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Starring Darrell Larson, John Stockwell, Kim Cattrall, Rae Dawn Chong, Robby Benson and James Earl Jones. It is the year 2003, fifteen years after a killer plague has wiped out an entire generation. Gangs of youth now control society, resisting any atte
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The premise is somewhat interesting, if a bit derivative, it being set in the desolate near future, after a plague has wiped out most of adult civilization, leaving behind bands of roving biker gangs of 20-somethings who rule the cities with little to no social order present. Largely uneducated, they get their combat directives from old super hero comic books and pass the time by getting drunk off of Old Milwaukee. Soon a corporation enters the picture with plans to level the place in order to create a patterned workforce for its own corrupt purposes, and is ready to kill off the youth gangs by any means necessary to achieve its ends.
Now on the surface that sounds like the makings for my kind of action movie, that and the fact that the directing/writing team consists of Aaron Lipstadt and Don Opper, who made 1982's "Android," which was a perfectly acceptable bit of sci-fi fluff. Lipstadt even coproduced '82's slasher classic "Slumber Party Massacre," but the energy and inventiveness that made that one good is sadly not present here.
As L.A. Morse points out in his indispensable 1989 film guide "Video Trash & Treasures," Lipstadt and Opper seemed to be heavily influenced for the story and set-pieces by "1990: the Bronx Warriors" and its sequel, "Escape from the Bronx," which had been produced in Italy in the couple years prior to this. I must say though that with the exception of John Carpenter's seminal "Escape from New York," an American movie without which "City Limits" probably would have never been made, low budget post-apocalyptic adventures of this period seem to have been best left in the hands of the Italians. In comparison to their superior output, "City Limits" is tame, not very interesting visually, and even at just 85 minutes, somewhat tedious to slog through.
I'm giving it two stars based only on the fact that it contains a few name actors for a budget of its size, most notably James Earl Jones, Rae Dawn Chong, and Kim Cattrall, the latter appearing two years before she would break into the mainstream as the Mannequin. She looks cute here as an erstwhile member of the corporation who ultimately ends up siding with the gangs, and you even get to see her bare-breasted for about two seconds, which wasn't unwelcome.
I might have even given this 2004 DVD release on Substance Entertainment another star were it not for its typically faded, washed out and just barely watchable transfer job, clearly sourced from an old VHS tape.
Despite the fact that I really didn't like it, I've marginally decided to keep "City Limits" in my DVD collection only because I'm an avid collector of low budget '80s post-apocalyptic trash of this type, which was once again done far better by the Italians. I can't recommend "City Limits" though to anyone but the most ardent fan of this genre of film. Disappointing for the most part.
The gist of the film resembles MAD MAX... but there are original elements thrown in here and there. Comic books play a big part in the film's central story. That right there should tell you just how bad this movie is.
Kim Cattral, James Earl Jones, and Robbie Benson round out the cast of a movie that's by no means a good sci fi effort... but excels at delivering great comedy! Pure cheese! Highly recommended for a good laugh!