Sometime in the future, Python (Nathaniel Sylva) is a legendary ex-soldier who was arrested for terrorism following the murders of several of his fellow squaddies while in Baltimore. He's been imprisoned cryogenically since then in a jail based on the Saturn moon of Titan.
However, a military shuttle is employed to thaw out Python and return him to Earth where he is to finally hear his sentence. The task of ferrying him back to his home planet is overseen by his former colleague - now arch enemy - Uxbridge (Aaron Andrade). He'd just as soon shoot Python in the face than take him to justice. But, orders are orders.
Midway through their journey home, Uxbridge and his team become aware of serious shit going down on Earth. Radiation counts are through the roof and signs of life are suddenly scarce. A major threat is evident: Uxbridge reluctantly agrees to release Python from his spaceship cell and ask for his help.
Without further ado, Uxbridge and his crew set their sights on a sign of human life that they've detected from beneath the ground in an American city. Landing their shuttle on the barren streets, they make their way towards the apparent life and send Python into a building to investigate further. In there, he finds friendly Gazeebo (Steven O'Broin) - who is quickly persuaded to take Python, along with Uxbridge and his men, down below the surface where a small group of apocalypse survivors work together to get by. Most survivors are so hideously mutated, we learn, that this group of relatively normal people - they're all impotent as a result of radiation exposure - prefer to remain hidden with the provisions they've managed to so far acquire.
However, there's a major problem looming. A gang of biking looters noticed the shuttle land nearby and have come sniffing, keen to steal whatever they can. Led by cackling miscreant Wren (Rich Tretheway), who’s flanked by the seriously demented double threat of Rag (Tobias Wilson) and Tag (Christian Masters), this murderous gang will stop at nothing for gain.
Fortunately for Gazeebo and his rather geeky clan, Uxbridge and his men are not about to give up their newfound sanctuary to anybody. And so urban warfare ensues, with convict-turned-saviour Python at the heart of the action...
This 2014 sci-fi mini-epic (a hugely ambitious endeavour considering its reported $20,000.00 budget) marks yet another film from insanely prolific director Richard Griffin. What's more, it's another GOOD film too ... How does he do it?!
A clear homage to classic apocalyptic trash flicks of the 1980s, the script - by Sylva - is often tongue-in-cheek but manages to strike a balance between its camp humour and B-movie action, just. Griffin has a hand in the tone, obviously, and is typically adept at shifting from theatrical one-liners to expertly edited set-pieces at the drop of a hat. From Michael Thurber (a regular actor in the director's films) appearing as an exaggerated "luvvie" version of himself, to a wonderfully invigorating open-air laser gun battle midway through the film - Griffin knows how to play to the strengths of both audiences.
Okay, the space-set visuals are hammy as fuck - in an enjoyable, sub-"Red Dwarf" manner - and the prospect of Sylva as a notorious killing machine is highly unconvincing. But, if anything, these budgetary limitations lend the film added charm. They complement the many pluses (a cast full of quirky, energetic characters; gloriously cheesy action sequences; insults in the script that encroach on John Waters or Troma territory) in a manner which makes FUTURE JUSTICE a whole lot of guilty fun.
FUTURE JUSTICE looks very good on MVD Visual's region-free DVD. The aspect ratio of 2.35:1 is adhered to as per Griffin's preference, and nicely enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Colours are strong, blacks remain stable and images are clean throughout. Nice and sharp clarity adds to the impressive shot-on-HD visuals.
English 2.0 audio does a great job of balancing its channels evenly, and providing a clean, clear playback throughout.
A static main menu page opens up the disc. There is no scene selection menu but you can find your way through the film by way of 10 remote-controlled chapters.
Bonus features begin with an audio commentary track from Griffin and several of the cast and crew members. Most significantly, of course, is Sylva. The two of them dominate this fact-filled track, though producer Ted Marr pipes up on occasion and others - including O'Broin and cinematographer Jill Poisson - join in the jovialities when able.
The film's original trailer follows, which runs for an exciting and well-edited 2 minutes and 46 seconds.
We also get a short film from 2010 entitled "Mutants of the Apocalypse". Another Griffin venture, this slick CGI-heavy 7-minute short is a thematic forerunner to FUTURE JUSTICE. Its storyline is understandably rushed, but it's all fun regardless.
FUTURE JUSTICE provides solid camp, cheesy entertainment while paying homage to the best bits of films like MAD MAX 2 and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (I almost neglected to mention the superb Carpenter-esque score!!). It's good fun, and it looks great on MVD Visual's reliable DVD.
Review by Stuart Willis
|Released by Scorpio Film Releasing|
|see main review|