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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 06.28.08] post apocalyptic

Year: 1992
DVD Release date:TBD
Director: Monte Markham
Writer: Monte Markham/Jeff Begun/Buck Finch/Gus Peters
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 5.2 out of 10

Considering Monte Markham is a director most famous for filming slow motion boobs on TV's Baywatch I was more than a little shocked to see his name credited as the writer/director of this odd ball, though not entirely un-enjoyable, post apocalyptic romp from 1992. Starring genre favorite Michael Ironside as a rough and tumble bounty hunter, and ex-Canadian super model Vanity as his sultry bounty, Neon City tries to be a kick ass knock off of a gritty and violent spaghetti western, but ends up being a third rate Mad Max clone and somewhat of a confusing mess. However, for hardcore PA fans who've developed the stomach for all those Mad Max and Escape from New York knock offs from the likes of Enzo G. Castellari and Joe D'Amato, Neon City might be worth tracking down as it is yet another fun Sunday afternoon viewing.

I shouldn't knock Markham too much though because really, the guy at least tried to crack out a decent PA flick here. The opening alone is worth the price of admission, and actually got me really excited to see what brutal lengths the film was willing to go. Check it out:

As the credits role, the camera follows a lone motorcycle rider making his way over a frostbitten tundra. The biker reaches a small settlement of dirty trailers, one of which is labeled "Annie's Eats." I won't give away what Annie's cooking, but right as she appears to serve the new arrival some grub she's blown away by unseen bandits in a bloody slow motion shot worthy of the great Sam Peckinpah. A small and bloody firefight then ensues after which we're introduced to Ironside, whose rye cynical wit you can't help but attribute to Eastwood from the Dollar films. It's a gutsy start but unfortunately the best scene of the film. Everything basically goes downhill from there.

The film quickly switches gears from a brutal western to a "ship of souls" tale where a rag-tag group of outsiders form a caravan heading to the fabled Neon City where they hope to start new lives. Right away the film falters, suffering from some corny humor, terrible costumes, and an ill advised Agatha Christieesque "who-done-it" sub plot that ultimately has a weak pay off.

Luckily, the writers were at least smart enough to come up with some fairly creative obstacles for the characters to overcome. See, from what I can tell, the world has been destroyed by some kind of giant laser, the aftereffects of which have created some strange natural anomalies like drifting clouds of poisonous gas called "Xander clouds" and "brights" which are solar flares so bright they can incinerate a person beyond recognition.

Of course the film's best moments still come from the caravan's run ins with the merciless "Skins" who inhabit the outlands, or non civilized areas. It's pretty easy to spot and call fail on all the attempts at high speed Mad Max mayhem, but these run ins are at least a diversion from the horrible acting and dorky characters.

some reasons to watch Neon City:

- Buffy's Juliet Landau (Drusilla) is in it.
- Probably the only slow motion hot tub scene in PA history
- Former NFL defensive linesman Lyle Alzado
- Characters names (Bulk, Dickie, Wing, Twink, Reno)

Here's the entire movie:

Recommended Release:

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Matt (13 years ago) Reply

Sounds great to me!


Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

The movie is surprisingly good. It actually is pretty much the John Wayne movie "Stagecoach" in the Post-Apocalypse. Anyone who has seen "Stagecoach" will immediately recognize where the plot and the characters in "Neon City" originated from.


kaylene smith (10 years ago) Reply

where can we get neon city on dvd from? can you please send me an email please as we would like to get the movie


BlackDeath (9 years ago) Reply

Did you (plural) read the headline? "very rare" probably means it's not on dvd. ;-)


motown20 (9 years ago) Reply

"Very rare" is an understatement. I had this little gem DVR'd for about six months and watched it about four times during that period. My wife's patience eventually wore thin and she deleted it. I'm still in a state of mourning...

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