Hey Everybody! I put off writing this movie up so I could do a well-thought-out, 50-cent word 10-page thesis, but clearly that didn’t work out, so it’s bullet-points instead. Let’s start with the obvious: this movie was fun! Not the deepest, most coherent comment on society, with a thin plot and plenty of loose ends, but still a genuinely enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. Why? Oh, perhaps it was the rare joy of two young, attractive female leads who are somehow capable of having both personalities and self-defense skills at the same time (Kate Beaton and pals did an excellent comic showcasing what passes for ‘strong female leads’ in the movies nowadays).
Sure, they talk about boys, especially potential last guy on earth Hector (more on him later), but it ties back into their sisterly dynamic! Speaking of which, these ladies enjoy/have sex without too much guilt! UNPRECEDENTED! They’re unapologetically sexy (the scene where Samantha coyly says ‘Hiii!’ before kneeing a mall jerk in the groin is a perfect example), but SEXY is not the beginning and ending of their character description. It seems silly to be so giddy about what is certainly a B-grade apocalyptic flick with serious retro charm, but THERE ARE THAT FEW EXAMPLES OF DECENT LADIES IN THE MOVIES.
And though this film already has more decent ladies in it than all 3 Transformer movies put together, IT ALSO HAS CALAMITY JANE! AKA Mary Woronov, former Warhol Factory model, writer, painter, and star of numerous excellent (or if you’re into irony, “excellent”) films including ‘Death Race 2000′. Here she’s a scientist AND the lone voice of morality in a group of amoral nerds who survived the apocalypse!
Back to Hector, this film has another rarity: Ethnics! And not as broad stereotypes or zany sidekicks, but AS NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS. Though they did sort of highlight the importance of family to many Hispanic people when Hector risked life and limb to see if they were ok, that’s a far cry from having him shout ‘AIII NO ME GUSTA!’ while getting chased by zombie cops, something I strongly suspect would happen if say, Michael Bay were at the helm (see, Talking JiveBots). Also, a Japanese girl because, why not? EXACTLY. The ethnic makeup of LA is not solely tall blond interchangeable women, despite what casting would have you believe.
And finally, this film may be the finest example of gradual color filter use EVER. Don’t forget to check out this week’s film, ‘Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives’. I only have a small idea what it’s about, but I’m already sold on the concept of ghosts haunting people, not real estate. Silly American ghosts, with their fixations on property values.