February 28, 2007

Future War - It’s NOT Cyberpunk

Movie Review By: SFAM

Year: 1997

Directed by: Anthony Dublin

Written by: David Huey (story), Dom Magwili

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very Low

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very Low

Key Cast Members:

  • The Runaway: Daniel Bernhardt
  • Cyborg Master: Robert Z’Dar
  • Travis Brooks Stewart: Sister Ann
Rating: 1 out of 10

Future War Screen Capture


Overview: Based on the very deceptive cyberpunk-looking DVD cover, I felt it wise to give Future War a brief mention - I say brief because this movie sucks so bad that anything more than brief would constitute more effort than was spent on the entire script. Now I would consider giving Future War the same treatment I gave Cybernator, but unfortunately I just can’t possibly call this movie cyberpunk. Sure, it has time travel (I think), and these evil looking cyborg dudes, but Future War can’t put together a semblance of even an incoherent plot to explain things.


Future War Screen Capture

Check out the henchmen cyborg! You gotta wonder why they just didn’t go all out and make him into a Vampire Cyborg - that woulda been Kewl! (perhaps they couldn’t afford the fake teeth). And get used to the boxes. They are in about 40% of the movie - so much so that they even have a guy in the credits listed as “box wrangler”!


Lets just start with the intro lines from the movie (punctuation and capitalization remain intact from the film - yes, some sentences have periods, others have capital letters at the beginning, but not all):


From the future traveled a master race of Cyborgs.

The made abductions from Earth’s past.

The dinosaurs were trained as trackers

The humans were bred as slaves

Now a runaway slave escapes to a place his people call heaven…

we know it as Earth


Future War Screen Capture

Doesn’t this dinosaur remind you of the Stonehenge set piece in Spinal Tap? Just a wee bit too small, ey? Don’t worry, he grows another 10 feet a few scenes later


Um, OK, so these master race of cyborg dudes, who incidentally get their asses kicked by a second rate martial arts guy (who in Matrix Reloaded, turns into the ultra-cool Agent Johnson) because they don’t use their gun attachment till its too late, go back in time to get dinosaurs and train them to track escaped human slaves. Yeah, this works. Lets be clear here: some jackass with a spare $10,000 bucks wanted to make a really kewl film with cyborgs, dinosaurs and martial arts fighting – oh oh! and also a hawt chick prostitute-turned-nun! – unfortunately this was the best plot he could come up with.


Future War Screen Capture

Yes, nothing beats martial artists fighting master cyborgs in a warehouse church! Too bad the cyborg dude died in the last scene. Ah well, why not use the Jason resurrection thing? It works, right?


The Bottom Line: Pretty much the entire movie takes place either in the director’s dive house or in this really dull looking warehouse. The warehouse is “decorated” with either cardboard boxes or well-used 8×8 wooden pallets standing upright, depending on whether its supposed to be a sewer (the pallets) or um, a warehouse (the cardboard boxes). Due to a neurotic use of forced perspective, the rubber dinosaurs are constantly changing size. They go from beaver-sized to allosaurus-sized, depending on the scene (well, OK, sometimes in the SAME scene). So, does the prostitute-turned-nun decide to have sex with Agent Johnson or will she say her final vows to become a nun forever? More importantly, who the fuck cares? I understand Future War was also featured on MST3K - I would recommend that route if you must watch this. And just for the record, Cybernator is LOADS funnier.


This post has been filed under 1 Star Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 - 1999, It's Not Cyberpunk! Mkay? by SFAM.

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