The film doesn’t really offer an entirely fresh approach to the end of the world genre, but it’s slick enough to be appealing, and competently directed by Monte Markham, a TV director.
In a post-apocalyptic earth, a bounty hunter gets mixed up with a woman on the run from the law.
The future is a cold, wintry place in this film. The ozone has been destroyed, and “brights” (intense sun bursts that burn unprotected human flesh) occur sporadically and unexpectedly during daylight hours. The outlands are populated, it seems, only by marauders who prey upon transports going from one underground city to the next. Harry Stark, played by Michael Ironside, is an ex-ranger, now turned bounty hunter, and his latest bounty is a woman who has been on the run for years. We learn that she killed her parents, and is considered extremely dangerous, but somehow the casting of pop star Vanity gives the clue away that the character is not the evil person we are supposed to believe she is. In fact, she has a sad, sappy story to tell Stark to make him rethink his role in the universe, and he eventually falls in love with her. He has to transport her to Neon City, a place that turns out to be an art deco fiasco of set design, and along for the ride are several motley civilians, one of whom turns out to be the very man who is responsible for the world’s sorry state. Along the way, they encounter several sets of nasty motorcycle killers, none of whom we ever actually get to see up close.
Most of the time, Neon City is slow-moving and not very challenging or interesting. The monotony is broken up with a truly goofy group bathing sequence, and then the movie loses momentum and credibility during the extraneous and totally unnecessary love scene between Ironside and Vanity. The film doesn’t really offer an entirely fresh approach to the end of the world genre, but it’s slick enough to be appealing, and competently directed by Monte Markham, a TV director.
Available now for the first time in high definition on disc, Neon City looks and sounds really nice on the Kino Lorber release, which contains a brand new HD transfer, as well as a new audio commentary by the director, plus a new interview with Ironside, and the trailer.