The folks over at QuietEarth.us have been writing news about the post-apocalyptic genre for over 15 years now. Every so often, their Twitter posts a retro review, and today’s tweet pointed to an article from 2008 about what they call the “very rare” Neon City.
Released direct-to-video on VHS in 1991, as far as I can tell, Neon City has never been officially released on DVD. So until recently, even if you had heard of it, there was no way to watch it. But of course, now days you can find pretty much anything on the internet, and Neon City is no exception.
I’ve actually had it in my collection for a while, but have never watched it until the tweet reminded me about it, and I decided to fire it up tonight.
Neon City is not a great movie, and it probably wouldn’t even rise to the level of “good” were it not for the cast, which includes Vanity, Lyle Alzado, and in particular, the great Michael Ironside.
Ironside is known for appearing in classics like Starship Troopers, Top Gun, and Total Recall (and he actually returned to the wasteland 24 years after Neon City in 2015’s cult classic TurboKid).
In Neon City, the world is wracked by ecological catastrophes resulting in barren wastelands prowled by the marauding Skins. Ironside plays Harry Stark, former cop and current bounty hunter, who has to transport a recent catch to the eponymous city. He joins the passengers of an armored transport for a trip across the Outland, and as you can imagine, hijinks ensue.
Neon City is basically Stagecoach in the post-apocalypse, with toxic clouds, concentrated sun storms, and a few Mad Max-style road chases thrown in to keep the characters on their toes.
As I said, it’s not amazing, but it’s better than the average Mad Max clone. And given its rarity and its cast, I think it’s worth a couple of hours of your time.
The full film is currently available on YouTube.