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INTO THE NIGHT

RSVP : Tanked Up at Moocher's Paradise

April 03, 1995|MARK EHRMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: "Officer," you might have asked, "Why is there a tank in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard?" Why, for the long-awaited premiere of "Tank Girl," a blitzkrieg of images and sounds about a 21st-Century Buck Rogers-meets-Calamity Jane, lead-spraying, foul-mouthed heroine who saves a bone-dry planet from the evil machinations of the Department of Water and Power. The film, based on the popular underground comic, premiered Thursday at Mann's Chinese Theatre. A party followed across the street at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Who Was There: Almost 1,500 people crowded into the theater and 400 showed up at the more exclusive post-screening affair. Familiar faces included director Rachel Talalay; cast members Lori Petty, Ice-T, Malcolm McDowell, Naomi Watts, Jeff Kober, Ann Magnuson, Brian Wimmer, Don Harvey and Stacy Linn Ramsower; plus soundtrack artists L7 and Beowulf. Rebecca De Mornay, Lauren Tom, Brendan Frasier and Jason Simmons also attended.

The Sartorial Gamut: It was a fashion free-for-all. Coats and tails mingled with ripped fishnets; punk rock attire with hip-hop; there were dudes who looked like ladies and vice versa. There were, of course, a few Tank Girl outfits present too.

Freebies: At the screening, paramilitary faux water department types passed out free bottles of mineral water, while "Liquid Silver" girls doled out Astropops, candy cigarettes and Tank Girl candy necklaces. Also making this event a moocher's paradise were Tank Girl water jugs and dog tags.

Quoted: "You could imagine that taking an underground comic book to the studios was quite a long shot," said Talalay, whose baby, conceived about the same time as the filming began, is also due to premiere shortly. "Especially one that was completely outrageous, female--which is a big deal--and has no story originally. So it was quite a trip to make something that was this different and this outrageous and get somebody to say 'yes' and give you a lot of money."

Tips For Budding Tank Girls: "It takes a lot of energy, endurance and martinis," says "Tank Girl" star Lori Petty. "With some glamour and cocktails you will prevail."

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