Every week, I scour Netflix for a movie rated at one star and put it in my queue, suffering through it for your entertainment so that you don’t have to. In the past, I’ve taken on anime cancer demons, softcore Iraq War porn and racist ventriloquism, and this week, Mad Max meets Bettie Page, and it’s somehow not awesome.
Superstarlet A.D. (2000)
Starring: The utter terror of Ed Wood’s vision for the future being realized.
Every good movie starts with a filmmaker asking a question: “What if a lone cop had to fight terrorists in a skyscraper?” “What would a Raymond Chandler story look like if it starred an aging burnout in 1991?” “What if we created a new martial art that combined the skill of gymnastics with the kill of karate?” Each of these is the foundation to a work of cinematic genius.
Unfortunately, the makers of Superstarlet A.D. asked a question too, and from what I can tell from watching it, theirs was “What if we made a movie out of a SuicideGirl’s dream journal?”
It works out about as well as you’d expect.
Superstarlet A.D. is a movie about burlesque dancers roaming across a post-apocalyptic landscape with stockings, garter belts and machine guns that they use to fight cavemen, and while you’d think that would make it the single greatest movie ever made, it is definitely not. And yet, unlike most terrible movies, it’s not because they trying to make something better and couldn’t succeed. This movie is pretty much exactly the way the filmmakers intended.
The whole thing’s meant to be a tribute to burlesque and sexploitation films, heavily skewed towards Russ Meyer — the gang of evil brunettes are named after Tura Satana, the star of Meyer’s (in)famous Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! — which means that means that they’re trying really, really hard to have absolutely terrible acting and a plot that makes little to no sense. When you’re shooting for the Coen Brothers and you don’t measure up, you might still make an enjoyable film; when you’re shooting for Ed Wood, terrible is the best case scenario.
They do nail the aesthetic, though: The acting’s so terrible that you will believe you’re watching a lost Roger Corman picture, right up to one of the main characters having an accent so over-the-top that I honestly can’t tell if it’s genuine or a reference. I do know, however, that her delivery of the line “to pit the blounds bick in thar plays?” is hilarious.
As for the guys, well…
Sixty extra pounds does not a Tor Johnson make.