Cult Movie Retrospective: The Demolitionist

Take RoboCop, replace Peter Weller with a hot blonde, drown the movie in neon lights and voilà: The Demolitionist. Naturally we can’t put that smashing body in a steel suit so instead we resurrect her by replacing her blood with some kind of MacGuffin and send her to the leather and spandex store.

1995’s The Demolitionist comes from the mind of Robert Kurtzman, one of the founders of KNB EFX Group, a prominent makeup effects company. At the time, the collective was known for movies such as Evil Dead 2, New Nightmare and From Dusk Till Dawn. With their background, one would have hoped they might have come up with a story that’s more than a shameless RoboCop ripoff, but for a microbudget work, it’s not so bad. The cast are enthusiastic, and the film does a good job of capturing the desired comic-book style. Hey, it’s better than Cyborg 2: Glass Shadow (which the company also had their hand in).

In the film, set in the not-too-distant future, the mayor of Metro City (Susan Tyrrell) introduces a law banning all guns in the city. Her mortal enemy, Mad Dog (Richard Grieco), escapes from Death Row and stages an unsuccessful attempt to kill her. He then exposes an undercover police officer, Alyssa Lloyd (Nicole Eggert), and kills her. A police scientist resurrects her as an invincible zombie warrior, gives her weapons and a motorcycle and sets her loose on Mad Dog and his gang.

Nicole Eggert Demolitionist

The Demolitionist Nicole Eggert

It takes a little while, but after the film’s hero finally stops crying about being dead, things finally kick into gear. She’s given her Kevlar suit, superfluous mask and twin custom automatic pistols. Like RoboCop, they are “encoded” for her use only. But better than RoboCop’s police cruiser is the motorbike she receives. Her main goal and zest for vengeance is aimed at Mad Dog, however, she does save a few randoms from being robbed or attacked by thugs by doing drive-bys with her twin machine guns and some (pretty average) hand-to-hand combat and kickboxing.

There’s also a fairly awesome scene in the third act when our hero foils a bank holdup in a very Robo-Cobra fashion by bursting through the front glass doors on her motorbike and shooting everything in sight, whilst continue to drive.

The finale is also pretty great. Hilarious side-note – there must not have been a budget for blood, or perhaps the producers were going for a cable television audience, because when a bullet hits somebody in the film their body shoots out a spray of pink powder. It’s quite comical (yet oddly cool-looking).

As you watch the film, you’ll also notice that it appears as if a few horror flavors were called in for the supporting cast: beside FX-god Tom Savini making an appearance, Nightmare On Elm Street’s Heather Langenkamp plays a journalist, and Bruce Campbell has an uncredited cameo. Also, look for a pre-fame Derek Mears in the mix. A good chunk of the bad guys are also played by KNB employees, which surely kept things cost effective.

Heather Langenkamp The Demolitionist

Tom Savini The Demolitionist

The Demolitionist is a film that is indeed worthy of a re-visit. It’s a small movie that really made the most of its budget. It’s a fairly decent thrill-ride and actually a lot of fun. There are tons of in-jokes and funny cameos any genre fan should appreciate. There is also a lot of twisted humor that just adds to the absurdness of it all. The best thing in the movie, however, is the sexy Nicole Eggert as the titular character. She makes a much better superhero than her Baywatch ex-costar Pamela Anderson ever did in Barb Wire. The biggest difference; Nicole can act (comparatively speaking, of course).

Overall, The Demolitionist is flashy, trashy, mindless… and glorious.

What are your thoughts on this film? Let us know in the comment section below.

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