The Girl from Monday
Set in a dystopian near-future, this satirical sci-fi flick skewers consumerism taken to its ludicrous endpoint as America's citizens become bar-coded commodities after a revolt puts a media conglomerate in charge. Into this twisted domain -- where sexual activity boosts buying power -- steps a winsome extraterrestrial (Tatiana Abracos) who's come to fetch fellow alien Jack Bell (Bill Sage): the ad man largely responsible for the brave new world.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

This would-be futuristic thriller blends ideas from Jean-Luc Godard and David Bowie together into a intriguing mishmash of sci-fi philosophizing, but as it limps towards its anticlimactic ending, it seems as if one set of ideas is dragging the other one down. In one corner: Consumer credit is now based on human sexuality, and people only date to boost their buying power. The movie riffs endlessly on this idea, such as when a woman is sentenced to two years of hard labor (teaching high school!) for deflowering a teenager and robbing him of his future buying power, and there discovers a Thoreau-quoting rebellion underway. In the other corner: An alien has come to Earth and assumed human form to find her planet's wayward prince, but if she spends too long in human form, she won't be able to swim back out to sea and return to her home. This story is told with scenes of the alien learning how to talk and how to eat, but it never goes anywhere dramatically and it never makes a point, eventually causing frustration whenever it distracts from the much more interesting political story. Were this alien subplot nixed from the start, this would have been a much tighter, much better production.

Perhaps that's a misnomer: This film is so micro-budgeted it evokes the D-grade sci-fi of 1950s where alien outfits were made of tin foil. This is supposedly a future society where everyone is stamped with a bar code on their wrist and undesirables are exiled to a prison colony on the Moon, but people still wear blue jeans and drive Acuras? The illusion is shattered whenever the movie looks around; the narration mentions "on the surface, things still looked the same," because the producers didn't have a budget for anything but ordinary cars, ordinary clothing, ordinary locations, everything from present day. If you can forgive the film its microscopic budget (easy) and sit patiently through its dull alien-visitor material (not so easy), you're in for an intriguing vision of the future of our consumer society.

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