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Tank Girl (film)
Tank Girl poster
Director: Rachel Talalay
Writer(s): Tedi Sarafian
Release Date: March 31, 1995
Running Time: 104 mins.
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Tank Girl is a 1995 film based losely on the Dark Horse comic book series of the same name.


The movie takes place in a dystopian 2033 C.E., after a comet hit Earth, turning it into a wasteland and altering the atmosphere, making it so that there has been no rain for the last 11 years. Water is extremely scarce, and what little is available is controlled by the monopolistic Water & Power (W&P), led by Kesslee. Water & Power are opposed by the almost mythical "Rippers," whose precise nature is unknown as the film opens.

Tank Girl, a.k.a. Rebecca, is a member of a small outlaw group that has set up their own water well in the basement of a house. Learning of the well, W&P attacks, killing most of the people in the house and taking Rebecca and a young girl named Sam (Rebecca's boyfriend's daughter, as it's revealed in The Making of... book). Imprisoned, Rebecca is repeatedly brutalized by Kesslee, who wants to break her spirit. Between intellectual jousts with Kesslee, Rebecca befriends her next-door-cellmate, a mechanic who works on W&P's vehicles.

W&P take Rebecca to the desert, where they have found a Ripper "subgate," an entrance to their underground lairs. Kesslee has his right-hand man, Sgt. Small, inject Rebecca with a tracking device and then forces her walk onto the subgate; if the Rippers kill her, he will be perfectly happy, and if they don't, they will be able to track their location. However, in the midst of having her walk onto the subgate, the Rippers attack, massacring the W&P soldiers and mortally wounding Kesslee (later, we see Keslee being reconstructed by a renowned cybernetics expert, and regaining control of W&P).

Rebecca and her fellow fugitive steal a tank and a jet, thereby becoming Tank Girl and Jet Girl in the process. They start out to rescue Sam, who they learn has been sent to a brothel. On the way, they come across another "outlaw", who, after being disarmed, allows them to use the tools in her workshop to disguise their vehicles so W&P will not recognize them as their own.

Tank Girl and Jet Girl reach the city Liquid Silver where Sam is being held against her will. They arrive just in time to rescue Sam, but are discovered trying to sneak her out. Then the owner of the club known as "The Madam" attempts to catch the three, but TG and JG end up holding her hostage and forcing her to sing "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" for the club. The song becomes a club sing-along and a musical scene, but is cut short by W&P. They take Sam, leaving TG and JG to rescue her once more.

Tank Girl and Jet Girl are determined to gain the help of the Rippers on their next attempt to rescue Sam. After wandering the desert, they find themselves in the Ripper hideout, a buried bowling alley. The Rippers turn out to be genetically enhanced super-soldiers who were infused with kangaroo DNA, created by a scientist named Johnny Prophet during the war. Once the war was over, Prophet was given an order to destroy the Rippers, but he spared their lives (Prophet at this time is somewhere in New Zealand, working on a way of making sea water drinkable). The Rippers' main objective is to take down W&P because they believe everybody should have water. Tank Girl befriends and develops a romantic relationship with a slightly dim-witted Ripper named Booga (Kober), while a Ripper called Donner becomes attracted to Jet Girl, and the two girls are promised acceptance into the Ripper society after they complete a task for them.

Tank Girl and Jet Girl leave to a W&P loading dock where they trick W&P employees into thinking they are photographers putting together a "Men of Water and Power" calendar, and want to photograph them near crates. They photograph the crates and the pictures are immediately sent back to the Rippers in their hideout. Eventually discovering that guns make up the cargo, Tank Girl and Jet Girl's mission now is to get the cargo back to the Rippers.

Once the cargo is successfully retrieved and back at the Ripper hideout, the Rippers open the crates with the intention to destroying any guns inside. However, they discover most of the crates are filled with dirt, and one of the crates holds the corpse of their beloved creator, Johnny Prophet.

Enraged, the Rippers agree to assist Tank Girl and Jet Girl on their mission to rescue Sam and bring down W&P. Breaking into separate groups, Tank Girl assaults by land with her tank while the Rippers and JG try to infiltrate the hangar bay by air. They reunite briefly and during a shootout, one of the Rippers is killed, enraging the others and sending them on a killing spree of W&P personnel. Jet Girl goes after Sgt. Small, who tries to escape in a plane. Once a victim of his sexual advances, she finishes him off while Tank Girl confronts Kesslee, who has put Sam in "The Pipe", a torture chamber of tubes that get narrower as one approaches the bottom, trapping the tortured person inside, further endangering her by letting a hose drain into the pipe with an intent to drown her slowly. Tank Girl and Kesslee battle, and his newly cybernetically-enhanced body is discovered. A few rounds of beer in fired from Tank Girl's tank slow him down, and a dumping of water from above disables his gears; she finishes him off with a sharp device introduced that withdraws water from the victim's very body.

After rescuing Sam, the group reunites in an animated epilogue which seems to have met the resolution to the drought. As Tank Girl drives a water-skiing Booga to the edge of a waterfall, she tells Jet Girl to shut up when attempting to warn her of the danger, and both Ripper and woman happily plummet off the edge as the film freezes and the credits roll.


  • Lori Petty as Tank Girl / Rebecca
  • Ice-T as T-Saint
  • Naomi Watts as Jet Girl
  • Don Harvey as Sergeant Small
  • Jeff Kober as Booga
  • Reg E. Cathey as Deetee
  • Scott Coffey as Donner
  • Malcolm McDowell as Kesslee
  • Stacy Linn Ramsower as Sam
  • Ann Cusack as Rain Lady


The film was shot in New Mexico.

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