Phoenix The Warrior (1987)

Rating: *
Review Date: 4/27/08
Alternate Title: She-Wolves Of The Wasteland
Director: Robert Hayes
Cast: Kathleen Kinmont, Peggy Sands, James H. Emery, Lorie De Nuccio, Kathy Armstrong

Deliriously awful. For better or worse, they don't make 'em like this anymore. After the last war, all of the men died and only a handful of women survived. Using her dark powers, the evil Reverend Mother takes control of the remains of humanity and engineers a male seed to impregnate her stable of female breeders. One young and cute breeder named Keela (Playboy model Peggy Sands) escapes with the seed and is saved by a sand trapper named Phoenix (Kathleen Kinmont) before the Reverend Mother's forces can recapture her. She immediately gives birth to a male child and then Keela and Phoenix are on the run again. Eight years later, the bad guys finally catch up with them, throwing Phoenix into a gladiator pit and taking the child to the Reverend Mother so that she can fulfill her dark prophecy. Phoenix manages to escape with the aid of Keela and another pit fighter named Neon (Lorie De Nuccio). Oh yeah, they also run into a surviving male (James H. Emery) who happened to escape the Reverend Mother's sperm banks a few years prior. Phoenix and company risk it all to storm the bad guy's fortress and rescue the child from certain doom, while also pulling the plug on the Reverend Mother for good.

A delightfully bad slice of 80's kitsch, the writing is appalling, the acting is atrocious, and the production values are extremely poor. At least the sound is synced, but the over-dubbed sound effects are hilarious. If nothing else, it seems like everyone had fun making it. Peggy Sands and James Emery seem to be the only ones who can act worth a damn, but that's not saying much. Kathleen Kinmont just barely handles the role of Phoenix, but she can't carry the film as a lead. Curiously, supporting actress Lorie De Nuccio seems like the toughest one in the bunch and the only one who could convincingly take care of herself. It would have been interesting to see more of her. While Peggy is quite cute, the cutest girl in the bunch is a young Kathy Armstrong, who bears a shocking resemblance to kickboxer Kathy Long. Sadly, she does little more than bartend and act as a stadium announcer. For as many cute girls as there are in the film, there are an equal number of really scary ones. Almost all of the girls are in a constant state of near nakedness, as bikinis seem to be the only garments available in the wasteland. Leather fetish gear is also popular with the villains, along with big 80's hair. As you would expect, the action scenes are terrible, but the girls try to take it as seriously as they can. Definitely a fun movie to make fun of, and a wonderful example of times long past. B-movies certainly don't have this look and feel anymore.