Thursday, November 20, 2014

Run Like Hell (Robert Rundle, 1995)

Like any sane person, I love Robert Z'Dar (Samurai Cop and Killing American Style). But even a die hard Z'Darian from the mean streets of Z'ha'dum like myself should have run like hell away from Run Like Hell. Just a second, let me read that opening line one more time before I continue. Ugh, that's pure hackery. Let's start over, but let's keep the opening line there as a gentle reminder of how things could have went. Now, I've seen plenty of women in prison movies in my day. And one of my favourite things about the genre, besides the fact that they usually feature tough-looking chicks locked behind bars, and, not to mention, lot's of lesbians, is that moment when they reveal the outfit the women will be wearing during their stay in the pokey. As I've said many times before, the grey smocks paired with the dark charcoal grey hold-up stockings ensemble worn by Laura Gemser and co. in Bruno Mattei's Women's Prison Massacre is hands down the best of all the women in prison get-ups I've seen over the years. Maybe so, but I would most definitely place the black thongs the ladies wear in Robert Rundle's exceedingly incompetent Run Like Hell in the top five.

Oh, and if you're wondering what else they wear with their black thongs, don't bother. In this women's prison, all you're given is a black thong.

In other words, when Elsa (Dree Lange), a feisty blonde with short blonde hair; Darla (Colleen Corrigan), a trailer park brunette with long brunette hair; Shotgun (Liz Davies), a flat-chested brunette with medium-length brunette hair; and Sally (Elizabeth Prince), a clueless brunette long brunette hair, break out of a prison designed specifically to house "single women," they do so wearing nothing but black thongs.

The reason I put "single women" in quotes is because the year is 2008, and being a single woman is now illegal. Unmarried women are routinely rounded up by bounty hunters and brought to a prison run by–wait for it–Robert Z'Dar.

When the four escapees, who are armed with shotguns and pistols, began roaming the wasteland beyond the prison walls, I thought to myself: These chicks aren't going to spend the rest of the movie roaming the desert in nothing but black thongs, are they? Of course, part of me hoped that they would. But the other part of me, the more sensible part, realized that it was somewhat impractical to have them prancing around in black thongs for the entire movie.

Either way, the amount of time they spend wearing nothing black thongs once outside the prison walls is rather lengthy. Which makes sense, as there's no Gap in this universe. Nevertheless, the scene where the four escapees do eventually put some clothes on is pretty harrowing. Seriously, think about it, what if they end up changing into puke green muumuus?

Except for Shotgun (who is named so because... uh, she loves shotguns?!?), all the women of section 44A put on jean shorts, after their thong-raising escape. Wait, did I say, "thong-raising"? I meant to say, hair-raising. But now that I think about it, thong-raising is rather apt. In fact, you could call the film, Four Thongs and a Shotgun Funeral.

You can tell right away that Elsa is the one you shouldn't mess with out the four former thong wearers. Though, I suppose they're still wearing their thongs. I mean, I don't see why they wouldn't just slide their newly acquired jean shorts over their already thong-ensnared undercarriages.

Anyway, I liked way Elsa told one of the creeps at the division outpost to stop calling her "Shortcake."

While Elsa is clearly the one you don't want to mess with (there's nothing short or cake-like about her), Elizabeth Prince, the actress who plays Sally, is the one you don't want doing anything. What I'm trying to say is, she's a terrible actress. I don't know if I was seeing things, but I could have sworn she was running in place while firing her shotgun.

You would think that Robert Z'Dar's warden character would be stressed out over the escape. But judging the way he's hosting group sex parties in his office, I'd say he's pretty relaxed. That being said, Z'Dar does hire a bounty hunter and his droid sidekick to bring back his escaped prisoners. If anything, he desperately wants to shoot his hearty z'wad all over Shotgun's non-existent z'tits.

Convinced that the prisoners will be headed to "Paradise City,"* Robert Z'Dar tells the bounty hunter to inflict as much pain as possible on them if he can't capture them alive.

If you thought the shoot outs were poorly staged, you should see the fight scenes. I don't think I saw a single blow come anywhere close to making contact during this movie. I know, you're not supposed to really hit the other actors. But missing by five feet? C'mon, you can get a little closer than that.

Realizing that Elizabeth Prince is beyond horrible, the plot conveniently kills off her character soon after the women team up with Jag (Henry Olvera), a friendly ninja. Oh, and don't let his friendly demenour fool you, he will straight-up karate chop anyone who as much as looks at him funny.

If we didn't have enough to contend with as far as subplots go, two new characters are added to the mix. A bounty hunter named Steel has been hired to transport a young woman in torn jeans back to her parents. Only problem being, the wasteland is filled with gun-toting mutants, slave traders and murderous cyborgs. Meaning, good luck getting your cargo to safety in one piece.

In case we weren't paying attention the first time around, a second all-girl prison brawl is staged  for all us absentminded losers out there. It was during one of these brawls that it dawned on me that this film must possess the record for having the most black thongs onscreen in a single shot.

Speaking of thongs, yet another subplot is introduced when we meet a thong-clad (duh) inmate who excepts drugs and money as payment from a guard to have sex with him. The great thing about this scene is that the thong-clad inmate's thong wasn't black. Uh-uh, it had a floral bent to it. Of course, the other great thing was the pleasing shape of her boo-tay.

Even though I've written plenty about it, I feel I should stop typing words in correlation with this movie. It doesn't deserve all this attention. You would think Run Like Hell was on the same level as Robot Holocaust or Things judging by the amount of time I've spent going on about it. But trust me, despite its thong-friendly pedigree, it isn't. Run Like Hell is just plain awful.

* It's not that I'm above making a Guns N' Roses reference, it's just that I'm not comfortable making one so obvious. 


  1. I've watched this movie all the way through. That is all I have to say. Good night.

    1. I've seen it twice (all the way through) and I took time out of my busy schedule to type words about.