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Forgotten Classic: Barb Wire


I'd like to find the executive that said "Let's remake Casablanca, but set it in 2017 in a strip club with Pamela Anderson starring" just to shake his hand. Barb Wire is a gift to fans of trashy cinema like myself, so trashy that you may need pressure washed after watching it. Of course, I love Casablanca, it's one of cinemas all time greats and I'm sure that many fans of it would look at Barb Wire with sheer disgust. However, this Pamela Anderson star-vehicle is best enjoyed for the sleazy mess that it is and of course, not to be taken too seriously. 

Set in 2017, during an American civil war, Barb Wire follows a sexy freedom fighter/ strip club owner, Barb, who meets an old flame. She's soon persuaded to help smuggle a scientist across the country, in order to help expose a Government cover-up. Although, none of this particularly matters, does it?

The main joy for me comes from Pamela Anderson's (Or Pamela Anderson-Lee at the time) performance - she's working the sexy Baywatch persona to the sheer maximum here, leading to some excruciatingly embarrassing line delivery and the horrendous catchphrase 'Don't call me Babe!'As many other critics have stated, she doesn't even manage it in a silly or camp manner but that doesn't mean it is not fun watching her try. I like Pamela Anderson and think she gets a bad rep - there are moments in Barb Wire when she does well and can completely hold the viewer. She's clearly willing to do anything in the name of 'art'  (yes I did just class this film as an art) and that includes the film's opening titles where she's hosed down in a strip joint. 

Although, Barb Wire is generally slated, it's hard to deny that it's got the cyberpunk themes done well and the futuristic world created is somewhat akin to Blade Runner and Escape from New York/ L.A. There's somewhat stylish and underplayed direction from David Hogan, making the action sequences feel more like a music video than film, which in my adds to the tacky value (it's slightly similar to the style used by Pitof in the genre-defining Catwoman). Barb Wire also has some amusing turns from Udo Kier and Xander Berkley, whom are both entertaining  to watch alongside Pammy and are clearly not taking the whole thing very seriously.
 
Barb Wire is not trying to be Casablanca, both Pamela Anderson and David Hogan know that this is not groundbreaking cinema, but for a mindless trashy watch, I'd recommend it. 


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