Pamela Anderson is a joke. She came to fame through a Playboy layout in 1990 and then appeared on five seasons of Baywatch (1989-2001). A brainless airhead who doesnt even seem to understand the jokes that are made about her (even to her face see Ruby Waxs hilarious 1996 interview) and whose sole talent rests on a set of silicon implants that are only obvious in their exaggerated absurdity, to the infamous home sex video circulating on the net, Anderson became a caricature of a blonde joke. For bitchy gossip columnists and late-night chatshow comedians, she was the equivalent of a barn door an easy target. There was fascination with trashing this figure that seems more of an inflatable blow-up doll than a real person. When it came to Barb Wire the film, almost every reviewer ended up reviewing Pamela Anderson instead of the film. Even if the film had been less of a B-movie than it is, one suspects that most reviewers would have gone into it with their minds made up.
Barb Wire is not a particularly bad film; it is in fact a modestly enjoyable B-film. It never takes itself too seriously from its action sequences, to the sight of Pamela Anderson barely managing to keep herself inside her skintight vinyl, to her taking a gun with her into the bath, to its mock Casablanca (1942) ending. It comes with a posed cynicism that is amusing everyone sneers taunts and talks in comic-book balloons. There is not much of a plot the business of the contact lenses is just a McGuffin and the Red Ribbons antidote is mentioned once then never referred to again throughout the rest of the film. Steve Railsback has a great deal of fun, decked out in pseudo-Nazi uniform and chewing the scenery with considerable relish.
Pamela Anderson is adequate she is cast as a bimbo, not for her acting ability and on that front fulfils all that is required of her. On the other hand, Maori actor Temuera Morrison is awful. Snapped up after the international success of Once Were Warriors (1994), Barb Wire was his Hollywood debut. Morrison always had a cold and closed-off aggressiveness and when tapped by Warriors, this proved electrifying. However, he appears to have no other acting mode and in Barb Wire comes across as merely wooden and about as thick as a plank.
Barb Wire is enjoyably silly and can be forgotten five minutes after one exits the theatre. It is not as much fun as that other underrated post-holocaust bimbo film Tank Girl but is exactly what one expected of it and one can hardly condemn it for that.
Former music video director David Hogan has only made one other film. The most interesting name on the credits is that of co-writer Ilene Chaiken who went onto create tvs The L Word (2004-9).