When pop-culture sensibilites were being handed out, Red Lemonade and I probably had a ‘Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill’ style catfight over the same one. We both like comic book characters, guilty pleasure, feminist icons (in the kicking-ass sense), burlesque and 80’s cheese cartoons.
The woman is far too fast for me though. I once published a post on Kiki de Montparnasse. Red Lemonade had done one like TWO YEARS before I did. I was writing a post on Catwoman. Boom! Red Lemonade published a far superior one. I spent the day watching Jem on Youtube and aimlessly humming the theme tune and before the seed of a post idea could germinate, a post had gone on Red Lemonade. BLAMMO! I kid, I kid… Here’s Red Lemonade’s Inspiration.
As someone who has a soft spot for cult films, it’s safe to say that one of those particular spots is reserved for the bonkers 1995 comic book adaptation and commercial flop Tank Girl. Fans of the comic book were (and still are) annoyed at how watered-down their punky anti-heroine appeared, as she’s a much brasher, cruder and more violent character in her original form. All that aside however, what nobody can deny is that Lori Petty 100% looked the part for the film, her myriad costume changes and hairstyles perfectly capturing the frenzied militaristic and messy feminist warrior Tank Girl aesthetic that was required.
Saying that though, when I first watched it as a twelve or thirteen year old, it really bothered me that her hair seemed to flip flop between being all but shaved off one minute and there being enough of it to be twisted into long blonde plaits the next. The odd thing is that I was fine with the whole genetically engineered kangaroo/man hybrid soldiers thing (not to mention the weird inter-species tomfoolery, seeing as she hooked up with one of them) and yet I couldn’t get on board with her hair changing so drastically throughout the film. Since then, I’ve learned to appreciate the fact that this doesn’t actually matter in the slightest, and while the film itself is admittedly manic, silly and a bit all over place, (that’s not to say that I don’t love it though) what really stays with me is Tank Girl’s ferocious, haphazard sense of fashion.
Ripped baseball socks worn as sleeves, candy necklaces, army surplus gear, steampunk aviator goggles, patch-laden denim, Droog style bowler hats accompanied by drawn-on eyelashes and chequered rocket bras that would put Madonna’s gold Gaultier cones to utter shame are all in a days work, or wardrobe as the case may be, for Tank Girl. There’s something delightfully nineties about her future-punk look and her lipsticked snarl as she flippantly back-talks her way through the story.
A common movie trope seems to be that in any futuristic post-apocalyptic situation, people are guaranteed to dress like punks. Desert punks at that. But I can assure you that nobody does it with as much style or swagger as Tank Girl.
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