VIDEO: Tank Girl (1995)

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One of the most notorious movies of the ’90s is still one of the most fun films of the time.

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  • danbreunig

    Let’s see:
    -the production company wanted a particular product a certain way, and then balked when they got their particular product a certain way;
    -the same company cared enough to butcher the product to make it more marketable, and then when it was made marketable enough they finally stopped caring;
    -the major players involved technically got the roles they wanted, and finally realized the camaraderie was only on paper;
    -the project was meant to be far larger in scope than what the final shortened cut resulted in;
    -the product was an abnormal release for its time and will only ever be a cult classic instead of the bigger classic it was intended to be; thus…

    Tank Girl is the the movie equivalent of the album Imaginos.

    • Kind of wondering where the Director’s cut of this movie is.

      • Cecil_Trachenburg

        I said above but I’ll reiterate. The cut footage seems to be lost or destroyed. 🙁

        • I find it strange whenever this sort of thing happens. Even before DVD special features having stuff around for posterity and study seems prudent. To think how much cruddy unusable footage there is from the first Star Wars movies. Even Nolan doesn’t torch his unused film.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Sad to know the same constant is across all forms of entertainment. Movies, tv, music, games, etc.

      • danbreunig

        It’s scarier when you actually see too close a parallel between otherwise irrelevant media, and more so when they’re cult classic obscurities only the dedicated would understand.

        “Hey there, whole wide world! Tank Girl, Imaginos, amiright, eh?” [resulting crickets]

  • Gallen_Dugall

    My understanding is that a lot of the “stupid decisions” made in film and television are actually intentional torpedoing resulting from office politics within the studio. Dunno if that’s what happened here.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      It happens all too often.

  • Hence why I hold out no faith for the Deadpool film everyone keeps clamoring for.

    • W.C. Wit

      The main problem with a Deadpool movie would probably be the same problem bad Deadpool comics have, people forget that there is a character underneath all the chimichangas, fourth wall breaking, and murder. This ends up making Deadpool as a character come off incredibly flat when not done right. It’s second worst only to that thing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

      • Cecil_Trachenburg

        I think there is major potential if it is done by the right people who understand the character. I have a bad feeling though that after the failure of Kick Ass 2, we won’t see any more R rated Marvel movies.

        What we will most likely get is a sanitized version of the character, with poop jokes and none of the inherent sadness that underlies all the humor.

      • Here is the thing. The people who want the movie, don’t want that character, they just want the random nonsense shouting guy, and that guy is fine, he compliments things well as a joke or in contrast to a more serious person (Cable). But much like Barney Stinson, Captain Jack Sparrow, and other comedic characters without contrast they just don’t work.

        Look at Guardians of the Galaxy. That movie would not been half as good if Ronan had been played for laughs. The fact that Ronan is a real active threat, and Thanos is a looming threat makes the goofy heroes all the more fun because they seem out of their depth and in real peril.

        A Deadpool movie would almost certainly play just like the test footage, as he blows thru goons cracking wise and never once seeming to understand or perceive of himself as being in peril, it will get obnoxious fast.

        • Jonathan Campbell

          “The fact that Ronan is a real active threat, and Thanos is a looming threat makes the goofy heroes all the more fun because they seem out of their depth and in real peril.”

          Going to have to disagree with you on that one.

          Firstly, a villain can be played for laughs AND be real, active threat (the Joker is an obvious one). The contrast doesn’t and shouldn’t be just with other characters, but with the character showing different sides of themselves (eg. Jack Sparrow saving Elizabath Swan from drowning in the first movie, or his calculated plan to get revenge on his old crew and manipulating Will to that end, showing that he has a heroic side, a serious side, and a dark side, to balance out the comedic side).

          Second….yeah, I never really got that vibe from Thanos or Ronan.
          Ronan was only a slightly more interesting version of Malekith from Thor 2- he was played straight, but he was also pretty boring and rarely came across as a real menace; Thanos talked the talk, but when you really think about it, this is the second movie he has shown up in when he a) does nothing, and b) loses, because his minions either fail or betray him (then fail). I found it hard to take Ronan seriously as a villain- Darth Vader, he is not.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      You have a good point.

  • Alexa

    Yeah I absolutely HATED Doug Walker’s Nostalgia Critic review of the film. It just pisses me off just thinking about it, since like the producers of this film, he just didn’t get it. I know the Critic is a character but it really does feel like in most cases its his true feelings on the film’s he’s reviewing do come into play in the reviews. Same kind of goes for Lindsay Ellis aka Nostalgia Chick who basically stated Lori Petty was bad and that no one could really play the title role, which again makes no sense to me. Basically neither considered the bullshit movie politics that came into play for why the movie was as rocky as it was. And again like Mr. Walker, she didn’t seem to get it. Even though yes this movie has problems but I feel the good outweighs the bad since along with Petty’s awesome performance (who I hear hard core fans of the comics pretty much love) it is riddled with hilarious bits of dialogue and the animation sequences alone were beyond fun IMO, but I guess to each their own.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Petty absolutely nailed the character. There is no one, literally no one, who could have done it as well as she did.

      I feel that the folks who disliked the movie either had no knowledge of the comic, or just weren’t into that frantic style of story. Kind of like the producers confused why she would be cooking hot dogs during a chase scene. It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s supposed to be ridiculous.

      Talalay made the film knowing that it wouldn’t appeal to everyone. I applaud her and the crew for sticking to their guns as best as they could to make the film they wanted, instead of a bland “appeals to everyone” type of film. Most likely if they made the movie the producers wanted, it would have been long forgotten by now.

  • Moppet

    One of those movies I can appreciate, but I’d also love to have seen a version that wasn’t cut up. I like it, I just always felt when I was watching it that I could have loved it more. Now I know why.

    Since you flashed over it early in the video, I really loved GO!

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Unfortunately, it seems the cut footage is lost. All that is left is rough copies of the dailies on VHS. Sadly, that happened to a lot of movies back then. Hollywood never looked towards the future and so instead of keeping the footage for the possibility of recuting the film later, they most likely just dumped it in the trash or put it in a vault unlabeled.

      I love Go! Really smart and well done.

  • Michael Martin

    You know what? All I know is that I fucking love this movie. It’s obviously not as good as it could be, but it’s crazy fun and that’s all Tank Girl really needs to be. And it’s got a musical number!

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I think they did a great job of still being able to capture the spirit of the character despite all the studio interference.

  • Joseph Patrick

    I began to appreciate this movie more after reading the comic it’s inspired from. It’s definitely a wacky film that’s not supposed to take itself too seriously! Also made me love Hewlett’s work, especially since he’s instrumental to the creation of the Gorillaz and a massively cool Opera-retelling of “Journey to the West!”

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I remember seeing the videos for Gorillaz and thinking they reminded me of something. I was happy to see Hewlett managed to bring his style back in a big way. Plus, they just recently had a very successful Kickstarter that brought back Tank Girl.