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Bounty Hunter 2002 (a movie review)

Well, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore…they probably do, though, as the low budget filmmaking is pretty much alive and well all over the world, but these little B-, C-…Z-grade movies from the 1990s have their peculiar charm for all of us growing up as teens in those times.

2002: The Rape of Eden, a.k.a. Bounty Hunter 2002 (to give the appearance of somewhat of aa sequel to Robert Ginty’s 1989 flick The Bounty Hunter, and it’s soooo not) is a 1994 post-apocalyptic movie distributed by famous b-movie company AIP (Action International Pictures, and I don’t think I need to emphasize for readers not to confuse it with American International Pictures of S. A. Zarkoff) starring Phil Nordell, Francine Lapensée and Jeff Conaway and Vernon Wells (along with a few others). Directed by Sam Auster and written by Sam Auster and Steve Craker, the movie tells a story of a bounty hunter…but you know what? First, some background.

Apparently, the world as we know it, is gone. Because of some virus, remaining people are infected and apparently not able to procreate, except for those unaffected. Not a rocket science, is it. So, the most precious thing seems to be an uninfected virgin. And we have a mouse licking blood for a blood test. Yum.

In medias res, here comes Phil Nordell as Bounty Hunter, driving a jeep and catching virgins for Japanese clients. But these are not only party interested, as there is a crazy ex-televangelist, called The Reverend (Jeff Conaway in an-oh-so-true portrayal of American religious hucksters), who has his vision of repopulating of what he called the Garden of Eden. Obviously, by any means necessary.

Bounty Hunter is after The Virgin, a lone motocycle driving woman, so he can sell her to The Reverend. In his steps goes old woman who owns a trade post shop and another to the party is a former Bounty Hunter’s necrophiliac partner. Can you say, “Lots of fun”?

Well, sort of. The Virgin is caught and as expected, delivered to The Reverend. Bounty Hunter gets his moolah and off he goes.

Is it all, you ask? Why, good question! Because it’s not!!!! Bounty Hunter gets drunk (in a really funny film passage) and after his epiphany he decides to free The Virgin…and boy, do I want that dream of his!

Not spoiling the movie any further, it’s definitely not a masterpiece of post-apocalyptic cinema or action movie par excellence, far from it. The low budget (or more like lack of any) is quite evident, the movie fails to explain some evident story problems (ok, we’re in a post-apoc USA, Bounty Hunter still drives his jeep, aeroplanes dropping supplies, targets are geo-tracked), but for it has to work with, it manages quite OK. Obviously, you can’t miss stupid moments and awkward situations (Bounty Hunter shouting “Come on!” to the guards of The Reverend’s ranch, like WTF), The Reverend’s survival from the tavern, obvious illogical thinking (no need for example, you’ll know when you see it)…but on the other hand, we get a dreamy sequence of Bounty Hunter’s making out with The Virgin and let me tell you, Francine Lapensée has some body there!!!! So fans of T&A will want to see that, I am sure as hell.

Let’s put the spotlight on our protagonists. Phil Nordell’s modest filmography contains Watchers 2, The Return of the Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman and 2002: The Rape of Eden, plus appearance in TV series – Magnum P.I,, Our House and Zorro. His present whereabouts are unknown for me. Shame, he had the looks.

Francine Lapensée fared much better, but from her 14 movie credits I’ve encounter only Demon Wind, however, some of movies she has appeared in look quite interesting, so I am pretty sure I will mention her name later on again.

Surprisingly, Jeff Conaway has his film credits all around the place, but I kinda remember him only from Babylon 5 (as I was quite late to the game, I’ve missed many TV series he’s taken a part in).

Vernon Wells as The Mercenary with necrophiliac tendencies (who in the movie looks like a Macho man Randy Savage’s brother) is an unstoppable movie-making machine, but he will be forever remembered (at least by this writer) as the villain Bennet facing the rage of Arnold “Get to ze chopper” Schwarzenegger in Commando and most lately as the greedy businessman Marcus in Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs. But just the quick look at his IMDB page reveals tons of “I must see this” movies he is in. And believe me, I’m gonna get some of these, just because.

Anyway, that’s basically all about it. As being said, it’s nothing special, but I think back in 1990s, the great era of VHS b-movie galore, it was quite a treat I would watch on some Saturday afternoon.

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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