2019, After the Fall of New York (1983)

It is the year 2019, 20 years after the Euracs, of the European-Asian-African empire, unleashed nuclear devastation on the Pan-American Confederacy and reduced the Earth to a radioactive wasteland. Now only one fertile woman remains on the planet, and it is up to retired Confederate soldier Parsifal to rescue her so she can repopulate the species from outer space before the genocidal Eurac forces get their hands on her and carve her up as part of their experiments while they try to wipe out the remains of the species on the North American continent. Man, what is with you Europeans, Asians, and Africans trying to get a quick genocide in during every World War?

Anyway, 2019, After the Fall of New York is part Escape from New York, part Mad Max, and part Children of Men, and while it’s not as good as any of those movies, it’s still not all that bad. The acting is a mixed bag, but the hero characters are all quite likable, the villains are easy to hate, and the plot moves along at a solid pace once you pass the demolition derby in the first 20 minutes. Basically the Confederacy is trying to rise from the ashes, and they bring Parsifal back into the fold. Along the way he builds a team of heroes to help out. The best of these guys is probably Shorty, a midget who lives in the New York sewers under the UN. But then there is Big Ape (played by George Eastman), a giant circus performer with a gang of human/ape hybrids, a one-handed professor named Bronx who has nothing left to lose, a cyborg named Ratchet who hides his nature and can beat the tar out of folks with a pair of metal balls on piano wire, and Giara…who is pretty much only there to be the love interest and is generally useless in all respects. Seriously, she doesn’t do much of anything.

With these characters ready to go, the plot is simple and moves at a fair clip. The only place it really feels like things bog down is the demolition derby, which is there just to establish the lead. Before that we were treated to mercenaries hunting down mutated humans with flamethrowers and maces. After that, we have The Cars That Ate Paris watched by a bunch of punk rockers so the winner can take a hermaphrodite as a sex slave (seriously). Parsifal wins and to his credit immediately lets her go, but the whole scene feels like an unnecessary rough spot at the beginning of the film. After they get through it and establish the overall plot, Parsifal infiltrates the remains of Manhattan and fights his way through from there. There is a lot of violence, a little gore, and an intense hatred for rats in this movie.

So, did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I watch it again? Well, I definitely preferred it to the likes of Warrior of the Lost World (also Italian) and Battletruck (New Zealand). I’ll have to marathon it with other Italian post-apocalyptic movies like Endgame or 1990: The Bronx Warriors sometime.

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