After a nuclear war, Phillip Hammer and Marlowe Chandler have spent fifteen years on their own in a bunker, stuffed with junk from the 40s and old detective novels. Now, nineteen-years-old,...
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J. Eddie Peck,
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After a nuclear war, Phillip Hammer and Marlowe Chandler have spent fifteen years on their own in a bunker, stuffed with junk from the 40s and old detective novels. Now, nineteen-years-old, they leave their shelter to find a world full of mutants, freaks, and cannibals. They become famous detectives in the struggle for the two keys that could fire the last nuclear weapon.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Having only been previously exposed to Albert Pyun's 90s-era direct-to-video low-budget action garbage, I picked up "Radioactive Dream" expecting a futuristic crapfest like "Nemesis" or "Omega Doom". I was surprised to discover this movie is not only original, but extremely funny and entertaining.
Michael Dudikoff (in an effectively humorous role the same year he kicked off his B-action career with "American Ninja") and John Stockwell ("Christine", "My Science Project", and now a director of motion pictures) play Marlowe Chandler and Phillip Hammer - a couple of real dicks! Having been raised on 50s pulp detective novels (hence their names) while confined to an underground bomb shelter, they emerge 15 years after a nuclear war has turned the world into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. All these guys want is dames and to become the world's biggest private dicks. The first person they meet is a revolutionary rebel by the name of Miles Archer (Lisa Blount, who I also remember from another of my favorite guilty-pleasure 80s flicks, "Nightflyers", as well as "Blind Fury" and "Prince of Darkness"). Purely by accident, our two heroes end up in possession of the two keys that can launch the last nuclear missile in existence, and when this fact is discovered after they reach the last outpost of civilization - Edge City - they find themselves on the run from every mutant gang in town.
This movie's pluses include a colorful variety of characters, many based on specific stereotypes from different eras (pulp detectives, disco mutants, greasers) as well as cannibals and giant rats; general goofiness in both the action sequences and the heroes' trying to get acquainted to the changed world; a most excellent 80s soundtrack; and George Kennedy to boot. As expected, the movie is a comedic satire for most of the first hour, but then suddenly turns serious in the last 20 minutes. But this movie does end with the coolest two-man song and dance number ever.
In short, don't let the Pyun credit fool you. "Radioactive Dreams" is a good rental for those who wish to see something completely different. (Especially suggest a double billing of this with "Six-String Samurai") 7/10
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