As future dystopias go Apocalypse Kiss ticks several of the expected boxes. Select band of rich folks living in one part of town, check; underclass of workers, criminals and prostitutes in the other, check; world run by huge industrial giant corporation, (in this case Horn Industries), check; giant airships broadcasting 24-hour news, check. So, so far a bit of a mash up of Terminator, Blade Runner and the rebooted Cyberman episodes from Dr Who.
Into this mix are thrown Gladys (Tammy Jean) and Katya (Carmela Hayslett AKA Philadelphia’s Horror Host Roxsy Tyler), bisexual lovers and penniless drifters who murder casual pick up Plex (Leo Wylder) and take up residence in his flat. Trouble is when the messed up bodies of Plex and his mother are found, local serial murderer the Red Harvest Killer (AKA Adrian played by DC Douglas), gets the blame and he just happens to suffer from obsessive compulsive disorders that include a passion for leaving a neat and tidy corpse and crime scene behind him. He’s not at all happy about that. Then there’s hard-bitten homicide cop Jerry Hipple (Tom Detrik). Jerry who has a penchant for wearing a Fedora and a raincoat and a 1940s muse. He’s also sussed that Adrian’s MO means that he didn’t ice Plex and his mum and it’s down to Jerry to track down both sets of killers.
Like Blade Runner, Apocalypse Kiss attempts to retro-fit a 30s private eye thriller into a dystopian sci-fi future, only a lot more obviously and consequently less successfully. It’s also let down by some sloppy direction and film editing. On the plus side DC Douglas gives a nice creepy performance as the OCD Red Harvest Killer, but some of the cast are either just not trying, or they are just not very good at the craft. Tammy Jean, while very easy on the eye is particularly unconvincing and the scenes with her and Leo Wylder are embarrassingly like something from a 1980s American soft-core porno. Come to think of that, Leo Wylder’s penis is about the most horrific thing that you will see in this movie.
I give Apocalypse Kiss a 222.
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Future Dystopias you may care to visit:
Zero Population Growth (1972): In a polluted and overpopulated world the government has banned babies. Oliver Reed and Geraldine Chaplin decide to have one anyway and face the consequences. Sound like just the sort of parents who ruin a pub lunch!
ZARDOZ (1974): Future humanity is divided into the Eternals and the Brutals. Keeping down the Brutals are the Exterminators. When Exterminator Zed (Sean Connery) infiltrates the Eternal’s city and discovers that their whole civilisation is based around The Wizard of Oz, you know things can never be the same again. A totally batshit film from director John Boorman notable for putting Connery in a red nappy and knee high leather boots!
Review by Simon Ball
Connect with Simon: @RealShipsCook or here.