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WASTELAND TALES
DVD region 2. Another World.

Wasteland TalesShort film collections are a bit of a hard sell on DVD, but this sextet of Danish movies might just work, given that they all share a common theme. Entries in a Danish film festival with the theme of post-apocalypse, each has its own take on a future where civilisation has crumbled.

Of course, post apocalypse films are not without their problems – building on a template that was perfected in Mad Max 2, they often seemed entirely interchangeable, and we have to remember that for every Mad Max there was a Mad Max - Beyond Thunderdome… for every Bronx Warriors, a Stryker. Too often, post-apocalypse meant little more than New Romantics after a shopping trip at a fetish store riding motorbikes through deserted rock quarries.

And that’s almost exactly what you get with The Last Warrior, the 20 minute film that opens this collection up, minus the bikes. In a world where men have been wiped out, a group of sword-wielding, poorly-dubbed Amazons battle amongst themselves over a sole male survivor. This is played in a very straight-faced manner, so it’s hard to see if it’s a knowing pastiche or simply taking itself far too seriously. It has its moments, but it feels a bit too long.

Eastern Army has a similar length, but manages to pull it off more effectively. Here, we have survivors of the apocalypse hiding out from roaming bands of cannibals while waiting for the arrival of the eastern Army, who will supposedly bring the return of civilisation. There are no surprises here, but it’s very well made, and feels very much like a test run for a full length feature (which apparently is the intention).

After these two longer films, the running times reduce to under ten minutes for the remaining titles. Connected is a slick, if insubstantial piece where two masked people, connected by a breathing tube, meet a third person in the desert – suffice to say, this meeting doesn’t go well.

I Barbari Del CPH is a self-consciously trashy effort with men battling it out kung fu style before being attacked by the Barbarian Girls. With rock ‘n’ roll weapons and a sense of campness, this might be a good companion piece to Guitar Wolf’s Wild Zero.

Max Fury
is an Escape from New York pastiche, with it’s eye-patch wearing hero battling mutants as he tries to save his sister. It’s pretty generic and inconsequential.

The collection finishes with Tutorial – How to Kill a Racist, where guerrillas battle agents of a right-wing dictatorship (here represented by a wooden English skinhead) in a story that never really goes anywhere.

Some of these films where their influences on their sleeves – not just post apocalyptic films of the 1980s, but also computer games and splatter movies – while the best (that’ll be Eastern Army) are more original. As a collection, it’s inevitably uneven, but the good stuff is certainly worth seeing, while the more disposable might provide passing amusement.

Another World’s DVD comes complete with post-apocalypse movie trailers to round things off.

DAVID FLINT

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