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Exploring Tank Girl – Episode 173

18 Responses to “Exploring Tank Girl – Episode 173”

  • Cristiona:

    This is on my list of movies I’ve been meaning to see but haven’t gotten around to.

    You’re completely right about Petty being perfect for the role, she really looks the part, and even in the short clips you showed, she looked like she was having an absolute blast. It’s a pity there isn’t a director’s cut or even an assembly cut out there. Another missed opportunity.

    Also, majors props to Petty, Ice-T, and Winston for not being ashamed of it. I hate it when stars get too big for their roots. Ahem, ahem, Ms. Watts.

    • Cecil:

      Shout Factory put the movie on Blu and it looks great. The bright colors pop and it reminds me of a time when they put effort into the backgrounds rather than just having bland environments and then color correcting them in post. The movie is, pardon the silly term, eye candy.

      Unfortunately, it seems that most of the cut footage was lost and all that is left is some badly degraded VHS footage. Kind of like what happened with Friday the 13th part 7. I put what I had in the video, with the exception of the original intro, which I found out about after I recorded my audio. (you can look it up on youtube if you are interested. It shows the comet that messed up earth)

      As much as people griped about this film (the folks that it wasn’t aimed at) I think this was a defining role for Petty. She obviously loved doing it and on the commentary you can hear how passionate she was and still is about it.

  • Ryouga:

    After watching this twice in cinema alone, I finally managed to drag one of my friends along to see it. The following weekend I managed to fill a cinema with my friends and friends of friends.
    The advertising for this was designed to inspire disinterest, but it’s a fantastic bit of crazy silly fluff.
    I wasn’t aware that executive bunnies butchered films when this came out, always new something was missing.

    • Cecil:

      I’ll never understand how so many executives think it is a good idea for them to meddle with the creative process. They think they know better but 99% of the time studio pressure changes the film for the worse.

  • Michael:

    WELL DONE CECIL! WELL DONE INDEED! This video makes for a great counterpoint to the Nostalgia Critics review of the film. I disagree with his review A LOT! I saw Tank Girl when it was in theaters. Sadly the theater was almost empty. I LOVED the soundtrack and bought the CD shortly after seeing the film. A while later, I can’t remember how long, but it was WAY BEFORE You Tube started, I went on eBay and bought a VHS tape of deleted scenes from the film. It ticked me off when I saw all the great stuff that was cut from the film! I am a little bit surprised that you didn’t mention that Tank Girl features an early performance by the wonderful Mr. Doug Jones as a Ripper. I really hope that this exploration of the film helps to increase it’s popularity. Again great job and I hope this vid gets lots of views. [URL=][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

    • Cecil:

      Thanks! I held off on doing this for a while because much like Suburban Commando, it is one of his “bigger” videos and I didn’t feel like getting the influx of comments telling me that this movie sucks. However, I got quite the opposite! So far, the comments have been overwhelmingly positive and there are lots of fans who unabashedly love this movie. Warms my heart.

      I couldn’t figure out which Ripper was Doug Jones so I decided to drop that part. The video is doing well and I may tweet it to Petty. 🙂

  • I remember seeing Tank Girl when it first came out and it made no sense to me(hadn’t read the comics) and now I know why. *Sigh*-stupid studio interference! Do agree that Lori Petty was interesting to watch throughout but McDowell was pretty much going thru the motions,which is more of an effort than some actors put into certain movies(so want to punch James Franco in the throat for Oz the Great and Powerful and I only watched that thing on DVD!).

    • Cecil:

      When the movie came out I had only read a few of the comics so I wasn’t entirely familiar with the character. I was just excited because the film had a goofy mix of post apocalypse and cyberpunk with an over the type hyper lead. It was refreshing and further pushed the way 90s movies felt. They were trying new and different things.

      McDowell apparently was happy to be in something so silly and being a mustache twirling bad guy. I didn’t think he phoned it in at all, it felt to me like he was enjoying himself.

  • Misterprickly:

    I can honestly say that this was far better than Vamperella.

    When I first heard that they were making a live action version of Tank Girl my first question was “how?” followed by “Which studio?”.

    I thought the casting was perfect but the choice of studio was concerning. Yes; UA gave them the most cash but that’s not always a good thing. After all… Cash = Concern and this movie was a perfect example of that.

    When I saw the movie I was glad to see the animated cut scenes, as I found then rather creative but there were so many scenes that felt so watered down that I just couldn’t enjoy it.

    I remember when my college instructor used this movie as an example of “Why we can’t have nice things” as he was a huge fan of the comics but was utterly heat broken with the film.

    This is one of those films that could have been so much better but hey… At least it wasn’t done by Uwe Boll!

    • Cecil:

      Yeah, its often better to take less money but with more creative control. I don’t know what the other 2 studios were that offered to produce but it may have been a similar offer across the board, just with UA giving up the most money.

      The theatrical cut is butchered but it isn’t as bad what the studio originally gave them. Apparently there was all kinds of issues, like scenes where the music was cut off on the middle of a song. The studio really did not care. If not for the crew revolting the movie could have been a completely unlikeable train wreck.

      I hope your instructor at least placed the blame on the studio. I’ve seen so many comments on IMDB and such where they trashed the director, who was not the culprit.

  • Roy:

    Great introduction animation, Cecil. It’s probably your best one so far. 🙂

    “Tank Girl”, which I saw on TV eons ago, is a fun cult film, thanks mostly to Petty, who I was a fan of when she did episodes of “Alien Nation” and “Booker” (aw…the pre-reality days of the Fox Network…) before going into film. TG made such an impression on me that I wrote a screenplay with a somewhat similar character.

    Despite its’ problems, I look at “TG” as being ahead of the curve in terms of comic book/YA novel movies that have female heroes. Look at stuff like “The Hunger Games” and “Sucker Punch”.

    Another subject: have you seen the web series “Video Game High School”? I’m not a gamer, but I dig the comedy of the show. “Harry Potter” meets “Chuck”.

    Well, that’s it. Keep it up, can’t wait for the GBF final four in January (SCREW THE NCAA) and remember. . .”Thrill me!”

    • Cecil:

      Thanks! We were kind of going back and forth on the intro for a while. We wanted to do something like a combination of the movie intro and the Marvel intro.

      A huge part of what makes Tank Girl work is Petty’s performance. She is so full of energy that she lights up the set. I’d love to see the director’s cut of the film but it seems that the cut footage is pretty much lost, except for some VHS copies of the dailies.

      Yep, I donated to the first season of VGHS and got a copy of the DVD signed by the crew. I met Freddie W at PAX last year and he was really nice. Glad he continues to do what he loves and be successful. I told him he was a big inspiration to guys like me.

      I’m with you! Forget about that other final four!

  • theNightStar:


    Tank Girl is one of my favorite films of all time and it really legitimately upset me and pissed me off, how not only critics at the time reacted to it, everyone I know talks badly of it (mostly even people who I know havn’t even seen it) but how especially The Nostalgia Critic bashed the film. (Not to mention that some of those people I mentioned who I know havn’t seen it, threw his review in my face when I said I liked this movie, so there’s also that.)

    His review of Tank Girl is the reason I lost a LOT of respect for Doug Walker and in fact, stopped watching his reviews for nearly a year until I begrudgingly forgave him and decided, with trepidation, to start watching some of his reviews again. This film does not deserve the negative reaction it gets. Not. At. All.

    Seeing someone stick up for this movie, is like finally being vindicated after a lifetime of EVERYONE seeming to tell me one of my favorite movies was awful. You don’t know how it feels to see this video. Just.. thank you.

    • Cecil:

      You are very welcome 🙂

      This one was a long time coming. I still feel I could have articulated a few things better but overall, I’m just happy to know there is a solid fanbase for a movie that used to get tons of hate.

      I get annoyed when anyone takes a review in lieu of them actually seeing the movie. It’s one thing to say “I heard it was bad but I haven’t seen it” but for some people the “so and so told me it was bad so it sucks”. There are a lot of movies/shows/games out there that more people would like if they would give them a chance. Instead, they would rather have someone dictate to them what they should enjoy. This isn’t the fault of the reviewer, just some weird thing with people who want to latch on to what someone says without having a thought of their own. It’s an odd conundrum.

      I understand that the movie is not for everyone but that is how it was intended. I’d rather have a movie that knows its audience and appeals to them than most of the focus tested, “appeal to every demo” movies we seem to get in droves anymore. Its like the homogenization of film. Make it safe for everyone, no risks.

      I think this is one of those movies that is the “low hanging fruit” kind of like Super Mario Bros. There are a million different reviews out there talking about why the movie is bad and they are all just repeating each other.

  • Mike:

    Great Stuff Cecil, yet another flick that the studio tampered with trying to make it something it’s not. That’s pretty shallow of Watts too, I mean it’s one thing when an establish star like Michael Caine does Jaws 4 and says it build a nice house but seeing how IMDB credits you as Shopping Cart Starlet in “Matinee” 2 years before, shut up and be grateful for what you have. I guess fame and power is an intoxication drug I’ll never know the experience of.

    • Cecil:

      Thanks! I’ll never understand how some celebrities are embarrassed about old roles and have even denied them. If not for those jobs, you wouldn’t be where you are today!

  • Viewer:

    While this video is great and more interesting and to the point than most official “making of” videos, it still feels like a second part of a full review with first part – the review itself (your regular quick review of the whole movie) – missing. I know you like the movie (so do I), but a quick fun short riffed recap is always doable and it helps fill in those who never saw the flick or don’t remember it well. You’re pretty much forcing people to go see Nostalgia Critic’s “riffview” first and then come back to watch this segment here.

    Oh, and after making Cyborg 3: The… no, I’m sorry – after cameoing in Cyborg 3: The Recycler, starring in this movie was a giant leap forward for McDowell.

    Speaking of him, you should see his movie The Caller (1987). It’s a small weird oddly atmospheric Sci-Fi thriller (you figured out that there are sci-fi elements in it only much later) with some black humor for polish. A woman is imprisoned in a well stocked medium-sized mountain cabin where she’s vacationing (that’s where some 90 percent of the movie is set). Her captor is McDowell, a strange polite guy in a nice business suit who came by asking if he can make a phone call. The movie at first has Misery (1990) vibe to it and focuses on (thankfully mostly non-sexual) mind games (he seems to know everything about her and wants to keep her safe). She, of course, tries to manipulate him and even escapes, but that’s when things take a left turn and the plot goes in a very unexpected direction leaving us wondering who he actually is and who she exactly is. By the end, it turns into a weird Stephen King-esque Twilight Zone-ish tale with a touch of James Cameron and Stan Winston.

    Another one of his movie you should take a look at, although it’s a much less odd one, is In the Eye of the Snake (1990). It’s a drama-thriller where a biology student who’s obsessed with snakes to the point of having them as pets and bathing with them in a bathtub, falls for a girl who McDowell is hooked up with (he’s the head professor on the University or something). The movie is pretty conventional, but the prominent snake element gives it a weird unease vibe that leaves an impression.

    • Cecil:

      Certain movies I just don’t want to do the recap. Its fun to do with the right films but certain things are either overdone or just too good to riff on. Tank Girl has been trashed over and over and I wanted to give a fresh perspective on it. Something that the vast majority of videos did not.

      I haven’t seen either of those, I’ll give them a look.

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