Another aspiring actress falls prey to
the Roger Corman audition process.
It's mind-boggling to think that anyone spent any time or effort producing a film like Future Kick. This movie is so unbelievably mediocre that we could hardly be bothered to focus our bleary orbs on the screen. Constantly distracted by more interesting things, like the ice melting in our glasses of soda, it's amazing that we can remember enough of the viewing experience to describe this waste of videotape. But such is our dedication to you.
Future Kick does indeed take place in the future, although it has little to do with kickboxing -- the presence of Don "The Dragon" Wilson, three-time world kickboxing champion, notwithstanding. Released about the same time as Terminator 2 and Total Recall (in fact, the video box said something about this being "the Total Recall of kickboxing"), it steals some music and atmosphere from the first and some concepts from the second without making one bit of sense in the process.
Substituting for a plot are some scenes involving a virtual reality programmer named Howard Morgan. Morgan leaves his wife Nancy (Meg Foster) in their home on the moon to return to the cesspool that is now Earth. His employers want him to come down for a chat, and (unbeknownst to Nancy) he wants to go carouse the nightspots of New Los Angeles. While there, Morgan apparently uncovers some evidence from an entirely different movie, thus drawing Walker (our android hero, played by Wilson) into the plot. A company called New Body is harvesting human organs off the street for a profit, and Morgan decides to hire Walker for "a job" related to this. Exactly what or why isn't made clear (a recurring theme in Future Kick), but that's what happens.
"You're the kickboxing champion...
can't you fight our way out of this movie?"
Morgan is killed off before he can rendezvous with Walker, and Nancy (who has been fooling around with Morgan's virtual reality equipment behind his back) wakes from her VR-induced dreams to a phone call informing her that her husband is dead. She then makes the trip to Earth to find Morgan's killer. Along the way she runs afoul of Hynes (Eb Lottimer), the New Body harvester who did her husband in, before stumbling into the arms of Walker, who becomes her hired protector.
None of this is presented in a way that you can easily understand -- the editing is simply atrocious. For example, Walker's history as an outlaw android is outlined three different times, each time more boring and pointless than before. Characters refer to each other by name, apparently without having met previously, making it obvious that scenes have been cut. Conversations that should be compelling (or at least illuminating) are intercut with scenes of women stripping. (Our theory is that Future Kick was born when someone filmed the opening of a new strip club and decided to work a movie in between table dances.) This is hack filmmaking at its worst -- no thought given to telling a concise story, and visuals thrown in at random.
If the people behind the camera are hacks, then the people in front of it are actively trying to do their audience harm. They seem hyper-aware of their own movie badness, and we can easily interpret their performances as punishment visited upon those of us dumb enough to rent the video. Don "The Dragon" Wilson barely registers on the visual radar -- is he on screen? Off? How can we tell? Do we care? Yeah, he is a kickboxer. But his big fight in the film is with a puffy thug played by Chris Penn. How hard is it to beat Chris Penn in a fight? If you don't want to bruise your knuckles hitting him, you could just make him chase after you until he has heart attack.
This (ahem) actress was paid entirely in
Meanwhile, Lottimer waves a tiny kernel of entertainment beneath our noses with his enthusiastic performance as the main villain -- probably bucking hard to get noticed for later roles like those in Dead Center and Bloodfist VII. The other minor actors (mostly strippers) are so strung-out and unattractive we feel sure they were pulled from a blood plasma donation queue.
The most notable acting tragedy, however, lies with Meg Foster. We like to think of Foster as the Tim Thomerson of female character acting. She, like Thomerson, has toyed with respectability without ever really hitting it big, but does seem to exhibit some acting skills in her many b-movies. In Future Kick, Foster begins the film by seeming to be too good an actress for it, but quickly slides to the same level of crappy acting all around her. No wonder her future roles lay in such classics as Project: Shadowchaser and Shrunken Heads.
Future Kick was produced by Roger Corman, the master of producing quick, cheap, bad films that capitalize on currently popular films. Heck, he got his Jurassic Park rip-off, Carnosaur, into theaters the week before Jurassic Park. Future Kick is the kind of film that owes its existence to other more popular films, and once the necessary elements have been introduced (in this case the Terminator-esque hero), the movie makers decided their job was done. Plot? Who needs one? Actors? Nah, just get some athlete desperate to break into Hollywood and some porn film rejects. If it's still not enough, throw in strippers every 10 minutes or so. What about viewers? Suffice it to say, there weren't many.