"Romance? With a robot!?"
Cherry 2000 is a mid-eighties action/adventure movie with post-apocalyptic, dystopian, romantic and satirical, as well as neo-western, cyberpunk and science fiction elements. The film takes place in the future - the year is 2017. Sam Treadwell, a professional recycling manager, hires a female tracker to drive into the dystopian wasteland in order to find another copy of his sex robot that just broke down. On their way through the desert, the duo is chased by a new age-style cult leader who has a penchant for healthy diet, frequent exercise, positive energy, blowing stuff up, and killing trackers. Let all of that sink in for a few seconds.
I have some history with this movie by now. I first saw it in the mid-2000s on late night cable TV and during the first minutes it seemed like one of my earliest experiences of the "so bad, it's good"-phenomenon. Halfway through the movie, that impression started to crumble. With the introduction of the villain, the satirical elements of the film became more and more obvious, and some of the lines were suddenly incredibly funny. At the same time, I started getting caught up in the story. By the end, a film that had looked so awful it was entertaining, and then so outrageous it was brilliant, had become a profound statement on relationships.
After re-watching the movie in 2009, I soon looked up Cherry 2000 on E2 since it had become one of my favorite films. I was delighted to find not one, but two writeups on this rather obscure movie (directed by Steve De Jarnatt, by the way) on here. I pretty much read any Cherry 2000 review that I could find. The one I liked best was Mr. Option's review on this very site. I bookmarked it and decided that this would become the first writeup I would give a ching to once I get C! power. And guess what, when I finally reached level four, after eight years on the site, my bookmark, and the writeup, had disappeared. Because on here I maintain my own little category of stuff that has Disappeared From the Internet, and I like to give credit where it is due (and because I'm a little stubborn), here's a quote from Mr. Option that sums up what I love about this movie very well:
"But rest assured, this is a work of genius, exposing a deep understanding of the rift between genders during the height of the supposedly post-sexual-liberation 1980's, an almost sublime sense of humor about sexual alienation and most of all, the erotic link between women and cars in American culture is finally completely laid bare. In fact, this movie is so profoundly subversive that it could only be made under cover of shlock. Do not be fooled by what seems like coke-addled acting and tourette-syndrome editing. This film is high art."
I think the best art is often easiest to misunderstand. In Germany, there is a TV show called "SchleFaZ" that makes fun of what they call "The Worst Movies of All Time" - it's basically a poor man's MST 3000 (they show the movies, in between commenting on, and re-enacting some prominent scenes in the most deranged fashion). In 2013, Cherry 2000 received some notability here as it was covered on that show. Later it was also voted the "Worst of the Worst" movies that had been shown all year. Ever since, there have been plenty more Cherry 2000 reviews online in German, but almost all of them just tell you how terrible the film supposedly is.