Wired to Kill (1986)

WIRED TO KILL (1986)
Article 3631 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-9-2011
Posting Date: 7-24-2011
Directed by Francis Schaeffer
Featuring Emily Longstreth, Devin Hoelscher, Merritt Butrick
Country: USA
What it is: Post-apocalyptic actioner

It’s after the apocalypse. A young man’s family is assaulted by a gang of subhuman thugs; they break his legs, and kill or cripple the rest of his family. When the law proves helpless to protect them, he takes the law into his own hands with the help of a female friend and his self-designed robot.

John Stanley’s movie guide gives the movie some points for being a post-apocalyptic movie that doesn’t play out like a clone of THE ROAD WARRIOR. But then, I don’t think it makes hardly any use of any post-apocalyptic ideas; civilization apparently hasn’t broken down (there are functioning hospitals and policemen about), no one seems to be starving, etc. The basic premise isn’t particularly original, either; it’s a typical revenge action flick at heart that sadistically panders to the lowest common denominator. With the exception of the Shakespeare-quoting leader, the thugs are subhuman, and they’re all depraved and hateful. Furthermore, despite wearing dirty ragged clothes and squatting on deserted property, they have access to high-priced lawyers who can keep them out on the streets, drugs, and huge vehicles which they can drive around on their raids of terror. They’re made this hateful so the filmmakers have an excuse to allow our “heroes” to engage in acts of revenge and self-defense that are equally sadistic, such as rigging motorcycle seats to have huge knives pop out of them. And then there’s the cute little remote-control robot that helps them out by blowing away some of the thugs. Movies that are this pandering can’t help but work a little, but they also leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and the fact that the world they live in seems rather unbelievable, I find it impossible to recommend this one. There is one clever little touch in this future world, though; public service announcements seem to have taken over the world, so no matter where you are, you’ll be inundated with messages about how you can sue your doctor, save money on family planning, etc.; it’s the closest this movie ever comes to having a sense of humor.

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