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Taking Tiger Mountain

Taking Tiger Mountain (1983) Movie Poster
UK / USA  •    •  81m  •    •  Directed by: Tom Huckabee, Kent Smith.  •  Starring: Bill Paxton, Barry Wooller, David Guthrie, Mrs. Davis, Paul, Judy Church, Io. Church, Cosmo Meemo Chiefo, Barbara Clifton, Minnie Dimple, Ernie Dimple, Lou Montgomery, June Allen.  •  Music by: David Boone, Radio Free Europe, Randy Kelleher.
     Militant feminist scientists brainwash research subject to assassinate the Welsh Minister of Prostitution. Meanwhile World War III is being fought and the USA has been invaded.

Review:

Image from: Taking Tiger Mountain (1983)
Image from: Taking Tiger Mountain (1983)
Image from: Taking Tiger Mountain (1983)
Image from: Taking Tiger Mountain (1983)
Image from: Taking Tiger Mountain (1983)
Image from: Taking Tiger Mountain (1983)
This rare black and white morsel is a tough one to describe. In a foreseeable future, America has fallen after a nuclear war, and the rest of the world is living under a chaotic, pseudo-Orwellian negligence where violence and anarchy are as commonplace as food riots and outbreaks of diseases such as scarlet fever, typhoid, and leprosy, which have risen due to the filthiness that has become so rampant. It is noted that after the thermonuclear war, a degree shift in the earth's axis has caused environmental breakdowns, and there is even a dilution of human gene pools due to the fact that the balance of the sexes has tipped, so much so that men are easily grafted (by choice or under duress, depending on situations) into women, and vice versa. Humans are numbed by "nirvana drugs," and there is a burgeoning common market of prostitution of all ages and types. Mutant rats are mentioned, and marauders roaming the streets prove that the worst tendencies of civilization are being exercised at will. A group of female scientists have a young man named Billy (Bill Paxton early in his career) in their captivity, and they hypnotize him and experiment on him with psychotropic drugs and therapies and program him into doing a complicated task for the good of the earth's balance of the sexes. Under a pretense of enjoying a vacation in Wales for random sexual escapades, he is to seek out a man who runs a prostitution market that spans an entire region and assassinate him. He goes, more than willingly, on a strange and dreamlike odyssey through the urban wastelands while an incessant torrent of broadcasts announce the utter depravity that the United States is pummeling towards. One announcement declares that in the U.S., cannibalism has become commonplace and that a group of people (who include Shirley MacLaine and Richard Dreyfuss, for whatever reason) have been executed by the Catholic Church (government) ... on September 11, which is a strange tidbit. Billy spends awhile wandering around aimlessly, asking for directions, and he makes love (quite graphically) to a woman, and then later becomes sexually and emotionally attached to a young man. It ends with the young man masturbating him and then killing him on a beach, and we get to hear a story by the man Billy was supposed to assassinate, which is where the title comes from. Existential post-apocalypse films are few and far between, and this is one of the strangest and most complex. It has a loose, and yet somehow calculated purpose and direction, and I can only report that it was worth the effort of tracking it down and watching it. It has never been available on video in any format, but with persistence, comes the payoff. The director, Tom Huckabee, didn't direct another feature for another 25 years, but as you know, Bill Paxton went on to become a well-known and busy actor. The script is by Huckabee and Kent Smith and William S. Burroughs contributed to the story.

Review by davidjmoore85 from the Internet Movie Database.