After five years of cryogenic solitude, Python Diamond returns on a heavily armored military escort ship, returning from Saturn where a maximum prison holds Earth’s most dangerous convicts until their execution date. As they close in on home, Earth has gone dark, communications have gone silent, and massive radiation cover most of the populated soil. A faint signal of power draws the crew down to a manageable radioactive portion of scorched Earth where they discover a small band of people, surviving in an underground bunker and striving to live in a post nuclear fallout. The exploration of life search doesn’t go unnoticed as a violent, more dominant group of survivors seek to take the military’s possessions, if not their lives too, and when war breaks out between them, another mutated and dangerous player enters the game.
Another Richard Griffin directed project and another great example of a superbly self-reliant genre film thats sharp-witted, off-colored, and, of course, entertaining to horror and post-apocalypse fans. Though Griffin and his usual cast of cast members tackle the homage with full-brute strength, Griffin places a gently new-used spin upon each of his inspired works in the form of great absurdity that’s hard to refute or dislike no matter what genre of movie fits your fancy. His post-apocalyptic, science-fiction, horror film “Future Justice” revolutionizes the homage by stripping iconic films of their popularities and mashing them together into a very coherent and comprehensible story without seeming like a total rip off. Instead, Griffin takes the Nathaniel Sylva written story and runs with it like a powerful running back whose hugging on tight to that pigskin ball and charging like hell to the end zone for his first touchdown, treasuring that first score and making it his own unique success even though scoring touch downs has been down countless times before.
The underwhelming title, “Future Justice,” doesn’t speak much to the film’s overall enthusiastic gesture. Yet, the witnessing of gung-ho filmmakers given only an inch to work with and stretching that into a long mile, or even two, is always an amazing length. Nathaniel Sylva didn’t only write the film, he also starred as the lead character, a confident and calculating convict named Python Diamond which is a bit of a play on the John Carpenter Snake Plissken character from “Escape from New York” and “Escape from L.A.” Then, the story embarks on a motley crew, like you would see in a “Mad Max” movie, group of scavengers looking to take all and leave nothing for the rest. Finally, “Future Justice” takes an unexpected turn by introducing a radiation mutated, humanly doctored, one pissed off person-creature that hungers to seek and destroy every last living being in the underground bunker.
The successfulness of character actor Steven O’Broin’s Gazeebo, head of the blood thirsty gang, makes him ruthlessly enjoyable to watch on screen. O’Broin and Griffin have worked previously together on “Sins of Dracula;” O’Broin aspired to be similar to Vincent Price in the Hammer Horror influenced Dracula film. Michael Thurber, more notable one of Griffin’s entourage of actors and also co-stars in “Sins of Dracula,” delivers a phenomenal and intentionally excessive method acting skill that always fits into, in every which way, all of Griffin projects. Working with an estimated $20,000 budget and limited locations doesn’t translate over to O’Broin or Thurber who can transform a small production into the illusion of a bigger ordeal, causing a mind altercating effect with their viewership. “Future Justice” delivers movie magic at its finest.
Speaking of movie magic, visual effects supervisor John Dusek works along side again with Griffin and meshes a blend of practical effects with campy computer generated imagery. The result only adds to the unique charm, capturing the zany essence of this world gone dark story and running with it to take the zaniness one step further, but also respecting the Italian post-apocalyptic films of the 1980s. Exploding heads, detaching limbs, brain-splattering head shots keep the violence fresh when various effect methods are implemented and Dusek tunes right into his entire arsenal to deliver. The effects go hand-and-hand with Daniel Hildreth’s space epic score, striking the composer analogue of other Sci-Fi film greats.
The MVDVisual region free DVD release is presented an in unrated 16:9 widescreen format at a runtime of 83 minutes. The extras include a commentary with cast and crew, a short film entitled “Mutants of the Apocalypse,” and a theatrical trailer of the film. The clear picture defines the details and vividly displays the colors, especially when the mutated creature emerges. The 2.0 audio mix hinders a little in the dialogue by the overpowering score and ambient tracks, but doesn’t disrupt much at all. “Future Justice” doesn’t apologize for laying down the law by smacking action and thrills right to the face. I’d recommend this title to any Sci-Fi or horror buff in a need of a necessary relapse into the post-apocalypse.