Awfully Good: Barb Wire
Barb Wire (1996)
Director: David Hogan
Stars: Pamela Anderson, Udo Kier, Temuera Morrison
Is there a plot?
Only Pamela Anderson can save the future world from a virulent new strain of Super AIDS!
Thank God, it wasn't hepatitis…
What's the damage?
BARB WIRE opens with literally 5 minutes of Pamela Anderson dancing on a stage, boobs hanging out, getting sprayed with water. While there’s nothing wrong with this from a heterosexual male standpoint (this was 1996 after all, back when Anderson didn't look like rich Corinthian pleather wrapped around a pile of melons), it sets the tone for the next 97 minutes—T&A before all else.
Though he lived steadfast by his motto "Everything is better with bacon," Lance soon discovered one reason why bacon underwear is never a good idea.
That’s really pretty much the entirety of BARB WIRE. It’s an hour and a half of bouncing boobies, bubble baths, see-through shades and the occasional gunfire, with the cracks loosely filled with a generic story, horrible acting, and low-rent action scenes. Based on the Dark Horse comic book of the same name, BARB WIRE is a transparently-veiled retelling of CASABLANCA, with the former Playmate in the Humphrey Bogart role. While that might explain the 1930s retro vibe of the future, it’s almost as if no one involved with the movie actually watched the original classic and instead compiled the entire thing just from IMDB summaries and pop culture references. It’s lazy, poorly done and worst of all fairly boring throughout, though there are a few spots of enjoyably unintentional humor and delightfully bizarre creations. (The electroshock orgasm torture chamber definitely counts as one.)
A screenshot from TERMINATOR V: THE MACHINES ARE COMING!
Anderson is exactly as you would expect her—a beacon of bad acting and awkward line readings that feel like a Saturday Night Live rehearsal. Her Barb Wire (real name Barbara Kopetski) is a part time bar owner, prostitute, and bounty hunter who really doesn’t like to be called “babe.” Two of those three professions are beyond Anderson’s skill sets as an actress and the result is sheer embarrassment. Seeing the blonde bimbo fighting a bad guy on top of a car on top of a forklift being held up in the air by a giant crane is almost as funny as seeing her deliver tough-girl dialogue. (And if you ever wanted to see the “Baywatch” star show off her acting skills in a serious war drama, you’re also in luck!) Even a supporting cast that includes such venerable B-movie talents as Clint Howard, Debo, Jango Fett and Udo Kier as Barb’s bald manservant can’t elevate this.
Craig took foot fetishes to a whole new level.
Oh, also, that opening bit is pretty much the only actual nudity in the film. In case you were looking for some sort of light at the end of the STD tunnel.
Wes Anderson left Ruben out because…well, because he was fat.
You get a crappy pun AND Barb's signature line: "Don't call me Babe."
1) A look at the film's climactic action scene. How exactly does picking up Barb Wire with a crane and holding her hundreds of feet above the ground help her in this situation?
2) In which Pamela Anderson's dog bites a man's penis.
3) Ever wanted to see what a serious war movie starring Pamela Anderson would be like? Get a taste of the sad right here.
There's four more minutes from where this came from. Yay? (NSFW)
Play Along at Home!
Take a shot or drink every time:
- Someone calls Barb Wire "babe"
- There's a pun
- Someone picks on a blind guy
- There's an abrupt cut to black
- Barb breaks a nail
Double shot if:
- A girl gets her private parts electrocuted
Thanks to Cary and Doug for suggesting this week's movie!
Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email and give him an excuse to drink.