It is the future. Commie-Nazis run the city of New York and have plans to launch atomic bombs at things just because they can. Psychic mutants roam the sewers, while hideous humanoid beasts move across the wastelands. And every night people tune in to watch the big game, Endgame, in which hunters pursue a human prey while wearing face paint stolen from The Apple. And all is sponsored by an evil mega corporation which manufactures Protein Water! Dun dun DUN!
So yeah…a lot of The Running Man, a little Soylent Green, with a bit of Mad Max thrown in along with a psychic child a la Carrie, and with a sort of pseudo-parable about saving people from guys in Nazi uniforms and moving them to a new paradise where they can build their futuristic society…oh God, this flick is about the end of World War II and the creation of Israel, with a little help from Stephen King.
This movie is actually quite entertaining. It’s hokey, and the fight choreography could have used a bit more work in my opinion, but it offers some entertaining and interesting action sequences, solid stunt work, and a likable anti-hero with a friendly rival that is handled well. And it stars Laura Gemser of Black Emanuelle fame too. And Al Cliver, star of Zombi 2 and The Beyond. AND GEORGE EASTMAN!
This is much better fare than the likes of 2020 Texas Gladiators or even The New Barbarians. The plot centers on a man named Ron Shannon, seven time winner of Endgame, who has been asked by a group of mutants to transport them out of New York and across the wastes so they can create a Utopian society in peace. He builds a team of murderers, heavies, and cutthroats, and together they contend with roving mutants, blind monks armed with an imprisoned psychic, the Commie-Nazis, and his old rival, Karnack. It actually fits in quite well with a lot of the other ridiculous 1980s sci-fi action flicks of its time. I genuinely enjoyed it.
Is it perfect? No, but then all of these post-apocalyptic Italian films are hot messes. Maybe that’s why I keep watching them.