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Tank Girl: Collector's Edition (1995) - Blu-ray Review

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Tank Girl (1995) - Blu-ray Review

Riot-grrls unite!  Few things are more punk rock than this movie.  The minute Lori Petty (A League of Their Own) as Rebecca Buck AKA Tank Girl, a member of the resistance group deadset on outmaneuvering the greed of the Water & Power (W&P) corporation, gets paired with a refitted tank (whose rear end is a repurposed 1969 Cadillac Eldorado), the smiles are hard to hide.  Tank Girl is and always has been a kickass ride through the wild, wild west.

This movie, especially in a modern-day viewing, reveals itself as the true cult classic it has always been.  The science fiction comedy (always a hard sell to “the Normies” out there) remains, as a I describe it, an antihero western that – thanks to a desolate futuristic setting where water is scarce and good taste even rarer – is stylistically syphoned through strong Generation X swagger. 

Simply put, the film was way feminist before it was the brand new cool.


Wholly committed to its look and its feminist themes, this film finds its voice AND its vehicle at the very moment that Tank Girl starts randomly pressing buttons inside the tank.  She’s new at this, okay?  She also doesn’t care. This film’s arrival on blu-ray – thanks to Shout! Factory – is an important one, even if I am only getting around to covering it now. 

Simply put, the film – featuring a memorable performance from Iggy Pop as a child molester named Rat Face, a raven-haired Naomi Watts as Jet Girl, and Ice-T as a super soldier created with kangaroo DNA – was way feminist before it was the brand new cool.  The film is frank and in your face and could give two shits if you care for it or not which, strangely enough, is part of its lasting appeal.

Director Rachel Talalay (Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare) is uncompromising in her visions, she brings a uniqueness to the horror and science fiction market that is always appreciated.  From her early work with John Waters to her current output for Netflix’s Luke Cage and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, this University of British Columbia film professor has benefited greatly to an early exposure to visual effects and it shows here in the stunts, themes, and visual awareness of this crazy ass film.

Based on the highly-imaginative female-led cult British comic series that was originally written by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewitt, the film tells the tale of a destroyed earth, thanks to comet striking it, where most of the water is gone.  Survivors are still parched and halfway to crazy by 2033, the year the film takes place.  When Tank Girl, abducted by the awful Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell) and his fellow crooks at the Water & Power (W&P) corporation, finds herself being recruited to fight a war she has no interest in, tables get turned quickly. 

Tank Girl (1995) - Blu-ray Review

Soon, we have a musical number and a rescue mission as Tank Girl, reacts to the torture she’s been put through.  Violent and gritty, the look and the textures of the 1990s are all over this film.  There’s no way to not see the alternative culture here.  Did Gwen Stefani of No Doubt copy the looks of Tank Girl or was it vice versa?  Even the soundtrack, featuring Bush, Hole, Devo, Scott Weiland, Bjork, and L7, kicks with a cybernetic cult-like fury.

Tank Girl, when it was originally released in 1995, came and went without blowing away most of its viewers.  The argument is that this crazy film – with Petty kicking all sorts of ass in the title role and tons of intriguing animation spread throughout – was simply way ahead of its time.  Chicks with guns?  I have to agree.  Just look at the number of badass chicks blowing away the competition nowadays!

Unapologetically feminist before the fury, Tank Girl continues to shove a boot so far up cult cinema’s ass that tonsils will be tickled every single time one toe moves.

4 beers

Tank Girl (1995) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
104 mins
Director
: Rachel Talalay
Writer:
Tedi Sarafian
Cast:
Lori Petty, Ice-T, Naomi Watts
Genre
: Action | Comedy
Tagline:
In 2033, justice rides a tank and wears lip gloss.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I like pain."
Theatrical Distributor:
United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 31, 1995
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 19, 2013
Synopsis: In 2022 Earth is struck by a comet, leading to a massive drought. 11 years later a majority of the water left is kept in a reserve. Tank Girl (Lori Petty) is a member of a resistance group who steals whatever they want, by any means necessary. Being the enemies of the water reserve, their hideout is attacked and Tank Girl’s boyfriend is killed and younger friend Sam (Stacy Linn Ramsower) is captured!

Tank Girl (1995) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- November 19, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD Copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Scream Factory’s NEW 2k scan and 1080p transfer is simply fantastic.  The crisp image is fully resolved with the lightest, most beautiful layer of grain and no detection of digital noise reduction whatsoever.  Blacks are deep and strong.  The mastering here is impeccable.  There is a fair amount of detail and not a speck of dirt to be found in the scans of the original movie, though.  Simply put, this title has never looked better.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 takes full advantage of the horror atmospherics and the score, carrying the viewer from one scene to the next, with ease.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Fans are treated to a NEW audio commentary with Director Rachel Talalay and Actress Lori Petty.

Special Features:

There are NEW interviews recorded for this release that shine a little light on Petty’s career in Hollywood and the movie itself.  The release also has great interviews with Talalay and the talents involved in bringing the comic book world to life.

• Too Hip for Spielberg (24 min)

• Baseball, Tanks and Bad Tattoos (23 min)

• Creative Chaos: Designing the World of Tank Girl (18 min)

• Making of Tank Girl (5 min)

Tank Girl (1995) - Blu-ray Review

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