Aug. 6th, 2006 04:02 pm
slemslempike: (x: solarbabies)
[personal profile] slemslempike
I came back to a small heap of post. Ignoring the BL articles and the council letter about benefit that has it all wrong yet again, I leapt with alacrity to open the most promising package, which I had won on ebay shortly before I left for Berlin. It was Solarbabies. This is a film from 1986, starring Peter Deluise. Not that he gets the billing he deserves. It's a brilliant piece of cinema about rollerskating orphans in the future, with a generous side helping of ecological narrative. Online reviews are unsurprisingly scathing. Tall poppy syndrome, you see. My icon is of Solarbabies.

The year is 41, and this masterpiece has predicted Thames Water, as all the earth's (well, probably, we only actually see America, as is so often the case, but surely that's all that's really needed to indicate all countries ever, and possibly a film about hosepipe bans would not be so riveting) water has dribbled away and there is an immense shortage. This is tragic. We know this because we see an old man watering a lone flower with his drinking ration.

Children are automatically taken away from their parents soon after birth, and placed in state orphanages. Where they are forced to dig, and to play some kind of lacrosse on skates, with a kind of ball-shooter that reminded me of the descriptions of the mechanised games in Brave New World. (Only because I've recently read it. Ordinarily it would have reminded me of Mousetrap, or that thing we had in primary school where you connected lots of tubing together and rolled a marble down it.)

We follow a small gang of children, with a "cute child" (Lukas Haas, whom I saw in Brick, but was convinced I knew him from somewhere else, which I don't, but it really seems like I should)

and a teen hunk (Jason Patric, of "Julia Roberts left Keifer Sutherland for Jason Patric" fame),

ably supported by, as is usually the case; a girl (Jamie Gertz, whose imdb trivia asserts rather belligerently that she is "still making movies"),

a black boy (Claude Brooks, who was in JUMP! Street, well done that boy),

a glasses-wearing geek (James LeGros, who is rude about Solarbabies in his imdb trivis, boo hiss),

and Peter Deluise as "boy who effortlessly outshines both the supposed beauty of the teen hunk and the cuteness of the adorable child". In a disguise as dumb jock.

There is also a boy who summons owls to him by drawing in the sand.

I think that he's not actually part of the gang, but I don't know what he's doing in the film.

Here they are playing their lacrosse thing. This shoots the ball thing out, and tells us that this is the future in a way that bullying off simply wouldn't do.

Now Authority have turned up with improbably shaped vehicles,

and the kids are skating away from them. I do wonder about the likelihood of skating being so popular in such a sand-centric environment. I always fell over unless I was skating on a perfectly smooth surface, and quite often even then. And they don't take them off to get between concreted areas or anything. On one occasion, the geek pole-vaults over a fence wearing them.

The "cute" child has found a ball of metaphysical energy that is played by one of those spherical lights from Ikea.

Apparently his ears have now been fixed? Don't worry, they're still adorably sticky out. Oh, he was deaf. That wasn't really mentioned before, but you can't have a good film without a miraculous healing. The magic ball's name is Bodai. Not Bodie, as he is keen to point out. The magic ball doesn't actually talk, but he makes them all feel things and commuicates largely through the cute kid.

The Girl is reading water porn. It's a fictional description of a thunderstorm, even though the Protectorate have outlawed fiction.

Then the ball made it come true and it rained inside. Peter got wet and they danced in the water.

Then when it stopped he pushed his hair back in a lovely manner.

I have quite a lot of screen caps of that.

The magic ball told Peter that it wanted to be used as the ball in their lacrosse hockey thing.

He was delightful, throwing around a pretend thing, and giggling.

Um. The film wasn't very easy to follow, or possibly I was only really paying attention when Peter was onscreen. I think someone steals the ball of energy? And then they decide to go off after it. I am a bit in love because the leader guy insisted that they hold a secret ballot to make a decision so that there wouldn't be peer pressure.

There is Peter on the right with his shirt off. I was very restrained.

Okay, this bit is brilliant, they need to jump an imppossible distance over a broken bridge, so they kind of form a chain and spin each other off over it. Until only the normal boy is left, and then he jumps it all on his own.

There is a man dressed in a kind of rubber Nazi homage, who seems to strut around the place with a shiny face being smugly evil.

The bad people killed the bird boy's owl!

Now he is sad. The gang find the dead bird and decide to bury it. The geek says "why", and we all scoff at his lack of empathy. We had done so earlier when he approved the ban on fiction.

Uh-oh, I hear English accents. I think things are about to get really evil. Who is that treacherous looking man, doubtless up to no good? It is Alexei Sayle!

I cannot even begin to imagine how he ended up in this film. Did one of the producers see The Young Ones, and think to themselves, "why, that's exactly the kind of talent I need in my futuristic-ecological-teen-sport-drama movie! I will tempt him in with Peter Deluise". Probably Solarbabies is the film that got him noticed for Indiana Jones.

And now there is a man tied to a grating with ants all over his face and body. I will not do a picture of that, because it was really creeeeepy. Oh, okay, apparently it was a hallicinating machine. And the effects!

I mean, if I didn't know better, I'd swear this wasn't a plastic hand at all.

Here is a picture of a mostly naked man in leather straps for those who like that kind of thing.

It's not Peter. That's really all I have to say about it.

There is an evil woman who is in charge of the rubber Nazi.

I am choosing to see her as an homage (albeit a rather low grade one), and not a rip off.

Then the Solarbabies are in a town of some sort with tubs of boiling oil lying around, which doesn't suggest a terribly stable economy to me, and there is a mini riot because they see their Wanted pictures. Peter saves them by lifting an iron girder up.

Grrr. In the course of the riot, the guards fall over barrels, fall into barrels, are double crossed and generally generic. They escape by putting themselves into tyres and rolling down the hill. The Girl is missing, probably she is dead.

Alexei Sayle has kidnapped the male Solarbabies and is making them pull his carriage along.

Sometimes he vageuly whips at them with a rope. His sidekick is also sporting an English accent, or a brave stab

But who is this, this creature flying through the desert on roller skates, covered in drapes and carrying a gun?

Sorry, it's actually a watergun.


Why, it is Girl Solarbaby, and she is rescuing them, with the help of a whole bunch of people with what I assume are actual guns, but may well just be yet more devices for wasting the most previous commodity.

She has found her father.They have lots of water. The explanation for this is that there's a glacier under a volcano, and every time the volcano erupts, a little more of the glacier melts and they have water. Global warming is a good thing! She has also aquired a white tunic that is really rather see-through.

This is also not Peter.

They all go off in search of the ball again. Rubber Nazi and the evil woman are doing experiments on it to find out how it works, involving drills and much sparking. In the course of the rescue attempt, we are treated to some more of Peter Deluise's patented wrestling technique,

as seen in "Honor Bound" in the second series of JUMP! Street, where he subdues rowdy army cadets by pushing them to the floor and then lying on them until they give up in sheer bliss at the contact.

The ball sets fire to the evil woman's hands.

And a bit of machinery sees to the Rubber Nazi,

much to the distress of his henchman in training/boy lover.

Possibly I should have mentioned him before. He is another orphan, who is in love with the Rubber Nazi and follows him around everywhere, and plagues the Solarbabies with smirks and sexual harrassment in order to show off. It was "his" hand that burst into flame earlier.

They have rescued the ball! Hurrah! The ball celebrates by getting the hell out of that weird scene, after saving the water crisis on earth. But it hasn't really left them at all. They will be forever united in slightly dodgy bits of pink light.

Isn't Peter Deluise pretty?

Date: 2006-08-06 03:26 pm (UTC)
jekesta: (bounce)
From: [personal profile] jekesta
PETER DELUISE IS SO PRETTY! OH GOD OH! Dude. I love htat this film is in the house, I LOVE. I borrow maybe? Oh god HE IS SO PRETTY! And and and your icon is DELIGHT and it is CLEARLY THE GREATEST FILM EVER MADE I can tell this from pictures alone and OH! SO MUCH LOVE.

Date: 2006-08-06 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have already watched it twice. It only improves. I foresee many more watches.

He's so terribly, terribly pretty.

Date: 2006-08-06 03:33 pm (UTC)
ext_23139: Susan/G'Kar (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Dude! A crazy film of genius! Genius! :D

Date: 2006-08-06 03:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's just the best idea for a film ever, really.

Date: 2006-08-06 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OK, I have never heard of this film before but it sounds pretty awesome. I am going to have to see if they've got this at my friendly local old-VHS-rental place.

Date: 2006-08-06 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's GREAT. Probably I wouldn't actually buy it unless you have a love of Peter Deluise (but SURELY everyone does), but it is definitely a rental to chase with all your heart.


slemslempike: (Default)

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