Talalay made her producing debut on John Waters' "Hairspray" (1988) and performed the same chores on "Cry-Baby" and the teen comedy "Book of Love" (both 1990). She made her directorial debut on "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare" (1991) for which she also provided the story.Talalay received a first chance for mainstream success with "Tank Girl" (1995), based on the English comic book of the same name. Talalay was given $25 million to bring her post-apocalyptic world to the screen. The result was an uneven attempt to make a futuristic cult film, a la "A Clockwork Orange" or "A Boy and His Dog." While there were some interesting moments (a dance sequence inspired by Busby Berkeley) the film's muddy action scenes and uninspired script overshadowed the lighter aspects of the movie.