Tank Girl: 20 Facts You Might Not Have Known

Today I’m giving you some facts about 1995 American Science Fiction / Cult-Classic film Tank Girl (which happens to be one of my favourite 1990s movies). I hope you’ll learn something you did not know before.


The film takes place in the year 2033. It tells the story of a girl who is among the few survivors of a dystopian Earth. Riding a war tank, she fights against the tyranny of a mega-corporation that dominates the remaining potable water supply of the planet.

Here are 20 Tank Girl facts you might not have known

1. The film is based on the British post-apocalyptic comic series of the same name. The comic series was created by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett and originally published in Deadline magazine.

2. The film featured performances by Lori Petty (who has also appeared in TV shows like Orange is the New Black, Star Trek: VoyagerHouse MDCSI NY and movies like 1991’s Point Break and 1992’s A League of Their Own), Naomi Watts (who also appeared in The Ring)Ice-T and veteran British actor Malcolm McDowell (who played of the lead roles in the controversial 1971 film A Clockwork Orange).

3. MGM insisted on cutting a scene of Tank Girl and her kangaroo boyfriend Booga reclining after sex, despite spending $5,000 on a prosthetic penis for Booga.

4. The creators of the Tank Girl comic didn’t like working on the film. They called it “a bit of a sore point”. According to Hewlett “The script was lousy. We kept rewriting it and putting Grange Hill jokes and Benny Hill jokes in, and they obviously weren’t getting it. They forgot to film about ten major scenes so we had to animate them … it was a horrible experience.”

5. When John Calley became president of MGM/UA, he immediately snapped up the rights to Tank Girl for only $25,000.

Tank Girl
Lori Petty in ‘Tank Girl’

6. The song “Girl U Want” played during the film’s title sequence was performed by Devo. They re-recorded it to sound like the Soundgarden version, which was too expensive to license.

7. Each Ripper’s make-up took about four hours to apply. Three technicians from Stan Winston’s studio were required to work on each Ripper’s articulations during filming. No puppets or digital effects were used for the Rippers. The actors said it was like wearing a couch. Ice-T never once complained. When asked why, he said that it was “better than prison”.

8. Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham and Geri Horner from the Spice Girls tried out for the role of Tank Girl.

9. Rachel Talalay pitched the film to Amblin Entertainment and Columbia Pictures, who both turned it down. She turned down an offer from Disney as she did not believe the studio would allow the levels of violence and the sexual references the plot required.

10. One band the filmmakers wanted for the soundtrack was little-known act named Green Day. During production, they got so big that they could no longer afford them.

11. Rebecca (Tank Girl) wears 18 different outfits and hairstyles throughout the film.

12. Courtney Love was offered the role of Jet Girl, but backed out when her husband Kurt Cobain (the Nirvana frontman) committed suicide. She eventually came back and worked as the film’s music supervisor.

13. The Water & Power tanks are actually cold war era Soviet PT-76 light tanks. They are amphibious.

14. The tank used in the film is a modified M5A1 Stuart. It was purchased from the government of Peru about twelve years prior to filming and had already been used in several films. The tank’s 37 mm anti-tank gun was covered with a modified flag pole to give the appearance of a 105 mm gun. An entire 1969 Cadillac Eldorado was added onto the tank, with the rear section welded at the back and the fender welded to the front.

15. Steven Spielberg was asked to produce the film, but declined because he felt he was not hip enough for it. This led to a slogan that the film was “Too Hip for Speilberg”.

16. Björk was offered the role of Sub Girl. She originally accepted but later dropped out. Her character’s scenes were re-written, and the role was then given to Ann Cusack (John Cusack’s sister).

17. In the comics and in the movie, it’s never acknowledged that Tank Girl could be suffering from a mental disorder. If so, it’s likely that she could be suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder. The symptoms of the disorder are: Failure to obey laws and norms, warranting criminal arrest; lying, deception and manipulation for amusement or profit; impulsive behavior; irritability and aggression, including assaulting others; blatant disregard for the safety of self and others; a pattern of irresponsibility and lack of remorse.

18. According to Rachel Talalay, almost an hour of footage was deleted.

19. Iggy Pop had a cameo in this film. He played the tiny role of Rat Face.

20. The film had a budget of $25 million but only managed to rake in $6 million at the box office.

Well, there you have 20 facts you might not have known about Tank Girl. If I left out anything important, feel free to comment below and let me know.

If you haven’t watched the film, check out the trailer for Tank Girl below:

Click here to find out where you can watch / stream Tank Girl online.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Movies category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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