Nine hundred years after the Great Nuke, the Frauls rule. After
a raid in which Plugarts are captured, Rhea (Camilla Sparv),
Tiara of the Frauls of Comb Frisco, inspects the prisoners,
dividing them up into "machos" and "seeders". A young Plugart,
Korvis (Steve Stroppiana), reacts violently and makes a bid for
freedom, escaping despite the attempts of the Frauls to
recapture him. A second young Plugart, Gruss (Eli Pilo), goes
with Korvis. The Frauls pursue the two, but stop at the edge of
a forbidden area known as the Contam. Korvis and Gruss forage
together. One day, they discover a bag full of clothing, and a
small book, which Korvis keeps…. Years later, the adult Korvis
(Chuck Wagner) and Gruss (William Wallace) are part of a
community of Plugarts, who eke out an existence in the Contam.
Korvis still has the book he found, and slowly teaches himself
to read. In this way, he learns that he is not a "Plugart", but
a "man"…. A Fraul foraging expedition is attacked by a band of
Plugarts. During the struggle, Rhea is fatally wounded. When she
is carried back to her Comb, she declares her daughter Vena (Laurene
Landon) the new Tiara. Rhea tells Vena to follow the map kept in
the Tiara’s shelt, and that it will take the society from the
past into a new life. When Rhea dies, the Frauls of Comb Frisco
swear loyalty to Vena. After a reluctant silence, Vena’s sister,
Lakella (Victoria Barrett), does so as well. Meanwhile, Korvis
and Gruss come across the abandoned Fraul wagons. While
collecting the eats and the weaps from it, they discover Amie
(Ezra Dagan), a Fraul "toy" who has been castrated and had his
tongue cut out. Frauls from the Comb Kanso arrive at Comb
Frisco. Lakella greets Morha (Sue Giosa), Tiara of Kanso, and
Freyha (Joanna Reis), her Second. The newcomers quickly sense
Lakella’s dissatisfaction with her situation. Vena’s
inauguration begins. The Frisco Elder (Helen Eleazari) recites
the history of the Great Nuke, the rising of the Frauls, and
their separation from the Plugarts. Vena is sworn in, then
lights her mother’s funeral pyre. Afterwards, there is a wild
celebration. Korvis sees this as his chance. He addresses the
other Plugarts, explaining to them that they are also "men", and
that they can overthrow the Frauls. The next morning, he leads
an attack on the Comb, stealing all the eats and weaps and
freeing the enslaved machos. Vena and Lakella lead a band of
Frauls in pursuit. Korvis sends his followers away on foot, and
uses a team of horses to mark a false trail. The Frauls follow
it, eventually realising the deception. They then see Korvis on
a nearby ridge. Vena raises her crossbow, but cannot bring
herself to fire. Lakella does, and Korvis is sent plunging down
an opening in the rock. He survives both the fall and the
crossbow shot: Lakella’s arrow is embedded in his book. Korvis
finds himself in a mysterious cavern. When he touches some of
the objects he finds there, light fills the room. He finds some
strange new weaps, which he uses to blast open a door bearing
something called a "Presidential Seal". In the next room, he
activates a device, and hears a message concerning people known
as "the Soviets", and objects called "missiles"….
you, Keith; thank you so very
that line about how the survivors of a nuclear holocaust would
actually envy the dead? Turns out it applies to people who’ve
watched America 3000 as well. Or, to put it another
way – I am woman, hear me whimper….
A movie about a post-apocalyptic society. Well, that’s okay. A movie
about a post-apocalyptic society from – Cannon Pictures, Inc. That’s
– not so okay…. A movie about a post-apocalyptic society from Cannon
Pictures, Inc. that’s described as an "action-comedy". That is
not okay. A movie about a post-apocalyptic society from Cannon
Pictures, Inc. that’s described as an "action-comedy" and in which
most of the "humour" is built around –
the battle of the sexes.
believe it or not, the horror doesn’t even stop there! Oh, no.
Determined to make watching his magnum
opus as painful as humanly possible,
writer-director David Engelbach crafted his very own version of "futurespeak".
His script is therefore liberally –
extremely liberally – peppered with such
colourful expressions as "neggie", "effen" and the unforgettable "woggos".
This revamped English flies thick and fast, which doesn’t exactly
make for clarity of expression. To make things even worse,
America 3000 is one
of those annoying films where the music and sound effects are
much louder than
the dialogue. The final blow comes via the cast, none of whom are
what you might call top-flight thespians, and consequently seem to
have some difficulty with their e-nun-ci-a-tion. Or maybe they’re
embarrassed to say this crap out loud. In either case, they
mumble. The upshot
of all of this is that there are whole chunks of this film where you
cannot understand a damn word that
anyone is saying! Would you believe that
I actually sat there for nearly an hour, playing scenes over in an
attempt to figure it out? Yeah, I know, more fool me. By the end of
that time, I wasn’t an inch closer to figuring out what any of these
idiots were muttering about. I did,
however, have a headache that could have killed Aargh The Awful.
(And who, precisely, you might be wondering, is "Aargh
The Awful"? Oh, don’t worry. We’ll get to him. All in good time….)
The film opens with onscreen text explaining that
it is now nine hundred years after the "Great Nuke". We are further
told that a new civilisation will rise up out of the "radioactive
rubble". I initially assumed that they’d used the wrong word here,
and meant "rabble", but on reflection it occurred to me that every
single character in this story is considerably dumber than a box of
rocks, so "rubble" was probably right after all.
A second placard then informs us that "----And the
world was woggos!" This mysterious phrase comes with a helpful
parenthetical explanation: "In the old speak that means – Crazy!"
When you can’t even make it through a movie’s
opening crawl without feeling the hairs on the back of your neck
rising up, you know you’re in BIG trouble.
first thing that America 3000 teaches us is that
Charles Darwin was right, but not exactly in the way he thought.
Clearly, when the apocalypse came, it took out the best and
brightest first. Those who survived did so, I suspect, because of a
few extra millimetres of skull thickness, which formed a protective
barrier against environmental contamination. Of course, in order to
accommodate that slightly thicker skull, its owners had to sacrifice
certain cognitive functions; but then, you can’t have everything.
This post-apocalyptic world sees men and women living separately, in
different societies. The women are known as "Frauls", the men as "Plugarts".
For practical purposes, it is simpler to think of them as "Dumb" and
comes with a narrator, Gruss. He’s obviously (and I mean,
very obviously, as
in post-production tampering) there to explain what might not be
quite clear about this post-nuke world. In this capacity, Gruss is
occasionally granted Powers Of Omniscience, explaining to the viewer
things that he couldn’t possibly know himself. To start out with,
however, young Gruss is just one of a group of captives being hauled
into a compound. It may be nine hundred years since the Apocalypse,
but we see that in the interim no-one has figured out how to build a
decent house, design clothes that actually cover the body, or even
make something comfortable to sit on. However, we’re not supposed to
be thinking about that.
Here, writer-director David Engelbach (remember that name!) springs
the first of many, many surprises: the Plugarts’ captors reveal
their faces and – THEY’RE WOMEN!!!! Yes, that’s right: in this
topsy-turvy world, the women
are in charge!!!!
Aren’t you shocked? Stunned?
Even HORRIFIED???? But wait! – there’s more! Not only are the women
the men are inferior!
Helpless, mindless creatures that roam the wastelands until they’re
rounded up by the Frauls. And then
– they are divided up and set to the task for which they are best
suited. There are "machos", who do the heavy labour (although what
that consists of in this pathetic excuse for a "society", I can’t
imagine), and there are "seeders", who do the – ah,
not so heavy labour.
The ruler of this particular section of Fraul society, which is
known as "Comb Frisco", walks up and down the line of captive
Plugarts. Her name, we learn, is Rhea, and her
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse
#1: the word "tiara".
heard me: Rhea is "the Tiara" of Comb Frisco. Gosh, that’s
women for you, hey?
Useful words like "democracy" and "freedom" and "peace" might have
fallen by the wayside, but as long as you’ve got women around, you
can be sure that useless gaudy objects will always have a place in
of which: more Frauls reveal themselves here. They’re wearing the
usual collection of artfully artless animal skins, and as you’d
expect with any self-respecting Amazons, they’re all physically
attractive, thoroughly depilated and covered in truckloads of
makeup, despite despising Man And All He Stands For. They’ve also
got perfect teeth, and there’s not one of them outside the age-range
of fifteen to thirty. And----
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse
these women have big hair. REALLY big hair. Picture some kind of
weird genetic mixture of Farrah Fawcett, Marge Simpson and Fran
Drescher, and you’ll be in the right ball-park. And I guess this
explains why their compound is called a "Comb". Like the zombies in
Dawn Of The Dead, the Frauls have retained trace
memories of what was most important to them in The Time Before.
assigns the Plugarts to their new roles. Gruss waits his own turn
with apprehension, observing (in voice-over), that he "didn’t need
heavy smarts to figure out that things were goen cold neggie!" He
then, believe it or not, feels compelled to add, "That means
very bad!" Yes,
thank you. Gruss is dubbed a "macho", which is a giggle in itself.
Then Rhea comes face to face with a young Plugart who is somehow –
(i.e. he’s blond). Impressed in spite of herself, Rhea tries to
check his teeth. The boy, Korvis, pulls away. Rhea’s Second strikes
him for his insolence, but Rhea herself croons, "Spirited!" She
takes out her knife and slices through the boy’s loincloth, which
falls to the ground. All the gathered Frauls cop a good eyeful,
including Rhea’s pubescent daughters, Vena and Lakella. "Seeder!"
pronounces Rhea. "Mark him!" As the mortified boy gathers up the
remnants of his scanty clothing, Gruss helpfully informs us that,
"Seeders were for one thing, and one thing
only." Yeah, thanks
again, Brainiac. "Rhea had picked Korvis out for her own daughter,
Vena," Omniscient Gruss continues, and we see the boy making
significant eye contact with the blonder of the Tiara’s two
offspring. Ah, so this
is where they got the idea for the very first scene of
Dharma & Greg from! Meanwhile, we learn that when the
Frauls "mark" someone, he stays
"marked". Two of Rhea’s subordinates come at Korvis with a branding
iron the size of Tasmania. The boy, understandably, bucks and runs,
and much "comical" violence (a Fraul being pushed into a lit brazier
and set on fire, for instance – don’t worry too much about it,
ensues. Korvis eludes the enraged band of female warriors and steals
a horse. In the confusion, Gruss too breaks free, and jumps onto the
back of Korvis’s horse. As they gallop for the gate of the Fraul
compound, Rhea orders a net dropped. It misses the fugitives,
however, and entangles a number of pursuing Frauls. Comedy! Seeing
her tribeswomen defeated and humiliated by this so-called inferior
male, the young Vena smiles approvingly. Gee, I wonder where
this is heading?
Korvis and Gruss make for an area of wasteland
known as the "Contam". They know that they will be safe from the
pursuing Frauls there, as the tribe’s "regs" do not permit them to
enter it. How convenient. The boys team up, scavenging to survive.
The turning point in the history of the world comes when, one day,
they find a metal suitcase that contains----
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse
#3: evening clothes.
pounces on a top-hat, which becomes a permanent fixture on his
person. (The main reason for this, I suspect, is to let the confused
audience known that "young Gruss" and "adult Gruss" are meant to be
the same person, despite the boy being dark-ish skinned and having
dark, wildly curly hair, and the man fair skin and straight blond
casting, guys! Speaking of which, adult Gruss is played by one
William Wallace, who I guess just can’t get enough of trying to free
his people from oppression, ha, HA!) Korvis, however, is about to
Meet His Destiny. For tucked in the suitcase is –
a book. An ABC
book. Korvis inspects it, puzzled. He doesn’t know what it is, of
course, but something tells him that it is terribly important, and
he tucks it into his clothing.
I don’t know
why anyone would respond to the threat of nuclear annihilation by
packing their evening clothes and a kid’s book into a suitcase.
join up with some other Plugarts who have managed to elude the
Frauls. They build a compound for themselves in some ruins that are
known by the enigmatic name of "Camp Reagan". "I never did figure
out what a "Reagan" was," Omniscient Gruss tells the audience
innocently. (Greywizard, the erudite proprietor of
Movies Page, says that David Engelbach wrote the
screenplay for America 3000
in the mid-seventies, then shelved it for a decade. I assume that
the punchline to this hilarious joke was originally, "I never did
figure out what a "Nixon" was.") Time passes (and Gruss undergoes
his puzzling metamorphosis), and we see the adult Korvis studying
that mysterious book. Suddenly – enlightenment dawns.
He learns to read!!
Yes, just like that. As we watch, he carefully pronounces to
wait a minute! you’re probably exclaiming. Just because he figures
out which symbols mean "horse", that doesn’t mean he knows how to
"horse"! Well, this book is way
ahead of you: it’s also
a pronunciation guide, with little pictures showing how to shape
your lips and teeth so as to say the words just right! How about
Korvis works his way through the book excitedly, until----
----he finds a new word: MAN.
needed any more proof that Korvis has an extraordinary destiny
before him, we have it in the instinct that leads him to pronounce
the letter "M" correctly, despite his guide never suggesting that he
put his lips together. Korvis repeats this magical word over and
over – "M-AN. MMM-AN!!" – until he undergoes his personal epiphany.
"I am a man! I AM A MAN!!"
Meanwhile, unaware of these stirring events, which will ultimately
shake their world right to its very foundations, the Frauls of Comb
Frisco are foraging. We see that Rhea is with the band, although why
the Tiara herself would be doing this kind of crap-work is beyond
me. For that matter, why aren’t the machos doing it? Anyway,
unbeknownst to the Frauls, danger lurks nearby in the shape of some
highly unimpressive specimens of the Plugart race who are,
Omniscient Gruss informs us, "dumb and hungry –
really dumb and
hungry." In spite of these apparent drawbacks, these hairy
throwbacks damn near take out the whole band of Frauls, which leads
us to the fundamental question lurking at the heart of
How the heck did this bunch of incompetent bimbos
ever get to be in charge!!??
put it another way – given that the Frauls
are a bunch of
incompetent bimbos, why the heck have the Plugarts put up with being
shoved around by them for the past few centuries? If a small band of
grunting Neanderthals can wipe out half a "Comb", why haven’t a few
more specimens slightly higher up the evolutionary ladder gotten
on…. I think I’m beginning to understand. Is it – no, no, don’t tell
me! - is it because….the Plugarts have forgotten that they are –
now I get
it! It’s an allegory,
isn’t it!? Okay, okay, that’s fine! I’m sorry – forget I said
A desperate battle ensues, in which both Frauls
and Plugarts suffer many casualties. Some of the Plugarts
concentrate on stealing the food gathered by the Frauls.
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #4, 5 and 6: garlic,
eggplant and red cabbage. (Jeez, you’d rather
The Frauls prove to be fierce warriors, and throw
themselves into the fray with enthusiasm (and in slow motion, which
doesn’t exactly add to the credibility of the scene). They fight
with knives, small crossbows, and their bare hands.
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #7
and 8: martial arts moves, and the tendency to shriek,
"HIIYYYYYYAAH!!!!" whilst executing them.
herself is in the thick of the fight, and this proves disastrous. A
Plugart knifes her in the back. She strikes down her attacker, but
she has been fatally wounded. Meanwhile, life in Comb Frisco is
going on as usual. We see Lakella, now all grown up, of course,
sharpening her knife. Another Fraul is in a cage battling a huge,
hairy, sub-Wookie kind of creature that O.G. tells us is "a detour
from the human race" caused by fallout from "the Great Nuke". Yes,
as you’ve probably guessed, this
is Aargh The Awful!! – and in battling the creature, the Fraul is
"trying to pass her final lawyer’s exam". (If one thing above all
else distinguishes David Engelbach’s script, it is this tendency for
cheap shots with no punchline. We never do find out what, in this
society, a "lawyer" is.) As it happens, Aargh The Awful gets the
better of things, and tosses the aspiring lawyer out of his cage. (I
guess you could say that she passed the
bar, ha, HA!) At this moment, the dying
Rhea is carried into the Comb. Oh, no, I beg your pardon, she isn’t
"dying" – she’s "goen cold – real cold". A dose of some potion or
other is administered by the Comb’s medicine woman, who chants the
"magic word" ("Redcross, redcross!"), and Rhea recovers long enough
to name Vena her heir, much to Lakella’s disgust. Vena doesn’t feel
that she is up to the responsibility, but Rhea insists, giving the
girl the pendant that is the Tiara’s symbol of authority. Rhea tells
her daughter that the new Tiara must be a leader who can "take us
from the past into a new life. This was my dream, make it yours."
From this we infer that Rhea was a forward-thinking, progressive
Tiara, something that was not immediately apparent as we watched her
checking out a teenaged boy’s genitalia in order to select a
"seeder" for her forced breeding program. Rhea further tells Vena
that there is a map in her "shelt" which she must follow, and then
"goes cold". The tribe then does this little "the Tiara is cold,
long livin the Tiara" ritual and swears fealty to Vena. The only
hold-out is Lakella, who finally, reluctantly, swears as well.
this is going on, Korvis and Gruss discover the scene of the Fraul/Plugart
battle. Gruss collects "weaps", Korvis "eats". (Yeah, I can see how
the word "eats" would be much more likely than the word "food" to
survive the apocalypse.) Korvis pulls some things out of an
overturned wagon, and finds – a "toy". This, Gruss informs us, is a
Fraul plaything – a Plugart who has been robbed of his ability to
speak by having his tongue cut off – and, to keep him gentle, has
had something else
cut off as well. (Hmm, more evidence of Rhea’s
enlightened leadership.) Korvis immediately adopts poor Amie (Amie?
– and if he can’t speak, how do they know!?). A band of Frauls
appears on the horizon, and the three Plugarts run away.
induction of a new Tiara is a big social event in the Fraul world
(any excuse to gussy yourselves up for a party, hey, girls?), and
the ceremony is attended by the Tiara of The Comb Next Door, Morha;
her Second, Freyha; and a bunch of their followers. Freyha and
Lakella face each other, and cross their knives as they chant a
little greeting ritual: "I, Lakella, Second to Vena, Tiara of
Frisco, give you safe shelter!" "I, Freyha, Second to Morha, Tiara
of Kanso, accept your safe shelter!" – all of which might have been
a bit more impressive had either of these mighty warriors been able
to get their knives back in their belts afterwards on the first, or
even second, attempt. Vena’s inauguration begins, and she emerges
from her "shelt" wearing a blue robe and with the biggest, highest,
widest hair I have ever
seen. The Friscos’ Elder then starts the ceremony with a ritual
speech. It’s couched in deeply mystical language, of course, but if
you listen very
closely, you might
just get a clue as to how all of this Came To Be.
"Once the world was green and livin. Then was the
Great Nuke. Death lived everywhere!" (Ah, so they know the word
"death". So what was that "goen cold" crap about?) "All were born
sick and unclean – a livin curse from the Merkins and Commies!"
(Interesting that they retain the word "Commie" accurately enough,
but they’ve forgotten the name of their own country. Well, I guess
that’s Merkins for ya!) "Then, one day, a baby was born – clean and
clear – and the livin curse was over! The child grew strong and
beautiful, and she was called----"
The Friscos raise their clenched fists and chant,
"WOMAN!" – all with rather less co-ordination and enthusiasm than
you’d find at your average cheerleader try-out.
"Woman taught her children to follow the Tiara and
follow the regs, and the Earth lived again! But some disobeyed the
regs, and from them came the children of darkness and disease!"
"PLUGART!!" chant the Friscos, managing a tad more
nuked, ‘till neggie are left!" shouts (you wouldn’t think you
could mumble and
shout at the same time, would you?) the Elder. And then it’s time
for Vena’s Oath Of Office. "Vena of Frisco – solemn swear to enforce
the regs, oversee the birthins, and rule the Comb until the
Prezzydent comes to lead us into a new tomorrow!" (In contrast, we
assume, to the previous "Prezzydent", who seems to have led them
right back into the Stone Age.) "Solemn swear!" chirps Vena, then
completes the ritual by lighting her mother’s funeral pyre. And then
it’s time to PAR-TEY, as the Frauls go completely woggos! And at
long, long last, we get a reasonable explanation for the Frauls’
superiority: unlike the Plugarts, they have managed to reinvent
course, this might also explain why they never got around to
producing houses, clothes, and comfy chairs.)
the Frauls! Korvis is nearby, and sees his chance. He rushes back to
the other Plugarts, and tells them that this is the time to attack
the Comb. "They’re getting all loose and woggoed!" He then tries to
inspire the others with his own vision of the future – which does
the extermination of the Frauls. At first, his words fall upon stony
ground. "Effen Frauls! Nuke ‘em all!" growls Gruss. Korvis reproves
him, but Gruss adds defiantly, "This kind of hiden seeken makes me
feel cold!" (Yeah, and this kind of crappen onnen is painen butten,
too!) "Ya gotta get hot on new ways, Gruss!" Korvis insists. "We’re
gunna be better
than the Frauls!" The eyes of his followers light as he addresses
them. "Neggie more machos!" he promises them. "Neggie more toys!"
more seeders?" questions one of the men, and I think you’ll agree
that I’m behind my usual schedule here, as it was at this moment,
twenty minutes into a truly crap film, that I had my first "Simpsons"
flash; in this case, the founding of Springfield, when Jebediah
Springfield offers people the chance to follow him into a life of
"chastity, abstinence, and a flavourless mush I call root marm".
Shelbyville Manhattan, on the other hand, as you might recall,
offers an alternative future founded on the right of men to marry
their cousins – "Because they’re so damned attractive!" Korvis turns
out to have far more Springfieldians than Shelbyvillians amongst his
followers. In answer to his companion’s question, he says firmly, "Neggie
more seeders!" – and the others look
pleased! I dunno, somehow this strikes
me as somewhat improbable. But then, what would I know? I’m only an
unseeded Fraul, after all.
riotous celebration continues in the Comb, with the Frauls getting
thoroughly---- Gee, I don’t actually know
how to describe
their condition. The word "pissed" does
survive into the post-apocalyptic future, I’m sure you’ll be pleased
to know, but only in the sense of being angry, not in the sense of
being, well, pissed. Vena has withdrawn, taking the opportunity to
study the map her mother spoke of. She is joined by her loyal
friend, Lynka, who is horrified to see that it is a map of the
Contam. Lynka reminds Vena that just because she is Tiara, that
doesn’t mean she can break the regs. "If Lakella finds out, she’ll
death-challenge you for sure!" Vena promises to be careful, adding
that she is glad to have Lynka by her side. "Not for much longer,"
says Lynka glumly, explaining that it is her "season", the time she
must be seeded. "Woggos!" exclaims the appalled Vena, further
opining that being Tiara is easy in comparison to being seeded. And
here, you see, we have another reason why the society of the Frauls
cannot possibly survive. I mean, women who look at pregnancy and
childbirth as an ordeal!
– tsk, tsk! Vena tells Lynka that even if she does go into the
Contam, she will be back for the birth, and the two embrace.
dawn breaks, Korvis’s band – who really do give a whole new
dimension to the expression "rag-tag" – approach the Comb. "Korvis
was a born leader!" says O.G. admiringly. Hmm – an inferior Plugart
who’s a "born leader", a reluctant Tiara---- Where can this
heading? Korvis takes out the lone Fraul guard and they enter the
compound. Whatever the Frauls cooked up by way of booze must be
because Korvis & co. proceed to plunder the Comb, stealing the eats
and weaps and generally wrecking the joint, without one of the
Frauls waking up. The invaders then try to free the machos, which
proves unexpectedly difficult, as these helpless Plugarts have had
their spirits so crushed that they’re scared to leave their
enclosure. Korvis, meanwhile, has discovered Vena’s shelt, and is
gazing in at the new Tiara (who lies on her back with her legs
invitingly bare and apart) with a strange new stirring…. (No, not
okay, maybe that.) Gruss drags him away, and he assists with the
freeing of the machos. He tries inspiring them with his vision and
then, when that fails dismally, plies them with stolen alcohol
instead. Bingo! The raid has almost been completed when Korvis ("I’m
not leaving any man
behind!") decides to free Aargh The Awful. This proves, as you might
suspect, a tactical error. "Effen woggos!" cries the horrified
Korvis when he sees what he hath wrought. The ruckus finally rouses
the hungover Frauls. Korvis and the others escape, briefly trapping
their pursuers by cutting the ropes that control the compound’s
gates. Korvis takes two horses (his own having a blanket made of a
piece of material covered with stars and stripes – ARE WE ALL ON THE
SAME PAGE HERE??) and drags branches after them to stir up a false
dust trail, sending the other Plug--- I mean,
men, back to camp.
The Frauls, led by Vena and Lakella, fall for Korvis’s cunning
scheme. Finally, Vena realises what has happened. "Effen Plugart
tricked me!" she exclaims, half-frightened, half-awed. Lakella is
not convinced. "Plugart’s got neggie smarts for tricken no-one!" she
pronounces contemptuously (an emotion which might have been directed
at David Engelbach, granted). The Frauls split up to search for this
remarkable Plugart. Korvis, meanwhile, has cornered himself on top
of a high ridge, and Vena and Lakella see him before he sees them.
Vena raises her small crossbow but somehow cannot bring herself to
fire. Korvis sees that he is danger and raises his own crossbow, but
recognising Vena, he likewise does not shoot. Finally, Lakella,
disgusted with all this (and rightly), does fire. Her arrow strikes
Korvis in the chest and sends him plummeting into a deep cavern.
Lakella smirks, satisfied. Vena, however, looks – strangely
not, gentle reader! Korvis is not killed so easily. He survives the
fall (he’s not even winded!)
arrow: it buried itself in the ABC book, which he carries over his
then finds himself in a strange underground bunker. Would you
believe it? – a
full nine hundred years after the apocalypse, the electricity is
still working! (As indeed are the batteries in the ghettoblaster,
and the hand-held remote control, that Korvis will soon discover.)
After the shock caused by voice
activated electric light, Korvis sees
cupboards bearing the words "ARMS" and "Authorised Personnel". He
opens one (they’re not locked,
or anything) and finds inside some nifty high-tech laser guns (also
fully functional), complete with their own little instruction
booklets! (I dunno, I would have thought that "Authorised Personnel"
meant people who already knew how to use them!?) Korvis opens one of
the booklets and starts figuring these new weapons out. Admirable as
his literacy skills are, it is possibly just as well that the
instructions come in the form of diagrams rather than words, even if
this does seem a trifle unlikely. (Then again, these
were intended for
the American military, weren’t they? [Hey, now, come on, guys! You
have to admit, I’ve been very restrained up to this point!])
Practising, Korvis manages to blast his way through a door marked
with something called a "Presidential Seal". Venturing in, he
discovers more wonders. And hey! – who knew that Reagan was into
pinball and Arcade? Ya learn something new every day, I guess!
Korvis picks up a small black box covered in buttons, and
accidentally activates a monitor on the far side of the room. A man
in uniform says urgently, "Mr President! Mr President!"
reacts violently, startled by both the appearance of this strange
man and his mention of that legendary figure, "the Prezzydent". As
Korvis listens, mystified, the man explains that "the computers
reporting a massive Soviet first strike were in error". However, due
to "standing Presidential orders" the computers reacted to the
perceived threat by initiating "a total
retaliatory response". A Soviet counterstrike, he adds, has also
been confirmed. The man in uniform then becomes emotional,
exclaiming, "We didn’t ask for this war, but goddamn, we WON IT!!"
this means nothing to Korvis, of course, who wanders off without
even beginning to comprehend that he has heard his own people’s
history. Isn’t it just too poignant?
Oh, the humanity! [*sniff*]
meanwhile, has separated herself from her companions (she thinks)
and is following Rhea’s map through the Contam. She enters a cave,
watched by Lakella, and O.G. informs us, "What she was going to
discover in that cave was going to change the way things were
supposed to go – for Frauls and
Korvis has gathered more goodies from the bunker.
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #9, 10 and 11: gold
lamé contamination suits (gold lamé!!??
Jeez, I would have thought that was more a Clinton-era thing), a
working ghettoblaster, and a comic book named "Warlord".
After dressing himself in one of the suits, Korvis
rides off with his haul. In the middle of nowhere he encounters Leiz.
In the film’s creepiest plot thread, Leiz is "the Toykeeper" – the
elderly man who "looks after" the young boys destined to be the
Frauls’ "toys". Seeing the gold-clad figure, Leiz takes Korvis for
"the Prezzydent" and prostrates himself. Korvis immediately
capitalises on the situation (helped no end by the fact that donning
the contamination suit has somehow made his voice loud, booming and
re-verby). He tells Leiz that as "Prezzydent", he will free the
Plugarts from the Frauls (typical politician – promises, promises),
and that there will be "neggie machos, neggie toys". (Hmm, he seems
to have dropped the "neggie seeders" line. I guess that wasn’t a
"core promise". [Author’s note: regional joke.]) Leiz looks
thoroughly horrified at the thought of "neggie toys". We will give
him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he fears unemployment,
not – unemployment. Korvis then pumps Leiz for information. This is
one of the film’s most incomprehensible passages, but we gather that
Leiz tells Korvis that Vena is away "proving herself" and that Lynka,
the new Tiara’s best friend, is off getting seeded. Korvis warns
Leiz not to speak of their meeting, and sends him back to Comb
the Comb, Lakella is waiting for Vena with Morha and Freyha. The
Tiara rides up, demonstrating the outcome of her exploration of the
cave: "Thunder rocks! I made them," she adds, which seems rather
unlikely. She explodes a few more of her homemade grenades,
terrifying Morha. "You broke the regs! You will bring the curse upon
us!" she hisses. "You fear me,
not the curse!" sneers Vena, who seems to have discovered a sizeable
chunk of attitude lying around in that cave, too.
Camp Reagan, the Plugarts are busy "trying to turn the machos into
men. We had a long
way to go!" Gruss comments. This is possibly because the de-machoing
process consists of nothing more than forcing the former slaves’
heads into troughs of water. At that
rate, they’ll want to go back to the Frauls. Suddenly, Gruss and
Relk (another man)
hear a strange noise, and see an even stranger figure. After a
moment of terror, the creature in gold pulls off his headgear
and---- "It’s Korvis!"
exclaims Gruss. Gee, no kidding! Korvis demonstrates the
ghettoblaster, then tells his followers that he has "hot weaps from
the Merkins" – although why there should have been a stash of
hand-grenades and flare-guns in Reagan’s bedroom is beyond me. (Hey,
maybe---- Nnnno, I think I’ll let that one pass….) At this moment,
Aargh The Awful, who has been hanging around Camp Reagan and
stinking up the joint, discovers something else from the Merkins.
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse
Yes, indeed! And smelly old Aargh The Awful goes
to town with it, spraying it all over himself, including onto his
butt and directly into his eyes. Comedy! (We notice, BTW, that this
is very generic air-freshener. I guess even the Product Placement
people have their limits.)
meets with Gruss and Relk. He tells them his plan to kidnap Lynka
from the seeding camp, and use her as a hostage to force a meeting
with Vena. In this way, much nuken might be avoided. They will also
destroy the camp itself, and free the seeders. (Boy, I bet
grateful!) Gruss expresses doubt that Vena will meet with a Plugart
even under these circumstances. Korvis suggests slyly that she
might, however, meet with the Prezzydent!
All this time, the other men having been playing with the "hot weaps",
and now the inevitable happens. Korvis, Gruss and Relk run outside,
finding a single, smoking foot, and the rest of the band cringing
behind a wall in utter terror. Korvis tries to explain that it was
mis-use of a weap that caused the explosion – "Neggie spirits!
Neggie curse!" Gruss has been glancing through the pilfered issue of
"Warlord", and in its mystic pages, finds instructions for the
correct use of a grenade. He hurls one, and it explodes at a safe
distance. "That’s fan-plastic!" exults Relk. Suddenly, Gruss
undergoes a strange conversion, becoming convinced that Korvis
"the Prezzydent". "Follow the Prezzydent! Follow the Prezzydent!" he
begins chanting, working the others up to the same level of
enthusiasm. (Hmm, sounds to me like Gruss is angling for Vice-Prezzydent
– and believe me, he’s fully qualified!)
afterwards, Lynka is about to undergo her Ordeal. Another Fraul
reassures her that they picked her out a "clean one", but this
doesn’t seem to cheer her up much. We soon see why: the seeding
ritual involves the Fraul being roped to
the bed. (Let’s see: within a
slave-owning society with a forced breeding program, we have a
ritual that involves the member of the ruling class being tied up,
and the slave being left free. Yeah,
that’ll work!) The seeder enters---ah,
walks into the room, covered from head to foot in a robe. And they,
er, get right to it; and after a while, it would seem that Lynka is
getting into the whole experience rather more than a dedicated Fraul
should. However, she is kept from completely betraying her
principles when coitus interruptus
of a more than usually abrupt nature occurs. Gruss and Relk storm
into the room, "freeing" the seeder (in more ways than one) and
capturing Lynka. The seeder slowly pulls the hood from his face. He
is – A Very Pretty Plugart Indeed. Lynka gives a big relieved smile.
I mean, she might be facing a hideously painful death at the hands
of her mortal enemies, but at least she wasn’t doing it with an ugmo,
That night, the men storm Comb Frisco, terrifying
the Frauls with flares, music from the ghettoblaster, and a
contamination suit on a pole. There is much screaming and running
around. One of the Frauls faints. Yeah, right. The men giggle madly
at the women’s reaction, conveniently forgetting how petrified they
were in a similar situation. Typical. The ghettoblaster stops
emitting anonymous rock music, and mysteriously produces the 1812
Overture instead. The hidden Korvis, who apparently found one of
those "talk through your radio" jobbies in Reagan’s bedroom as well
(no comment), then addresses the Frauls. He speaks directly to Vena
as "the spirit of the Prezzydent", and orders her to meet him at the
edge of the Contam. If she does so, Lynka will be returned safely.
If she disobeys, it will be "like the Merkins and the Commies!" For
a big finale, the mock-Prezzydent is blown up with a grenade. The
Frauls are left in a quandary. Vena believes what she has seen and
heard. Morha, however, pours scorn on the idea of the Prezzydent
being a Plugart, and dismisses the whole display as a "Plugart
trick". (As usual, the Bad Guys being right does them no good at
all.) She encourages Vena to attack the Plugarts. Vena refuses,
announcing her intention of "following the Prezzydent’s commands!"
(Is this girl Furstlaydee material or what?) Morha and Freyha take
the opportunity to further poison Lakella’s mind against Vena –
although what the two hope to gain from their treachery is never
Vena rides out as instructed and meets the
Prezzydent, who is in full lamé regalia and has his re-verb working.
Lynka is released, and Vena sends her home. Korvis then promises
things that are for "the Tiara’s eyes only", and the two ride off.
Meanwhile, Lakella, Morha and Freyha are filling their sisters full
of homebrew in preparation for a sneak attack on the Plugarts.
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse #13: two Frauls are
seen beating on drums wrapped in a banner that reads
The Rolling Stones Farewell Tour 1989
(close, but no cigar, Dave).
Morha clashes with two of the Frauls loyal to Vena
before leaping onto a platform to deliver a stirring pre-match
speech. Her tanked-up troops cheer enthusiastically. Seeing what’s
coming, Leiz tries to escape the Comb, and gets a knife in the back
for his trouble. He rather improbably continues to crawl away, and
Morha lets him. Foolish Fraul!
is showing Vena the wonders of the bunker. She is both impressed and
frightened, finally demanding to know why the Prezzydent is scannen
her all this. Korvis begins to answer her, but unwisely calls Vena "Fraul".
"I am WOMAN!" she insists proudly. "And what am I?" asks the
Prezzydent. "Don’t know. Maybe spirit. Maybe –
Plugart," replies Korvis, and takes off his hood. "YOU!!??" exclaims
Vena in horror and pulls a knife. Korvis assures her that he only
wants to talk, "About – MAN!!" "‘MAN’?" repeats Vena blankly. "Whatzit,
am a MAN!" announces Korvis, stripping off his contamination suit
Interesting Things That Survived The Apocalypse
#14: Chesty Bond singlets.
macho! Neggie toy!" he adds. "Seeder?" suggests Vena, somewhat
hopefully. "Neggie! MAN!! Feel," he insists, offering his forearm,
"flesh like Vena’s!" Yeah, well, I didn’t think that was under
debate. Vena does
feel, however. And Korvis feels her shoulder in return. They
establish that they have the same heartbeat, same eyes, same ears.
The pair of them then feel each other a bit more. In fact, they get
touchy-feely. Then they progress to feeling
up, then to
copping a feel, and
let’s just say that having verified their similarities, they settle
down to a thorough examination of one another’s differences.
Meanwhile, the Frauls attack the Plugart camp. This wastes---ah,
takes about ten minutes and is supposed to be the big climactic
scene, but it is very unimaginatively staged. I really don’t have
much to say about it, other than registering a protest over the
number of "tripped horse" stunts involved here. (And just to add
insult to injury, most of them are very poorly executed, with the
trip starting well before the explosion that’s supposed to have
caused it.) There is, however, an hilariously rendered "head slam",
where a Plugart is supposed to be knocking two Frauls’ heads
together, but carefully pulls up when they’re about eight inches
apart! (I mean, c’mon! With that
hair, it’s not like he could hurt
them!) Some Frauls are killed, and many Plugarts. Finally, Gruss is
forced to exercise his Second Banana’s Death Battle Exemption, as
Lakella sneaks up on him with a spear, then waits motionless until
he turns, sees her, and grabs her spear before she tries anything
Elsewhere, Vena is riding slowly back to the Comb, a dreamy
expression in her eyes. Cos she’s a
woman, W-O-M-A-N…. She almost rides over
the top of Leiz, who is still
crawling along with that knife in his back. He manages to tell Vena
what’s happening, gasps out, "Tell the Prezzydent!" and dies. And
little boys all over post-apocalyptica breathe a bit easier.
Korvis arrives at Camp Reagan
to find the battered and bloodied remnants of his band. In spite of
the Plugarts’ superior weaponry, the Frauls have very nearly wiped
them out. Korvis finds Gruss with the dying Amie (the "toy",
remember?) in his arms. "While you were talken, Frauls were nuken!"
Gruss wails. The enraged Korvis, believing that Vena has lied to him
("Cold damn lies!"), rides off to the Comb, where the Frauls too are
dealing with their losses. Vena sees Korvis and walks towards him
with her hands raised, facing him bravely as he draws his knife. She
tries to explain that they were both tricked, and promises that it
will never happen again. "Solemn swear!" "Effen right it won’t!"
snarls Korvis and starts towards her. The remaining Frauls run to
support their Tiara, while the other Plugarts ride up behind Korvis.
Vena announces that the decision as to what will happen next, what
the future will be, is Korvis’s. She removes her whip from her belt
and casts it to the ground. Korvis hesitates, but is overcome by his
feelings for Vena. He throws his knife down beside her whip, and the
next instant the two are kissing passionately.
behaviour rather puzzles the other Plugarts and Frauls, who can only
stare at their leaders in bewilderment. Oddly, as Omniscient Gruss
puts it, "the harder we scanned them, the hotter it looked!" Lynka
is the first to get the idea. She spies her seeder amongst the
Plugarts, and fires her crossbow, the arrow plunging deep into the
ground. The seeder follows suit, his arrow plunging next to hers
(ah, I think
it’s symbolic). Then Mela, a senior Fraul who has been eyeing off
Gruss, tosses down her weapon. He throws his gun beside it,
reflecting philosophically that, "Maybe there
was something men
and women could do to each other besides fighten and nuken. I was
gunna find out!"
it came to pass that the blonde-haired, blue-eyed bimbos did inherit
the Earth. And those of us who perished in the holocaust before any
of this could happen can only say –
thank You, God!
"Behold the future of mankind!"