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BATTLE QUEEN 2020 - Skull
Rated R
Copyright 2001 Critical Conditions Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 6 July 2008

The Characters:  

  • Gayle - Julie Strain! She is the "Battle Queen," because she's Julie Strain, and big and angry. Oh my God! Look, it's Julie Strain! She must be some sort of futuristic mistress of combat!
  • Spencer - Head of the Elite, though I cannot figure out why. All he does is sit around with big cigars in his mouth. Shot.
  • Joad - Previously a member of the Elite, but now the rebel leader. He has a skunk stripe in his hair and wears henley shirts. "Henley, the fashion of freedom."
  • Lincoln - He is old and just about dead.
  • Clare - A young girl. Her older self is supposedly the narrator. Do I sound like I care? No. Should you care? No again.
  • Manson - Head of the Elite's private army. Why did it take him so long to realize that he could easily seize power from Spencer? All of the Elites are selfish bastards who spend their days scheming. If this guy took twenty years to realize that he could take over, he is one dumb bastard. Thank goodness that Gayle shoots him. I hate having stupid people in charge.
  • Priscilla - Manson's private dominatrix. She wears a bra made from Christmas ornaments and carries a set of foam nunchucks.
  • Doctor Braxton - I do not think that he really is a doctor. What made me suspect this is his refusal to use anesthesia when removing a patient's brain with a Dremel. Dies after Gayle stabs him with a syringe (and she was not certified to perform that procedure either).

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Having finally gotten the children to sleep, I was ready to watch "Battle Queen 2020" so I could take notes for this review. Before consigning myself to the couch, I poured myself a glass of Jack Daniels. To be honest, it would be called a "stiff drink" by anyone except the most hardened of alcoholics. It was not Gentleman Jack, nor my cherished Single Barrel Jack, but the rather biting Black Label Jack (which should be mixed with Coke). It was a big freaking glass of hard liquor. I was not looking forward to watching "Battle Queen 2020," and wanted something to take the edge off of the pain.

I had seen "Battle Queen 2020" before, you see.

Unfortunately, gulping down the Jack Daniels did not help at all; it might have made me even less hospitable. I use a spiral notebook to jot down remarks, and this time a number of my notes were not safe to be read aloud in mixed company. Hopefully I am being perfectly clear when I say that I hate this movie.

Clare's narration and what I believe is intended to be a fictional BBC broadcast provide all the necessary background about what happened to Earth. A huge asteroid smacked into Florida (finally ending careless real estate speculation) and destroyed civilization, and I mean civilization as a whole, not just Disneyland. The clouds of debris that were thrown into the air caused a new ice age. Most of the people who are left are forced to live in unheated tunnels far below the world of ice and snow. Food is scarce, and medicine unheard of. In the vacuum left by the sudden disappearance of government a class of people known as the Elites have taken power. The Elites have it pretty good. They have plenty to eat and drink, reside in a luxurious mansion above ground, and throw parties every night.

The Elites are also all men. The Elite mansion is more like a gentleman's club, stocked with dozens of pretty ladies who have been "rescued" from the frozen underground warrens of humanity and raised up to be some rich chump's piece of tail. Gayle is the head mistress. She struts around, issuing orders to the other women. "Pluck those eyebrows!" "Wax that bikini area!" "Use a douche!" - that sort of thing.

Egad! I just realized something: Clare's narration throughout the film is a device probably cribbed from "The Road Warrior."

Not everyone is happy with the Elites living it up while the balance of humanity starves and freezes to death. A group of rebels makes life very dangerous for Manson's paramilitary goons. The rebels ambush Elite stormtroopers, kill them with blowguns, and take their snowmobiles. The loss of the snowmobiles is a major blow to the Elite power base.

Yes, snowmobiles. I guess we, the audience (you, me, and anyone else who was ever so unlucky as to witness this movie), are supposed to stand in awe of the war of attrition that Joad and the rebels are fighting by depriving the Elites of snowmobiles. Freaking snowmobiles! The factions are supposed to be fighting a winter war against each other; both sides wear white suits to blend into the snowy landscape, but the snowmobiles are gloss black! And they're just snowmobiles. They don't have rockets or machineguns mounted above the skis or anything of that sort.

I am not going to start on the blowguns; already pissed off enough as it is.

Typing while frothing at the mouth is difficult, so I took a little breather before continuing. Much better. Now I am just annoyed. So, Gayle spends her days (and quite a bit of her nights) on her back, satisfying whatever carnal urge has gripped her sugar daddy, Spencer. Sometimes she sneaks down into the tunnels with food for her friends and family. All of that changes when Clare arrives in the bordello. Gayle does not understand what Braxton wants with a young girl, and the possible answer sickens her. Braxton's interest in Clare is even worse than Gayle thinks. The Elite stay eternally young by harvesting the pituitary glands from the underground peons. When Gayle finds out that Braxton intends to cut Clare's skull open to dig out part of her endocrine system, she bitchslaps the doctor unconscious.

What exactly Braxton does with the pituitary glands to rejuvenate the Elites is never revealed. Maybe he transplants them. Maybe he puts the fleshy mass into the blender and hits frappé to create a smooth and fruity drink that magically makes people young again. I do not know. The person who wrote the script probably does not know. Let it go.

Transplanting the pituitary from a girl into a man has to be a bad idea anyway. What if it goes whacko? Ever seen an old man leaking milk from his nipples and having a period? Not a pretty sight.

Why do I think about these things? Why do I watch these movies? Why I am watching this godforsaken film?

To save Clare's life, Gayle bundles them both up (Clare is stuffed into a padded seabag of all things) and ventures outside. The pair is saved from certain death by hypothermia when a rebel patrol discovers them. Back at the Elite's mansion, Spencer is not so lucky. He finds out the hard way that letting another pituitary-eating gangster control the Elite's private army was a bad idea. Spencer becomes superfluous. Meanwhile, Gayle and Clare are shown around the rebel hideout (it's only one room). Preparations are under way for a frontal assault on the Elite compound. Joad intends to wipe out the Elites and free the people, plus steal some more snowmobiles.

Again with the snowmobiles.

The final battle between the rebels and the Elites is...rather anticlimactic. Joad takes out a couple of guards with his martial arts moves, then faces off against Manson and Priscilla. In the distance, encroaching glaciers rumble. Gayle dispatches Braxton with an improperly used syringe that would have had twenty lawyers dashing down the street screaming, "Malpractice!" in any other world. All I wanted was for the film to end. Let the glacier collapse on the people and kill them all, leaving the Earth to a bunch of fish-eating flightless freaks of the bird world. Fine with me. At least penguins don't make awful movies.

"Battle Queen 2020" is a mess of a film. It purports itself to be a futuristic war movie, but it is nothing of the sort. The biggest fight scene involves three people! Also, despite the cover art and a picture on the back, Julie Strain never wields a pulse rifle like the Marines use in "Aliens." The most ass she kicks is against a heavy bag. She does knock Braxton around, but that is hardly a surprise. Braxton is a putz. Most of the plot involves Gayle acting like a bordello madam and the nearly useless bits about the people starving in the underground passageways.

I do not know why this movie was ever made, but I am sure of who made it: mall ninjas; mall ninjas with snowmobiles.

Christmas in July 2008

This review is a part of the Darksider's annual "Christmas in July" celebration. Click on the banner for more reviews on other websites.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Julie Strain was born with breast implants.
  • The life of a whore is never easy, but the food is good.
  • Squeezing a woman's breasts really hard will make her look like Kermit the Frog.
  • It is amazing what you can do with some cardboard, sand, and gray paint.
  • Having AB- blood is always a bum deal.
  • Whores are naturally adept at the roundhouse bitchslap.
  • Even in an arctic wasteland, there are women who will manage to end up wearing a wet t-shirt.
  • The worst thing about having a six-foot-tall girlfriend who likes to wear high heels is when she steps on your foot.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 12 mins - He would probably appreciate it if you dumped some of that cognac into his IV bag.
  • 14 mins - That woman has some balls.
  • 27 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT! Wait, are those really "breasts" in the medical sense?
  • 28 mins - I have that same kind of plastic shelf in my laundry room. I keep detergent and stuff on it.
  • 36 mins - What the heck did he just say?
  • 49 mins - I came here for "Battle Queen," but stayed for the cheap futuristic melodrama. Nobody knows why.
  • 52 mins - Her silicon breasts helped to insulate her from the cold.
  • 55 mins - Who gives a f**k? Honestly, I am sick and tired of this movie. It is after dark, and I want to do something besides watch this stupidity.
  • 70 mins - I could mow the lawn, except the neighbors would probably call the police on me.
  • 72 mins - "You jerk! That was my favorite kidney!"


  • Gayle: "You are now a mistress of the Elite. You are to entertain them and please them. If you do this well you will be rewarded with luxuries which you have never heard of before, nor has anyone in the underground."
  • Spencer: "I hate it when you read. You know that?"
  • Spencer: "We're dying here."
    Gayle: "You look great to me."
    Spencer: "It's a facade, built on s**t. I'm eighty-four years of age. You know that, right?"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note battlequeen1.wav Older Clare: "I was born in Sector 4 of the underground. Most people here didn't belong to any family. There was no food, no pride, and no order. It was cold and dark, and what little food we did get was rationed to us by a group called the Elite. They were the only ones who lived above ground."
Green Music Note battlequeen2.wav Woman: "The dwellers, they went to another sector looking for food. There's so little around."
Gayle: "What about my brother?"
Woman: "No one's seen him for weeks. He joined with Joad."
Green Music Note battlequeen3.wav Gayle: "I want to know what happens when the people get picked up."
Spencer: "I can't discuss that."
Gayle: "I saw something today, in the lab."
Spencer: "You're not supposed to be down there."
Gayle: "It was someone I knew. These are my people."
Spencer: "Who do you think you are? I took you from the sewers and I can put you back in the sewers! Now get out of here!"
Gayle: "Fine."
Green Music Note battlequeen4.wav Manson: "They've gone outside."
Spencer: "What a shame. I'm sorry to hear that."
Manson: "Really? The kid was Lincoln's donor."
Spencer: "Braxton, you bastard, why didn't you tell me that?"
Braxton: "The point is, it's suicide if they went out there unprotected. It's seventy-five below. Their faces will fall off in seventeen seconds."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipbattlequeen1.mpg - 4.9m
Gayle erupts into explosive action as the "Battle Queen" of the frigid future! I might be exaggerating a bit there. However, this is just about all the battle queenage that we get.

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