2002: The Rape Of Eden

1994, Movie, NR, 90 mins

Review

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This low-budget sci-fi film is yet another post-Apocalypse adventure, and it's drearier than most.

In a black-and-white prologue, it is explained that six billion people, or "98.6 percent of the earth's population," are dead from a virus, leaving a barren desert world composed of those who are infected (who have up to five years left to live) and those few who are not, called "virgins." The virgin population, of which females are the most valuable commodity, is controlled by Japanese "flesh dealers" led by Japanese Boss (Allen Eu). Needing one more female virgin, Boss coerces the infected, world-weary Bounty Hunter (Phil Nordell) to find her. With the help of the Trading Post Woman (Vallie Ullman), he locates the feisty Virgin (Francine Lapensee). Unfortunately, Bounty falls for her, and they both carelessly fall prey to the New Children of the Lord cult, led by the messianic Reverend (Jeff Conaway); he needs someone to play Eve to his Adam in this increasingly mad "Garden of Eden." Sensing Bounty's betrayal, Boss sends the Mercenary Soldier (Vernon Wells), Bounty's former partner, to intercept him, but he ultimately can't bring himself to harm his old friend. Instead, he saves Bounty and kills Reverend, although he loses his own life to Virgin, who thinks he's an enemy. Bounty discovers that he's not infected after all ("I'm clean meat"), and the pair head off into the sunset.

The direction by Sam Auster (SCREEN TEST), who co-wrote the screenplay with Steve Craker, is listless throughout, and the action is limited to some motorcycle stunts, one explosion, and a multitude of boring fist fights in which none of the combatants seems actually to get hit. Because the action is so clumsily staged, the allegorical social commentary (on AIDS, Japanese economic domination, David Koresh, etc.) quickly becomes obnoxious and pretentious. There is also some surprising lip-service paid to feminism and non-violence; Lapensee (BORN KILLER, DEMON WIND) at one point lectures, "There's too much death in this world, and I won't add to it"--although she does wind up throwing her share of the film's flailing fists at the bad guys. The acting throughout lacks any sort of conviction, with Conaway way over the top as the loony Reverend. The normally dependable Aussie B actor Vernon Wells simply looks distracted most of the time, as if planning exactly how he will punish his agent for getting him into this dreck. The movie, which was shot in two weeks in December 1991, carries a 1992 copyright and was released direct-to-video in 1994. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, profanity.) leave a comment

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2002: The Rape Of Eden
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