Part comic book, part actioner, part kangaroo, with a bra made of missiles and a dash of kitschy musical, TANK GIRL is a film unlike any other. Rachel Talalay’s 1995 adaptation of Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett’s anarchistic comic of the same name is a no-holds-barred romp through a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
It’s a film for fans of bonkers, ostentatious, rule-breaking cinema. It’s also for anyone excited by the words “Rippers designed for the screen by Stan Winston” or the fact that Iggy Pop makes an appearance as a paedophile named Rat Face. Lori Petty’s Rebecca Buck (aka Tank Girl) is an obnoxious, ultra-violent outlaw, riding a water buffalo and speeding tanks through the desert, hell-bent on destroying the evil Water and Power mega-corporation. She is larger than life, a woman on the edge, poking around gender stereotypes and fascist ideologies with glee. She will never break.
Tank Girl grounds itself in the world of its source material, with wild splashes of artwork and several animated sequences drawn by Hewlett and produced by Mike Smith and Colossal Pictures. This artwork carries the film both in terms of its narrative trajectory and its tone, providing bookends for the picture as well as much of its heart. The opening title sequence, created by Andrew Doucette and featuring a new recording of Devo’s energetic “Girl U Want”, is a slam of colour, heavy metal machinery, and cocky smiles that perfectly amps audiences for the mad ride to come.
Though the film was a box office bust, it did much to catapult its titular character into the American mainstream. The influence of Tank Girl can still be felt to this day, having made an indelible mark on music, fashion, and anyone punk at heart.
Running Time: 1hrs 44mins
BBFC Advice: 15
Director(s): Rachel Talalay
Year of release: 1995
This is part of the Women and Genre: Sci-Fi seasonSee all