Running Time: 100 minutes.
Tag-line: "Don't call me babe!"
Notable Cast or Crew: Pamela Anderson (BAYWATCH, V.I.P.), Temuera Morrison (ONCE WERE WARRIORS, ATTACK OF THE CLONES), Xander Berkeley (TERMINATOR 2, AIR FORCE ONE), Clint Howard (TANGO & CASH, ROCK N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL), Udo Kier (BLOOD FOR DRACULA, BREAKING THE WAVES), Tommy "Tiny" Lister (EXTREME PREJUDICE, RUNAWAY TRAIN), Tony Bill (director of FIVE CORNERS and UNTAMED HEART), Jack Noseworthy (Bon Jovi's music video "Always," IDLE HANDS, ENCINO MAN), John Paxton (SPIDER-MAN, A SIMPLE PLAN), Steve Railsback (HELTER SKELTER, LIFEFORCE, THE STUNT MAN), Victoria Rowell (THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, DUMB AND DUMBER), Shelly Desai (THELMA & LOUISE, ESCAPE FROM L.A.), and Joey Sagal (THE HIDDEN, BEYOND THE LAW). Written by Chuck Pfarrer (HARD TARGET, DARKMAN, NAVY SEALS) and Ilene Chaiken (THE L WORD, THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR).
Best One-liner: Uh... "Don't call me babe?"
In a familiar, darkened alleyway:
"So, what's new?"
–"I'll tell ya what's new. There was supposed to be an 'Only now does it occur to me...' for BARB WIRE, but now there's a full-blown review."
"I remember when that came out. What is it that occurs to you?"
–"Several things. More than several. But most importantly, only now does it occur to me... that BARB WIRE is a remake of CASABLANCA."
"This? You've gotta be shittin' me. You're like those people who make claims such as "THE PAPERBOY is the CITIZEN KANE of jellyfish urination movies, or that "BLOODSPORT 4 is the SCHINDLER'S LIST of Bulgarian Kumite flicks."
–"I happen to stand by those assessments, but this is no joke. BARB WIRE is legitimately a retelling of CASABLANCA, and it's more faithful to the source material than 90% of remakes. It's possible that Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot remake of PSYCHO is less faithful. Although, in this version, Pamela Anderson is Humphrey Bogart, and Temuera Morrison––apparently best known for playing Boba Fett's clone-dad or whatever in the STAR WARS prequels––is Ingrid Bergman."
"You're pulling my leg."
–"You know what would probably be easier? Let's go ahead and re-edit the beginning of the plot description from the Wikipedia page for CASABLANCA. It's sorta like Mad Libs:
December 19412017, American Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart)Barb Wire (Pamela Anderson) is the proprietor of an upscale nightclub and gambling den in the free city of CasablancaSteel Harbor.
"Rick's Café Américain""The Hammerhead" attracts a varied clientele: Vichy French and German officialsSteel Harbor Provisional Gov't and American Crypto-Nazi officials; refugees desperate to reach the still neutral United StatesCanada; and those who prey on them.
RickBarb professes to be neutral in all matters, it is later revealed heshe fought on the loyalist side in the Spanish Civil WarSecond American Civil War.
Ugarte (Peter Lorre)Schmitz (Clint Howard) arrives and boasts to RickBarb of "letters of transit"eyeballs for retinal scanners obtained by murdering two Fascist couriers.
paperseyeballs allow the bearers to travel freely around German-controlled Europethe divided United States, and are thus almost priceless to the refugees stranded in CasablancaSteel Harbor.
UgarteSchmitz plans to sell them at the club that night, and asks Rick to hold themhides them in Barb's bar. Before he can meet his contact, he is arrested by the local police under the command of Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains)Alexander Willis (Xander Berkeley), an unabashedly corrupt VichySteel Harbor official.
Rick'sBarb Wire's bitterness—former lover Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman)Axel Hood (Temuera Morrison)—walks into hisher establishment. Shehe is accompanied by herhis husbandgirlfriend, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid)Corrina Devonshire (Victoria Rowell), a renowned fugitive Resistance leaderscientist.
They need the
letterseyeballs to escape to AmericaCanada. Nazi Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt)Colonel Pryzer (Steve Railsback)
"Wait, you're telling me that Clint Howard is their Peter Lorre?"has come to
CasablancaSteel Harbor to see that LaszloCorrina does not succeed..."
–"That's all you have to say?! This is incredible! How is this not the first thing that anyone mentions when they talk about BARB WIRE?"
"I think you're overestimating how many people are still talking about BARB WIRE. And, I don't know, these images just don't read very 'CASABLANCA' to me. Looks more like a live action GHOST IN THE SHELL-themed rave or something."
–"Well, I mean, it's not exact––"
"And I don't remember a ten minute opening sequence of a semi-nude Humphrey Bogart cavorting beneath the endless spray of a fire hose."
–"It's been a while since I saw CASABLANCA, I can't remember if that scene made the final cut or not––"
"And I definitely don't recall this many van explosions."
–"They might be in there. Maybe during the 'fall of Paris' flashback. And sure, BARB WIRE has a slightly more 'John Woo/Robert Rodriguez' flavor than the original, but..."
"Does CASABLANCA end with the Nazis developing weaponized AIDS and Major Strasser attacking Rick with a forklift while doing Steve Railsback's psycho Manson-cackle from HELTER SKELTER?"
–"You're nitpicking. But who's to say that wouldn't have improved CASABLANCA? Now, you've highlighted some minor differences, but come on. There are only a few things in this world we know for sure. Soylent Green is people, coffee's for closers only, and BARB WIRE is CASABLANCA!
'Play it again, DJ S.A.M.'
The blocking's similar throughout,
the airport scene in the fog's nearly exact,
'Here's looking at you... babe!'
'Don't call me babe.'
Barb and Claude Rains!
Hell, they have their own Sydney Greenstreet, for godssake!"
"Alright. You've convinced me that it's CASABLANCA. But you haven't convinced me to watch it."
–"Allow me to make one final observation. Two simple words: Udo Kier. I can make it three if you like: bald Udo Kier. Wanna try for five? Bald, face-tattoo'd Udo Kier."
–"It's even better if you consider that he was shooting this concurrently with BREAKING THE WAVES."
"Can I be honest with you?"
"I'm probably still not going to watch this."
–"Eh. That's okay."