TMT – “Interzone”

11 May

Interzone (1987)
review by SimplyKyle


Director: Deran Sarafian
Starring: Bruce Abbott,  Beatrice Ring, and Teagan Clive

Where to begin with this brilliant gem. The premise of the movie seemed pretty promising; being about Humans surviving in a post apocalyptic wasteland in search for a great secret treasure. Who doesn’t love post-apocalyptic movies? Granted I did not go into it expecting MadMax or anything like that, after all it is called Bad Movie Wednesdays for a reason.

So, the movie starts off with very stereotypical 80s music reminding me instantly of Police Academy. Showing mostly scenery, muddy ground water that appears to be boiling set the wasteland feel right off the bat. Eventually you get to see people and the first thing they show you (that I can recall at least) is a homoerotic dancing Patrick Swayze look-a-like in a bar, who has absolutely nothing to do with the movie after the first few scenes (but cot damn do they show him as much as they can in the first 15 minutes).

Some dialogue, with incredibly low audio, establishes who our main character is going to be and then for some reason he decides to join in on a Russian roulette style death game, where the participants pick from a tray full of drinks and hope they don’t get poison. Our main man, Swan (played by Bruce Abbott), is sat at a table with three other guys, one being a black guy (who in like most movies, dies first), we also have the romantic music that plays as we are shown who our female lead will be. (Tera, played by Beatrice Ring)

After a quick predictable round, everyone drinks poison except Swan, who doesn’t drink a damn thing making him winner by default. And what does he win, a toothbrush and some other junk I don’t remember (it’s not important because it is never seen again the whole film). Shortly after, as drunks in a bar do, there erupts a fight and everyone starts fighting (oh and there is a man repeatedly punching a woman in the stomach). With incredible and realistic sound effects and fight choreography that could have been put together by Tony Jaa himself (kidding obviously), our hero Swan easily makes his way out by giving the guy at the door the toothbrush (that is why it is the only thing I remember he got because he gives it away not 10 seconds later)

There’s also this scene about telepathic monks who all have names of popular electronics of the time such as General Electric and Panasonic. They come in to play later, helping and hindering our two heroes. We also get introduced to the main villain, Mantis (played by Teagan Clive), this man-woman is more ripped than…a really ripped dude?….let’s just say she’s intimidating and manly, but dressed like Vampirella. (picture Dolph Lundgren in that green Speedo from Borat). Anyway that show us how much of a bitch/badass she is when she confronts the psychic monks and one can only assume the trouble to come for our heroes.

One thing I noticed was how well maintained everybody’s hair was and how clean their clothes were, ya know for a post apocalyptic world.

Anyway, Swan  rescues Tera from slavery with the help of monk buddy Panasonic and they are chased around by a fat Arabic-looking guy with a sweet zebra print convertible. Eventually they wind up waltzing right into the hideout of the Mantis and her minions. Mantis takes Swan to have her way with him, this entails a disturbingly unsexy, naked, silhouette interpretive dance behind a curtain leading to Mantis force feeding Swan a raw egg, cherries, sardines, and a phallic banana. Then there is a completely random scene of two guards that ends ridiculously gay (in a very homosexual way).
Triumphantly violated, Swan emerges the next morning, presented like some trophy. Mantis then decides he needs to be thrown into their death hole after mating with him. (honestly I didn’t get the reference to a praying mantis until writing this) Conveniently after entering the cavern, Swan find a shot gun and then immediately encounters the beast within, a swamp thing like monster so terrifying it could of only been seen before on old Star Trek episodes. Seconds later, it has been shot and Swan exits the cave, accomplishing what apparently hundreds of other men thrown in there could not do in a matter of seconds.

Yadda Yadda Yadda, Swan ends up being tortured and Tera ends up getting electrocuted. Panasonic also gets tortured and tells Mantis and her people where the treasure is and the weak spot in the Interzone is, having forgotten what the point of everything was this reminds us that there is a plot (oh the Interzone btw is an area that has somehow gone untouched by radiation post-armageddon, considering its only mentioned once but is the whole basis of the movie it’s good to know).

Spoiler alert: Swan ends up dying from his injuries. But not really because since you can’t kill the hero, Panasonic comes along and magically changes places with Swan (a scene as emotional as Sam helping Frodo on Mount Doom). Seeing that Tera has been electrocuted and surely dead, he yells to the sky and does what else? But prepares to go Rambo on the bad guys. Five minute of 80s montage of gathering weapons he could never possibly carry all at once later and he is at the church from the beginning, the bad guys have overpowered the telepathic monks in an epic special effects heavy battle. And What does Swan do? One would think use his arsenal and blast the sh*t out of the bad guys, but sadly no he walks up with one gun and they all run away except Mantis who is lamely trying to open a steel door the monks are hiding behind.

There is a suspenseful fight between Mantis and Swan when Swan basically says “screw this” and shoots a rocket to blow up Mantis and blows a hole in the steel door. Clearly not giving a damn, Swan enters to find out what the secret treasure is and find it is a collection of humanities great works and historical items (I think Book of Eli stole this idea). Swan thinks it’s cool then runs off. We see him next in a field holding Tera’s body…but wait she’s still alive (of course because why the hell not?) They live happily ever after, as much as they can seeing the world is still a sh*thole. This leaves only one question in my mind; why the hell did Swan drag Tera’s “dead” body out to a field just to hold on to it and cry since he didn’t know she was still alive in the first place?

In closing, this movie started off kind of serious, granted I know it was a low-budget indie film but usually they try and make a great story and believe in themselves. This just got more and more ridiculous with every scene. A fun note however the Director, Deran, went on to direct a bunch of episodes of House and for every incarnation of CSI, as well as an episode of LOST and Fringe. Admittedly, this movie had it all; domestic abuse, sex slaves, telepathic monks, stabbing of pregnant women, a love scene where they actual run through a meadow in slow motion, and a motherflippin’ flamethrower! Academy Award winning acting,  Avatar-like special effects, and a plot rivaling Inception  make InterZone a great addition to Terrible Movie Tuesdays!

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