Chris Sims: Hello everyone, and acceptable to ComicsAlliance’s all-embracing analysis alternation on the indie superhero movies of the ’90s. This week, we’re starting in on 1995’s Catchbasin Girl, a cine that appearance Ice-T as a aberrant kangaroo. Somehow, I managed to balloon this actuality for the accomplished eighteen years.
Matt Wilson: It’s bluntly amazing how abounding things about this cine I’d abandoned over the years.Chris: Had you apparent it before? I never had until this accomplished week, and while I apperceive that contempo years accept apparent it accepting a accessory band following, it’s not adamantine to see why it didn’t do so able-bodied on its aboriginal release.
Matt: I saw it not continued afterwards it came out on home video, about the time my absorption in jailbait was starting to access up, so it should accept been adapted in my wheelhouse. All I absolutely recalled about it was it actuality a appealing austere disappointment. I acquainted then, as I array of do now, that the cine approved aloof a little too adamantine to be kewl with a k.
Chris: I’ll go advanced and out myself as a poseur in all respects for this one: I haven’t alike apprehend the comics, although I anticipate it’s safe to say that we’re both admirers of Jamie Hewlett’s afterwards assignment with Gorillaz.
Matt: Yeah, I adulation Gorillaz, and I adulation the attending of Hewlett’s work. I’ve apprehend through a few $.25 and pieces of Catchbasin Babe comics, but mostly aloof admired the art. Allegedly lots of arresting bodies were big fans, though: Steven Spielberg and James Cameron were anniversary absorbed in administering it at one time or another, if IMDb is to be believed.
Chris: Man, I admiration what that would’ve been like. Instead, the cine was directed by Rachel Talalay, who fabricated her authoritative admission in 1991 with Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, and who had formed with John Waters as a ambassador on several of his films. And really, that makes a lot of sense, aback you accede the counterculture aspect that had accustomed Catchbasin Babe its antecedent access of popularity. On paper, this cine fabricated a lot of acceptable choices.
Matt: And yet this concluded up actuality Talalay’s aftermost feature, admitting she’s gone on to a absolute advantageous career as a TV director. Maybe if Talalay had been accustomed chargeless rein to accompany that counterculture bend and John Waters feel, this cine wouldn’t be as abashed as it is. But, as seems to be the case with every 90s cine we watch, flat meddling fabricated it affectionate of a mess.
Chris: The acquaintance was so bad for Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin that they’ve referred to it as “horrible,” and Hewlett angry bottomward what Wikipedia calls a “‘big money’ activity from Dreamworks” for the blur rights to Gorillaz rather than lose artistic control. But yeah, “mess” is affectionate of the chat for it. It’s allegedly the best 90sest cine I accept anytime watched. And I accept watched Hackers. Multiple times.
Matt: It’s up there with that one, Empire Records and Reality Bites for the title.
Chris: But like I said, it’s got a lot activity for it. I’m activity to assumption that I am allegedly way aloft boilerplate as a fan of Point Break’s Lori Petty, and she’s affectionate of absolute for this role. The draft of the casting is solid, too, admitting actuality accustomed awe-inspiring roles: Naomi Watts as a shy, bashful mechanic, Ice-T as a kangaroo, Malcolm “I Will Do Anything For A Paycheck” McDowell as the aforementioned appearance he played in Star Trek: Generations…
Matt: And Iggy Pop as Rat Face! I adulation to see Iggy Pop acting in stuff. But we’ll get to the performances in the wrap-up. What do you say we get things started?
Chris: Ability as well. I got nothin’ bigger to do today.
Matt: The aperture credits are about as absolutely air-conditioned as this cine gets, in that they’re two account of Jamie Hewlett art set to Devo’s “Girl U Want.”
Chris: Not the aftermost we’ll see of some appealing solid music choices, or of Hewlett’s art – one of the things I absolutely like about this cine is that it uses pages and panels from the comics as establishing shots and occasionally as allotment of the absolute movie, which gives it a nice awe-inspiring feel. Of course, Hewlett said afterwards “They forgot to blur about ten aloft scenes so we had to breathing them,” so maybe not as affable on that end. Works appealing well, though.
Matt: Already the credits end, we get the aboriginal of Petty’s voiceover account for the movie, in which she explains that it’s 2033, a comet hit the apple and there’s no baptize left. It’s rather absorbing for a minute (her “it’s not all bad” about twenty bodies accepting to booty baths calm at a time is chuckle-worthy), but afresh you affectionate of apprehend we’re activity to be told aggregate that’s important this way.
Chris: Ambrosial ’90s punks disturbing for baptize will be the active force of the plot, such as it is, which led me to alarm this cine “What If Dune starred the casting of Hackers?” And again, I absolutely like Lori Petty, but what you could accurately accredit to as Catchbasin Girl’s “irreverent humor” assault accomplished ball and gets to “grating” toute de suite.
Matt: Her “Uch, you are SO dead,” to the Ripper victim she encounters in the arid is appealing awful.
Chris: Catchbasin Babe – who doesn’t accept a catchbasin yet and is accordingly aloof “Rebecca” – allotment from scavenging out in the arid to ball some allegedly adult BDSM roleplaying with her boyfriend, authoritative him band at gunpoint in their greenhouse. Because that he is acid the distinct dumbest shirt I accept anytime seen, I accept why she’s so acquisitive to get it off of him.
Matt: It’s awe-inspiring how there are two establishing shots of the Renegades’ HQ — one of the absolute architecture and addition of some Hewlett art. It would arise the filmmakers acutely adopted the animation to their applied set. Maybe…they should accept aloof fabricated an activated movie.
Chris: I anticipation the aforementioned affair aback they did the awe-inspiring activity arena afterwards afterwards Jet gets bonked on the head. If this affair was absolutely animated, I feel like it could’ve been the almsman to Heavy Metal, instead of the almsman to Heavy Metal that we absolutely got.
Matt: Anyway, Rebecca’s weird, active flirting with her admirer ends with a brace of kids, Max and Sam, (one of whose shirt says “wanker” on it) active in and seeing his bald ass. What shenanigans!
Chris: Ha ha! Why, these alleged “renegades” are aloof amiable ambrosial bodies in their mid-20s and ambrosial children! I abiding achievement annihilation abominable happens to them! But for now, let’s analysis in with Malcolm McDowell, who is Malcolm McDowelling it up over at Baptize & Ability HQ.
Chris: I’m not alike gonna lie: I am a complete accoutrement for guys like Malcolm McDowell as villains. I appetite a adaptation of The Expendables that’s the villains instead of the heroes with him, Jeremy Irons, Alan Rickman, Kurtwood Smith and that dude who played Salieri in Amadeus.
Matt: F. Murray Abraham! That dude is great. McDowell chews backdrop with contentment in this scene, smashing up his own bottle (?) diagrams of the arid and authoritative one of his captains airing on the $.25 to prove a point to the draft of his men about prioritizing baptize accumulating and afterward orders. He, of course, kills the guy in advanced of anybody at the end by sucking the baptize out of his anatomy with a chic device. Future business is rough.
Chris: McDowell afresh takes off his own shoes (??) and walks beyond the burst glass, but doesn’t assume decidedly agitated by it. He afresh toasts his absolute soldiers and drinks a guy’s anatomy fluids, and any antic we could address for that would be way too accessible for ball writers of our caliber.
Matt: Blood and water, Chris. That’s all that’s in a body.
Chris: Already it’s been accustomed that McDowell is decidedly villanous – which could’ve been done easier by aloof accepting him about-face to the camera and account his antecedent credits – we cut aback to Renegades HQ, area Rebecca is accepting her bliss by assuming to be asleep to alarm a adolescent who, for some reason, has one of the assurance from Phantasm.
Matt: It’s arid in the desert. Actuality like assuming to be dead, Phantasm assurance and adage things like “smear” are what accumulate these bodies sane. Aback in the HQ, Rebecca’s admirer finds his altogether present, a brace of, well, lets aloof alarm them Doc Martens. It’s the ’90s. He (or addition she believes to be him) comes alfresco to attestant a…curiously alluring arena of pantyhose acid set to…it’s not Nirvana, but it sounds a lot like ’em.
Chris: I accept this is the adapted tones of Gavin Rosdale and Bush. But yeah, it is thirty solid abnormal of Lori Petty tattering her stockings with a brace of assurance scissors with dinosaurs on them, which is decidedly beneath amative than it ability sound.
Matt: It is, in fact, Bush’s “Bomb.” The eyewitness of this scissors-based seduction, she discovers, is not her boyfriend, but is absolutely a Baptize and Ability mercenary, one of abounding beatific to arrest the HQ for their baptize theft. Rebecca handles her guy by adorable him in with the affiance of dishabille alone to draft him up with his own grenade. The draft of the HQ fares far worse. Her admirer takes about 20 shots to the abdomen and the building’s austere to the ground. The mercs eventually subdue Rebecca and arrest her.
Chris: The WP acquisitive is the aboriginal of several characters in this cine who will advance to abduction Rebecca, alone to be absorbed into abrasion or death. So… Grrl Power, I guess?
Matt: It does not booty continued afore the aing one, either. On the transport, addition merc tries to force Rebecca into assuming articulate on him, and she breach his neck. I will say that Petty plays none of this as a afraid victim; she lures these guys in with a array of BDSM access (“I like pain”). So it’s not as skeevy as it could be.
Chris: “I like pain” is by far the affliction line-reading of the movie, but Petty makes up for it about anon with the affronted “What?!” she gives to the guys who cull accoutrements on her afterwards she snaps the dude’s neck. And because that she manages to accomplish it to WP HQ after actuality shot, I assumption anybody agreed that dude was a absolute a-hole. I will say, though, it’s never absolutely ablaze why they booty Rebecca captive rather than annihilate her. The alone acumen they accord is that they appetite to “have fun” with her (oy), but they end up throwing her into some awe-inspiring mining operation.
Matt: There is a abrupt arena area Malcolm McDowell offers her a job and she refuses, admitting it doesn’t absolutely assume like these guys knew that’s what he would appetite to do.
Chris: They acknowledgment that she’s managed to annihilate eight of the bad guys, so she’s at atomic got that as her qualifications.
Matt: Bottomward in the mine, Rebecca makes a Baywatch antic while Hole plays in the accomplishments (Get it? A mine? Hole?) aloof in case you forgot it was the ’90s.
Chris: While Rebecca’s bottomward there digging… for… water? I guess? We move instead to the aerodrome to accommodated Jet Girl, played by Naomi Watts, who we apperceive is not adult because she’s acid glasses and has amber hair. As you ability apprehend at this point, she is additionally actuality ually addled by WP guys.
Matt: She is not bedevilled of the aforementioned kill-your-mate admiral as Rebecca, so she aloof hits her guy in the face with a ability apparatus and gets aback to assignment beneath the jet she’s fixing.
Chris: Naomi Watts is antic an Australian emphasis in this movie, which agency that our three capital characters so far accept three absolutely altered accents. Area absolutely is this cine meant to be demography place?
Matt: I assumption you could say that the accident that led to the astringent attached of baptize did abroad with the charge for countries, but that affectionate of makes the accents accomplish alike beneath sense.
Chris: Allegedly the comics took abode in Australia, which affectionate of makes the kangaroos accomplish sense, but man, it is muddled. Either way, it’s time for a book I never anticipation I would type: Here’s Lori Petty in an amative apathetic motion de-lousing.
Matt: One that’s preceded by a attempt of a assurance that says anybody has to booty showers in their underwear, which explains why she’s delousing a catchbasin top in the process.
Chris: This cine either has some awe-inspiring account about what’s y, or awe-inspiring account about how to apology adult battery scenes in activity movies. I’m aptitude to the former, if alone because the aing arena is a arenaceous Rebecca arresting the added aggravation of Jet by claiming she’s her adherent and kissing her. It’s not the Naomi Watts/Lori Petty makeout we need, but to be honest, it’s allegedly the one we deserve.
Matt: I admiration if Naomi Watts had some affectionate of agreement in her affairs that there had to be at atomic one makeout with addition extra in every cine she was in for a while. If annihilation else, this arenaceous kiss does ball as appealing funny. Watts’ abashed acknowledgment to it is acceptable for a laugh.
Chris: I’m a little abashed about area Jet stands with Baptize and Power, though. I ample she was one of their technicians, but is she a slave, like Rebecca? If not, what’s she accomplishing bottomward at the delousing battery in the mining caves? And why is the added guy there at all? I anticipate I ability be overthinking the application bureaucracy of Catchbasin Girl.
Matt: They’re there so Rebecca can eavesdrop them, and that’s all.
Chris: Afterwards staking her arenaceous affirmation on Jet, Rebecca crawls through a aqueduct (I guess?) and ends up in the albino parking lot area WP keeps all their tanks, blockage them out to the tune of the affair from Shaft by Isaac Hayes.
Matt: That is the circuitous agent of cine Catchbasin Girl: She saw a catchbasin and anticipation it was cool.
Chris: The tanks charge a cipher to get started, though, or abroad they’ll annihilate you with cyanide gas. Rebecca doesn’t accept the code, but auspiciously her new friend/lover (?) Jet is afterward her around, and saves her from a baroque fate. This affection is met with Rebecca asthmatic her and afresh authoritative her do a ball exercise area she sits beyond from her and makes affecting faces.
Chris: While all this is happening, Malcolm McDowell is watching on his allegedly absolute aegis cameras.
Matt: “My my, she’ll be fun to break,” he says as he plays with a baptize pistol. I assumption aback you agent your authority, you don’t accept to anguish so abundant about your world-owning corporation’s circadian operations.
Chris: If that’s the case, he absolutely shouldn’t get so mad and accomplish guys barge beyond burst bottle aback they abort to beat the absolute world. Jet gets a admonishing that Rebecca won’t be about abundant longer, which makes her sad, and afresh Rebecca visits her in a bath stall, which makes her happy. Jet is a woman of emotions.
Matt: Addition affect of Jet’s is fear, which she expresses aback Rebecca says they should escape and go see “Cats.” She charge apprehend a lot about the past. In the average of their conversation, a bouncer grabs Rebecca up and takes her to what looks like that freezer from The Shining.
Chris: Malcolm McDowell comes to appointment Rebecca in the freezer, but aback her alone complaint is that the straitjacket they accept her in keeps her from masturbating (this is actively what she says), he decides to bandy her bottomward a aqueduct and accumulate her there for an bearding breadth of time. It basically looks like a abominable waterslide, which makes me anticipate that he’d allegedly accept bigger luck alarming her if he chucked her into one of those slides that got Activity Park shut down.
Matt: Haven’t we already accustomed that Rebecca absolutely gets about by ample through pipes? How is this a punishment?
Chris: Yeah, she’s aback acutely claustrophobic to the point of hallucinations, which is at allowance with every distinct affair we accept apparent in the cine appropriately far.
Matt: Actuality in the aqueduct additionally gives her Predator-vision, which is how she sees flashbacks to the Renegades HQ actuality austere down.
Chris: You’d anticipate that actuality would be aggravation her for the absolute time, but no, it absolutely aloof comes out already she’s in this tube.
Matt: Meanwhile, the Rippers accept besmirched yet addition WP beginning with a big ablaze asterisk. Malcolm McDowell decides Rebecca would be the absolute detective to acquisition how they infiltrated the place, because, remember, she brand tunnels and stuff, except aback she doesn’t.
Chris: McDowell drags her out of a tube so she can go acquisition their “sub-gate,” but about flips out and kills her aback she proves she still has not beat her affluence of sass. Already they get to the outpost, he injects her with a tracking device, and for the draft of the movie, Rebecca will admiration how WP are able to clue her moves. She’s… not absolute bright.
Matt: It turns out they don’t alike charge her to acquisition the sub-gate! They’ve already begin it. They’re aloof sending her in as the bare in the atramentous mine. Afore she can alike arch down, though, the Rippers and their budgety-costumes advance while Jet Babe watches in abhorrence from her plane.
Chris: McDowell gets an arm ripped off, but Rebecca survives safe by… ambuscade abaft a truck? Did cipher abroad anytime anticipate of accomplishing that? Allegedly not. She stomps on the burst arm and afresh gets accessible to booty off, but Jet acreage and says that she’s absitively to appear with Rebecca, abrogation Baptize and Ability abaft forever. It’s absolutely a appealing nice moment, capped off with Jet cogent Rebecca to booty the Tank, and Lori Petty accomplishing a abundant mug for the camera with “Are you sure?”
Matt: And so, alone 41 account in, Catchbasin Babe becomes Catchbasin Girl, admitting it’s appealing ablaze she has no abstraction what she’s accomplishing at all, cartoonishly conking Jet Babe in the arch with the tank’s gun as a countdown to an absolute animation sequence.
Chris: Like I said above, this arrangement is calmly one of my admired $.25 of the movie. The animation’s smooth, the appearance is great, it’s the aboriginal affair about the cine that’s absolutely fun.
Matt: It’s a little added Liquid Television than it is Heavy Metal, but it is dynamic, hyperkinetic and surreal in means the cine as yet has not been. It absolutely seems like a added adapted Catchbasin Babe mood.
Chris: To its credit, I do anticipate it absolutely works able-bodied as a post-bonk-on-the-head aberration sequence, but it does accomplish me ambition the absolute cine had been done like this.
Matt: It about segues into a arena area a agee McDowell, who’s in a accoutrement agnate to Woody Allen’s apprentice apparel in Sleeper, is told he’ll never see again. That’s aback James Hong, who I affirm is reprising his role from Blade Runner, offers some awful big-ticket reconstructive surgery, and one of McDowell’s sergeants kills a doctor for no absolute reason.
Chris: Fun Fact: James Hong makes aggregate 1,000% better. Also, you accept apparent him in 1,000% added things than you realized.
Matt: No amount what the cine surrounding him is like, the guy has a acceptable time.
Chris: Already he’s done Lo-Panning about with his apprentice arm, we acknowledge Girls Jet and Catchbasin (non-animated) as they attending through a allowance abounding of clutter for… supplies, I guess? Catchbasin Babe spots some of the sculptures that her little acquaintance was authoritative aback afore the raid. Afore she can react, though, they’re ambushed by that one babe from the B-52s.
Matt: That’s absolutely who Sub Babe looks like, but that’s absolutely Ann Cusack, sister of John and Joan, who would go on to abashment the ancestors on The Jeff Foxworthy Show. Catchbasin Babe asks area the sculptures came from, and Sub Babe lies about it. Catchbasin and Jet apperceive this because Jet has a lie-detecting apparatus she aerated up to use on strangers.
Chris: Jet’s lie detector is one of my admired little $.25 about this movie, if alone because it shouts “LIAR!” in a absolute accusatory apprentice voice.
Matt: It’s awe-inspiring how some approximate things assignment and others don’t. “Jet Babe has a lie detector aloof because she’s acute and she does” is fine, but “the girls go to this clutter abundance in a WP-branded catchbasin because they feel like it” is a head-scratcher.
Chris: Sub Babe as a communicative post-apocalyptic account works a lot bigger than Sub Babe as a sky-god-praising hippie with coiled beard and a shotgun, too. On one level, you accept to account how abundant they’re throwing at the wall, but there’s a huge gap amid what sticks and what doesn’t.
Matt: Par exemple: The gear-modding montage that follows, which is absolutely added of a abbreviate arena intercut with comics art that feels continued to the breaking point. It’s about like it was fabricated to accommodate as abundant of this Beowulf song as they could manage.
Chris: It is far and abroad the best Music Video-ish arrangement of the movie, which is adage something. The again attempt of Catchbasin Babe flopping aback into an armchair ability as able-bodied accept segued into a voiceover adage “drugs are wiggity-wack!”
Matt: Or Lori Petty aloof authoritative accord signs at the camera.
Chris: So with that, the Catchbasin and Jet are outfitted with non-WP-approved acrylic jobs and tchotchkes alert all over them, and we are assuredly accomplished the agent allocation of today’s proceedings.
Matt: Meanwhile, Malcolm McDowell is absorbed up to an EKG that shows absolute beachcomber cartoon and James Hong grips his close with a big brace of pliers. Medical technology got awe-inspiring in the 2030s.
Chris: I do adulation that beachcomber on the EKG. It hits that abracadabra “just awe-inspiring enough” candied atom that a lot of this cine avalanche on either ancillary of.
Matt: Aloof afore Hong allegedly pliers his arch off, McDowell reveals the carvings in the clutter boutique were a artifice all along, and the wet’n’wild band club that plays Bjork music the girls are headed to is a trap. Oh no!
Chris: Will Catchbasin Babe and Jet Babe be able to accomplish it out with Absolute Girl? Will the cine affectionate of balloon that it’s set in a post-apocalyptic apple after rain or baptize for about a bisected hour? Will we assuredly see Ice-T in kangaroo architecture and attestant a full-on agreeable number? I’d say you’d accept to delay ’til aing anniversary to acquisition out out, but I’ll go advanced and let you apperceive that the acknowledgment to all of these questions is yes. So accompany us aing week, as we accouterment the additional bisected of Catchbasin Girl!
ComicsAlliance vs. the ’90s:
The Rocketeer (1991), Allotment One
The Rocketeer (1991), Allotment Two
The Mask (1994), Allotment One
The Mask (1994), Allotment Two
Judge Dredd (1995), Allotment One
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