Tank Girl just might be the weirdest movie adaptation of a comic I’ve never heard of. I’m pretty knowledgeable about comic book movies, but the 90’s really would adapt anything. Tank Girl was created in 1988 as an alternative anti-establishment British punk prone to sex & violence. Similar to Judge Dredd or Mad Max, Tank Girl is from a post-apocalyptic Australia where she drives around in a personalized tank. I understand the niche appeal, but her comic is a little too absurd and/or chaotic for my taste.
Although it understandably tanked hard at the box-office, Tank Girl earned a cult following for being a dumb fun, yet mostly faithful comic adaptation. Like Barb Wire with more grunge. Freddy’s Dead director Rachel Talalay worked closely with the creators, received creature effects from Stan Winston, and even got Courtney Love to do the soundtrack. Although she goes by Rebecca and isn’t British, Lori Petty is exactly who I’d imagine as Tank Girl. She’s annoyingly sarcastic, has most of her hair cut off, and wears almost every punk outfit she has in the comics.
Although it’s R rated, there’s not as much nudity as you’d expect. There’s a definite feminist slant to the comic and movie. Actual comic artwork and animation is used sporadically, but I think they just ran out of money. In the year 2033, water is controlled by the evil corporation Water & Power. Malcolm McDowell is the over-the-top villain Kesslee, actual Brit Naomi Watts plays her ally Jet Girl, and rapper Ice-T plays one of many bizzare humanoid kangaroo super-soldiers called Rippers. Including Tank Girl’s interspecies lover Booga. Tank Girl is as bad and/or ridiculous as it sounds, but I think that’s the point.