Gas is at 4 dollars a gallon here in the U.S. It seems like it’s rising daily. Obviously oil is very important in all of our daily lives but it won’t last forever. Unfortunately, the upcoming Oil Wars predicted by the 1982 post apocalyptic Road Warrior-esqe flick Warlords of the 21st Century, aka Battletruck, directed by Harley Cokeliss is going to jack prices sky high. If what this film says is true, it’ll top out at $59.99 a liter before it becomes a rare commodity that roving bands of soldiers will destroy small villages for.
Battletruck refers to the heavily armored semi truck that carries Straker (played by James Wainwright) and his maniacal military crew in search of oil across the nuclear wastelands that cover North America. When one of Straker’s female members, Corlie escapes, she is rescued by Hunter (Played by Michael Beck – Swan from “The Warriors). Hunter is a tough as nails loner that answers to no one but himself. He also drives a bad ass motorcycle with a bunch of stuff piled on to it to make it look futuristic.
Hunter takes Corlie to the nearby village of Clearwater to get settled in and meet up with the townspeople, as he prefers to live alone. There she meets up with Rusty (played by John Ratzenberger – Cliff Clavin from “Cheers”) who is on her side and wants to keep her in the village, although there is some opposition. After the townspeople adopt her as one of her own, Straker and his gang come in and raid the town looking for her. Hunter decides that he’s going to take matters into his own hands and extract some loner justice on Straker and his men, building a battle truck of his own, with the help of Rusty. Adding to the difficulty, there’s also a rat in the mix that Hunter will have to deal with. Can Hunter save the people and take care of Straker? Only his bad ass motorcycle, mini battletruck and awesome soundtrack can decide that!
I have to say I was a little surprised when I found out that Michael Beck and John Ratzenberger were in this. I didn’t expect a movie called “Warlords of the 21st Century” to have any talent, let alone two guys that I knew of and easily recognized. The acting is pretty good considering the material, and the production work was done really well too.
Some things to notice is that whenever Hunter is riding on his motorcycle at high speeds, jumping little rock clusters and gliding around dustry trails, he always wears a black mask attached to his helmet. That way they can mask the identity of the rider, and Beck can appear to be the driver whenever necessary. Another is that the actual battle truck itself is pretty sad looking. I think they could have spent a little more work on it to make it actually look menacing. As it stands, it’s basically a Semi with a ram welded onto the front, and some louvers on the windshield.
Warlords of the 21st Century is a great name, but BATTLETRUCK is even better. I think they should have marketed it as that in the U.S., they would have made a killing. With a name so awesome, it ends up being an average movie with good production values and convincing acting performances by most of the key players.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of Kenny Loggins 80’s music without the vocals, you’ll really love the scene where hunter drives his hunk of shit jalopy on it’s test drive through Straker’s camp. Pure AWESOMENESS! I think they spent half the budget on the explosion in that scene and the ending scene.