Film (1991). Challenge. Directed by Tony Maylam, Ian Sharp. Written by Gary Scott Thompson. Cast includes Alun Armstrong, Kim Cattrall, Neil Duncan, Ian Dury, Rutger Hauer, Michael J Pollard and Pete Postlethwaite. 91 minutes. Colour.
London, 2008 CE. The Thames has risen and society is crumbling. Coffee-drinking hard man Hauer and comics-reading Scots intellectual Duncan are brawling buddy cops on the trail of a heart-eating villain who carves astrological symbols on what's left of his victims' chests. Proposed solutions include mutant DNA and the Devil, but in the finale the baddie turns out to be a regulation Alien-style Big Monster With Teeth who confronts Hauer on a tube train. Inexplicable events, disappearing characters and logical lapses abound. Maylam, who directs this sf Splatter Movie at a rapid plod, establishes a Drowned World atmosphere (see J G Ballard) by pouring water into all the sets and painting everything grey; Sharp took over for the action climax. Despite the murkiness of this future world, Hauer stays cool in sunglasses; Duncan's enthusiastic performance offers the sole touch of character. [KN]
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