Times Staff Writer

“Future-Kill” (citywide) swiftly self-destructs out of sheer preposterousness.

Debuting writer-director Ronald W. Moore asks us to believe that in the near future a leak in a nuclear lab has contaminated a portion of the inner city of a major American city but that the area has not been cordoned off.

As if this weren’t incredible enough, the contaminated area has become overrun by a young gang of anti-nuclear protesters, the very people you’d suppose would be most aware of the dangers of hanging around the area. (Would Dr. Helen Caldicott take up residence inside Three Mile Island?) What’s more, they’ve gotten themselves up in punk attire in a harebrained attempt to call attention to their cause.

Some prankish fraternity boys enter the desolate area to kidnap one of the anti-nuke punkers, only to run afoul of the dreaded Splatter (Edwin Neal). A victim of “radium poisoning,” he hides his mutilated body in futuristic armor that includes an artificial arm with retractable spikes in its fingers.


Neal and others on both sides of the camera are “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” alumni, but this inept venture, a cheap shot that attempts to combine pious anti-nuke sentiments with the usual exploitation picture gore (which got it an apt R rating), is never going to repeat the earlier film’s phenomenal success. As one disappointed viewer at a Thursday evening invitational preview in North Hollywood was overheard remarking, “I’d demand my money back if we’d had to pay to get in.”


An International Film Marketing release of a Magic Shadows presentation. Exec. producer Don Barker. Producers Gregg Unterberger, John H. Best. Writer-director Ronald W. Moore. Associate producers Moore, Edwin Neal & Terri Smith. Additional material by Unterberger & Best. Camera Jon Lewis. Music Robert Renfrow. Art director Marcos Gonzales. Costumes and makeup Kathleen Hagan. With Edwin Neal, Marilyn Burns, Gabriel Folse, Wade Reese, Barton Faulks, Rob Rowley, Craig Kanne, Jeffrey Scott, Alice Villareal.

Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes.

MPAA-rated: R (persons under 17 must be accompanied by parent or adult guardian).