For this review, I’m going to be taking a look at another piece of fine Italian Cinema called “Anno 2020 – I gladiatori del futuro” aka 2020 Texas Gladiators. Gladiators is directed by Joe D’Amato (who also directed a previous movie of the week, Endgame) and stars Al Cliver (Endgame) Daniel Stephen (he was in an episode of The Chapelle Show) and Donald O’Brien (Zombi Holocaust aka Doctor Butcher M.D.) as “Black One”
The movie starts out pretty abruptly with this… After the apocalypse, a 5 man band of badass dudes form the Rangers. While on a mission to rescue some humans from a mutant attack, One of the rangers, Catch Dog, gets kicked out of the group by their leader Nisus for raping a woman they rescued named Miada. Catch Dog leaves to join forces with a nazi biker group. Nisus, on the other hand, starts a family with Maida and they settle down in a small village where he works at the power plant on a experimental form of energy. The village tries to start a new civilization, but have to fend off attacks from a nazi biker gang led by “Black one”. When the gang invades, Nisus’s wife gets raped again, and he dies trying to save her. The remaining rangers are on the case, and Catch Dog is trying to stop them from saving the town. Can you feel the suspense?
Somehow, the rangers all have an internal tracking device, because they always know where to find each other, even after being seperated for an unexplained amout of time. When rangers “Jab” and “Halakron” get put to work in the mines, “Red Wolfe” knows where they are with no problems. After they get free, it’s time to kick ass.
This movie has taught me a few things. For example, after the atomic war, people play defender and russian roulette for fun (one of my favorite quotes from the movie is “what’s the game?” “loser blows his head all over the wall, we call it roulette”), and if you cause too much damage, and get arrested, you get put to work in radioactive salt mines. Note to future self: practice on your defender, and learn how to use a pickaxe. Also, work on abs.
There’s a good amount of action in this movie, unlike the other D’Amato movie I’ve seen “Endgame”, so the story moves along pretty well, even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense most of the time. The sets and most of the vehicles from this movie were recycled in Endgame, but they seem to work a little better in this one. 2020 Texas Gladiators also was made first, so it makes sense that the recycled material looks better here. As for the vehicles, The ranger mobile (along with all the other 4 wheeled vehicles in the movies) are totally laughable. There is a truck that looks like a black UPS truck for chrissakes. The acting, on the other hand, is just over the top enough, but the main villian “Black One” really pours it on thick with the nazi schtick – right down to his maniacal laughter. Also, the whole native american aspect that comes up late in the film is a nice touch.
While this is an action movie, it also has some elements of sci-fi. There are nazi like soldiers that hold sheilds that are cutout that are impervious to weapon fire, and a laser rifle with no visible shots, just a phaser sound effect. Also, while I’m assuming this is supposed to be set in the year 2020, there’s not real indication from anywhere, except the title of the movie.
After watching this movie, I can’t tell what it has to do with Texas, Gladiators, or the year 2020. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty decent movie, even if you don’t know what the hell is going on 75% of the time.