THE AFTERMATH (1982)
Article 5000 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Steve Barkett
Featuring Steve Barkett, Lynne Margulies, Sid Haig
What it is: Another movie where the description begins “It’s after the apocalypse.”
It’s after the apocalypse. A pair of astronauts return to Earth to discover that nuclear and biological war have destroyed most of humanity. They have to contend with ugly mutants and a gang of brutal killers.
The DVD package for this movie has a quote from Video Review Magazine which describes it as “The best post nuclear film since ON THE BEACH.” Uhh, no, I don’t think so. It does serve as a description of the movie’s pretensions, however. By this I mean that the movie doesn’t obviously go the route of trying to be an imitation of THE ROAD WARRIOR; rather than a stylish action thriller, it does take a stab at being something of a drama. Unfortunately, as a drama, it suffers from a weak script, indifferent acting, and characters that simply lack the complexity to make it work as such. Instead, as should be obvious from the scenes near the beginning where Sid Haig and his cohorts chase down and capture or slaughter a bunch of people, this movie’s heart is squarely in a more mundane category – the exploitation revenge action thriller. In short, any pretensions towards drama give way to sequences of bloody revenge during the last quarter of the movie, but then, what would you expect of a movie which features Sid Haig as one of the top three billed performers? There are cameos from Jim Danforth and Forrest J Ackerman to enliven the proceedings, and Dick Miller provides the voice of a broadcaster. I will admit it is rather ambitious for a low-budget independent movie, but ultimately it treads ground that is a little too familiar.