This months film is a flick called 1990: The Bronx Warriors. This film was shot back in 1983. In it is Fred Williamson, a Blackxploitation film star from the seventies who starred in M.A.S.H., 3 The Hard Way and Hammer (Groovy films). Also there is Vic Morrow, the guy who got his head cut off while filming Twilight Zone: The Movie and Mark Gregory whose most memorable role was in this film and the sequel as well as the Thunder Warrior series (three of them). The tape jacket describes it as "a heavy metal journey into an urban hell where everything has gone wrong!" This film is an urban hell in my opinion partly due to the fact that it was shot in Italy. Here's the synopsis.
The opening credits sequence is pretty cool. There are shots of weapons and the freaks that wield them and the music isn't too bad. Fred Williamson gets top billing, which makes me happy.
The Bronx is declared a "High Risk" district and there is no attempt to enforce the will of law there any more. Because of this, the gangs have taken over, but there isn't much to rule.
This film is filled with a gallery of costume department rejects. Connelly plays Trash, the leader of a gang called The Riders. This is because the have motorcycles, I guess. They have rival gangs with stupid names like The Zombies, The Scavengers and The Tigers. The Tigers are led by Ogre, played by Fred Williamson, and this bad ass chick in leather, they dress like pimps and drive tricked out cars. There is this guy who looks a lot like that lackey to the Duke of New York in Escape From New York who is supposed to drink blood or something . . . we don't see him again for the rest of the film. Fred and his chick have the best roles.
Trash, the leader of the Riders saves this chick from these Nazi's on roller-skates with hockey sticks. She's got a secret and there are suit wearing guys looking for her. The fight is pretty well choreographed, but the slow motion scenes show that the punches aren't connecting. One of the Roller Nazi's gets an axle blade to the face . . . nice makeup effects there. There is also this weird scene with this guy playing drums next to this dead member of the Riders. I don't know why.
So already, you got this turf war thing going on, and the chick with high mucky-mucks after her plot thing going. So the corporate types send this assassin named Hammer,who's a cop as well, to find the girl and plant evidence to seem that the Tigers are offing the Riders. He's not a very good assassin or cop but he's got that planting evidence thing down pat . . . hey! Maybe he is a good cop. Oh and did I mention there is a member of the Riders who obviously wants Trash's job. So that's four plot points . . . and we are only 15 minutes into the film. Talk about tight editing.
There's this trucker named Hotdog . . . either he or Hammer is played by Vic Morrow, I think. Anyway, he is sort of working for Hammer, but only for the money. The chick, Ann reveals to Trash that she is the heir to the Manhattan Corporation which is apparently some super powerful company like OCP from Robocop. Then she is kidnapped by the Zombies, those Nazi dudes with the roller-skates. Trash puts two and two together and somehow comes up with six. He decides that all of the gangs in the Bronx have to unite to fight the Corporation. But Ice, the Rider who wants Trash's job reminds him that he has to go through a lot of gang territory to get to Ogre. This means that there will be fight action coming.
But there is only one fight scene with these dudes covered in mud and wearing rags. I guess they wasted all of the costumes on the other gangs. Anyway, while Trash and a bud are in the sewers, Ice is cutting a deal with Hotdog and Hammer and chases one of the Riders that Trash had keeping an eye on him into the sewers where he gets nailed by the Scavengers.
Trash gets into Ogres fortress and Hammer kills a Tiger and makes it seem like Trash did it. Pretty sneaky that Hammer. Trash convinces Ogre that he didn't do it and that it's all a plot by the Manhattan Corporation. Ogre, his cool leather chick and Trash head back into the sewers to get Ann back from the Zombies. Oh and Ice made a deal with the leader of the Zombies.
Now we have sewer ass kicking. That chick has a whip and knows how to use it. Trash finds the dude that got attacked by the Scavengers and the director went for the "sensitive and caring warrior" hook on this one. Many blood capsules were chewed on in this scene. Fred does a lot of Karate ass kicking and Trash plants his spiked elbow firmly in many faces. Best fight scene of the whole film. The only downer is that there is a decapitation that they don't show but it's followed by a groovy quote from Fred, so there's some solace.
The good guys get to the Zombies headquarters and Ogre has a fight with the leader. As man-to-man duels go, not too bad. You do have face going through glass action here. Trash goes after Ice who just put a boot knife into Hotdog's gut because that stupid trucker had a change of heart and wanted to help Trash. Ice and Trash have a little fight . . . again, not a good fight but it ends with Ice being impaled on something sharp. Think it's over? It should be.
Instead, the special forces of the Manhattan Corporation, led by Hammer, who is now in his cop uniform, hit Ogre's base and the irony is that the troops are riding horses while the gangs have cars and motorcycles. Hmmmm. But the plus is . . . wait for it . . .
Yes, there are people getting cooked, especially since Ogre's people were wearing a lot of polyester. Flaming death is one of my favorite ways to see people killed in a film. The gangs are fighting, but Ogre's whip woman gets shot in the back like six times. Pissed me off. Then, for some reason, Ogre just sits down in the middle of the inferno sucking on a cigar. I guess he gave up after the loss of his chick.
Then, when you think they have killed the last of the likable characters, they kill Ann, the corporate chick. What the hell? No wonder this movie never made it to the states. At least Trash kills Hammer in a cool way. Let's just say it involves a rocket propelled grappling hook and a motorcycle. Then it ends. The bad guys win.
Okay, here's the gouge. The credits never stated which character Vic Morrow played and since he has no head now, who knows. I will tell you that there was actually a sequel called Escape From the Bronx, which was given the treatment by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 people. I found this tape in the $9.99 bin at Suncoast, which is where I get a lot of GDI's lesser quality films. Basically it's not too bad a film. If you watch it with a six pack in you, its a much better film.
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