There are certain things I feel it’s important to spoiler before you ever get to the movie, although the list is relatively short. “Does the dog die” is, of course, the most important, because dogs are great and killing them can be used as a cheap emotional device so you ought to be able to avoid that bit if you like. That doesn’t apply to “Future Kick”, though. The one which does?
“It was all a dream”. This is probably the worst plot device in the history of plot devices, a cheap and unbelievably irritating thing which is rarely used because it sucks so much ass, and has become a pop culture joke (such as the entire season of TV show “Dallas” which was all a dream because the show’s ratings were tanking and they needed to bring back some characters). Anyway, this entire movie, minus a few minutes at the beginning and end, is a dream / VR game being played by one of the main characters, and if you’re as annoyed by this garbage as I am, you may want to avoid this altogether. If not, then read on.
In the future, rich people have pissed off to the Moon, and everyone else lives in misery on Earth. Well, apart from the corporations, who control everything. They create Cyberons, super-powered police officers, but the Cyberons work out that the corporations are the big evil and start going after them; so the corporations then create the “Corporate Police” to kill the Cyberons. All but two of them have been finished off, and that’s where we join things, roughly.
Howard (Jeff Pomerantz, who looks like the bad guy in an 80s soap opera, or a low level hotel manager in real life) is one of the rich people on the Moon, and he’s a computer programmer, who’s making super-good VR program to distract the people up there from their lives of no proper air or outside or anything like that. He tries it but it’s full of frightening images, and warns his wife Nancy (Meg Foster – “Oblivion”, “Immortal Combat”, “Best Of The Best 2”) against giving it a go til he comes back, as he has to go to Earth for some meetings. She says don’t worry! I prefer a good book anyway, and off he goes. She, for absolutely no reason, puts it on –
EVERYTHING FROM NOW TO TEN SECONDS BEFORE THE END OF THE MOVIE IS A DREAM
– and in the next scene removes it and gets the news that her husband has gone missing on Earth. He left the airport and went straight to get some hookers, getitng involved in an illegal organ-harvesting operation on Earth, to help rich folk replace their ageing bodies. Fairly quickly, he turns up dead, so Nancy has to go to Earth to look for him.
Don “The Dragon” Wilson, who has his martial arts credentials listed under his name in the opening credits (same as the early “Bloodfist” entries!), is Walker, the final remaining Cyberon (or so we think). Although he’s presumably been declared illegal and is hunted wherever he goes, he carries on doing his old job, of hunting criminals for the bounty. Nope, makes no sense to me either. Nancy is in the police station, meets Walker and hires him to help her out. They go to Zona Rosa, where all the sex and crime is, and while they’re sort-of investigating, the chief organ-harvester for the evil corp, Hynes, and his sidekick Bang (Chris Penn, a year before “Reservoir Dogs” would put him out of the price range of Roger Corman forever), slaughter their way through the wasteland of future-Earth.
The main thing I enjoyed about “Future Kick”, apart from the title, is how gory it is. A few people explode, drenching everyone around them in lumpy blood, heads and limbs are severed, Don gets his finger chopped off…it’s a fun throwback to a simpler time. There’s also plenty of nudity – I mean, the script insisted they film at a strip club. What else could the director do? The fighting, surprisingly, is a bit rubbish, although we do get a lot of kicking, in the future.
Corman is a thrifty fellow, for two reasons. One, the movie barely gets above the 70 minute mark before the credits roll; and two, he liberally re-uses footage from his other productions. If you’re watching this and a scene sticks out, like you’re thinking “why are they spending all this cash on a three-second reaction shot?”, the simple answer is “they aren’t”.
While it doesn’t slow down enough to get boring, it’s a bit on the cheap side, meaning the vast world of future LA is one strip club, one police station, and a filthy street with garbage and hoboes in it. Plus, the wealthy moon-people would presumably take security down with them and could buy better police protection, but again, that sort of thing would be more expensive to film so they just don’t bother.
Oh, Don has magic glasses that apparently help with his Cyberon-stuff, but no-one questions why you build a cyborg but force him to wear glasses to get the full range of features. Also, the movie never explains what they’re for or why he needs to wear them. Ah, who cares.
So, it’s short! (Thumbs up) But it sucks and is stupid and has the crappiest ending imaginable! (Thumbs down)
Rating: thumbs in the middle