Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min.
Release Date: May 22nd, 2001 MPAA Rating: R
Director: Daniel D’Or Actors: Julie Strain, Jeff Wincott, Zehra Leverman, Brian Frank, Bill Baker, Jade Kroll, Paul Rapovski, Celia Hart, Eva Nemeth, Martina Pernova
ne of the scenes was cannibal lesbian hoedown; it just doesn’t get any better than that. They bring two bloody chicks over to my house and I get to beat them and make them suck my toes and whip them and spit on their heads. That’s acting, you know.”
– Julie Strain
A massive asteroid hurtles toward Earth, as newscasters worry about why governments across the world struggle to come up with a solution. Firing nuclear missiles at the asteroid hasn’t proven effective, while all other options appear to have been exhausted. And, indeed, by 2020, all that’s left of the previous populous civilizations are roaming packs of scavengers and a group of powerful people called the “Elite,” who steal away children and women from the survivors of the “Underground,” to be used as soldiers in their armies and prostitutes for their harems. Nuclear winter has transformed everything into an existence of desolation and despair.
One such sex slave is Gayle (Julie Strain), the head mistress, formerly a dweller from Sector 6 of the Underground, who works hard to please her owners, train her flock of harlots (including fresh recruit Michelle [Celia Hart]), and rise through the ranks as an influential, luxury-spoiled woman. Meanwhile, Joad (Paul Rapovski) and his army of rebels hope to overthrow the Elite using guerrilla warfare, though their resources and numbers are limited. And at the Elite Headquarters, ruthless new patriarch Mr. Spencer (Jeff Wincott), his right-hand man Manson (Brian Frank), and evil scientist Braxton (Bill Baker) surround themselves with pleasures of the flesh, booze, and all the riches left in the crumbling world.
“If you close your eyes for a minute, they’ll know you’re weak.” Before the opening credits finish rolling, Strain is seen topless – and she remains that way for the majority of the running time. Curiously, her enormous breasts and her attentiveness to her clientele don’t stop her from furthering her education by donning eyeglasses and reading books (sometimes remaining half-naked while doing so). She actually leads something of a double life, as her relationship with Spencer affords her a regular freedom to visit the Underground, where her family still resides. When she’s not nude in slow-motion, artistically desaturated sex scenes, Strain manages to recite a few lines of dialogue and interact with more notable supporting players.
“They’re always watching; so let’s give them a show.” Though “Battle Queen 2020″ is a low-budget vehicle for Strain, it doesn’t have a lot to work with in terms of storytelling, editing, special effects, props, sets, costumes, and action choreography. Lines of dialogue are reused, a narrator (the tunnel-dwelling youngster Clarissa [Jade Kroll]) attempts some noirish yet generic and unnecessary commentary, costars exhibit unbearably bad acting, and the soundtrack sounds like it’s predominantly porn music. Several shots laughably fail to cease when they’re supposed to, as if the cameraman forgot to stop the camera (or the editor needed to meet some quota on the film’s length), while time is wasted on such ludicrous moments as a punching bag montage and mistress Priscilla (Eva Nemeth) repeatedly slapping the BDSM-loving Manson.
When Strain isn’t having sex, massaging her bosoms (or having others grope them), giving herself a sponge bath, or making out with various women, she engages in some light hand-to-hand combat, which is slow, uninspired, and terribly unconvincing (these moments are so atrociously amateurish, it’s difficult to believe that a fight coordinator and stuntmen were hired at all; in fact, Strain’s stunt double was a man in a wig, since finding a 6′ 1” stuntwoman was virtually impossible). Once she returns to the Underground for good, of course, she must become a Battle Queen, so the suspense and adventure increase (or, at least, they’re supposed to). Oddly, comedic situations also arise as she forms a mismatched pairing with the childish Clarissa. Tonally, the picture is all over the place.
But fleeting amusement can be found in the ridiculousness of a man’s cheek being gored by a metal nipple pasty, abysmal acting that can routinely induce chuckles, the “standard procedure” of dousing Gayle’s white t-shirt with water to alleviate her hypothermia, and hysterical observations like “It’s 75 below; their faces will fall off in seventeen seconds,” and “I want men and I want them now!” as an order barked by Manson concerning security forces. Unfortunately, the few funny bits don’t counter the exhausting badness. Even the finale just cuts off, as if manufactured on the spot. “Battle Queen 2020” is an exceptionally lazy undertaking.
– Mike Massie