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WARRIORS OF THE WASTELAND

     

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: A new 11-movie collection of 1980s horror/sci-fi titles, most of them schlock, has been released by Mill Creek Entertainment at a very low price under the title ‘The Deadly Beyond Movie Collection.’ Of the 11 titles only four played in Salt Lake theaters during their theatrical debuts 30-some years ago, and my Deseret News reviews of three have run on this page over the past couple of weeks. Reprinted below is the fourth, ‘Warriors of the Wasteland’ (aka 'THe New Barbarians, as the bottom poster indicates), which was originally published in the Deseret News on Jan. 13, 1984. (Click on the links provided here to read about all 11 titles.)

“Warriors of the Wasteland” is a blatant rip-off of “The Road Warrior,” with a very odd bent. The villains are sadomasochistic homosexuals who wish to destroy all of mankind … except themselves, of course.

But Timothy Brent, an Americanized name given to Italian actor Giancarlo Prete, teams up with Fred Williamson, the star of many a violent exploitation film and apparently the only American in the cast of this badly dubbed Italian epic, and together they kill and maim the bad guys, complete with a gunfight climax right out of “A Fistful of Dollars.”

     

Though several films can be spotted as inspiration here, the most obvious is George Miller’s sequel to his original “Mad Max.” But “The Road Warrior” itself borrowed from the Sergio Leone-Clint Eastwood westerns, as well as “Shane,” making “Warriors of the Wasteland” a double-dipper of sorts, since it, too, has a young boy who idolizes the hero (Brent/Prete), and all kinds of wild stunts, slowed down to slow motion.

What “Warriors” lacks, however, is any logic or sense of fun, substituting instead a dreadful series of violent, gruesome vignettes that are guaranteed to turn off mainstream audiences.

Acting is practically non-existent, production values are cheesy at best and the redundant slow-motion stunts get extremely tiresome after awhile.

     

If that’s not enough, there’s even an anti-reading message at the beginning. One of the villains spots some books, looks out over the nuked-out surroundings and mutters, “Books! That’s what started the whole apocalypse.”

World War III was started by librarians???

Rated R for violence, gore, sex, nudity, profanity and vulgarity, “Warriors of the Wasteland” gives drive-in exploitation a bad name.