2020 Texas Gladiators (1982)

In 2020, nuclear devastation has caused roving bands of gunmen to rape and pillage their way across Texas, driving on motorcycles, shooting each other mercilessly, ransacking towns, and sometimes taking the law into their own hands to force people into an unforgiving prison system.

In short, it hasn’t changed at all.

2020 Texas Gladiators features a group of super soldier Punisher wannabes who travel around killing people and who must now take down an old ally in revenge for the death of one of their former members and the enslavement of his people. Also, it has offensive and simplistic Native American caricatures played by Italians. Basically a member of this super group is thrown out for trying to rape a nun, while another member falls in love with the nun and leaves the group to find peace. But the good member and nun end up joining a village that then gets overrun by fascists who happen to harbor the evil former member, and the guy gets killed while the former nun gets thrown into slavery. Then, during a bar fight, the super soldiers find out what has happened, and they team up with a bunch of natives to wipe out the fascists and their motorcycle-driving mercenaries.

I learned while watching this film that shields which can electronically stop bullets are no match for arrows or axes. And these aren’t Fred Williamson arrows, so nobody gets their heads blown off. Also, there is a lot of rape in this movie. Seriously, what is up with the lone star state?

George Eastman wrote the script (if you haven’t noticed a pattern, I like watching a lot of George Eastman films), but didn’t star in it. The film was directed by Joe D’Amato, and in usual Italian exploitation style, it knocks off everything from The Deer Hunter to Mad Max. What I have discovered is that, if nuclear war were ever to break out, it would really suck to live in Italy, because that’s where the people that think this kind of crap will happen in a post-nuclear armageddon world all live.

This has got to be the weakest of all the post-apocalyptic Mad Max knock-offs I’ve watched. Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of bad films, but this one failed to ever really become entertaining or approach the so-bad-it’s-good threshold and instead just remained bad. And boring.

Also, this movie has a terrible portrayal of Native Americans, but there’s one Asian guy in it too, and he’s pretty much portrayed the exact same way.  Classy.

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