1990: Bronx Warriors (1982)
By: Mr Intolerance on June 25, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Stomp Visual (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. English subtitles. 92 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Starring: Mark Gregory, Stefania Girolami Goodwin, Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, Vic Morrow, Joshua Sinclair, George Eastman
Screenplay: Enzo G. Castellari, Elisa Briganti, Dardano Sacchetti
Country: Italy
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
"1990. The Bronx is officially declared "No Man's Land". The authorities give up all attempts to restore law and order. From then on, the area is ruled by the riders."

I love a good Italo-post-apocalyptic flick. And I love a movie that's set in the "future" (i.e. the past) that never happened. I mean, here we are nearly twenty years after this film is set, and I'm sad to say that the Bronx hasn't become the Mad Max meets Escape From New York meets The Warriors hell-hole we all hoped it would be. But the whole USA as uber-fascist police state? Well, they got that right.

Ann has gone on the lam. Her daddy is a big-business scumbag arms dealer, and life trapped in a girls' boarding school on the high security island of Manhattan all seems a bit much for her. So she splits – for the Bronx. Not really a great idea at the best of times… Daddy is understandably not that happy a camper (not for any reasons of family love – watch and learn, kids), and sends a tough, ruthless bounty hunter, Hammer (the effortlessly cool Vic Morrow) after her, into the gang-infested streets of the Bronx.

When Ann makes it to the Bronx, the first folks she runs into are a gang wearing roller-skates and rather camp hockey gear (think the Baseball Furies meet those guys in the subway toilet from The Warriors, but not as cool…) – this does tend to set the tone for the rest of this film, but not necessarily in a bad way. Camp? Yep. Fun? Oh yes.

Ann's bacon is saved by the timely arrival of The Riders (who sport glowing skulls on the front of their hogs), some very tough hombres led by Trash, a man two-parts pectorals, one part pout. Seriously, given the look, the hair and the gonad-mashingly tight jeans, this guy could have fronted any Bay area thrash metal band from the mid 80s. His gang appears to be made up of C list Italian action actors and Motorhead's road crew (actually if you believe what you read, some of them are real Hell's Angels). Rather inexplicably, Trash decides to protect Ann, and you do have to wonder where these Galahad-like tendencies come from – I have to say, his tough guy persona is a little tarnished by both this act and the décor of his gang's pad – it looks like it was painted by the Rock Steady Crew.

Trash's main rival for street-level dominance is pretty quickly established as the Ogre (played by the always uber-cool Fred "The Hammer" Williamson and His Amazing Moustache) whose gang, The Tigers, sport some pretty pimp threads, don't you know.  Ogre lets Trash in on a little secret – one of the Riders (who Ogre has obligingly killed) was found wearing a homing beacon wired into the Manhattan PD's radio frequency. Seems you can't trust anyone these days…

Hammer arrives on the scene, and starts stirring up the ant's nest of the Bronx in order to set the various gangs against each other, thus making his job of taking Ann back to Daddy dearest that little bit easier. Violence, rather obviously, ensues.

Ann is captured by the roller-skating gang, the Zombies (who are lead by George Eastman in an unfeasibly bad wig), and Trash has the moment –of-clarity idea that the power brokers in Manhattan need to be schooled big-time, and that the gangs need to let bygones be bygones in order to present a united front against the corporate world (I kept being reminded of The Warriors: "Can you dig it?!"). And so he sets off to speak with Ogre about doing this, although the other gangs in the way don't quite see things from his perspective. Did I mention violence?

Some of the gangs in this film have the crappest looks. It's kind of like Enzo Castarelli wanted to make the Bronx's tough guys look like some camp motherfuckers – the first gang Trash encounters seem to vanquish their enemies with a vicious soft shoe shuffle and appalling make-up, for example. Not exactly terrifying.

So does Trash succeed in his quest to unify the gangs of the Bronx against the Man? Is Ann returned to her father? Does Hammer turn all of the gangs against one another? Will the Ogre listen to what Trash has to say? Watch the movie and find out. And be entertained. And by the way, the climax is a fucking beauty. I'll say no more.

Only one other question remains to be answered: just why was that drummer set up in the middle of nowhere?
Video
It's a pretty crisp picture, plus being in 2.35:1 and also being anamorphically enhanced certainly helps. Last time I saw this was on TV on SBS 15 or so years ago, and full frame sucks. No, this looks mighty good.
Audio
The English stereo track is a bit quiet, but serviceable.
Extra Features
Like Roger Daltrey says on The Who's Live At Leeds LP: "You get sweeeeeeeeet fuck all!" No, seriously – there's a fer crissakes slideshow (hey, knuckleheads, I just watched the fuckin' MOVIE), and trailers for Lucio Fulci's New York Ripper and Manhattan Baby.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
A tribute to uber-masculinity gone wild, verging on the homo-erotic, Bronx Warriors is great fun. Switch your brain off and listen to the tough-guy back and forth, not to mention the awful, awful dialogue. Watch the poorly choreographed fight scenes. Admire the crap special effects, and then wonder why this still has an R18 certificate in Australia with the "Consumer Advice" High Level Violence. Camper than a row of tents? Oh yes. More fun than a barrel full of monkeys? You bet! Check this film out and become a better person.

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