Aftershock (1990)

Anti-intellectual paramilitary forces rule the post-World War 3 landscape, which is directed by Frank Harris, who was behind Killpoint and The Patriot (not the Mel Gibson movie) and Lockdown (not the Sylvester Stallone movie).

Into this world arrives an alien named Sabine, played by Elizabeth Kaitan. Oh Elizabeth, you’ve been in so many movies that I’ve savored. You watched Lance Henriksen battle bikers in Savage Dawn. You dated Ricky Caldwell in Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. You were Candy in four Vice Academy movies and showed up in Beretta’s Island, an attempt to transform Arnold Schwarzenegger’s friend, the recently deceased Franco Columbu, into an action star. I mean, Ken Kercheval even showed up. But the rest of the world — well, the part that watches slashers — knows you as Robin in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood. You know her — the one who calls Tina Marilyn Munster before heading upstairs to get killed.

Sabine upsets the balance of power and the forces that have worked so hard to consolidate said power now need to keep her controlled. Such is the world of Aftershock.

The rebels want to protect Sabine and get her back to the portal that will bring her home. And the baddies, well, they want to dissect her.

This is the kind of movie where the supporting cast is the entire reason to watch the film. I mean, there’s a black rebel played by Chuck Jeffreys that 100% is doing an Eddie Murphy impression for the entire movie. Then there’s Deanna Oliver, who was the voice of The Brave Little Toaster, one of the most frightening and strange movies I’ve ever encountered despite its outer trappings as a kid-friendly movie. Russ Tamblyn and Chris Mitchum are here! And Matthias Hues, Talek from Dark Angel (what’s up with this post-Mandela Effect world where I only knew this movie as I Come In Peace?), is a gang member along with everyone’s go-to mutant, Michael Berryman.

The main reason I liked this movie — let’s be honest and say the only reason — is that John Saxon and Richard Lynch play the leaders of the bad guys. To be fair, Lynch is barely in the movie in his role as Commander Eastern. He shows up in one major scene, where he orders around Saxon, holds a small dog and has a missing eye. Trust me, this scene alone boosted this movie up at least 40%.

This was written by Michael Standing, who memorably blew a van to smithereens in The Italian Job. He also plays Gruber in the film. It’s not the best end of the world movie, but with a cast like this, there was no way that I could miss it.

You can watch this for free on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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