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90 Minutes I will Never Get Back
Movie Review
© 2012 James LaFond
Warriors of the Wasteland
An Enzo G. Castellari Film, East West Entertianment, 2007, 90 minutes, rated R
Fred Williamson, Giancarlo Prete, George Eastman
Two mercenaries join forces to help wandering post apocalyptic caravans fight off evil bikers.
A Review of an Old Sci-Fi Re-Release
The first thing you have to wonder about when you buy a vintage video re-release at the dollar store is, is it as good as it looks, even if it doesn’t look too good?
Let me score this one briefly based on the information on the DVD packaging.
This was not produced in 2007, but probably in the early 1970s.
Fred Williamson, 1970s American blacksploitation star, does not play the lead, and, more importantly, only tags one of the two chicks billed as his sexual property on the cover.
The lead character and his sidekick [Williamson] are not mercenaries.
There are no bikers. There are evil scouts riding cheesy dirt bikes, but no bikers.
The fairly cool looking photo on the cover is a still that was not taken from the film, but must have been shot by someone who was more atmospherically astute than the film director.
Yes, it is that bad and worse. So why did I give it two stars?
Even though the writing was bad, the stunts sucked, and the driving was lame, the core concepts that the lame plot was built around served as the seedbed [I think] for the best and most influential post apocalyptic movies of all time: The Road Warrior and The Book of Eli.
Post apocalyptic sci-fi concepts pioneered in this poorly done movie shot in an Italian quarry include: the ‘feral child’; survivor caravans circling their vehicles like covered wagons; bad-haired villains wearing NFL surplus; a search for a mythical civilized enclave; the vehicle as a paramount piece of technology; and the search for books by the chief villain.
Workaday science fiction elements like near future technology were poorly conceived and badly done. Vintage sci-fi [including Star Trek and Star Wars] have traditionally done a very poor job depicting realistic transportation, weaponry and communications. Generally the pace of domestic technology evolution is too conservative [We already have better communications then the crew of the Enterprise.], and weapons evolution is usually exaggerated. Chemically propelled kinetic energy weapons are going to be around as long as knives; and they’ve been present in every human conflict since the Old Stone Age.
The bad guys were really unique. The villains in this are ‘Templars’ a highly organized army of homosexual men dedicated to wiping out all humans to avenge a post-nuclear planet. Since you may not have time to view this piece let me give away the black American side-kick’s best line. When the Williamson character has had enough of hearing the leading man whining about their unbeatable enemies he sagely comments, “But they’re just a bunch of queers.”
There is a cameo by Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti western hat which is cool. But the Williamson character has to settle for the only non-white girl [who appears to be written in just for him to have a love interest that would not offend Italian male moviegoers]. This is disappointing given that this movie is now being marketed to urban American men like a Hennessey commercial, with Williamson flanked by a white woman and the mixed race beauty.
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