STARRING: Pamela Anderson Lee, Temuera Morrison, Victoria Rowell, Jack Noseworthy, Xander Berkeley, Steve Railsback, Udo Kier, Andre Rosey Brown

1996, 98 Minutes, Directed by: David Hogan

Description: Set in the year 2017 when the Second Civil War is in full force, this sci-fi action thriller stars Pam in the title role--a leather-clad biker babe ("don't call me babe," she warns) who runs a nightclub in the last free city in America. The rest of country is controlled by the "Congressional Directorate," a dictatorial superpower which suspects Barb of trafficking in black-market contraband. That gets her into plenty of trouble ... -

There are two reasons why one would want to see this movie - and both of them belong to Pamela Andersen Lee (playmate Barbie clone and star of Babewatch, sorry Baywatch - in case you've been hidden in a black hole for the past three years).

Sure enough, the film makers make sure that one gets to see enough of those two reasons to make you feel that you got value for your ticket's money. And all this is done without a single sex scene!

Mrs. Lee is crammed into a small leather outfit and forced to walk on incredibly high stilettos. All this, while dispatching several goons, without any problems. She, of course, can't act and has admitted as such. Her appeal, as somebody once remarked, is that her hordes of (mostly male) fans doesn't want to drag her to bed - they want to be her!

"The plot is ripped off in its entirety from Casablanca. . . ."

Like all the other perfect people doing perfect things in Baywatch, Pamela Andersen Lee seems exempted for the usual bodily functions that we mere mortals are subject to: sweat, a bad hair day, etc. She is perfect and the movie knowingly lets us in on this when after she dispatches of a host of bad guys in an extreme gunfight (in that outfit!) and she complains about a chipped nail afterwards.

This much honesty in a movie is to be admired. It is, after all, a comic book come to life (it's based on the Dark Horse comic series) and doesn't pretend to be about anything more than that. So if you go see it not expecting anything more than that, you won't be disappointed . . .

Don't expect an original plot either: the plot is ripped off in its entirety from Casablanca. Barbwire is set in the last free city of sorts in a fascist-run America (run by goons dressed like Nazi officers). The Barbwire character owns a night club and one day an ex-lover pitches up with his wife and asks her to help them. Of course, the Nazi bad guys are after them and they have to catch an airplane to safety at the end of the movie.

Barbwire is a tough as nails and cynical as hell: she doesn't choose sides, but soon the cynical exterior gives way to . . . But face up to it: Pamela Andersen is a hell of a lot better looking than Humphrey Bogart.


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