Smiley Face Panties (Spoiler Alert for Tank Girl)

First of all I would like to establish that no I do not have smiley face panties…

I just finished a fun evening with my fellow classmates watching Tank Girl.

I was not sure what I was in for but it’s certain that nothing could have adequately prepared me for the radical artistic bombardment of Tank Girl. My first reaction after finishing the movie was the I could have appreciated it a lot more if I was watching it in Colorado.

I was disturbed by the highly sexulized bestiality of the movie. The story line left much to be desired and I felt no emotional connection to the characters. However I think that this adds to the shock-you-out-of-your-air SF element of it.  One of the huge points that made Rebecca hard to relate to is that after seeing her boyfriend killed and being tortured she seemingly rebounds on a Kangaroo Man. Also, one of the shocking lines that stood out to me was when the mangaroo tells Jette, “It’s okay; I have a condom. ”  Which is good with the feminism call for safe sex and planned parenthood. However he still fails to obtain the girls consent and the scene ends with much implied. (side note: would a mangaroo even have the right equipment; if you get my gist… I’m too embarrassed to bring this up in class but you can’t see me blush behind this screen.)

I feel like I am probably dwelling a lot of the sex element of the movie but it struck me as possibly the most prominent feature of the film (aside from Tank girl rocking some new rad fashion in ever scene and reminding me of the Gwen.) I was disappointed by Rebecca’s choices and really would of liked to see a more lesbian element. Like when Jette loses her glasses and suddenly becomes an apocalyptic goddess. It is also disappointing to note that the hero’s of the story are the Rippers who turn out to be simple “manamals,” as one of my fellow watchers dubbed them, who are driven by sex just like the human men.

All in all I found it an intriguing film. I’m crossing my fingers that I don’t have trippy dreams tonight… but who knows.

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9 responses to “Smiley Face Panties (Spoiler Alert for Tank Girl)

  1. I did NOT need that visual of her pregnant with a kangaroo baby… Gross.
    And I feel like you are right to dwell on the sexual elements of the film considering that this entire film was VERY sexual. I think the movie was trying to portray female empowerment in sexuality, but it ended up feeling more like it was there for the usual reasons – to capture the male gaze. But then again, I don’t really feel like that’s the worst part of the movie considering SHE BANGS KANGAROOS.

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    • Oops Sorry! 😉
      I totally agree and think that you have a point with the movie trying to empower women with a freedom of their sexuality yet it fails to do so by still portraying their sexuality as defined by the views of men (or mangaroos). Alas. It was made in the nineties. I just wish they could of taken it a step further. And yes. Kangaroo banging was a bit too much in the wrong direction. Very kinky. Maybe something was lost in the translation from comic book to film. I’m trying to give it the benefit of the doubt. I mean does she really get knocked up by a kangaroo?!

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    • AGREED. I feel like they sort of succeeded in saying that women are sexual beings just as much as men are, especially in Tank Girl’s case, but it was still a little oddly represented. I think the exaggeration was kind of intended though, because so often these things are put in subtly and are never noticed. Maybe this way, by pushing it in our face it would make us unable to ignore it?

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      • Peter!! 🙂 yes and I think the over exaggeration goes back to it being based off a comic book… I think that they figured with a bold message of women being equal sexual beings that they figured go big or go home. One of the problems though with the in your face method is that it seems to give a lot of wood to people who oppose “feminism” and think that all “feminist” are crazy lesbian chicks with Katy Perry’isque’ bomb boobs…

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  2. I think I would be more interested to hear why you felt that the movie had such overt sexual themes. Why do you think they chose to present the film that way? Why did they even choose to make the film?

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    • Zack! 🙂 Okay good point… So I think that one of the reasons that it was so overtly sexual is because it is based off an adult comic book series, and it has been in my personal experience that adult comic books tend to be rather perverted but can still tell great stories.
      However I also think that one of the reason that it is so sexual is that it is attempting to portray women in a very liberated sexual state. I’m going off my opinion here and don’t really have authority on the subject, but it seems like men are generally portrayed, at least in the past, as being allowed to be more sexually liberated while women are supposed to be the ones that play hard to get and only have an interest in sex so far as it makes their male partner happy.
      This movie trashes that idea. Women take most of the sexual, or an equal part, of the sexual initiative and drive in this movie. When they don’t they get taken advantage of, like Jette who relies on Rebecca to save her from the unwanted sexual advances (like he nearly rapes her) from their boss.
      Another example of this is how Rebecca is always the one who begins the foreplay. Her boyfriend loves it and it literally helps save her life twice in the movie that I can think of. This further support the idea that woman can and should take an equal role in being sexual beings.
      My guess would be that the movie was made because the comic book was popular but that’s a cope out. So to continue… the comic book came out in the late 80s. This would be around the time that women were becoming more and more sexually liberated (Madonna anyone?). So I think that the movie was made to show that women have sexual prowess on an equal level as men. That a woman can be a total badass and still maintain her sex appeal.
      The movie also has a cool story about greed and what happens when one man has to much power. So I think that it also shows that the world needs more strong women who can and are willing to make the hard social decisions for the betterment of society as a whole.
      Sorry this is such a long crazy reply!

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  3. I seriously never thought I’d say this, but….I don’t quite know how I feel about the bestiality. Maybe it’s like those soldiers who are without women for so long they are like, “well it’d be gay for us NOT to have sex,” and it’s just like, “well I guess you’re the last /guy/ on earth that I know of really so why not?” As someone who loves aliens, I cannot with 100% conviction say I wouldn’t date an alien given the opportunity (don’t judge me okay), I mean we see human/alien relationships in sci-fi all the time, so is this kangaroo thing really that different within the context of the story? I don’t know, ignore the fact I said I’d date an alien. I swear I’m not a complete weirdo.

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    • REspect Bella! Have you seen Katy Perry’s ET music video?
      Maybe… but I mean were the mangaroos the only “good” men left? Were all the others either destroyed or assimilated into WP? And what about the switching sexual orientation option? I still think Jette and Rebecca would make a great couple.
      Okay so nothing wrong with an alien…. a naturally born unmodified being… okay so I don’t want to go there but this also raises the question of sex change and weather or not sexually modified humans are sexually equal to non sexually modified humans… but, and this is a big but, the mangaroo that Rebecca screws with is a dog/kagaroo…. not human at all… dogs make great companions…. loyal…. sweet…. ugh…. a little much no?
      and don’t worry about it… you’re in like minded company…
      I am going to marry Spock.

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