This week for our dueling review and movie of the week, we picked “Endgame” or as it’s also known “Endgame – Bronx lotta finale“. Endgame is directed by the famed Joe D’Amato and stars Al Cliver as badass Ron Shannon, and George Eastman as the hunter Kurt Karnak.
Endgame takes place in New York City during the post apocalyptic year 2025 where mutants and scavengers scrounge to survive, while the elite occupy their time by watching a reality show called endgame. Endgame is a game show that puts contestants in a fight to the death where 3 gladiators take the role of hunters, while a single gladiator takes the role of prey. Ron Shannon is a tough as nails champion gladiator who has won numerous times, and he’s now become the prey. Shannon easily dispatches 2 of his hunters, and spares the life of a third, Karnak, whom he will meet again.
Shannon befriends a telepathic mutant during the endgame, Lilith, who asks him to help take her and a group of her friends outside the city so that they can be transported away. Shannon assembles a rag tag group of mercenaries to help with his tasks, and hijinks ensue.
Sean: I had high hopes going into this movie, as it’s 80’s Italian cinema, which is quickly becoming a favorite subgenre of mine. When I read the description of this movie, it sounded like a great story, and I figured it would make a good watch. I enjoyed the first half of the movie, and the endgame action, but the second half of the movie slowed down and lost me a little along the way.
Raz: “Who loves you and who do you love?” Sorry wrong movie… Although this movie is not “The Running Man” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger they do have a few similarities. At least they do in the beginning. Endgame is a very popular televised game show in the future where one man fights many in a fight to the death. During the broadcast the government starts killing off mutants to ensure they don’t take over. Mutants flee with Shannon’s help and they run into all sorts of trouble along the way. This movie did start out quite well but I also felt that it started to slow down after awhile.
Sean: I found it really funny that they had these stereotypical sidekick characters. They had the big fat guy who’s supposed to be really strong and provides the comic relief, the karate instructor with the eye patch, and the asian fighting machine who’s named “Ninja” of all things. Why didn’t they just name the guy QuickKick or something? I came up with that in 5 seconds and that’s a little less contrived than ninja. I also thought the action scenes were done well for the most part, and you could find little subtle things that were amusing, like guns that never had to be reloaded except at the most inconvenient times. There was one scene where about 10 guys are running towards the heroes and a grenade is thrown towards the oncoming group, then the next cut is a scene of a bunch of guys running away from an explosion. I also thought that they must have had extra potent bullets, because a lot of the bad guys were taken out by shots to the legs or one hit knockouts.
Raz: The effects in this movie were quite hilarious. I loved the part where the armies of “Darth Vader” men were getting pelted with Styrofoam rocks. Shannon reminded me of Chuck Norris, with his wild dirty blond hair and beard. Perhaps they couldn’t secure Norris to play the part of Shannon, but they sure did a good job finding a look alike. Another great aspect of this movie is the crew that Shannon rolls with. You have “Ninja” the kung-fu man, “Viking” the GIANT Norse strong man, “Eye Patch” that is dead on with a machine gun and “Dude” some guy that can catch and throw everything. With the exception of “Ninja” those are not really the character’s names, but they might as well have been.
Sean: The guy that could catch stuff was the best. I’d want to be him in if I was in the movie, because he’s pretty lame, and he dies quick. Also, you’d think the pirate with the eye patch would have a hard time hitting stuff, with his depth perception being off an all. Anyhow, I thought the movie was a little confusing, poorly edited, had a few laughs, but also lost me a few times – especially at the end. While I hate to say it, I think overall this movie is a pretty forgettable experience. I’m looking forward to seeing a few more Italian action movies, and I hope they’re going to be a lot better.
Raz: I thought this movie was average. It had a strong start and kinda puttered out in the middle, but overall the movie was ok.