Alice in Wasteland (2006)

Directors: Lasse Jarvi, Pete Schuermann
Writer: Michele Pacitto
Stars: Roxane Sondrup, Michelle Beisner, Kurt Bauman

If any of you have seen El Mariachi or Into the Woods, then you will know what can be done on a very limited budget with little professional equipment. As long as you have some skill, talent and vision. I always cite those as a benchmark for any low budget indie film to aspire to. So much crap is made these days (perhaps more than in the late Seventies and early to mid Eighties I think), but not so much due to budget, but more the people involved.

I now have another film to add to them. Is it as good? Nowhere near no, is it crazy, with a wicked script, nice transition effects and a killer soundtrack? Very much so. I think all those involved in this weird and wonderful little flick knew what they were making, and because of that it works. It is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination. It is not well acted (they’re atrocious). The production values are not good either. Some of the effects are truly terrible.

But having said all that, it’s just bad, crazy, and tongue-in-cheek enough to be quite enjoyable and to wonder exactly where this mad ride will take you next. It is a ridiculous film with an equally ridiculous plot. Some of the dialogue would not be amiss in a Seventies Grindhouse film. Quotes such as ‘Are you wet and mushy just like them oatmeal?’ and ‘You got amnesia? Well don’t be passing that shit around’ are par for the course in this mad romp.

Our plot consists of Alice (Sondrup) trying to get out of town. A failed robbery lands her in a coma courtesy of power-mad cop Jill Robbe (Beisner). After a truly terrible escape scene (played majorly tongue-in-cheek) from the local detention center, Alice then runs into the local pimp boss Ramrod. From there things escalate in silliness and madness. At one point (and I wish she appeared earlier in the film) TNT (a perfectly cast Gentle Fritz) turns up as a type of Kill Bill Bond villain wearing a short Dirndl dress with a penchant for strangulation.

She even comes complete with eerie smile and pigtails. The film switches between general action fare to a Seventies El Mariachi exploitation flick (complete with Mexican music) and even throws in a little Thirties pathé for good measure, along with numerous nods to other films and genres. Not a very good film, but one so mad and crazy it is well worth a watch.


The Sage’s Rating:

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