Tank Girl (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rachel Talalay|
|Produced by||Tom Astor|
|Screenplay by||Tedi Sarafian|
|Based on||Tank Girl
by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett
|Music by||Graeme Revell|
|Editing by||James R. Symons|
|Studio||Trilogy Entertainment Group|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Running time||104 minutes|
Tank Girl is a 1995 American science fiction action film loosely based on the Tank Girl comic book created by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett. It was directed by Rachel Talalay and stars Lori Petty as Rebecca Buck, aka the eponymous Tank Girl, who had originally appeared in the UK comic magazine Deadline.
In the year 2022 the Earth was struck by a comet, causing an 11 year drought. By 2033, a majority of the scarce water supply is being held in reserve by Water & Power, which uses the water to control the world's population. Rebecca, aka Tank Girl (Lori Petty), is a member of a resistance group that steals whatever water they can find for their community. Their hideout is attacked by W&P, who kill Rebecca's boyfriend and captures her young friend, Sam (Stacy Linn Ramsower). Tank Girl is captured as well, but her defiant nature and independence intrigues Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell) who tortures her instead of executing her, then decides to make her a slave. Tank Girl meets Jet Girl (Naomi Watts), a talented but introverted mechanic who has given up on freedom; she tries to convince Rebecca to make less trouble for them, but Rebecca refuses and is only tortured more.
Meanwhile, W&P is having difficulty with a group called the Rippers, inhuman renegades that slaughters Kesslee's men and escape undetected. Kesslee uses Tank Girl as bait to draw out the Rippers, but they turn the tables, gravely injuring Kesslee and letting Rebecca escape. Jet Girl joins her, and they learn from the eccentric Sub Girl (Ann Cusack) that Sam is working at Liquid Silver, an adult entertainment club. They infiltrate the club and rescue Sam from a lecherous pedophile (Iggy Pop) before humiliating the owner "The Madame" by making her sing Cole Porter's "Let's Do It." W&P breaks up the song and Sam is again captured. With nowhere to go, Tank Girl and Jet wander the desert, eventually finding the Rippers' hideout (a buried bowling alley) where they discover that the Rippers are humanoid mutated kangaroos, except for Booga (Jeff Kober), who was originally a dog. Despite their suspicions, the Rippers send Tank and Jet out on a reconnaissance mission to destroy a shipment of weapons, only to discover they were set up after finding the body of their creator Johnny Prophet stuffed in one of the weapons crates.
Jet Girl comes up with a plan to sneak into W&P. Kesslee, reconstructed after his injuries, reveals that Rebecca was bugged; their assault turns into a firefight that kills Deetee (Reg E. Cathey). Enraged, the Rippers quickly turn the tide of battle while Jet Girl kills Sergeant Small (Don Harvey) who had sexually assaulted her earlier. Kesslee reveals that Sam is in the pipe, a hollow tube that he is slowly filling with water. Tank Girl is able to use her tank to disable and kill Kesslee before pulling Sam from the pipe. The scene is followed by an animated sequence where water flows freely and Rebecca takes her boyfriend Booga water skiing; she tells Jet not to warn them of a waterfall as a surprise to Booga who dives from the cliff as the credits roll.
- Lori Petty as Tank Girl / Rebecca
- Ice-T as T-Saint
- Naomi Watts as Jet Girl
- Don Harvey as Sergeant Small
- Jeff Kober as Booga
- Reg E. Cathey as Deetee
- Scott Coffey as Donner
- Malcolm McDowell as Kesslee
- Stacy Linn Ramsower as Sam
- Ann Cusack as Sub Girl
Rachel Talalay, longtime producer of John Waters, had fallen in love with the comic after receiving an issue for Christmas one year from her stepdaughter, and set out to make "the ultimate grrrrl movie." Although the resulting film has a considerable cult following along with the far more widely acclaimed comics, Talalay has complained that the studio interfered significantly in the story, screenplay and feel of the movie. The Rippers were also changed in the movie from a group of ordinary (albeit talking and a bit mutated) kangaroos to a new race of genetically-modified supersoldiers with spliced kangaroo DNA. The makeup effects were created by Stan Winston's studio, who reportedly loved the project so much that they cut their prices in half. The animation for the film's hallucination sequence was directed by Steve Evangelatos.
The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics and had disappointing sales at the box office. It only grossed $4 million on a $25 million budget. The film holds a 42% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 33 reviews (14 positive, 19 negative).
Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four stars. While praising the film's ambition, he stated the film's manic energy wore him down:
Whatever the faults of "Tank Girl," lack of ambition is not one of them. Here is a movie that dives into the bag of filmmaking tricks and chooses all of them. Trying to re-create the multimedia effect of the comic books it's based on, the film employs live action, animation, montages of still graphics, animatronic makeup, prosthetics, song-and-dance routines, scale models, fake backdrops, holography, title cards, matte drawings, and computerized special effects. All I really missed were 3-D and Smell-O-Vision.
In the wake of poor box office gross, Deadline collapsed, having apparently taken huge gambles on Tank Girl. Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett have since spoken poorly of their experiences in creating the film, calling it "a bit of a sore point" for them. Hewlett said, "The script was lousy; me and Alan kept rewriting it and putting Grange Hill jokes and Benny Hill jokes in, and they obviously weren't getting it. They forgot to film about ten major scenes so we had to animate them ... it was a horrible experience."
Despite the failure of the movie both critically and financially, the film has developed a cult following in recent years.
|Tank Girl Original Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by various artists|
|Released||March 28, 1995|
The music consultant who assembled the soundtrack for the film was Courtney Love. Talalay originally wanted Elvis Costello to do the cover version of "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love", but he declined, and the song was instead performed as a duet by Joan Jett and Paul Westerberg of The Replacements. Devo recorded a new version of their song "Girl U Want" specifically for the film.
- "Ripper Sole" by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, performed by Stomp! – 1:42
- "Army of Me" by Björk – 3:56
- "Girl U Want" by Devo – 3:51
- "Mockingbird Girl" by The Magnificent Bastards featuring Scott Weiland – 3:30
- "Shove" by L7 – 3:11
- "Drown Soda" by Hole – 3:50
- "Bomb" by Bush – 3:23
- "Roads" by Portishead – 5:04
- "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" by Joan Jett and Paul Westerberg (of The Replacements) – 2:23
- "Thief" by Belly – 3:12
- "Aurora" by Veruca Salt – 4:03
- "Big Gun" by Ice-T – 3:54
- Other songs in the film
- "B-A-B-Y" by Rachel Sweet
- "Big Time Sensuality" by Björk
- "Blank Generation" by Richard Hell and the Voidoids
- "Disconnected" by Face to Face
- "Shipwrecked" by Sky Cries Mary
- "Theme from Shaft" by Isaac Hayes
- "2 Cents" by Beowülf
- "Wild, Wild, Thing" by Iggy Pop
- Tomaselli, Susan (April 20, 2008). "stick ‘em up punks, it’s the fun lovin’ criminals". 3:AM Magazine. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Talalay, Rachel. Rosenberg, Bob. "Tank Girl Movie: The Outtakes". twisted.org.uk. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- "A Q&A with Rachel Talalay". nightmareonelmstreetfilms.com. March 25, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Bates, John K (December 1994). "Tank Girl Stomps Hollywood". Wired magazine. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Jones, Doug. "Meet the Rippers ... From Drawing Board to Silver Screen". thedougjonesexperience.com. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Frank Wynne (1995). The making of Tank girl. Titan Books. ISBN 978-1-85286-621-1.
- Evangelatos, Steve. "Steve Evangelatos Bio". Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- "Tank Girl". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- "Tank Girl". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Ebert, Roger (March 31, 1995). "Tank Girl review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- "Alan Martin on Tank Girl". sci-fi-online.com. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Fairs, Marcus (June 2006). "Jamie Hewlett interview". Icon Magazine. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Gleiberman, Owen (April 14, 1995). "Tank Girl review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Tank Girl (film)|
- Tank Girl at the Internet Movie Database
- Tank Girl at AllRovi
- Tank Girl (film) at the TCM Movie Database
- Tank Girl at Box Office Mojo
- Tank Girl at Rotten Tomatoes
- Tank Girl at Superheroes Lives
- tank-girl.com – The official homepage of the Tank Girl franchise