I’ve seen a lot of Mad Max ripoffs. American ones, Italian ones, Filipino ones…but never one from Australia. Hmm.
This particular Mad Max ripoff is of the Italian variety, and it might be the most barebones of the bunch. It has the most desolate wasteland, the smallest cast, and the least amount of tricked out hoopties. That last note is something of a sticking point. The cars are a big draw for me when watching these movies. I want to see rust buckets with all sorts of doodads welded to them to make them look tough. Crucially, they need to have been decent muscle cars at one point in their lives. In this flick, the auto de résistance is a sixth generation Ford Thunderbird, which was the heaviest coupe Ford ever made. That thing couldn’t outrun a squirrel, and belongs nowhere near a film like this. This was the best the filmmakers could do? Anyway… Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Exterminators of the Year 3000, aka Il giustiziere della strada”
The importance of the Italian contribution to Shitty Movie Sundays cannot be overstated. Many of the most outrageous and joyfully incompetent films featured in the Watchability Index hail from that land of ancient art and culture. I’m sure that way back in the day, before the miracle that is recorded media, there were countless shitty penny operas and circuses for the masses to enjoy. For all we know Verdi had a secret passion for sleaze. My point is, shitty Italian cinema didn’t just come from nowhere. The DNA had to be there already. For every master filmmaker such as Federico Fellini, there has been an Enzo G. Castellari. For every Lina Wertmuller, a Bruno Mattei. And for every Bernardo Bertolucci, there has been a Sergio Martino. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Hands of Steel, aka Vendetta dal futuro”
Television is a tough racket. Just ask the employees of WBS TV. In the future, the year 2072, to be precise, WBS has a hit show on their hands. It’s called The Danger Game, where contestants are hooked up to a machine that pumps visions of bloody torture directly into their brains. If they endure the torture without panicking, they win. It’s a successful show for the discerning TV consumer of the dystopian future, but it’s still getting beaten in the ratings by Kill Bike — a show featuring riders on motorbikes engaging in some poorly filmed jousting.
The mysterious head of WBS, Sam (Giovanni Di Benedetto), has a new idea for a show that should get WBS back on top of the ratings. Essentially, WBS is going to steal the idea of Kill Bike, but WBS will increase the stakes. The contestants will all be convicted murderers, and they will battle to the death in the famed Coliseum of Rome.
The New Gladiators was released in 1984, and is part of the wave of cheap Italian sci-fi that found inspiration following the successes of the Mad Max films and Escape from New York, among many others. This particular film, from famed b-movie auteur Lucio Fulci, borrows from those two films, while still finding enough room to cram in heaping amounts of Rollerball, Blade Runner, and A Clockwork Orange. Most impressively, Fulci was able to reach forward through time and steal ideas from The Running Man (all joking aside, the similarities are enough that I have to think the people behind The Running Man were Fulci fans). Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The New Gladiators, aka Warriors of the Year 2072, aka I guerrieri dell’anno 2072″
I could not imagine there being an October Horrorshow without a zombie flick. REC got close, but that and other recent movies are from the new wave of zombie fare — i.e., the bad guys aren’t zombies, they’re infected by some nefarious viral agent. But Halloween just couldn’t be Halloween without a horde of the classic lumbering undead making an appearance on my screen. Enter director Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2, the 1979 Italian sequel/non-sequel to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Zombi 2″