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Barb Wire (1996)

R | | Action, Sci-Fi | 3 May 1996 (USA)
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1:15 | Trailer
During the Second American Civil War in 2017, Barb Wire owns a nightclub called the Hammerhead. Things become complicated when her ex-lover Axel Hood, who is married to the fugitive Corrina Devonshire, re-enters her life.

Director:

David Hogan

Writers:

Chris Warner (characters in comic), Ilene Chaiken (story) | 2 more credits »
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4,756 ( 444)
Bottom Rated Movies #49 | 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amir AboulEla ... Patron (as Amir Aboulela)
Adriana Alexander Adriana Alexander ... Redhead
David Andriole ... Goon #2
Vanessa Lee Asher Vanessa Lee Asher ... Emily
Ron Balicki ... Customs Agent #1
Jennifer Banko ... Spike
Candace Kita ... Dancer (as Candace Camille Bender)
Xander Berkeley ... Alexander Willis
Tony Bill ... Foster
Alex Bookston Alex Bookston ... Man in White Suit
Gil Borgos Gil Borgos ... Old Man
Andre Rosey Brown ... Big Fatso
Mark Collver Mark Collver ... Manny (as Marc Collver)
Tina Cote Tina Cote ... Woman in Bar #1 (as Tina Coté)
Vinnie Curto Vinnie Curto ... Aide to Pryzer
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Storyline

In the early 21st century, the USA is in the wake of the Second Civil War. The whole country is in a constant state of emergency. What was formerly called the American Congress now rules the country with fascistic methods. There is only one free city left, Steel Harbor, a coastal California industrial town which is headquarters for the resistance. This is the home town of Barb Wire, owner of the Hammerhead nightclub. As times aren't good, Barb has a second job. She's a bounty hunter and you probably wouldn't want her after you. Barb's credo is to never take sides for anybody and that's the only way to survive these days in the crime-ridden streets of Steel Harbor. One evening, her former lover Axel Hood appears at the club asking for a favor to help him and his lover Cora D flee the country to Canada, Barb suddenly finds herself to be key player on high political stage. Now she has to take sides. Written by Oliver Heidelbach

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No laws. No limits. No turning back. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and nudity/sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

3 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barb·Wire See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,844,426, 5 May 1996

Gross USA:

$3,793,614

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,793,614
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original comic book ended its run shortly after the film's disappointing reception. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, when Barb is dancing, her nails are bright red. When she goes back into the dressing room after the dance her nails are French manicured. See more »

Quotes

Woman in Torture Room: You'll never find her.
Colonel Pryzer: You're so beautiful. I'm sorry.
[electrocutes her to death]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credit sequence is one of the most famous in exploitation film history as Barb does a topless wet and wild dance as the credits roll. See more »

Alternate Versions

For UK cinema the R-rated print was submitted and passed uncut with a 15 certificate. Video versions were raised to an 18 and featured the unrated print with additional footage of a topless Barb being hosed down during the opening credits. For DVD the R-rated print was again released, with the nude credits scene included as an extra on the disc. See more »

Connections

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Barb Wire (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Call Me Babe
Written by Con Fitzgerald, Carrie Askew (as Caroline Askew) and Jacqueline Blake
Performed by Shampoo
Courtesy of Food Ltd.
Under exclusive license to EMI Records U.K. Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Have you ever heard of overkill?"
28 June 2000 | by The_Movie_CatSee all my reviews

Picture this: a Pamela Anderson science fiction double bill on television. I mean, you'd just HAVE to watch it, wouldn't you? Just to see how bad it was.

1995's Naked Souls kept making me look for the "TV Movie" credit that wasn't there. A cheap and exploitative "erotic thriller" where Pammie exposes her left breast within the first three minutes of the movie. Anderson is an artist, specialising in plaster-casting nude women, rubbing mixture over their breasts while they proclaim "it feels kinda sexy". Her boyfriend, decently played by Brian Krause, is studying brain wave patterns and accidentally crosses his own with that of a serial killer. It's all very silly and derivative, also involving a Faustian pact with a mysterious benefactor. What disturbs is that all the victims of the killer are nude women – I mean, who gets into a swimming pool naked? – meaning the film uses sexual violence as titillation. Dean Stockwell, in a minor role, is wasted in stuff like this.

If Anderson's role in the predictable Naked Souls was peripheral (and also completely irrelevant to the plot), then Barb Wire sees her take over the screen. Released the following year, this saw the now Pamela Anderson Lee as the titular character, a Barbarella of the 90s. Of course she can't act – she only manages one expression throughout the whole two hours – but her assured performance is wonderful here. While it's easy to lump both these films together as trash entertainment, Barb Wire is so much more than that. A vibrant, witty and well-directed cartoon for the screen, its constant energy is a delight. What really appeals is in seeing the sheer amount of cinema pastiches the film rigs up. Batman, Never Say Never Again and even The A-Team are all parodied. But most significantly, it shares multiple plot similarities with Casablanca, and I honestly suspect that this was intentional. Or would its 2017 planes really be so old-fashioned? Barb is a neutral bar owner during a war by day (ring a bell?) a vixen for hire by night. The landscape she occupies is an excitingly neon world of legalised prostitution, engineered diseases and sophisticated contact lenses.

Maybe the opening moments – Anderson Lee exposing her bare nipples while water washes over them to a baying crowd – are tacky and unnecessary. The scenes that follow also contain a torture sequence that is not only misguided in its attempt to arouse but also transparent in its purpose for expository dialogue. Yet beyond those first few scenes we have an action movie that contains above-average scripting for the genre, and some fun moments. It's amusing to try and guess whether Pam knew she was being kitsch or whether she genuinely believed she was giving a good performance. But whatever the answer, it still gets a laugh when a rowdy customer finds his genitals in the mouth of her rabid Rottweiler. "Sit", she tells the dog, much to the drunk's displeasure. "Now, you don't want to see her roll over, do you?"

All the criticisms that can be made against this film – that it's badly acted, appallingly scripted, dumb and sexist (even though none of them are 100% true anyway) – can be disputed by the fact that it's SUPPOSED to be badly acted, appallingly scripted, dumb and sexist. This is a film that never pretends to be anything other than a pumped-up, camp and downright silly movie. What's more, it succeeds in being more entertaining and convincing than many of the "straight" versions of the same format, with particular note drawn to it's fight scenes. They may be excessive and lack maturity, but they're shot beautifully and are fun to watch. I'm not a huge fan of action pictures, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. If you want a film that possesses depth and integrity, then see something else. If you want a lovably stupid movie, with Pamela Anderson sticking out her little finger as she burns rubber on a motorbike, then watch this. Tremendous fun.


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