Future World is James Franco’s love-letter to Albert Pyun’s Cyborg universe. And lucky for me, I absolutely adore Albert Pyun’s Cyborg universe (I’ve written many post-apocalyptic novel tributes to the man myself.) I consider Nemesis and Knights to be among the absolute best B-movie post-apocalyptic sci-fi flicks ever made.
Does Future World belong in that elite group of batshit insane robot flicks? No. But it was a damn fun ride and a great send-up to one of the coolest sub-genres of science fiction.
I don’t know the back story about this flick but it seems Franco called in some favors from some very talented friends to go out in the desert and shoot himself an Albert Pyun movie. He’s got A list actors like Mila Jovovich, Lucy Liu, Method Man and Snoop Dogg (Ok these last two might not be A list actors, but are certainly household names.)
He’s got freakin Werner Herzog’s director of photography doing amazing hand-held, long shots with complex interior/exterior action and even managed to score the lead from another weird post-apocalyptic flick in Suki Waterhouse who played the super-hot amputee ass-kicker in 2016’s The Bad Batch (which also featured A-list actors in a low budget B-movie.)
So what’s Future World all about? Not much, really. This sub-genre of sci-fi generally consists of dressing up a bunch of beautiful women in fetish-wear and then making them run, ride dirtbikes and drive dune buggies through the California desert for an hour and a half and that’s exactly what happens here.
James Franco takes on the role of the big bad in this one in the form of Warlord, a desert raider and leader of a gang of bikers who stumble upon a beautiful cyborg named Ash who has deactivated herself as a protest to the endless human war raging in the wasteland.
Franco’s Warlord reactivates her and makes her his sex/violence slave. Meanwhile, over in the lush, green Oasis, Lucy Liu’s Queen is dying from a terrible post-world disease and her son Prince has heard rumors that a cure exists on the other side of the wasteland.
Prince and his buddies ride to the Neon Forest AKA Snoop Dogg’s strip club for information only to run into Warlord and Ash. Prince’s friends are killed and Warlord forces Prince to take him back to the Oasis so Warlord can rape and plunder. Ash defies her new owner, saves Prince and heads deep into the desert where they meet Mila Jovovich’s Drug Lord, a psychotic meth cook who falls in love with Ash the moment she sees her.
What follows is some fantastic hammy acting from all involved. They know exactly what they’re doing here from the plot, to the character designs right down to the 80s throwback synth soundtrack from Toydrum. This isn’t supposed to be a great cinematic work. It’s supposed to be a fast, loose, cheap post-apocalyptic robot movie the likes of which were made over and over and over again in the 1980s after the popularity of Albert Pyun’s Cyborg.
In the end, I found Future World to be an absolute blast. There’s great and I mean GREAT action cinematography, cool costume designs, over-the-top action and violence and some very sweet subplots involving girl-on-robot-girl action that will surely satisfy Suki Waterhouse fans.
Future World is available now at Redbox and I’m sure it’ll hit everyone’s favorite binge streaming sites soon enough. If you’re a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre, give this flick a shot. There’s a LOT worse out there. I give 2018’s Future World 4 out of 5 enthusiastic lesbian cyborg StrangeHeads!