2020: Texas Gladiators
|Alternative title(s):||Anno 2020: I Gladiatori del futuro
- Original Italian title
(2020: The Gladiators of the Future)
2020 Freedom Fighters - UK title
One Eye Force - Bizarre European title (German I think)
Texas V. 2000 - Finnish title
|Year of Release:||1982
|Country of Origin:||Italy
the year 2020 hordes of road warriors swarmed across our shattered
world. It was a time in need of heroes. It was time for... -
When earth becomes an arena... murder becomes a way of life.
- UK VHS
No rules. No mercy. - UK VHS
By Nate Decker
2nd January 08
Hello again. Today I'll be reviewing yet another Italian post-apocalyptic Road Warrior rip-off, this time it's 1982's 2020: Texas Gladiators. Note: I have been remiss in this lately, but I'd like to publicly thank Michael for continuing to let me write PA reviews for him. He's an awesome guy, even if he does hail from a country so small and economically insignificant that they have to attach an internet country code to the end of their addresses. Thanks mate! (I fear that this overly generous opening paragraph must only mean one thing; Nate has been drinking. Therefore I will be keeping a close eye on the rest of the review! - Michael).
On to the show...
Nuclear war! Boom! Collapse of civilization! Loss of social integrity! Complete breakdown of infrastructure! Hell-bent gangs of killer bandits! Straggly survivors living in abject filth! Heroes with permed hair! You know the script already, don't you? I'll just move on and save you some time.
Let's begin by meeting our film's five main characters, five guys who form a posse of post-nuke do-gooders. We never really get much of a backstory on them, but it's clear-ish that they are they type of band that goes around the wastelands righting wrongs and saving damsels in distress. They seem to have a codified uniform of black jeans and boots, bandoleers of ammo, permed or feathered hair, spray-on tans and matching necklaces. Oddly, it's apparently a rule that none of them can wear shirts, which seems a bit peculiar, but maybe it's some sort of male bonding thing.
Nisus, played by Al Cliver, whose turn in 1983's Endgame is near-legendary. He looks like Beowulf, or maybe that guy who came and fixed my furnace the other day. Nisus is the leader (I think).
Catch Dog is played by Daniel Stephen, who I've never seen before in my entire life. He's kinda scrawny and kinda creepy looking, though his hair is perfect. Keep your eye on him, there is something fishy about him.
Jab is played by Harrison Muller, who I just reviewed in 1982's She. He's just as twitchy and quirky here as he was in that movie, plus he chomps on a cigar like he's Hannibal from The A-Team. As the movie progresses, I found myself liking Jab more and more, he definitely has the most personality of the cast.
Red Wolfe is played by token Asian guy Hal Yamanouchi, later to be the Rat Eater King in 1983's 2019: After the Fall of New York. Every time I see him, I keep flashing back to that old Star Trek episode where Ensign Sulu goes wacko and runs around the ship shirtless and brandishing a samurai sword.
Halakron is played by Peter Hooten, who was once in an episode of The Waltons. Don't get me wrong, I loved The Waltons (are you insane? - Michael), especially that last season when John Boy joined that satanic trash metal band and Mary Ellen started doing heroin and turning tricks in the woodshed. Good times.
Anyway, as our movie opens, they have a number of damsels to save, as a brutal gang of marauders is busily rampaging through a monastery, slaughtering and mauling everyone they can find. Our heroes creep in, taking up positions to watch the action. Curiously, our heroes wait patiently while the bad guys rape a nun, another nun kills herself, and they literally crucify a priest. What are they waiting for?
Finally, after it seems like all the survivors are dead, they spring into action! They toss in some smoke grenades (!) to mask their movements and to hide the fact that the 'monastery' set is really just an open warehouse floor with sheets hung down to act as walls and folding chairs set up for pews. Our heroes are well-armed and well-trained, so they make mincemeat of the marauders, dispatching them with relative ease (I always found it strange that they didn't step in earlier - Mic).
In the aftermath, it turns out that there are survivors. A beautiful and terrified young girl is found. Unluckily for her, she is found alone by Catch Dog, the one member of the group who seems to have some 'integrity issues'. Catch Dog is halfway to second-base against her will when the other guys arrive and pull him off.
Catch Dog and Nisus then get into a little knife fight, which is quickly broken up. It's never really stated, but you can just tell that these two have tussled before, probably over Catch Dog's aspirations to be more than just a follower. After some harsh words and threats of revenge, Catch Dog is banished from the group and leaves (presumably he can now put on a shirt).
The almost-raped girl is named Maida, and she is played by 19-year old Sabrina Siani, who I have to sadly admit I've never seen in anything else other than Google image searches. And, oh my, what those searches turn up! Well, most of them are from movies when she was under 18, so I'd better not look :).
So, fast forward now about six or seven years. The old group has disbanded, with Catch Dog going off to form an evil biker gang and Nisus and Maida hooking up and settling down. The other three guys also wander off, each to do his own thing. It always happens that way, doesn't it? You and some guys from school, you have a band and you try real hard, but then Jimmy quits and Jody gets married, you should have known you'd never get far.
Nisus and Maida have a kid, a cute little curly-haired girl, and they find a town out in the rolling hills of North Texas to start their new life (a barely readable sign suggests it's near Dallas). This town is centered around this bigass factory thingie, and the 100 or so people here seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to keep it running and producing something. Nisus, by dint of his perfect hair alone, is the de-facto leader, and he's the hands-on type, getting in there and working along with his people in his grubby overalls and steel-toed boots. We even see him risk his own life to turn off some sort of valve thingie that was stuck or something, thus saving the factory and proving to all how brave and honorable he is and stuff.
Ah, but it can't last forever, right? This is a PA movie, after all. Remember Catch Dog's biker gang? Well, Nisus' town is next on the target list for them. How Catch Dog became leader of these bikers is unknown, but surely his history of violence and dashing good looks helped. His cool name certainly was an advantage, as it's a proven fact that a ruthless biker gang would never coalesce around a guy named Melvin Snodgrass or Mortimer McSnerd or something.
The alarm is sounded after a girl monitoring what I assume are microphones hidden out on the perimeter detects the sounds of bikes approaching (this is maybe the most inventive thing about this movie). Everyone grabs a gun and heads to the line of prepared positions. These are an impressive, multi-level bulwark of steel and barb wire fences, sand-bagged bunkers and even those anti-tank jumping jack-looking thingies like you saw on the Normandy beaches when Eisenhower was trying to set himself up for the 1952 elections. The defenders have a wide variety of arms, including rifles, shotguns, Sten guns, and even a neat gatling gun that looks home-made.
Here come the bikers! Roaring out of the scrub brush, about 50 motorcycles start to circle the defenders like Indians around John Wayne's wagon train as everyone shoots at each other. Losses are heavy on both sides, but the defenders manage to hold the walls.
Eh, gawd...do I have to do this? This is so repetitive. I've seen this very same scene in about a dozen other PA movies, little variations, but basically the same game-plan (This is our bread-and-butter, stop complaining - Mic). Being bored, I tend to wonder about the little things, like where these raiders live. They don't have any personal effects or supplies with them, so either they have a base-camp nearby or a baggage train hidden over the rise. Either way, it must be a rather well-organized group to be able to keep all those bikes running, keep them fueled, keep everyone fed and happy, provide the daily essentials, and all that. You can't rape and pillage every day, right? Imagine the enormous amount of gasoline required to keep 50 bikes running continuously, not to mention lubrication oil and anti-freeze and spark plugs and spare tires and air compressors to keep them inflated. Not to mention the weaponry, keeping ammo in stock when you have two dozen different kinds of guns each firing a different caliber round. And you need clean water, both for the bikes' radiators and for the riders themselves, and foodstuffs to keep them going. And what about all that hair gel and face paint, and the leather bondage outfits for the girls and the shoulder pads for the guys, that stuff doesn't come cheap, you know. Man, running a biker gang must be tough! You'd think it would be all glory and loot, but there is clearly a lot of behind-the-scenes daily managing needed to keep a group operational without it becoming a logistical nightmare.
Off on another tangent here, why do we see so many Thompsons and Sten guns? When do you ever see those types of rare submachineguns in the general population? They stopped making the Thompson in like 1945, there just aren't that many of them still out there. M-16s are a dime a dozen, especially in America where after WWIII you could just raid some National Guard armory or even a police department arms locker. The only place you see that many Sten guns is in the prop rooms of Italian movie companies...
Anyway, back to the movie. The townsfolk hold off the bikers fairly well, and Catch Dog has to call off the attack. But that's not the end of it, as up rumbles a large black industrial panel van. The van is armored and filled with soldiers who are dressed in identical uniforms similar to East German Secret Policemen, and carry matching Italian Baretta M-12 submachineguns. They also hold these nifty shields that contain some sort of fancy electrical technology that 'deflects' bullets. It's never very clear, but it seems that these soldiers are using the bikers as cannon fodder to soften up the defenders before they move in. Not sure what the bikers think about being used in this way, but they probably don't mind.
What's the life expectancy of a biker in a PA wasteland environment, anyway? What sort of nutcase do you have to be to think a frontal assault across open terrain on a defended location with entrenched machineguns is a good idea? Sure, it makes for a more dramatic action scene, but you are going to take horrendous losses needlessly. Post-apocalyptic raider gangs almost NEVER show any sort of tactical sense, and it really bugs me. Here in this scene, for example, the bikers lose about two dozen men for no good reason, when they could have easily assaulted the town at night with a minimum of casualties. But certainly their Gallipoli-like attack was directed by the overlord soldiers, so maybe I'll cut them some slack on this one.
Anyway, this is taking forever, why do these movies have to be so long? (Hey I told you to stop complaining - Mic) The soldiers jump out of van and line up in a v-shaped phalanx before advancing on the defenders. The townsfolk fire a wave of bullets, but they all bounce harmlessly off the soldiers' shields. The soldiers' return fire begins to take effect now, killing and injuring many defenders. The survivors, clearly outmatched, break and run, loosing many more in their retreat. Nisus takes a grazing round across the temple and goes down, alive but out cold.
Around him, the battle is quickly turning ugly. The bikers follow the soldiers in, and a vicious orgy of plundering and raping and pillaging commences. The surviving locals are hunted down in the bowels of the factory, and those that don't surrender are gunned down. The women are raped, as are a few of the men, and not even old ladies are safe from the bikers' depredations. The soldiers, however, maintain unit discipline and concentrate on eliminating any armed resistance and securing the factory.
Once the fighting stops, the survivors are lined up in the courtyard and the leader of the soldiers marches up to address them. This guy is called 'The Black One' (Which is surely one of those titles given by fearful victims that you deliberately cultivate because it clearly inspires so much dread and respect before you even enter the room. I mean, seriously, would 'Vlad the Impaler' have the same sort of respect given by his subjects if his nickname was 'Vlad the Pat-on-the-Backer'? I think not. More to the point, 'The Black One' commands a greater level of jackbooted loyalty and bowel-shaking fear than, say, 'The Paisley One' or 'The Ecru One', don't you think?). Anyway, The Black One is a tough bald man in a smart military tunic, played by Donald O'Brien, who has been in countless crappy b-movies, none of which I have bothered to see (He plays a very similar Nazi type in Endgame - Mic). He's not actually black, by the way, but Caucasian, though he does wear a black-ish uniform.
The Black One informs the frightened people that he is their new boss. He tells them that his soldiers are the logical inheritors of the New World Order and only they have the power and resources to rebuild the world and such. He demands that they continue to operate the factory, only for his own glorious needs, and any dissenters will be shot immediately. Clearly, there are no union stewards here anymore.
About this time Nisus...wait, 'Nisus'? What the hell kind of name is that. ...internet, wikipedia, n-i-s-u-s... Ok, 'Nisus' was either, A) some random Cretan king that Plutarch probably made up, or B) a gay man in a pederastic relationship with a young boy in the Iliad, or C) Dionysus' foster father's alias, or D) some dude who had some kids and lived somewhere, I don't know, or E) a word processing program for the Apple Macintosh computer. Ok, that was no help, wikipedia sucks. Let's try…google, image search, n-i-s-u-s... 19,500 hits! Ok, let's scroll down. Hmm...birds, more birds, some unintelligible spreadsheets, more birds, a map of Nisus in Scotland (who knew?), more birds, damn there's a lot of birds, more spreadsheets, Apple's Nisus seems to have a cult following still, more fucking birds, a dog, some guy who looks like James Blunt, more birds, Apple, Apple, more Apple, god I hate those Apple commercials with that dweeby IT guy and that nancy nutsack from Live Free or Die Hard arguing about platforms and plug-ins, more birds, birds, (Ahem, remember the film you were reviewing? - Mic) birds... AH-HA! Finally, criminally far down on page eight, I find 'Nisus Wettus', Michael Palin's awesome whispy jail event-planner from Monty Python's The Life of Brian! 'Crucifixion? Good. Out of the door. Line on the left. One cross each. Next.' Brilliant, just brilliant. You English know your comedy (Thanks - Mic).
Anyway, Nisus now regains consciousness and stumbles back into the factory. He's just in time to get captured and forced to watch his wife being gang raped. Italian cinema is the best, isn't it? Nisus doesn't take that very well, but he's sorta tied up and helpless so there's not much he can do about it.
Some time later, however, Nisus does manage to escape while his watchers are off doing something else. He peeks out and sees the above lecture by The Black One to the captives. He also sees some biker dude leering at poor Maida, who is looking pretty ragged herself by now. So, Nisus bullrushes the man with a feral yell, knife drawn and bloodlust in his eyes. He gets his thrusts in, but then absorbs about a hundred bullets from the soldiers and dies in the dust (I never saw this bit coming. Half way through the film and Al Cliver is dead! - Michael).
Ah, very dramatic, yes, but also stupid. Why would Nisus throw his life away like that? He could have tried to free his people, or at least given them some hope, but instead he got himself killed in a fit of misdirected rage. He also just assured that his wife is a widow and his child fatherless at a time when they need him the most. Still, pretty ballsy of the movie to kill off what I assumed was the main protagonist half way through.
Ok, we now jump ahead some period of time (maybe a week or so) to some bar somewhere in Texas. Two of the hero types from the first part of the movie, Halakron and Jab, are here looking around for something. They find Maida, recently sold to some gambler and just a scared plaything now. Halakron plays a game of Russian roulette (freakin' seriously) with the gambler to win Maida's freedom. He wins (by cheating) but a nasty bar fight quickly explodes around them as the gambler's associates move in to avenge his demise. Halakron and Jab, being heroes, kick all their asses.
Having just busted up a bar, it's no surprise then that the local law enforcement arrests them on the spot and hauls them away. They are sentenced to 10 years hard labor in the salt mines. This scene also proves to me (despite what I've read) that the five gents were never part of some official organized group, and were more than likely just vigilantes acting on their own. One single line of dialogue refers to them as 'Rangers', but they are clearly not to be considered the same as the old state-sanctioned Texas Rangers.
The salt mine subplot seems like just an excuse to show more sweaty men with their shirts off, but I'm sure it was meant to be an important character development plot point. We also get some male bondage/torture scenes, which are essential requirements of any good Italian PA movie. In one particularly odious moment, Jab is forced to both eat salt and then drink urine, proving without a shadow of a doubt that the Italians are all a bunch of perverted sickos (Sophia Loren gets a lifetime-exemption because she was so damn hot back in 1947 or so).
But this can't last forever and Jab and Halakon are soon freed by the third member of their group, Red Wolfe the silent samurai. He sneaks into the mine, past the pitifully weak security, stabs and slashes his way through a number of slumming extras, and extricates his fellows from their sentence. I realize we are supposed to think these men heroes, but look at what just happened here. Jab and Halakon did, in fact, commit numerous crimes by smashing up that bar, and they were, in fact, arrested and tried by the legally appointed law enforcement of this territory, and they were, in fact, sentenced in accordance to the laws of said territory, and then they murder at least ten deputies during what can only be described as an illegal prison break. Say what you will about the draconian conditions in the mine, but they are now little more than murderous escaped convicts on the lam (Quite right - this is a common Italian PA theme; criminal Heroes. See Alien in Exterminators of the Year 3000 - Michael).
Anyway, they all flee the scene in this wicked tricked-out PA car that I'm 100% certain was originally made for a much better movie than this one. With them is Maida, who was freed back at the bar, remember. For the rest of this movie Maida wears the same outfit, a leather corset and a pair of the skimpiest shorts you will see outside of some Danish porn site (not that I would know, I only use the internet to look up scripture). She also lugs along a pump-action shotgun, which is cool (chicks with guns rule).
Now, let's back up. Word of those three men out and about has reached the ears of The Black One. He hires Catch Dog to track them down, as he is worried that they will try and take his new factory away from him. It seems from this that their exploits are well-known across the land.
So Catch Dog's bikers ambush them in a big rock quarry, herding their car into the quarry with their bikes. There's a lot of close-range shooting here, but very few hits (Though it is hard to hit anything from a moving car. Not that I would know.) and their nifty PA car can't seem to reach a speed greater than about 25 mph.
Lord, this is so eye-rollingly cliched, I am so tired of rock quarries. Hey, I wonder how much it costs to rent a rock quarry to film a movie? Let me check...ah, google is no help, google sucks, I don't care what their IPO was. Hey, there's a rock quarry here in my town, let me call them...
Me: 'Hello, blah blah blah, how much
do you charge to rent out your quarry if I want to shoot a movie down
Anyway, the bikers pin them down in a corner of the quarry after they abandon their car and make for some rocks (perhaps not the best tactical decision, giving up your mobility like that). The bikers move in but are driven back by a fusillade of gunfire from our heroes and instead settle down for a siege. Trapped together, Halakron and Maida start to wax philosophical about the meaning of life and death and the hope of something better. The way they look at each other here makes me suspect that Maida might be scouting him out for a potential second husband. As later events provide a rough timeline, we can say that poor Nisus hasn't been dead for a week and already his widow is eyeing his former best friend. She is so Courtney Love.
It's Catch Dog who tires of the siege first, and hits upon an overcomplicated Bondian plan to have some guys rappel down behind the heroes, set a few bundles of TNT on the rock face, blow said bundles up with crack marksmanship, and then have the resulting avalanche bury the heroes. This is just a very badly thought-out script moment here, like the worst of those tacky 1950s western serials where they just made it up as they went along as long as Will Rogers got the girl by the end of the hour and everyone was seen smoking Marlboro cigarettes to keep the sponsors happy.
And, true to form, our heroes catch on to this nefarious plan and monkeywrech it. The TNT goes boom, but those 'dead bodies' buried under the rubble are actually bikers that Jab killed and drug all the way to their position in broad daylight without anyone seeing him even though the two opposing sides are only separated by about ten yards of open ground (Hmm - Mic). So, the bad guys think the good guys are dead and mount-up and ride back to the factory. Catch Dog gets his money from The Black One, reward for eliminating the heroes before they can reach the factory.
Back now to Halakron, Jab, Red Wolfe and Maida, very much alive as they're walking through a thick, verdant forest. Kudos to the producers for still having Halakron limp due to a leg wound we saw him receive in the previous scene (actually, he'll be limping pretty much the rest of the movie, with a few exceptions when they think we wouldn't notice).
They 'know' they are being followed by somebody but keep walking, sure that they will introduce themselves when the time is right. Which would be...now. They meet a band of American Indians! This tribe lives in these woods, hiding from the bad guys and living a 1840's level existence complete with teepees, buckskin clothes and beaded necklaces (and certainly some wampum, thundersticks, and firewater, too). This particular tribe, however, is not the Cherokee that you'd expect in this part of the country, but the 'Italyokee', as they are all Italians with black hair wigs and unconvincing face paint (I just spat tea all over my screen - Mic). That, combined with their stereotypical 'Indian' accent taken from watching old episodes of Gunsmoke, makes this one of the most cringingly offensive depictions of Native Americans you will ever see on film. It makes John Ford's The Searchers look like a corporate racial sensitivity training film and I'm sure this movie doesn't get a lot of play on the reservations. By the way, ever been on an Indian reservation? I have, embarrassing as an American to see fellow citizens living in such abject third-world poverty. All that money from the casinos goes into the pockets of about 1% of the tribe's leadership, everyone else just suffers along.
Anyway, our heroes ask for the Indians' help (they must have come here on purpose, though that's not clear, but we can assume that Halakron planned this out), rightfully asserting that they are all humans and need to help each other out to survive. They want to wipe out The Black One and the bikers, but need more than just the four of them to do it. At first the Indians say no, pulling out that old movie standard about how the White Man has screwed over the Red Man for so many generations that now they can all go rot for all they care. Hard to argue with that.
To settle the matter, one of the braves must fight Jab, and if Jab wins then the Indians will provide a platoon of braves to help with the attack. This is actually a great fight, with a lot of punching and kicking and rolling around in the dirt trying to gain control over knives and stuff. In the end, predictably, Jab has a chance to kill the brave but pulls up short, thus proving to the Indians that he is honorable (or that he is a coward and can't be trusted to deliver the killstroke in the clutch and why would they want to go into battle with someone like that?).
So, a joint attack is planned on the factory. The first thrust comes from our four heroes probing the factory's defenses in these two old military-style jeeps (!). It's never said, but we can assume that the Indians have kept and maintained these two vehicles for all these years out in the woods, though it's inexplicable how or why they could have done this with their onscreen level of technology.
The bikers (now reduced to maybe 20) come out to meet them. This degenerates into yet another badly thought-out scene with the bikers just riding around in circles as our heroes shoot at them from the jeeps. No one really seems to get hurt and eventually the bikers just all sort of leave (?) and our heroes continue on.
And now we have a cavalry charge! With the bikers out of the way, thirty Indians on horses race across that same open field into the teeth of about two dozen machineguns. When was the last time that worked? Poland in 1939? That turned out well for the Poles, didn't it? But in our movie, the valiant Indians have a secret weapon, and that weapon is knowledge they shouldn't have. It seems that one of their elders, being smart beyond all reason, has deduced that the soldier's forcefields deflect bullets because they are 'hot', but the steel-tipped arrows of the braves are 'cold' and thus will pass right through them. Ok. Mind you they never test this theory before the battle, they just assume it will work. And it does, of course. As the first soldiers go down with arrows stuck in them, the rest of them almost immediately break ranks and flee in a disorganized mob. This movie spent so much time pounding into us just how fierce and disciplined this outfit was, only to have them routed like little school girls the instant something doesn't go their way. They deserve what they are about to get.
So, the Indians hunt down bad guys in the twisting corridors of the factory. You'd certainly think that the highly-trained soldiers, once they reached the factory with its built-in defensive properties and multiple ambush points, would rally and hold back the Indians, right? But no, everyone just runs around and waits their turn to be thwacked by an arrow in the back.
Maida and Halakron split off and go after Catch Dog, who is running like a dog who doesn't want to be caught (get it?). In one of those asinine movie cliche moments, two perfectly good firearms choose the very instant of confrontation to jam, and it's only by luck and providence that Maida manages to blow Catch Dog away with a shotgun blast to the chest from about two feet away. Ah, revenge is a dish best served cold. And bloody.
Then, just because the producers are mean-spirited bastards, lovable cuddly Jab walks in front of about 30 machinegun bullets and dies in Halakron's arms. Crap, I liked him. Why him, why not Red Wolfe, who has said maybe six words the entire movie? What is with the compulsion to kill off main characters? It's the cheapest form of filmmaking, forcing us to feel bad that way. And such a quick and unexpected death, not at all fitting for a character who has shown such resilience and moxie the entire film. Jab should have had a Boromir-type death scene, complete with swoony music and a last croaking final word of encouragement for those left behind. Bastards (Would you like a tissue Nate? - Mic).
Anyway, you'd think this was the end, but we've still got one loose end to tie up. The Black One now has his final stand, advancing on our heroes with a pistol and a forcefield shield, frothing and raging at the mess that's become of his perfect plan to rule the world. He's eventually killed by a hatchet, tossed tomahawk-style by Halakron from about 40 feet away (sure, ok).
You know, I realize that our movie wanted us to see these soldiers and their autocratic leader as being evil incarnate, but I'm not so sure that's really an accurate assessment of them. Sure, their methods might have been a bit excessive, but dangerous times call for bold action and often a quick trigger. With the obvious lawlessness in the area, and the total disorganization of civil functions, I'd think that a well-organized group like this could provide the much-needed stability and security to allow for a rebuilding of society. After a while, maybe a generation or so, the soldiers would probably morph into a police force as more responsibility is taken over by civilian leaders, and industry and infrastructure could expand again under this umbrella of security. History is rife with examples of societies founded by military cadres that turned out quite well, why couldn't it have worked here?
Anyway, Maida is reunited with her daughter, who is oddly wearing the exact same outfit she had on when we saw her earlier. In fact, nearly everyone here has the same outfit on. Hey, what the hell! Maida is suddenly wearing the same outfit, when just two seconds ago she was wearing something completely different. Clearly they filmed this scene at the same time as the earlier scene and just hoped we wouldn't notice. Halakron rides away (what a surprise - Mic), but promises to return soon. The kid then runs out into the street and waves like the little boy in Cool Hand Luke.
|Alternative Versions:||The only UK
release was pre-certification so there is no information at the BBFC.
IMDb claim's the German version has been cut for violence/gore and that
the Canadian version has 3 minutes cut.
|Connections With Other PA's:|
|Regular Movie Goers Reaction:||
Quite violent and nonsensical. Not one for grandma's.
"A really good movie is unpredictable, but seems completely inevitable in hindsight. A cliched movie seems inevitable in foresight. A confused movie, however, is both unpredictable, and directionless in hindsight. I mean, pick a protagonist! The fact that Nisus was killed off after half an hour, forcing us to find new heroes, simply pissed me off; the only director who's ever been able to come close to pulling that off is Alfred Hitchcock. Mr. D'Amato, I've watched Hitchcock, and you, sir, are no Alfred Hitchcock."
"So what do
we have? Well we have this…
Strategically ruined buildings, sexy ladies, that same Italian quarry
used in everything Post Apocalyptic, totally gratuitous nudity,
violence, action, gore, sleaze, sadism, cheesy costumes, comic strip
characters, fascistic villains, weird vehicles, thumping electro tunes
and one or two surprise twists. All topped off with the very welcome Al
Yamanouchi and Al Cliver. The only
thing missing is Big George Eastman, but hellfire… you can't
have everything. Wait! Big
George co-scripted the screenplay and reportedly helped on directorial
chores as well! Marvellous.
|For the PA Collector:||
An important PA for your collection. Essential. But...
|DVD Release Info:||
...None available. There is a unofficial release you may be able to find. The VHS is very hard to track down - currently there are no copies on eBay but its always worth a check.
UK PAL VHS with alternatively titled Freedom Fighters. The tape itself still features the Texas Gladiators logo (click to enlarge)
Turkish VHS (click to enlarge)
Italian VHS (close up)
European VHS with a strange name change
Finnish VHS, also with a strange name change
Unofficial DVDR release
Unknown poster with incorrect artwork (possibly from a soundtrack release).
|Factsheet:||Check out the: Fact Sheet|