From all the movies I’ve seen that take place at least 20 years in the future, things are going to be pretty bleak for us, with the post-apocalyptic world and all. We visit another one of these era’s in Cirio H. Santiago‘s 1986 film Future Hunters, where everything is all Mad Max, and people chase each other around in cars looking to get a leg up on the competition. In this case, Matthew (Richard Norton) is being chased and in order to save the world, he has to get his hands on the spear that pierced Jesus’ chest, the spear of destiny. He manages to grab it seconds before he’s about to be blown up, and his contact with the spearhead transports him 39 years to the past – from 2025 all the way back to 1986, and in proximity to our main subjects, Michelle and Slade (Robert Patrick). After Matthew is shot and on his way to death’s door, he fills in Michelle and Slade on what the spearhead is, and that they need to contact a “Hightower” in order to learn how to save the future… Wow… heavy, man.
Michelle is an anthropology student, and she runs a bar near LA. She believes Matthew, even though he sounds batshit crazy. Slade, on the other hand, thinks that the guy was just a wackjob, and that they should get rid of the spear as soon as possible. After some thugs come looking for the spear they decide they should look a little deeper into this Hightower fellow, and find out that he’s a doctor that’s been doing a lot of research on the spearhead itself. While they can’t find Dr. Hightower at the local university, they do find an associate of his that can help bring the spearhead to him in Hong Kong. Michelle and Slade decide to investigate Hong Kong themselves, and choose wisely, because soon a car is following them to gain information about the spear. Hong Kong ends up being a gateway to an unbelievable adventure including Nazi’s, a tribe of Mongols, and an army of little people, amongst other things, but will they ever find Hightower and find out what the business of this spear is all about?
Sean: Nazi’s, Mongols, Little People, and did I forget to mention Amazons above? I must have forgotten that, since there are so many directions this movie goes towards. It seems like they give you just enough information to follow along before they move towards something else. Hell, sometimes they don’t even give you that much. I have to say though, if I had to go through all of this crap fighting all these different groups, I’d want to be with Robert Patrick’s character. He plays Slade, the former marine who used to be an airplane mechanic during his time. Because he was a marine, I guess that means he knows how to beat ass against Kung Fu masters (he’s so good he gets to fight along side Bruce Lee clone, Bruce Le) and sword fight with the best scimitar wielding Mongol leaders. He’s an expert pilot who can fly any aircraft and tell it’s top speed and max range just by sitting in it, even though his only experience is as a mechanic. Did I mention that he’s a marine? I’m telling you, I wouldn’t go to war without him!
Raz: Yeah, this movie is pretty crazy. Your brain will explode, because of all of the crap this movie throws at you. I caught my self wondering several times, “Am I watching the same movie? When did they throw in a kung fu flick? Is that Bruce Lee fighting Pai Mei?” It seems like they tried to fit every action move genre into this movie. It doesn’t seem like it has that much dialog ether. In the beginning during the “Mad Max” future car chase, there was a bunch of gun fire and explosions. During this whole sequence there is probably two lines, after eight minutes. You definitely don’t have to think much while you’re watching it, although you may think that you are watching like, ten different movies.
Sean: This thing was full of bad edits and inconsistencies. There’s a car chase (with required car driving into a fruit stand to avoid an accident), and at the start of the car chase, it’s night time. After the chase goes on for about 3 or 4 minutes, the screen goes dark for about 1/2 a second, and it’s all the sudden day time. It’s as if the whole preceding 3 or 4 minutes was all inside of a tunnel, and you finally got out of it. In another scene, our main characters have to jump out of a helicopter seconds before it explodes. They leap straight down into the water, the helicopter explodes, and there’s no wreckage… or at least it never falls out of the sky. One of my favorites is during a gunfight on a wooden bridge where one of the baddies gets a grenade put down the back of his shirt. It takes about a minute for the grenade to explode and when it does, one of the main bad guys is holding the exploding dude. The next scene that guy is shown running with the rest of his Nazi buddies, although he never shoes up again. There are several more of these, and I could probably fill another couple paragraphs with them, but the film still manages to stay fun, and I had to just chalk these up to the fun of the movie.
Raz: I love how they reuse movie props these days. The spear of destiny prop looked exactly like the the one they used in the Constantine movie released in 2005. It’s like they started filming Constantine in the same studio as Future Hunters and they were like “Hey! This spear head would be a great prop for the spear of destiny we need.” I guess it is a spear head though. It’s metal, it has a point, it’s triangular, so yeah I guess a lot of spear heads would look the same. Another thing that is so great about this movie is that they get these actors that look just like the actors from the really popular movies they are pulling the genres out of. For example Mathew, looks kinda like Mel Gibson and he tries really hard with his two lines to sound like him. Liu looks just like Bruce Lee. Well he is Bruce Le, the popular Bruce Lee look alike.
Sean: The ending is totally weak. I was pretty disappointed after all this adventure that it just cuts away so abruptly. You would have thought there would have at least been a voice over or some text on the screen or something. It’s not arty enough to just be able to end like that, I needed some more cheese, man… All in all though, it’s a good, fun action/adventure move in the vein of “Romancing the Stone” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (it even has the Nazi’s!) If you can put up with all the inconsistencies, poor edits and continuity problems it’s totally worth the time. I mean, where else are you going to find an army of little people!? I give Future Hunters 3 confusing plot holes out of 5.
Raz: I agree that the ending was fairly disappointing. It’s like they didn’t know how to end the movie so they were like “Eh… The movie is long enough, let’s end it here”. Overall I liked this movie though. The movie threw so much action at me that I never lost interest. The plot holes and editing problems were just hilarious. I give Future Hunters 3 reused movie props out of 5.