1989 / Director. Francis Schaeffer.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
In my quest to find some of cinema's most truly awful offerings I came across RISING STORM. It was in one of those budget multipacks where you get ten action movies for $5 (yeah, I collect 'em) and it was a title that had never crossed my radar. Hoping to find a focus film for my micro-podcast (WTF Was That?) I whacked the DVD in the player and pressed play.
Holy shit? Where has this movie been my whole life? I had expected a low-grade, cheap n nasty home-video release but found myself watching a quirky genre film with amazing production values. It's a satirical post-apocalyptic sci-fi set in the year 2099 and depicts a decrepit American society that is ruled by dictatorship. The leader is an extreme religious fundamentalist (of a pseudo faith) who believes that guns rule a nation. The citizens are kept under strict control as armed troopers patrol the streets. Two brothers who find themselves caught up in a dangerous resistance movement as a band of rebels fight to expose the nation's leader as a fraud.
Watching RISING STORM conjured thoughts of Albert Pyun's early work. In fact this film plays out like a weird blending of RADIOACTIVE DREAMS and ALIEN FROM LA... and if you throw in some MAD MAX and HELL COMES TO FROG TOWN in for good measure, then you will have a good idea of what this one is like. The production value is what caught my attention. The futuristic wasteland has been depicted in a very satirical way, that allows the story to progress but also reassures the audience that nothing should be taken seriously.
If you're a fan of the aforementioned films then you will definitely want to track this one down. It's a real treat and boasts a great b-grade cast including Zack Galligan, Wayne Crawford, John Rhys-Davis and Deep Roy. The film's title and the promotional poster art does the film a HUGE disservice and my own viewing experience benefited from approaching it blindly. So much fun.