Cyberpunk Review » Tank Girl

March 4, 2006

Tank Girl

Year: 1995

Directed by: Rachel Talalay

Written by: Alan Martin & Jamie Hewlett (comic strip), Tedi Sarafian (script)

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Low

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Low

Key Cast Members:

  • Tank Girl: Lori Petty
  • Jet Girl: Naomi Watts
  • Kesslee: Malcolm McDowell
  • Rating: 6 out of 10


    “Look, if you want to torture me, spank me, lick me, do it. But if this poetry shit continues just shoot me now please. .”


    Overview: If you’re looking for an off-beat, low-budget cyberpunk comedy, Tank Girl is your movie. Talk about a weird flick! Lori Petty finds her calling here as an anti-heroine called Tank Girl, a light spirited soul living in a dystopic near-future caused by a comet hitting the earth. The evil water and power company, lead by Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell) has gathered up all the remaining water sources on earth (it hasn’t rained in 11 years) and is hoarding water (now the most valuable commodity on earth) in order to maintain power over the rest of the surviving stragglers. Tank Girl, while riding around in a tank, leads the resistance made up of some of the most bizarre misfits against the evil water and power company. With Jet Girl (Naomi Watts) in tow, there is nothing they can’t do, but first they want to have some non-sequitur fun!



    “This comet came crashing into the earth. BAM! Total devastation. No celebrities, no cable TV, *no water*! It hasn’t rained in 11 years. Now, 20 people gotta squeeze into the same bathtub. So it ain’t all bad.”


    The Bottom Line: Truly, this movie is just strange. We get everything from bizarre, over-the-top scenes, to dances, to massive killing, all wrapped in truly odd dialogue. Tank Girl and Jet Girl make a terrific combination, but this movie is just not meant to be taken seriously. NOBODY takes the plot seriously - the entire cast knows how wierd this looks and continually seem to provide meta-comments to that effect. While this movie does drag in places, the cast is truly seems to be enjoying themselves, and in the process, they make Tank Girl enjoyable. I must confess - I’ve never seen the comic strip that Tank Girl is based off, but I can’t imagine it’s as zany as the the movie is. Again, this isn’t a great movie by any stretch, but it is pretty fun.

    ~See movies similar to this one~

    This post has been filed under Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, Dystopic Future Movies, 6 Star Movies, Good low-budget movies, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 - 1999 by SFAM.


    March 18, 2006

    Case said:

    Actually, believe it or not, the comic book is STRANGER. By far.

    DannyV_El_Acme said:

    Fun fact: Jamie Hewlett, the creator of Tank Girl, is now famous as the illustrator for internationally famous virtual band(and one of my favorite musical acts) Gorillaz. Pretty cool, huh?

    Case said:

    Ah, I did not know that…great “band,” too. I have both their albums, their remix album, and their DVD.

    March 24, 2006

    Stormtrooper of Death said:

    I like the scene where Tankgirl has sex with the kangaroo/men crossing thing. Thats quit amusing. I also have read the comics, and i love the movie.

    Nexyde said:

    Hard to believe Naomi Watts played Jet Girl in this then went on to be in The Ring and Peter Jackson’s King Kong.

    SFAM said:

    I agree - Naomi Watts in this movie is just totally strange. Fun though - she’s pretty good. :)

    DannyV_El_Acme said:

    Here’s a fun fact about Lori Petty, AKA Tank Girl: according to the IMDB she “was originally cast as the main actress in Demolition Man (1993), but there were problems, and Sandra Bullock was cast instead.” Rumors say that the casting director thought she looked too much like a “Butch bulldyke.” I swear I’m not making this up!

    HEY! Somebody review Demolition Man! Dumb movie, but dumb FUN movie!

    SFAM said:

    Unfortunatley, Demolition Man probably deserves to be in the cue.

    February 17, 2007

    David B. Taylor said:

    Damn Lori Petty’s hot.

    March 13, 2007

    Crystal said:

    tank girl wasnt really a big hit but i loved the movie. the movie was funny and just crazy and i love movies like that. the movies they put into theaters these days arent very good. i have saw alot of low budget movies that deserve to be put in theater but werent. i have to say tank girl is still one of my favorite movies. im no expert on movies although i have seen alot of them but i still think tank girl was one of the best movies i have saw but thats just my opinion.

    March 18, 2007

    Neurotica Divine said:

    Ugliest production / costume design ever. For one thing. And this, after such fabulous source material was already laid out. I loved the comics and thought Tank Girl was the hottest thing since scalding coffee… alas, the teeth were pulled from the comics by LA-Land again. The stories in the comics have a meandering nonsensical feel… whereas, Hollywood, once again, decided it must have some stupid simple narrative… and she must be a hero, blah, blah, blah… vs. a bad man blah blah blah… nothing to do with the tone of the comic book. I wouldn’t mind Lori Petty, I think, if all the stuff around her worked better. And how can Malcolm McDowell ever be faulted? And where was the grit?!… all wrong for me. Well, those are my vitriolic two cents.

    March 19, 2007

    InnateMalk said:

    McDowell always manages to play really evil bad guy characters, it’s just part of his persona. I grew up loving this film so I can’t really say much bad about it, I also loved the comics but I think it’s the comic and the film have the same relationship towards each other that the original Ghost in the Shell manga and movie had to each other.

    The population at large tend not to like complex and insane stories that bounce back and forward, which is why for GITS and Tank Girl they took the most profitable characteristics and just built with those. Tank Girl could have been made more gritty I agree, but it would have made even less of a splash (bad lack of water pun) than it did with the mass media. So in the end all it becomes is a fun movie that you can watch whenever you feel in need of a laugh.

    March 20, 2007

    SFAM said:

    Hi Neurotica Divine, I never got to see the comics. I’d like to though. and yeah, InnateMalk, McDowell has been typecast as the smarmy bad guy for a loooong time.

    Regarding the grittiness, Tank Girl was made more tongue and cheek than anything - I think if they had gone grittier, they might have been forced to try to make a serious movie. I don’t think the script was good enough to do that, not to mention the acting.

    March 21, 2007

    Ramiz said:

    The comic is strong and just PUNK. The movie is a pop-flick, easy to digest, lots of fun and less kick in the teeth. Didn’t like it.

    March 25, 2007

    Stormtrooper Of Death said:

    Tankgirl is hot as hell. I like the movie and the chick. DL-it some weeks ago, and enjoy it, even if it got bad critics and didn’t become a big box-office hit.

    And imagine, having sex with a mutant kangaroo, having to take a bath with 10 other people crammed in a bath-tub, thats not that bad, is it ?

    October 31, 2007

    mandy nelson said:


    November 17, 2007

    Jackie said:

    Lori Petty was just so freaking cute in this film. I also liked the kangaroo thing. Also, the person who played the cop/dog character was Ice-T. It’s funny, cause now he plays as a cop named Fin on Law & Order.

    January 4, 2008

    Danny said:

    the comic is way more absurd than the movie.

    March 14, 2008

    blah said:

    i remember this film from back in the day. wait a sec, wasn’t ice t in this

    March 19, 2008

    Synthoid said:

    Malcolm McDowell was the only reason I watched this film. Everything else about it was just painfully awful to me, I felt like that bloke from the beginning of the film who was forced to walk barefoot over those shards of broken glass.

    April 6, 2008

    chad said:

    she is gay

    chad said:

    she is gay and fat and stupid

    chad said:

    and a fucking bitch ass nigger and a cunt

    chad said:

    she has a dick not a pussy pussy i really luv ur moms pussy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    April 7, 2008

    someone said:


    April 15, 2008

    Basicmouth said:

    Recently had the twisted glee of watching this for a film writing class, and I’m doing the cyberpunk genre… my teenaged children watched it with me, and when it was over, they all looked at me, tipped their heads to the side like puppies and said, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT????” I never laughed so hard at so much insanity in one small space. I liked that no one took it seriously, they all had fun, and so we did too. It is a horrible movie, but horrible in a way you just can’t stop watching, because you are waiting to see exactly how bad it can get.

    September 11, 2008

    Jacktr2.1 said:

    If i had known Jaime Hewlett had a hand in this it would have made total sense to me.

    September 30, 2008

    Stormtrooper of Death said:

    Yeah, the chick from TankGirl rocks. Cool haircuts. PS: Did you know, that in each difrent scene in this movie, that she has a difrent haircut. Yep she has. Funny or not ? And yeah, the only movie i have ever seen where the main actor /chick has sex with a mutant kangaroo…. lol!!

    October 19, 2008

    frank said:

    that never happens? i just watched it…

    March 3, 2009

    yoha said:

    Ok this is one of my absolute favourites of all time. It is just brilliant on it’s theme! Can’t help not to love it, no matter how much I hear people talking how it’s such an awfull movie. For me, it’s not. It’s simply great. It’s not about well written plots and clever progression, high budget efects and believable scenarios. It is about wackiness, attitude, crazyness and the everliving inner child. It’s happy punk, light hearted street rascals, freedom, madness within anarchy, and pissing over the ideas of all conventionalism and socially accepted ways of being, with a quirky, cynical and laid back grinn on the face. It says; deal with whatever crap the life hits you with some humor and inner flame, and meanwhile; try not to go so much with the ever so tiresome masses - and have some fun.
    Not all that is punk needs to be grim, heavy and ill-fated for me to work, cause what is punk is more than just misery with a hardened skinn. Or maybe, I just don’t get what punk is. But I do get this movie.

    August 12, 2009

    crazy_oliv said:

    Well This movie sucks. Besides i’m a good customer, it even don’t worth to see it

    September 14, 2009

    comp. trash. said:

    Last night we started watching this movie. why? because my girlfriend loves the drawing art of Jamie Hewlett. Man was this movie a big dissapointment for her. While Jamie Hewlett is from England this movie is like an americanized wannabe version of Tank Girl. We Didn’t even watched the complete movie because we where so annoyed by the wannabe doing special actors.

    January 15, 2010

    Sky Captain said:

    She’s NOT a lesbian, though; she just likes short hair.

    February 27, 2010

    tankboy said:

    well in my personal theroy i believe the movie was spost to have a weak story. anyone that has read the books knows that theres not really a big story all through the books ya theres hints of a theme but no theme ever truly comes out of it thats part of the fun im sure the hollywood people throught that if they where going to make anymoney off of it there had to be a story line but because they didnt want to ruin the movie for all us real fans so the didnt lay the story 2 thick. they did a good job of what they where going to have to go up agianist. one last note anyone that has ever read a comic book and then watched the movie knows it will never come out the same so quit bitching

    April 1, 2010

    The Freakboi said:

    Being a fan of the comics, I didn’t like this movie. Tbh, though, I don’t know why they adapted it. Tank girl isn’t supposed to have a plot or character development or any of the hollywood shit. What its supposed to be is Tank Girl killing (often innocent) people, making very crude sex jokes and fucking an anthropomorphic kangaroo called Booga.

    August 11, 2011

    mongica said:

    i looooved the costumes! cmon. whats your sense of fashion? white robeS?

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