Original Title:

World Gone Wild  

Alternative Title(s):


Year of Release:



90 minutes PAL VHS. IMDB clocks the US version at 95 Minutes.

Country of Origin:



50 years after the end of the world, the only ones left are nuked-out, zoned-out burnouts. The wildest adventure of all is about to begin. - US Cinema poster

Reviewed Version Rating:

UK Pal VHS 18


      By Michael Petch
                Jan 07

If you’re looking for a film that conforms to almost all the typical PA structures and doesn’t try to push the boundary then this is it. Luckily, there are enough interesting characters and sets to keep it from getting too boring.

No points for guessing how this one starts then. The explaining voice-over is accompanied with a black screen. This was sufficiently long enough to make me check that there wasn’t a problem with the video. Not a great start. Putting it simply, the war was 75 years ago and lasted for 15 years. Now the world's a wasteland and it doesn’t rain, even though there are still some clouds (that’s lucky for the filmmakers). There’s not much water to go around, but in one village in America called "Lost Wells", the water continues to flow and the people are happy. Cue the squawking guitars of the film's title track played over some out-of-focus graphically-altered acts of violence in a vain attempt to create a James Bond-style opening. The music is pretty average rock but quite suitable and entertaining enough.

The town of Lost Wells seems to be mostly made up of abandoned vehicles and a few bits of corn growing in the arid ground. Still, the people seem friendly, if a little simple. School is held on an old school bus and the kids learn from the four books that have survived the nukes. That’s right, four, thus explaining why many of the townsfolk throughout the film seem quite stupid, including the pretty schoolteacher Angie (Catherine Mary Stewart).

How Angie was choosen to be the school teacher we will never know.

Right on time, a little truck slowly pulls into town dragging an old wrecked helicopter. Unfortunately, the helicopter is just for image and is used to carry around Derek Abernathy (Adam Ant) and his men. How Adam Ant ended up here is anybody’s guess. He’s quite a famous singer here in the UK and has a broad accent that simply doesn’t make sense. How did a Londoner in a post-nuke world end up in the US many years after the war? On top of that he looks particularly weedy here. Luckily, he does have one thing going for him, and that’s the look of madness in his eyes, which incidentally may not be too far from the truth. Anyhow, Derek (who decides these names?) and his men, all dresses in white (naturally), have come to murder some of the townsfolk and conscript a few of the youngsters for his army. The townsfolk are all pacifists and get a good kicking.

'When qhoir boys attack'

Enter the Hero of the film, or more precisely the scriptwriter’s hero, as there's another character later on who the studio obviously wanted for all the publicity, etc. More on that later. Enter Ethan, who magnificently manages to kill one of Derek’s men by flicking a hubcap off the ground with a mangled old stick he seems to carry everywhere. There's a brief standoff, but The Ant (from now on I’m calling him The Ant. Derek is a ridiculous name for the lead baddie.) has got what he wants, i.e. four new recruits and a young woman for his wicked ways, so he heads off.

Deadly Frisbee!

Ethan and the teacher head off in his car to what’s left of the nearest city to find some muscle for if The Ant comes back. Driving through the wasteland, they pass old battle zones with marauding cannibals (a surprisingly under-used convention of wasteland PA’s). The nighttime city is full of your typical marauding gangs. Interestingly, a truck with armed and gas-masked officials turns up and slowly starts handing out small jars of water at gunpoint to people with coupons. One family with a new baby doesn’t have any coupons so are turned away. “No coupons, no water,” claims the lead official.” You’ll go to hell for this!” replies the father. “We are already there.” is the official’s sharp response. A biker turns up to steal some water and one of the officials turns on his superior. A fight breaks out and the renegade official turns out to be George, yes George, another superbly awful name for a lead PA character. George (Michael Paré) is the hero that Ethan came to find, a hero who supposedly doesn’t know he is one yet. The story goes that Ethan raised George and taught him everything he knew. The offer of an endless supply of water from Lost Wells is all that George needs to join the team. George, Ethan and the teacher are about to head off when the biker turns up and attacks George. Luckily, the offer of water is much more interesting to him than revenge and he soon joins the group.

Hundreds queue for water. Where and how do you get the coupons? That will forever remain a mystery.

The final destination in town is a trip to a gunfighters' gambling show to pick up a couple of extra men for the group. How Ethan predicted that the outcome of the scene would be to have two extra men on the team I have no idea. A big crowd is watching the gunfighter on stage. It’s a bit of a ruckus, with a topless girl dancing on stage. One guy volunteers for the shoot out and is promptly shot by the cowboy-dressed star of the show. Ethan sends George on stage, pointing out another man hiding behind a curtain. George is about to become the gunfighter's 9212th (see, I do make a few notes while watching these) victim, but he shoots the curtain thus revealing the trick to the show and killing the real shooter who was hidden there. The crowd is incensed and chase the fake cowboy and the tough black bodyguard, Nitro, (who is hilariously dressed in a purple leotard) down the street. Soon enough the cowboy (who turns out to have blanks in his gun) and Nitro join the group and they all head off to Lost Wells.

On the way they stop at the site of an old battleground to pick up some of the conveniently abundant weaponry. A group of half-naked cannibals attack the group, who easily see them off, with one cannibal getting a grenade in the mouth, giving all the characters a good laugh, except for the school teacher. At this point I should admit I didn’t learn all the character names, it just seemed like a pointless chore while watching. You should try it. One of the cannibals, the only one to be wearing clothes and a US flag, turns out to be a friend called Ten Watt, who joins the gang. “He’s a cannibal!” complains the teacher. “Nobody’s perfect.” is the reply. Even cannibals need love...

Grenade in the mouth. Grenade goes boom.

Finally, they reach Lost Wells. The townsfolk are hiding and scared. Ethan is soon to put them at ease. “These are not the bad men. These are our bad men!” Finally, we get to see Lost Wells' water supply. It’s a small mucky puddle, about a meter wide. I’m sure in the script it must have said a fresh running spring, but I guess the budget could only provide a puddle. Nonetheless the recruits are ecstatic and decide that the town is worth saving from The Ant, who we catch preaching biblically to his men in a bizarre cutscene. Originally, Ant was supposed to read from an L. Ron Hubbard book, but the scientologist's got wind of this and threatened a lawsuit, resulting in its removal from the film. Alternatively, The Ant is now seen reading from "The Wit and Wisdom of Charles Manson".

It's a puddle. The towns water supply is a muddy puddle!

Time now for the training montage. Towns folk learn to use hubcaps as deadly Frisbees, Ten Watt collects snakes and scorpions for his camouflaged pit, and the whole town works together to make a wall of trashed cars. Impressively, they make a wall three-cars high that actually goes all the way round the village, unlike in other PA’s when the film makers tend to only make one side and cover this with dodgey camera angles. A helicopter shot reveals the extent of the operation. Not bad.

Round about this time George makes his play on the school teacher, who knees him in the crown jewels, but we know she likes him really. To show how really far from humanity these people are, the teacher keeps a picture of Steve McQueen in her caravan, yet nobody knows who it is. She just liked his face. Bless. Later on the biker tries to rape the teacher. George runs him out of town. Pissed off, the biker heads to see The Ant and change sides. It turns out that The Ant didn’t know about the water supply at Lost Wells. Needless to say, the biker soon has his balls chopped off and The Ant heads off to the village.

Cannibals love to wear flags.

The next morning The Ant rolls into the village with about 50 men all on matching motorcycles (there must still be a dealer somewhere and a petrol station). Unfortunately for The Ant, the whole thing is a trap. His gang is allowed to drive right into the village, then the exits are sealed and the fight begins. Being the part of the movie that everybody was waiting for, it’s not too bad. The leotard guy uses a gun made from an engine block etc etc. Somehow The Ant manages to escape with three or four of his men. Ten Watt heads towards the dead bodies for lunch, and gets a warning that he should only eat The Ant's men.

The town celebrates and Ethan jokes about the puddle drying up to see if the "bad men" now want to stay with the village to help through desire rather than just greed. They all pass the test so it’s happy days. In the evening, George has just about managed to seduce the teacher when The Ant strikes back. Starting with a few well-thought out fireworks to alert the village, The Ant piles on with a fresh group of men. This time he’s desperate to kill George. Why he singles out George is anybody’s guess, but as I said before he's supposed to be the hero. Ten Watt is captured, giving The Ant a chance to show off his acting range. Right in the middle of the fight, George and Ethan decide to have a heart-to-heart. People are fighting around them while Ethan talks rubbish about it not being his fight or something. This guy must have taken way too many drugs by this point. As usual, I like to at least keep at least some of the ending under wraps, but needless to say George and The Ant get into hand-to-hand combat and a few small side plots get cleaned up, such as a young girl whose mother was kidnapped at the beginning getting her revenge.

Where did Derek get his eye patch?

Of course, the film could quite easily end there but this is a PA movie after all. For some reason Ethan has decided that life just isn’t worth living. Now that he has helped save the village he has nothing left to live for. His chosen method of euthanasia? Fire! Luckily for him, and the rest of them who have just all risked their lives for a puddle, the heavens open and the rain starts to fall (see Stryker, Exterminators of the Year 3000 and many others) for the first time in 50 years, saving him from his fiery death and giving him a reason to live.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately this could have been so much more. The filmmaking seemed very laid back and formulaic, yet there were moments where things moved along nicely. Unfortunately, these promising moments are far outweighed by a paint-by-numbers plot. My PA allegiances are split here, because the filmmakers tried to follow all the PA conventions, but you can tell that this film could have been so much more if it had taken its own route. In the end it’s distracting enough, but mostly forgettable.

Alternative Versions:

None that I know of, although IMDB lists the US version as 5 minutes longer than my VHS version. Most likely this is down to approximations. Additionally there probably still exists an original edit in a forgotten store room somewhere with the Scientology reference still in place.

Cast and Crew Facts etc:

Catherine Mary Stewart (Angie) was Maggie in The Last Starfighter.

 Filmed in Bisbee, Arizona, USA.

 IMDB claims a US gross of $307,000, supposedly box office.


“These are not the bad men. These are our bad men!” Ethan.

Connections With Other PA's:

Michael Paré (George) goes on to star in Lunarcop (1994 IMDb) .

Surprisingly there isn't any other connections I can find.

Very Tenuous link: Rick Podell (Exline) was in one episode of Cheers alongside John Ratzenberger (Cliff) from Battletruck. 

Critic's reactions:

From the two reviews I have found at the Washington Post and the New York Times it looks like it never received much praise. Nobody took much notice, which is reflected in its poor box office receipts.

Regular Movie Goers Scores:

Typical B-movie fluff that's entertaining enough in its own way.

For the PA Collector:

Plenty of fun and a few unusual ideas. Enough stupid things happen to make it a worthy watch. Definitely one for the collection.

Purchase Point:

Unfortunately you will need to hunt on eBay for this one. No DVD yet but a laserdisc version was released.

Links / External Reviews:

New York Times

Mad Max mania is the guiding force behind ''World Gone Wild,'' which opened Friday at the Warner theater and was greeted by only a curious few. At the very beginning of this standard-issue post-apocalyptic nightmare, a group of machine-gun-toting choirboys arrive at a desert commune full of over-the-hill hippies and proceed to mow down almost everyone in sight.

Washington Post

"World Gone Wild could be subtitled "Script Gone Bad." A futuristic western, it plunders good movies ("The Magnificent Seven," "The Wild Bunch") and bad ones ("Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome") with equal ineptitude.”


At some sort of rave there's a guy in the crowd wearing a leather jacket and panties. There's no further explanation, and we never see the guy again. I have no idea what that was about, and I don't care to explore the issue.”


An interesting account of how the title song made it into the film.

Countries Released:

US, Iceland, Germany probably worldwide.

DVD Release Info:

Not available at the moment.

Actual Budget/Guessed Budget:

Probably cost less than two million, although there are quite a few characters and I'm sure some of them, especially the Ant, got paid quite a bit. Mostly filmed in what was probably a junkyard's back yard.

Our Score:

 6 out of 10



Box Cover(s):

UK Pal VHS Box (Click to Enlarge)

Turkish VHS (Click to enlarge)

Australian Cover - with practically the entire plot written out on the back! (Click to enlarge)


Laserdisc version

Laserdisc (rear)

Advertisement Poster(s):

US Cinema Poster

Press Cuttings etc:

US VHS Advert - nice sense of humor


More Here



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  Fact Sheet:


World Gone Wild





Civilization Ended via:

Nuclear War

Hero Name:

George Landon

Beefed up vehicles:

Not really

Crazy Gang:


Gang leader/villain name:

Derek Abernathy

Other memorable names:

Ten Watt/Exline/Nitro

Shoulder pads:


Scenes filmed in a quarry:


Lasers or bullets:




Water Shortage:


Petrol Shortage:


Food Shortage:


Bubble Domes:





Brief dancing/dead toplessness

Synth music:


Stupid/Ridiculous Ending:


Miraculous rain:


  Full fact sheet