Terminal City Ricochet (1990)

Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedy’s goes Repo Man in this post-apoc sci-fi romp that reminds of Death Race 2000‘s political-parody intrigue — and it’s backed by the music of DOA, Keith LeBlanc, and Nomeansno, along with Biafra himself fronting DOA and Nomeansno for a pair of tunes.

Oi! I’m sold! Hey, ho! Let’s go!

Watch the official Alternative Tentacles trailer.

Canadian acting mainstay Peter Breck (appeared in a wide array of U.S cop and western dramas in the ’60s and ’70, as well as starring as Nick Barclay in ABC-TV’s The Big Valley; you’ve also seen Breck in 1958’s Thunder Road, 1960’s The Beatniks, and 1963’s Shock Corridor by Samuel Fuller) stars as Ross Glimore, a media entrepreneur who serves as the corrupt, evil mayor of Terminal City, a decaying dystopia that manipulates the masses through television — and bans things such as rock & roll and meat — that renders the citizens addicted to consumerism that financially benefits the government.

When Alex Stevens, a punk-youth newspaper delivery boy, witnesses Glimore commit a hit-and-run accident, Glimore dispatches Bruce Coddle (Biafra, in a pisser of a role), a maniacal agent of Terminal City’s Social Peace Enforcement Unit, and his lackeys (DOA’s Joe Keithley and pro-wrestling legend Gene Kiniski) to silence Stevens until after Glimore steals yet another election.

Terminal City Ricochet was never officially available on VHS and rarely shown outside of its native Canadian TV broadcasts, along with an occasional U.S film festival or art house showing hosted by Biafra himself. Alas, there’s no freebie uploads or PPV streams online — you can, however, listen to the soundtrack on You Tube. (I rented a bootleg rip in the early ’90s from a local comic book store that carried VHS obscurities, such as the previously reviewed Hangin’ Out starring Nena; I also picked up the 1993 documentary Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies and Toshiharu Ikeda’s Evil Dead Trap around the same time.)

Alternative Tentacles first issued the film to DVD in 2010, but as of April 2020, they now offer the film and soundtrack as a DVD/CD combo at the reasonable price of $12.00 via their website. If you loved Allan Arkush’s Get Crazy, Alex Cox’s Repo Man, Penelope Spheeris’s Suburbia, Michael Nesmith’s Tapeheads, and Allan Moyle’s Times Square, then you’ll dig the low-budget indie shenanigans of Terminal City Ricochet.

Get this . . . the scribe behind this, Phil Savath, also wrote the David Cronenberg drag-racing epic Fast Company and . . . the sci-fi horror musical Big Meat Eater. Yeah, really. All this, and the Dead Kennedys, too.

And be sure to join us for our “Phil Savath Night” as part of our weekly Drive-In Friday featurette.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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