Monday, August 1, 2016

Warriors of the Wasteland

I Nuovi Barbari (1983)

In a post apocalyptic wasteland, a gang of violent marauders called The Templars is going around murdering survivors of the nuclear war in an attempt to rid the earth of what's left of humanity. An equally violent dude named Scorpion (Giancarlo Prete) drives around the desert with his friends killing Templars and protecting innocent pilgrims.

If you can't tell from that brief synopsis, this movie is a painful, low budget rip-off of The Road Warrior. Only where Road Warrior is fun and fast paced, this movie is weird and boring.

The costumes are really lame - the main dude and the girl wear what look like sweaters from the Sears catalogue circa 1980, and the Templars wear rejected Star Wars storm trooper uniforms with huge shoulder pads. Scorpion's buddy (Fred Williamson) has kind of a cool garbage-armour thing going on, but it still looks like it would be horribly inefficient in the desert.

The cars are really stupid looking too, which is disappointing in a Road Warrior rip off. Scorpion's car has a big ol' bubble dome on the back and that is not cool whatsoever, and most of the other cars look like they were freshly made from cardboard and silver paint, unlike the dirty and worn-out looking cars in the Mad Max series.

Furthermore, there's this weird religious angle throughout the movie which didn't sit particularly well with me. Early on, one of the Templar dudes rips a bible in half, which tells you that they're godless heathens (!), and the people they're trying to kill are followers of some new age prophet who lead his people out of the ruins of the old world or some shit. It didn't really get into it enough to really make a point, it was just this annoying thing in the background.

The film is not without its merits. There aren't a lot of merits, but there are a few. The throbbing 80s synth soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti, keyboard player from Goblin, is pretty sweet - you can sample its sweetness on youtube here.

The main girl, Anna Kanakis, was pretty and had cool hair and make-up. Her character only shows up for like fifteen minutes though and basically she just bangs Scorpion and then he ditches her with some pilgrims so not much interesting going on there.

Fred Williamson is in this movie and he has a bow that shoots exploding arrows so, you know, that's pretty cool. Again, he sort of wanders in and out of the movie almost at random so not super interesting.

Speaking of exploding arrows, there are a bunch of decapitations which is always amusing to watch. Like pretty much every time somebody gets killed in this movie it's by decapitation. One person actually gets decapitated by the wheel of a car which was neat. The special effects weren't that good but the thought was there.

The only interesting point of the movie was a scene where Scorpion gets anally raped by the leader of the Templars (George Eastman), which is only worth noting because it's unusual in a movie that otherwise seems to celebrate conventional masculinity. It also feeds the whole "homosexuals are depraved and scary" thing which is dumb and boring, but at least having a super macho male hero getting sexually assaulted is sort of different.

Ultimately, though, this movie is pretty tedious for one about people driving around the desert killing each other, and not something I would recommend to those who value the hours in their day.


Directed by: Enzo G. Castellari.  Written by: Tito Carpi, Enzo G. Castellari.  Starring: Giancarlo Prete, Fred Williamson, George Eastman, Massimo Vanni, Venantino Venantini, Anna Kanakis, Giovanni Frezza.

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