July 6, 2012

Movie Review: Warrior of the Lost World (1983)

Warrior of the Lost World is one of those movies that will frustrate you to the point of turning it off within five minutes, or those five minutes will have you hooked right through to the finish. I am glad to say I am in the latter category. This is one of those ridiculous 1980-era post apocalyptic movies that is so ridiculous and incomprehensible that you cannot help but be dragged along. I will not defend it as a good movie, but I will defend it as an entertaining one.

This movie is filled with nods to other, better films and television shows, making this something a mutant movie that still has the overall feel of a personal train wreck. What I am saying is that while these nods may be there, they do not over proper the singular vision, even if that vision is half baked. Also, to help you with the references, think Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Knight Rider, and Italian zombie movies. Some may be fleeting, but they are there.

As the story goes, writer/director David Worth was hired to helm the film and was flown to Italy. Upon his arrival, he found there was no script (which he would end up writing), instead, he was shown a poster design and asked to make a movie that would fit the image. They just don't make movies like this anymore, and I suspect this was not an isolated case during this era.

This movie is not a terribly complex one, but don't let the movie hear you say it. The opening crawl tells of a very convoluted future and takes up a full page of the script. I tell you, this thing is ridiculous. You don't have to believe me, read it for yourself:

In another time,
in a distant land…
Generations after the radiation
wars and the collapse of nations,
government, finance, and com-
munications, there came into
existence a new Dark Age of

As each Sector adapted
its’ own rules for survival, the
evil despot PROSSOR brought to
power a Congress to enforce
his “Laws and Obligations” and
armed a deadly Militia, The
Omega, to destroy the Outsiders
who were trying to establish a
more tolerant society- The New

The region beyond the control of
The Omega is the Wasteland, a
forbidden zone populated by
roving tribes of desperate
Marginals who engage in a
barbaric struggle for territory
and survival.

Meanwhile, high in the mountains,
living among the ruins of past
civilizations, dwells a small group
of Mystics called the Enlightened
Elders. It is here that the
Outsiders, led by McWAYNE and
his daughter NASTASIA gain
inspiration in their struggle
against PROSSOR and The Omega.

Now, into this time of conflict and
rebellion, astride his supersonic
speedcycle, rides one man… a
fearless survivor, who was
destined to become the…

Warrior of the Lost World

Sounds like a good time, right? Anyway, with that out of the way we can move onto the movie proper. Our first shot is through the haze of heat, a shape is slowly approaching from way down the road. Closer and closer it comes. It is revealed to be a motorcycle. We shift to first person as it flies down the road. This is no ordinary motorcycle, it is a talking bike with a display that looks like the star field screensaver. It is an annoying, high pitched voice with a tendency to speak in triplicate. It also says things like "Very Bad Mother" and "Geek" and "Hang on to Your ..." not to mention "Tubular."

Anyway, the Warrior (Robert Ginty whose character is never referred to by name) crosses paths with Omega security, Omega is the new ruling organization. A pursuit ensues where we see examples of terrible shooting, subsonic speed travel, and exploding cars. All sorts of wacky stuff. Now, if you are paying attention you will likely wonder why they care about a speeder in an obviously unpopulated area, why the penalty is death, and more importantly the fact that the foliage and roads look great for having been through a apocalyptic event.

Well, soon our gruff hero is racing and shooting his way through a junkyard filled with some goofy clans. He handily gets through, but when looking back at his handiwork, he runs straight into a cliff. Miraculously he survives and is healed, by flashlight, by some mystics who are accompanied by Fred Williamson!

When he does to leave, he is confronted by Nastasia (Persis Khambatta, the bald alien Ilia in Star Trek: The Motion Picture). He is named the chosen one and forced to help rescue her father from the evil Omega forces. They sneak in through some unknown, spider and zombie infested tunnel, find where he is about to be executed and grab a guards gun and massacre the guards, while the other nearby guards can't hit anything.

Got to tell you, the fashion of execution is great. They are done three at a time on a triangle, the victims are strapped in and have a high electric charge sent through them, killing them. But that's not all! A guy with a flame thrower comes over and torches them! Why? No idea.

Daddy is rescued, but Nastasia is left behind. Back at the rebel base, um, mystics, or whatever, it is decided they must mount an all out assault on Omega. Warrior u ties the goofy clans by beating them up. They then attack on the roads.

Visions of Mad Max danced in my head during this, even when the flame throwing dump truck, known as Megaweapon, shows up. Am I giving you too much? Perhaps, but there is no subtext to analyze. There is not much here aside from goofy fun.

There is a showdown with the head of Omega, Prossor (played by a bored and disinterested Donald Pleasance), who sports a look that must have inspired Mike Myers' Doctor Evil. No joke. The showdown proves one thing, it is better to shoot your adversary yourself than use a brainwashed captive, they always get out of it a the last minute. This showdown also leads to a twist that I guess was to pay off in a sequel.

Good guys save the day, there is a tease of a sequel, and the hero rides off into the sunset. That about sums up all you need to know. It is fun watching Robert Ginty react to his annoying motorcycle, it is like he doesn't want to be there. Really, all the performances seem bored.

They don't make them like this anymore. It is far from the best of its type, but it is seriously fun to watch. So, enjoy it with friends and laugh away.



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