“Future-Kill” is an immensely dated and standard science fiction punk flick from the era of leather jackets and Mohawks. In some unsure futuristic world, a gang of mutants and gladiators in the vein of “Mad Max” meets “The Warriors” are battling among one another, and the tensions are obviously high. You can see that by the opening where the leader confronts the loose cannon Splatter, a violent individual who hides behind body armor and is basically an intimidating presence. Moore then introduces a comedic element for some reason with a group of frat boys curiously detracting from the future element, that have to pledge a fraternity. Moore’s film has not held well over time.
The music is ancient even for an eighties film, and for a quarter of the film we’re basically given “Animal House” as a group of pledges are played pranks on, take part in physical gags, and the obligatory sex scene or two; all of which are obvious padding, but still rather attention grabbing. When we finally get to the actual story, the frat boys are blamed for the murder of the gang leader Eddie Pain, and now have to make it back to their world alive. Now the boys of The Delta House are in the world of “The Warriors.” And you thought it wouldn’t come together. Moore’s film becomes much more cohesive as a poor man’s “The Warriors” as these elite fray boys are thrown into a homicidal world of nuclear mutants and are trying to get home without being killed. The comedy is then drawn away for a surprisingly tense and entertaining bit of action. The villain Splatter is so over the top, he’s hard to take seriously, but that’s the fun of it.
He’s a quasi-Vader, a man in a mechanical outfit who has killed so much he’s lost sight of his humanity, speaks in a very deep voice, and betrays the one person who knows how human he can be. One hilarious scene involves him killing his friend Star after she attempts to give him oral pleasure and sees what he really has under his codpiece. Edwin Neal’s performance is cartoonish, but it’s also oddly interesting. The designs behind the mutants become an interesting after taste. As a trashy eighties thriller, it’s a fun guilty pleasure, with some entertaining dialogue, and engaging characters. I went into this expecting nothing, and that’s probably why I received so much from it. You can’t expect a masterpiece from a film that has a musical number, and mutants without actual mutations. Hell, I had fun. I enjoyed this for all the wrong reasons, but when in the context, all the wrong reasons are basically the right reasons. Moore’s “Future-Kill” isn’t one that’s aged well, but as a passing good time, you’ll find great camp value from it. Whether from the “Animal House” sub-plot, or the “Mad Max” backdrop, it’s still a very entertaining film in spite of and probably because of its age.
Subversive Cinema is an unusual distributor, not because of the status they’ve built, but because of the fact that they’ve chosen to distribute some of the most unusual, and obscure films ever made. I’m a hardcore film buff, and I’ve never heard of “Future Kill” or “Dust Devil,” nor have I ever seen them on television, or mentioned by any of the more trendy critics. All the more reason to want to check them out, wouldn’t you say? We’re at a time where movie theaters and video stores are distributing truly awful films that have zero replay value, so it’s time for more and more companies to dig up obscure films for the general audience to enjoy, or endure. Featured on the DVD are trailers for Subversive Cinema releases, Edwin Neil who plays Splatter discusses “Future-Kill” and how little they received in credibility and profits, not to mention he admits that much of the movie is indeed padding, and how the film went from being titled “Splatter” to “Future-Kill,” and an Easter egg featuring an interview with Bill Johnson, one of Splatter’s elite guards.