Summary: From the future traveled a master race of
cyborgs. They made abductions from Earth's past. The
dinosaurs were trained as trackers. The humans were bred as
slaves. Now a unaway slave escapes to a place his people
call heaven... we know it as Earth.
At least this is what the filmmakers
claim at the beginning of Future War. I
figure if anyone knows what their movie's about, it would be
the filmmakers, and that's good enough for me. "Runaway" is
a human bred by cyborgs and played by Daniel Bernhardt, a
B-squad Jean-Claude Van Damme. Runaway escapes his captors
aboard a high orbiting spaceship, and drifts ashore to a
beach in southern California. As he wanders the mean streets
of Orange County, he gets struck by a car driven by a
noviate nun who is also a former hooker and drug dealer.
Sister Anne takes the injured Runaway to her former half-way
house, which is manned by the very large men who helped her
quit dopin' and whorin'.
Meanwhile, killer dinosaurs from the future are
tracking down Runaway. The dinosaurs are actually dinosaur
puppets shot in forced perspective, creating the illusion of
somewhat larger forced perspective dinosaur puppets. These
dinosaurs are also fitted with special collars which cause
the dinosaurs to explode and disintegrate if they are
harmed. The reason for this isn't clear, but I'm sure the
filmmakers knew what they were doing.
Sister Anne helps Runaway elude the tracker dinosaurs. While
they run from redressed parking ramp set to redressed
parking ramp set, the two form a special bond. While Sister
Anne is questioning her faith and her purpose in life,
Runaway quotes the Bible to her which really gets her where
she lives. Sister Anne has a flashback while she looks at a
scrapbook which contains photos of her when she was a
streetwalker. I can only guess that her prostitute
co-workers were very sentimental and gave her the scrapbook
at her good-bye party at Applebee's.
While dinosaurs are after Runaway and Sister Bland, their
cyborg masters are after them; and a brusque, poofy-haired
police detective is after all of them. The detective jails
Runaway and in his cell, Runaway practices Tae Bo and has
flashbacks to parts of the movie we've just seen.
Then Sister Innocuous meets with gang members she used to
hang with and asks for their help. They ask why, and when
she says very seriously "monsters in the hood," they don't
laugh or beat her up. Runaway escapes and battles Cyborg
Master Robert "Bob" Z'Dar and they kickbox the hell out of
each other. (There was a fight consultant in this movie so
I'm sure the filmmakers knew what they were doing.) Runaway
then meets up with Sister Non-threatening and the gang, and
they all go after the dinosaur monsters, who, Runaway
informs them, tend to gather near water. The group goes to
the reservoir and sets a bomb near the entrance. The group
circles the catacombs of the reservoir...and they
circle...and circle....and circle...and circle some
more...and circle... Finally they find the dinosaurs and set
off the bomb, killing them all. (The dinosaurs, I mean.
Unfortunately, the group just barely escapes unscathed.)
If the movie led you to believe that Runaway had killed
Master Cyborg, hang on. In the last of many denouements,
Sister Average is pledging her final vows on the parking
ramp cum chapel set. Suddenly Master Cyborg Robert "Chip"
Z'Dar comes crashing through the stained glass window, and
in a rare scene without background boxes, Cyborg and Runaway
fight some more. Runaway's shirt accidentally falls off him
and although topless, he is able to give Robert "Bud" Z'Dar
a good licking. Runaway and Sister Anne then become
counselors at the halfway house, which Sister Anne also has
a scrapbook of. The filmmakers knew what they were doing, I
Prologue: Using a computer spreadsheet program and Diane
Feinstein as a baseline, Crow tries to calculate if Gypsy is
once, twice, three times a lady. Gypsy is disappointed that
she is only 2.7 times a lady; turns out Mike is eight times
One: Pearl is conducting LSD
tests on the robots and monitors their hallucinations. To
augment the effect, Bobo and Brain Guy have formed an acid
rock band called Narcotic Casserole. Servo has his usual
delirium; Crow has a harrowing experience in which he sees a
Mike eating a Snickers candy bar, not a Milky Way. Crow is
also somewhat surprised to learn that Mike is not a clown.
Segment Two: Tom has made some lumpy, leaden legs for
himself and desperately wants to kick-box someone. He
challenges Gypsy to a fight, but Gypsy has a singular,
misshapen leg of her own and instantly takes out Servo.
Segment Three: Mike, Crow and Servo realize they've never
really thanked Pearl for not killing them. They take a
moment to thank Pearl, interuppting her attempt to kill
Segment Four: Crow is Droppy, The Water Droplet, an emissary
from the National Water Council, who has come to share just
a few thousand of the many uses for water.
Segment Five: Mike has a giant Robert Z'Dar-esque chin.
Servo and Crow chide him for insulting the many people with
giant prosthetic chins. Down in the castle, Bobo and Brain
Guy inform Pearl that Narcotic Casserole is leaving to tour
with Moby Grape. Pearl gives them each exploding tracking
collars. You can guess the rest.
Stinger: Robert Z'Dar and Daniel Bernhardt kick-box and
Bernhardt's shirt somehow slips off.
Reflections: There's a moment in this movie which is kind
of heartbreaking. There's a brief scene where a television
news reporter is doing a live remote stand- up. His
cameraman is using a pretend card-board camera; its a
taped-up box with a lens apparatus taped to it. That made us
Not since Change of
Habit has a single film
reawakened my dream of someday becoming a nun. I think that
every Catholic girl entertains notions of nundom at least
once in her life, even if its only during a commercial
break. I considered it a couple of times when I was in
second grade, probably because Sister Ann Patrick, my
teacher at the time, seemed so darn cool. She could play
that "Dominique-nique-nique" song on the guitar. Then I saw
Lilies of the
Valley: There was glamorous
nunhood depicted on the big screen but then there was also
Sidney Poitier and he was just so darn...well...grrrrrrrrr!
The nun thing never really panned out for me.
When we wrote this last fall, we had no way of knowing that
the Sci Fi Channel wouldn't renew MST3K come March. We
quipped away in blissful naivete. We wrapped production on
April 9, and just as I find myself at a career crossroads, I
happen to watch Future
War over the weekend. And
there's that nun lady in Future
War. Maybe someone's trying to
tell me something... -- Mary Jo Pehl.