I know I haven’t seen every post-apocalyptic movie ever made, but I thought I had at least heard of most of them, especially the mainstream releases from the 80’s. So when a “post-apocalyptic adventure” called Solarbabies from 1986 popped up on Netflix streaming, I knew I had to watch it.
I know, I know, I bet most of you are thinking “Are you kidding! How can you not have heard of Solarbabies?” In my defense, it never came out on DVD until 2007, but apparently it’s a childhood favorite of an entire generation of PA fans. Somehow it just never crossed my path until I fired it up last night.
Solarbabies follows a group of teens in an arid dystopian future where access to water is strictly controlled by the evil Eco Protectorate. They find an alien intelligence in the form of a glowing orb who communicates with them telepathically, and leads them on a series of adventures that eventually results in them freeing the water, and saving the world. Oh, and they do it all on roller skates.
Yeah, it might not be the most compelling story ever, but if you can look past the cheesieness factor, it was actually pretty entertaining, in part because it has got to be the most 80s PA movie I’ve ever seen. Not only were the actors all familiar from other movies (two of the leads were also paired in Lost Boys), but their costumes and especially their hair just screamed 80s. And the theme song by Smokey Robinson just sealed the deal.
I love how 80s movies always assumed that 80s hair and fashion would last into whatever future they were imagining. I mean in a desert wasteland of the post-apocalyptic future, where are they finding all the stocks of gel, mousse, and hairspray?
But overall, I can easily say that I liked it, and I can definitely see how some people have a nostalgiac attachment to it. If you’ve seen it, you probably know what I mean, and if you haven’t, check out the trailer below and see if it might be time for you give it a try.