Awesome Terrible Movie: Tank Girl

“Tank Girl,” directed by Rachel Talalay and based on the British comic series of the same name by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett, is a cult classic that brings a unique blend of punk aesthetics, post-apocalyptic chaos, and feminist rebellion to the big screen. Released in 1995, the film stars Lori Petty as the titular character and Naomi Watts as her sidekick, Jet Girl. The movie is set in a dystopian future where water is scarce, and a tyrannical corporation, Water & Power, controls the remaining water supply. In this desolate world, Tank Girl emerges as a symbol of resistance and non-conformity.

Plot Summary:

The story kicks off with Tank Girl, a sassy and fearless outlaw, living in the Australian wasteland after a devastating comet strike has left the Earth in ruins. Water is controlled by the powerful Water & Power corporation, headed by the villainous Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell). Tank Girl and her ragtag group of misfits, including Jet Girl, challenge the oppressive rule of Water & Power.

Tank Girl’s iconic tank, which she has turned into a colorful and weaponized vehicle, becomes the symbol of her rebellion. As the story unfolds, Tank Girl is captured by Water & Power, and her tank is confiscated. Despite facing imprisonment and the loss of her beloved vehicle, Tank Girl refuses to conform. She forms an alliance with a group of mutant kangaroos known as the Rippers, led by the charismatic Booga (Jeff Kober). The Rippers, genetically engineered by Water & Power, possess enhanced strength and agility but are shunned by society.

The film follows Tank Girl and the Rippers as they stage a daring rescue mission to free her imprisoned comrades and take down Water & Power. Throughout their journey, Tank Girl’s irreverent humor, punk spirit, and unapologetic rebellion against authority take center stage.


“Tank Girl” is a visually striking and anarchic film that embraces the rebellious ethos of its source material. Lori Petty delivers a charismatic performance as the titular character, embodying Tank Girl’s fierce independence and punk attitude. The film’s aesthetic is a kaleidoscope of colors and eccentric costumes, reflecting the comic’s wild and imaginative style.

The storyline, while straightforward, serves as a canvas for the film’s larger-than-life characters and over-the-top action sequences. The introduction of the Rippers adds an extra layer to the narrative, exploring themes of genetic experimentation and societal rejection.

The soundtrack, featuring music from prominent alternative and punk bands of the time, complements the film’s rebellious tone. The integration of animated sequences, a nod to the comic’s visual style, further enhances the movie’s uniqueness.

“Tank Girl” may not have achieved mainstream success upon its release, but its cult following has grown over the years. The film’s celebration of individualism, anti-establishment sentiments, and creative expression make it a standout in the post-apocalyptic genre. While some critics found fault in its chaotic narrative and lack of a cohesive plot, others appreciate its unapologetic embrace of chaos and nonconformity.

“Tank Girl” is a visually vibrant and rebellious ride through a post-apocalyptic world. Its enduring cult status is a testament to its impact on fans who appreciate its punk spirit, colorful characters, and unapologetic celebration of individuality in the face of authority.

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Author: guyute