Friday, November 28, 2008

Cherry 2000 (Steve De Jarnatt, 1987)

As everyone knows, losing access to your robot girlfriend can be a major inconvenience. On the other hand, losing access to your robot girlfriend in a futuristic netherworld where guys depend on their robot girlfriends almost exclusively for sex and companionship is the definition of sadness. Such is the kooky, yet strangely touching framework for the dazzling Cherry 2000 (a.k.a. Boneca Mecânica), a masterful, post-apocalyptic, action-infused joy ride extravaganza from director Steve De Jarnatt (Miracle Mile) that asks the question: What's better? The dependability of robot love or the unpredictability of real love? The proudest person ever to hail from Anaheim, California, the film follows Sam Treadwell (a mild-mannered department store employee) and his plan to obtain another Cherry 2000 (the name and model number of his mechanical lady friend). You see, his Cherry broke while he was making out with it in a heap of soapy suds, and unable to get it fixed and unsatisfied with the selection of robot women at the showroom, Sam decides hire a bounty hunter and secure the metallic passion he desires by any means necessary. Even if that means heading out to the barren Zone 7 and hanging out with a shapely, porcelain-skinned non-robot.

Well-nourished with the kind of incoherent shoot-outs and last minute escapes I get proper moist over, the sort of visionary (sentient sex dolls are just around the corner) movie is drenched in an off-beat style that exacerbates its uniqueness and sports a creative set design that'll keep your eyes occupied. (This creativity is best viewed during the scenes at the Glu Glu Club and the Sky Ranch.)

The film's crowning achievement, however, is the splendiferous crane vs. automobile sequence. Our horny for robots hero and E. (the bounty hunter, or "tracker" as they like to be called) take on Lester (Zone 7's warlord extraordinaire) and his unmerry band of henchmen at what looks like a giant quarry. What makes this scene standout–you know, besides its unequaled flair–is the fact that everyone involved is using missile-based weaponry. We're talking rocket propelled grenades, rocket launchers, stinger missiles, and good old fashion bazookas.

It should be stated that the tin can loving Sam uses an uzi during the precarious mayhem, which the last I checked isn't exactly a "missile-based" weapon. But on the positive side of things, his uzi does spit out shell casings when fired (a very important detail in my mind). Anyway, this action centerpiece sets the tone for rest of the movie. In that, its sheer awesomeness imbues the proceedings with a cocksure veneer.

Proving that high camp is where she is at her most formidable, Melanie Griffith is a revelation as tracker Edith 'E.' Johnson. Inexplicably, the squeaky-voiced starlet has mainly focused on serious drama, but I think the actress is best suited for roles like this. Roles that accentuate her innate badness, as suppose to ones that expose her lack of talent. Giving her a mop of red hair and a silenced assault rifle was also smart move on Mr. De Jarnatt's part. Anything to mute the acute lameness we all know is bubbling under the surface.

The aforementioned Sam Treadwell is portrayed by the blandly named David Andrews. I thought he played the everyman angle to his character quite well. He also had a quiet intensity about him and you really got the sense that he loved that robot.

The manly Tim Thomerson is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors. Sure, I've only seen him in a couple things here and there, but from what little I have seen, he strikes me as a fun guy. I loved the demonic glee he displays as Lester. I mean, he may be a dictator and a psychopath, but he's so darn likable.

Rounding out the cast is Jennifer Balgobin (Dr. Caligari) as a hotel clerk, the legendary Ben Johnson as retired bounty hunter who collects toaster ovens, the lovely Cameron Milzer adds some far-out sex appeal as Lester's gal pal, and Pamela Gidley provides the mainstream sex appeal as the in demand titular robot. Oh, and keep an eye for cameos by Laurence Fishburne as a Glu Glu Club pimp and Brion James as a rival Tracker.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This is one of the best bad movies of all time.