This week on the B movie docket is Barb Wire
Hello good people. And welcome to 50 B Movies: The Sequel. It’s bigger, better, and badder. The original 50 b Movies covered a wide range of B Movies. There was everything from Thankskilling 3 to The Void. Some films were funny. Some were unintentionally funny. And some were mainstream with far-out concepts like zombie tigers. All in all, it was a hell of a list.
Why make a sequel? Because narrowing down a list of 50 B Movies To See Before You Die was arduous. With so many movies to watch, one can never really know if the movie is good. Sure sometimes 5 minutes in, you know it is a real stinker. Other times it might take a half an hour before one realizes they will never get that half hour back to their life. Poof. Gone. But all in all there are many great B Movies that didn’t make the original list.
So welcome back if you are a LRM reader and welcome if it’s your first time here. Be forewarned we will be treading deep into the bush to pull these B Movies. We aren’t rehashing anyone’s previous 50 or 100 or 1000 B Movies list. Nope. So, prepare yourself for 50 B Movies To See Before You Die: The Sequel. Bigger. Better. Badder. Oooh yeah.
WEEK 7 – Barb Wire (1996)
Barb Wire is not a great movie at all. But it does a few things right. Namely creating a lot of controversy at the time of its release back in 1996. It is also a ridiculous mirror to the society we live in today. Because we live in a society. Seriously though if you haven’t heard of Barb Wire it’s time to get acquainted.
A sexy nightclub owner, Barb Wire (Pamela Anderson Lee) moonlights as a mercenary in Steel Harbor, one of the last free zones in the now fascist United States. When scientist Cora Devonshire (Victoria Rowell) wanders into Barb’s establishment, she gets roped into a top-secret government plot involving biological weapons. Soon Barb is reunited with her old flame Axel Hood (Temuera Morrison), who is now Cora’s husband and a guerrilla fighter, resulting in plenty of tense action.
That was the official synopsis. But this one below does a better job at painting the picture. It was written by me.
In the early 21st century, America is locked in a Second Civil War. Congress has expanded it’s powers and grown into a monstrously fascist organization. Barb Wire takes place in Steel City. Home to the resistance and the last free city in America. Also, there is a subplot about fat cats sitting in Congress and deliberately infecting Americans with a virus to better control hearts and minds.
Comic book Adaptation
Barb Wire is an example of an early comic book adaptation of the Dark Horse comic penned by John Arcudi. For that alone, I must give this movie its credit. Because it must have been an audacious task convincing people to invest in a comic book movie one year after Stallone’s Judge Dredd which was heavily criticized upon its release.
Though I have yet to read the Dark Horse comic, I did manage to thumb through a couple of its pages. It looks like a mix of some Warren Ellis Transmetropolitan and a little bit of Ramba.
Critics can say what they will about Barb Wire. But you must hand it to the people responsible for this movie casting. The talent list reads like an episode of Disney’s Mandalorian. With actors like Temuera Morrison, Victoria Rowell, Xander Berkeley, Udo Kier, and Steve Railsback, tell me that doesn’t sound like a dope episode of The Mandalorian.
Barb Wire was released in 1996. I was just a kid. But I wanted to see this. But my chances of seeing it were slim to none, due to the controversy surrounding the release. Allow me to paint the picture: I am sitting in my parent’s kitchen watching Entertainment Tonight. The subject? The rating of Barb Wire.
At the time, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the rating of the movie. Would it be a hard R or a hard NC-17? The kid me thought the trailer looked good. And plus, it starred Pamela Anderson. Did I mention that this was during the height of the Bay Watch era? As a matter of fact, it was a bit more than that.
As I said, Barb Wire and Pamela Anderson were hot things for a lot of folks. To be more specific Bay Watch and that slomo rescue run, and saving lives really hooked a lot of people. I am assuming you are aware that Pamela Anderson starred in the series Bay Watch. Yes, we were junkies craving more skin in red bathing suits. I will go as far as to say that Pamela Anderson was the Kim Kardashian when the real Kim Kardashian was probably a kid just watching the OJ Simpson trial.
So, like I was saying, Pamela Anderson was the original before there was a Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian. Therefore, in 1995 when an adult X-rated video of Pamela Anderson and her then-boyfriend rockstar Tommy Lee leaked, interest in her brand spiked. And lo and behold, a year later Barb Wire was released.
I am assuming you are aware of who Tommy Lee is. If you are not, please go watch The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For on Hulu.
Barb Wire is billed as an erotic thriller. The filmmakers are sure as s*** certain to impress that upon the viewer with Anderson’s opening striptease. She does a dance that ends with her burrowing her heel into a guy’s head. Sadly, there are no Scanners like resulting head explosions. But I was fine with that. The point is to set up that Pamela Anderson’s Barb can be sexy and violent. Also, she doesn’t like being called a babe.
Because there are better movies out there. But how many are comic book adaptations that you haven’t already watched for the thousandth time?
Watch it where?
Barb Wire is currently available to watch on Tubi TV.
How To Enjoy It
Barb Wire is a classic early comic-book adaptation. I suggest you track it down.