Media Birthday Party, 3/31

By Cat Eldridge.

  • March 31, 1995 Tank Girl premiered. Based on the British comic book created by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett (who also illustrated it), the movie starred Lori Petty as Tank Girl along along with Naomi Watts, Ice-T and Malcolm McDowell. It was directed by Rachel Talalay who was responsible for Ghost in The Machine, and directed a lot of new era Doctor Who episodes.  Critics at the time used words like tiresome and amateurish to describe it though one found it funnier than Batman Forever. The audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it an excellent 63% rating. 
  • March 31, 1987 — The Max Headroom series premiered on ABC. This is the America version of Max Headroom as the British version was Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future which is essentially identical to the initial origin episode of the American series. Matt Frewer as Max Headroom and Edison Carter; Amanda Pays as Theora Jones; and W. Morgan Sheppard as Blank Reg, would reprise their characters from the British film. It ran from April of 1985 to March of 1987.  A spin-off series, a talk show featuring Max was recorded, The Original Max Talking Headroom Show, this time in New York. It aired on Cinemax between the two seasons and lasted six episodes. 
  • March 31, 2009 Dragonquest premiered. It was directed by Mark Atkins, and produced by David Michael, Latt David Rimawi and Paul Bales. It stars Marc Singer, best remembered for his roles in the Beastmaster film franchise, along with Jason Connery and Brian Thompson.   It bears absolutely no relation to either the novel of that name by Anne McCaffrey, nor to the Dragon Quest RPG series. On Rotten Tomatoes, the audience reviewers definitely do not like it as they give it a 6% rating. 
  • March 31, 1999 The Matrix premiered. It written and directed by the Wachowskis.  It starred Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and Hugo Weaving. It was the first film in the Matrix franchise. It would finish second to Galaxy Quest in the Long Form Dramatic Presentation Hugo voting at Chicon 2000.  It’s considered one of the best SF films of all time, and it currently has a rating of 85% among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. 
  • March 31, 1987 Steel Dawn premiered. It was directed by Lance Hool. It starred Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi. The working title of the film, reflecting its mix of science fiction and western, was Desert Warrior. Doug Legler, best known as director of the Dragonheart sequel Dragonheart: A New Beginning, was the writer. Though made on a shoestring comparatively speaking, it still lost millions, and critics founds it boring. Currently it has a 34% rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.

3 thoughts on “Media Birthday Party, 3/31

  1. I like Max Headroom a lot, but I preferred it 30 years ago when it was a satire to today when it’s a documentary. (Similarly They Live.)

  2. March 31, 1995 — Tank Girl premiered.[….]Critics at the time used words like tiresome and amateurish to describe it though one found it funnier than Batman Forever.

    Awwww, but Lori Petty was great!

  3. Patrick Morris Miller: Let’s assume I’ve pushed the like button on your comment about Max Headroom.

    For me, MH was one of the all-time great teevee shows. Some lament its short run; I can’t believe it made it to air in the first place. An underappreciated miracle.

    This is a good crop of media properties. If Tank Girl had been as fortunate as MH, it would have made a really good b-movie, but too many hands dunked themselves in the soup, as it were.

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