again played by Arsenio "Sonny" Trinidad) who he seems to be? All will be answered if you watch the entire thing.
"Neon City" closely resembles the recent box office smash "The Book Of Eli", obviously the Hughes Brothers closely studied this flick. Honestly, the movie is a "Mad Max" knockoff and scenes from it are ripped off wholesale.
Make sure to watch "Neon City" in the future! Interesting side note: Fan favorite Chuck Zito did some stunt work on the film.
Comeuppance Review by Ty & Brett For more insanity, please visit: comeuppancereviews.com
This movie is pretty good its still watchable. It puts you in a
different world and at the expense of very little. The budget may be
small but the actors aren't bad except for that bad doctor he annoys
Michael Ironside shows a good performance as always. there is a sly Stallone kind of guy who is pretty cool a nice looking girl named vanity and a mystery Asian guy who is cool
The special effects aren't bad and there is enough gruesome violence to keep you posted. The annoyance to people may be the lighting but thats about it.
Just watch it and make your own judgment but I promise you wont be disappointed if you try not to compare this to mad max.
all in all if you like b scifi post apocalyptic movies I'm sure you'll enjoy this one.
P.S. its better than postman
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fans of the 'bleak future' style will want to check out Neon City, if only because it features another 'too good for a genre film' performance from Michael Ironside (Scanners, Starship Troopers). Ironside plays Harry Stark, a balding bounty hunter with a pony-tail transporting prisoner Reno (model-singer-actress-part time plumber Vanity) to the safe, non-radioactive confines of the titular burg In the Year 2525 er, sorry, 2053. In a plot as old as Stagecoach, the two are travelling with other passengers in an armored car piloted by Bulk (appropriately enough, steroid pioneer Lyle Alzado), and encounter all sorts of difficulties along the way, including deadly sun rays (no more ozone layer), the worst pollution this side of the San Gabriel Valley, and marauding gangs of Mad Max extras. As far as these things go, Neon City is actually slightly above average, and takes good advantage of some desolate Utah locations.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Saw this first time round back in the early nineties and loved it,thus i have gone back to view it several times over the years. Has not really generated the interest or cult following that other less impressive low budget movies have,which is a pity. Great story,solid enough acting and a consistent amount of action and some great ideas on a apocalyptic future to keep viewers of most genres interested and entertained,love the cigarette idea!!!!!!!! I suppose this is somewhat of a unknown diamond in the rough type production. So take a look at this little low budget gem of a film and i really think you will be not blown away but impressed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Neon City is set in a post apocalyptic future during the year 2053 A.D.
where ex-law enforcement ranger Harry M. Stark (Michael Ironside) roams
the wastelands in search of human bounty like escaped or wanted
criminals on the run which he brings in & collects money for. His
latest capture is a woman named Reno (Vanity (?!)) who he takes to the
nearest 'civilised' city, Jehricho. Unfortunately she's hot property &
needs to be taken to the larger Neon City for trial & since Jericho are
low on man power it's up to Stark to get her there if he wants his
money. Meanwhile several people are boarding a large truck which will
take them across the rough & dangerous terrains of the wastelands to
Neon City as is the only way to get there, along with several other
passengers on board is the daughter of a top ranking official in Neon
City & Stark is forced to travel with them to protect her since he was
the 'best' before he went renegade. As they try to reach Neon City they
have to deal with mutants, cannibal tribes, freak whether phenomenon &
the fact that there is a murderer among their number...
Co-written & directed by Monte Markham I personally thought Neon City was a pretty lacklustre post apocalyptic sci-fi adventure. The script by Markham, Jeff Begun, Buck Finch & Gus Peters is basically a rip-off of the classic western Stagecoach (1939) & takes it's plot & transports it into the future. However that's where the similarities end I'm afraid as Neon City has dull & unexciting action scenes, clichéd & forgettable character's especially the main leads & sub-plots which seem to go nowhere & serve only to stretch the things running time out even more. I found it to be a touch on the slow side with not much happening & average at best action scenes to punctuate the boredom & it takes itself far too seriously. The ending was also a disappointment & it's almost as if the filmmakers didn't know what they wanted to do & just wrapped things up as quickly as they could. The world depicted in Neon City is your typical post apocalyptic vision with wastelands full of mutants & gangs, little law & order, the daily struggles to find water & food & life threatening whether conditions. Mad Max (1979) was doing all that sort of thing much better over a decade before Neon City, in fact besides stealing most of it's best ideas from Stagecoach & Mad Max the whole film feels like it's one big rip-off & doesn't have an original idea in it.
Director Markham does a surprisingly excellent job here, Neon City is one of the best looking post apocalyptic films I've seen & I'm even more surprised by the fact this must have had a pretty low budget. The landscapes are fantastic & really help the look of the film, apparently shot on the Utah flatlands during winter it has a great feel & desolate atmosphere to it. The production design is also rather good with nice costumes & good sets. The look of Neon City is easily it's best aspect. The infrequent action scenes are bland & simply don't excite which is the films biggest problem, it's just not that much fun to watch & it's as simple & straight forward as that.
Technically Neon City is fine & even quite impressive when everything is considered, don't expect many special effects though & the violence is rather tame. The acting isn't up to much although the usually great Michael Ironside has a rare lead role.
Neon City is an average time waster at best & a lifeless unoriginal bore at worst, generally speaking I'd say it's somewhere between the two. Not one to rush out & buy I'm afraid.
I'm pretty apathetic towards this film and don't like or dislike it. It has good cinematography and decent direction. It's just that the script is...eccentric. And the times when it tries for comedy are very tedious. The action scenes are boring, and...well, this is an example of a flick that is average in every sense of the word. Ironside is excellent.
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