(Today’s guest contributor is the amazing Sarah Kennedy -Ed.)
Tank Girl is a wild ride of a movie. If you’ve ever tried to explain the plot to someone else there’s no doubt that you’ve run into difficulties. Massive drought! Kangaroo men! Lori Petty!
IMDB sums up the 1995 film, based on a popular comic book series, the best: “After a comet disrupts the rain cycle of Earth, the planet has become a desolate, barren desert by the year 2033. With resources scarce, Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell) — head of the powerful and evil Water & Power Corporation, the de facto government — has taken control of the water supply. Unwilling to cower under Kesslee’s tyrannical rule, a pair of outlaws known as Tank Girl (Lori Petty) and Jet Girl (Naomi Watts) rise up, joining the mysterious rebel Rippers to destroy the corrupt system.”
Twenty-four years ago, 2033 seemed like the far off future but now in 2019 we are exactly as many years away from it (14 years) as the age the editor of this website was when he saw the movie! It’s worth it to take a deeper look at the predictions the movie makes about the future and heed the warning!
In the year 2033:
One company is a full-on monopoly after capitalizing on a devastating disaster
Water & Power, as Rebecca (Tank Girl’s real name) says in the movie, controls most of the water and they’ve got all the power. This all comes after a comet barrels into the earth. While in 2019 we can’t predict when and if a comet wants to come our way, it’s pretty easy to see massive changes to our environment happening all around us and the way companies and governments ignore, distract from, or exploit this reality.
People shower in dust
With water so scarce, humanity had to get creative with how they kept themselves clean. Sure, the rich and powerful still have access to all the water in the world, but for everyone else? It’s dust time, baby! Full chinchilla realness.
Pets are outlawed
Hug your puppies and kitties close because, according to the movie, they are not long for this world. In the first act of Tank Girl, Rebecca watches her yak get shot by a Water & Power guard. “Don’t you know you shouldn’t own animals?” he says cruelly, and in an inexplicable Australian accent, “There’s a water shortage.”
CATS is back on Broadway!
During a short scene where Rebecca tries to goof around with Jet Girl while imprisoned, Rebecca quips, “What do you reckon? We go to New York, see CATS.” This bodes well for the upcoming CATS film, starring Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, and Taylor Swift. It does not bode well for anybody else in the future. In fact, just this tiny prediction that CATS makes a return to Broadway paints 2033 as even more dystopian than we originally believed. CATS is a bad musical.
For-profit prisons are alive and well
Netflix’s Orange is The New Black ends their series run this season after years and years of showing us the horrors of what happens in American prisons. Apparently, none of this is remembered 14 years from now. Once Water & Power comes to rule over the land in Tank Girl, they imprison people and force them to work for the company in multiple locations across the land — including in the popular-yet-creepy gentleman’s club, Liquid Silver. Which, while we’re talking about Liquid Silver we should *also* mention that…
Child sex trafficking is out in the open
Liquid Silver seems to cater to the desires of their clientele, no matter how sick and messed up. This includes children. Luckily, everyone — and that includes punk singer, Iggy Pop in a wild cameo– involved in this nightmare situation gets their comeuppance. Iggy gets a danger ball ripped through his hand, The Madam is publically ridiculed and basically scalped, while everyone else is subjected to a full-scale musical number. It’s no CATS, but it’s also not very good. That’ll show those sickos.
The resistance is made up of Kangaroo People
One of the weirder parts of the Tank Girl Cinematic Universe™ is the existence of the Rippers, a species of super-soldiers created for the army by the scientist, Dr. Johnny Profit, out of a combo of human and kangaroo DNA. Once the army had no more need for the super soldiers, Profit was ordered to kill them off but instead he hid them underground for years where they would only pop up occasionally to fight against Water & Power. They’re reincarnated people! One was a dog! One is Ice-T! They’re anti-gun! This is what the ANTIFA of tomorrow will look like. Everyone get on board!
Thin eyebrows come back in a big way
Even though Rebecca’s haircut and color varies wildly from scene to scene, she rocks a very Gwen-Stefani-bordering-on-Amanda-Palmer thin brow throughout the whole film. We can only assume by this that, while water is scarce, tweezers are plentiful.
The whole world looks like White Sands
‘Cause it was filmed at the White Sands national park in New Mexico! Just imagine all the discarded ET Atari cartridges they were standing on every day. In 2033, the ground is dusty white sand on top of failed video games.
The tunes are rockin’
No discussion of Tank Girl is complete without mentioning the soundtrack, curated with expert skill by Courtney Love. I like to watch the movie and imagine that the 90s bangerz (and Cole Porter!) showcased throughout are actually the only remaining relics of popular music still around. Everyone in 2033 listens to Bjork!