[Fantasia 2019] RIOT GIRLS Capsule Review: Pure, Post-Apocalyptic Joy

By: Emily von Seele

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I won’t be writing a full review until the film’s official release later this fall, but in the meantime, add Riot Girls to your “must see” list for 2019. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale of friendship, love, and all around badassery. Jovanka Vuckovic (XX) delivers a story that is crazy fun but will also pull on all of your heartstrings and make your clap and cheer.

Set in the an alternate mid-90s that saw a plague wipe out the entire adult population, the surviving kids and teens of a suburban town are left to fend for themselves. When one of their own is captured by a rival gang, the punk kids from the East Side have to band together to get him back. It’s more than just a rescue mission, as the group has to fight through the very core of fascism and take on the top jock leader (played by Turbo Kid‘s Munro Chambers) in order to reunite with their friend. At the center of the story is a queer romance that drives the emotional heart of the film.

The characters feel very real and, though they are battling some dark shit, the tone manages to remain upbeat and fun. You’ll be cheering for the East Side kids the entire way and want nothing more than to join their beautiful little gang of weirdos.

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