Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Warriors of the Wasteland - 1983

Also known as "The New Barbarians"

I was trying to think of the most popular post apocalyptic movies last night as I watched Warriors of the Wasteland.  Obviously, The Planet of the Apes, Mad Max, Waterworld, The Omega Man / The Last Man on Earth are all on that list.  Yet, I think Mad Max is the only movie that inspired an entire sub-genre of post apocalyptic films in it's success.  I mean, you don't see many rip offs of Planet of the Apes (Time of the Apes is definitely the best).

What I love about these movies is just how insane they are.  Humanity crumbles for whatever reason, and the whole world turns to shit, and then things get super wacky!  The post apocalypse looks like a lot of fun from these movies!  Even Mad Max, you just have characters and traits and ideas that are so loopy, so out there, that they make me laugh.

Like why, in every post apocalyptic movie there is, do people have weird hair styles?  Did they just find a whole stockpile of styling gel in an underground bunker that survived and think "well, we might as well use it"?  Okay, sure, so mohawks are an ancient hairstyle that shows savage-ness or whatever.  But still!  It's just so weird!  Then the cars.  Oh, the cars.  I love them, but they are insane.  Spikes everywhere, top parts for a mounted gunner, spinning blades, bizarre intakes and exhaust ports.  It's so unpractical, so over the top.  Who in the future is able to construct these things?  Do they have like an advanced arc-welding and electrical school?

Another thing is that I love movies that take place in the middle of nowhere.  What the hell happened to everything?  Did the big apocalypse destroy every single last building frame, cement foundation, tree, bush, etc?  If that's so, how do these people survive?  Mankind could not exist in an endless lifeless desert.  Even resorting to cannibalism, using all our resources and brilliant scientists, you must have water, you must have food, etc.

Warriors of the Wasteland answers none of these questions, but doesn't need to.  Obviously, it's a bottom of the barrel Mad Max rip off, starring some Italian guy and then Fred Williamson.  Fred Williamson plays Nadir, and he is just some relatively relaxed dude that, along with the Italian, protects some group that is being assaulted by baddies on bikes.  That's another thing, so many of these post apocalyptic movies heavily feature motorcycles.  Did the Harley dealership somehow survive the apocalypse?

That was when a thought struck me.  Last night as I was watching I was thinking, so post apocalypse, everyone hops on a bike, spikes their hair, and covers themselves in oil.  Okay, sure.  OR!  OR, the apocalypse killed all the regular people, and the only ones who survived were the kind of people that were already biker mechanics with mohawks.  You know, like instead of the bomb making them like this, they were already like this and then the bomb hit??  An interesting concept.

Is the movie good?  Um, I dunno.  Not really.  It's slightly confusing, has a lot of characters, and it's generally sort of weird.  It keeps you watching, keeps you entertained, and that's something.  The acting and the design of it is good.  The props, the cars, the sets, they are all good.  It's cheap, but it works.  It's like Mad Max, but not as linear or interesting....  It just sort of is?  It's not bad, in other words.  If you like the genre, it's for sure worth a watch.

By the way, this and a few others I have already reviewed are part of my next boxset, Grindhouse Sci-Fi Collection.  I have already reviewed It's Alive, War of the Robots, and The Day Time Ended.  I have seen Galaxy Invader, but will re-watch and re-review for this website.  Next up is Cosmos:  War of the Planets.

I'll give Warriors of the Wasteland 2.5 stars.  It does keep you entertained, and stands out as a cheap but fun movie,  Could drink to it, watch it with friends.  Could even be a favorite to someone out there.  Some dark, lonely soul who owns about 65 action figures, in a box, collecting dust in a basement somewhere.

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