Barb Wire (1996) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's comments in white:

This comic book film is rated in the all-time Bottom 100 at IMDb, and is not likely to spur much interest in the discussion panels at Sundance and NYU, but you may enjoy Barb Wire if the following premise appeals to your inner child, or at least to your inner douchebag.

  1. Start with Casablanca.

  2. Relocate the story from North Africa in WW2 time period to Free City, USA in some hypothetical future war in 2017 - the second U.S. Civil War.

  3. Cast Pam Anderson as Rick.

The DVD contains "extra sexy footage not seen in theaters", which means this: "Oops. We made a movie with Pam Anderson and forgot to show much of her jumbo, store-bought hooters. Nobody will buy this DVD for the story and the acting, so let's add some irrelevant footage of Pam dancing topless while her hyper-inflated funbags are being sprayed with an oily liquid."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Ingmar Bergman was going to do the same thing in The Seventh Seal, but his casting director accidentally hired Bibi Andersson instead of Pam, and the checks were already cut, so they cut the medieval trapeze strip from the script at the last minute. Bergman has often remarked that he would have hired Pam except for the fact that the movie was made ten years before she was born.

Tuna's comments in yellow:

Barb Wire is a post-apocalyptic Pamela Anderson vehicle. She is a former resistance fighter, now a mercenary, living in the only free city left, running her bar, and doing the odd bounty hunter gig to pay the post-apocalyptic bills. In the opening scene, she is dancing and swinging on a trapeze with her breasts hanging out being sprayed with water. This is a night club act, and everything goes fine until a customer calls her "babe." Not a good idea, and she throws her high heel and kills him instantly, saying, "Don't call me Babe."


Anderson shows breasts in the opening scene (during the title credits), in a bath, and changing. There is a full ten minutes of out-takes of the trapeze and water spray scene on the DVD.

A government scientist has discovered that the government wiped out an entire city by testing a biological weapon, so she goes over to the resistance with the antidote to the weapon embedded in her DNA. She hopes to escape to Canada and expose this to the world, if only she can get her hands on a special set of contact lenses that will fool retina scanners, the current method of proving ID. The scientist is traveling with Anderson's old resistance partner and flame. The Congressionals (the Big Brother government bad guys) are out to prevent this at any cost.

Anderson is big and bad, and has a real attitude, but not much acting range in this film, and everyone else is like a comic book stereotype. It is not much of a story and the acting is abysmal, but some of the fights are good, and the film looks great. I have no idea what their budget was, but the sets and lighting were imaginative and very effective.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Super-panel consensus: less than two stars. Ebert 2.5/4, Berardinelli 1/4.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 3.2/10, making it the 60th WORST movie of all time.
  • The film grossed about $4 million the the USA.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-. Not great, but a watchable comic book film based on some cool sets and action, a little humor, and Pam's inflated gazongas.

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