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Urban Warriors

Urban Warriors (1987) Movie Poster
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Italy  •    •  90m  •    •  Directed by: Giuseppe Vari.  •  Starring: Bruno Bilotta, Alex Vitale, Bjorn Hammer, Maurice Poli, Rosenda Scharschmidt, Malisa Longo, Tiziana Altieri.  •  Music by: Paolo Rustichelli.
       Three technicians working in an underground laboratory discover that a nuclear war has destroyed most of the aboveground world. After a brief search for food, the trio find that gangs of murderous mutants want them for their next meal. Will the scientists be able to find other uncontaminated humans to rebuild civilization with, or will they all end up as mutant chow?

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 1:59
 
 

Review:

Image from: Urban Warriors (1987)
Image from: Urban Warriors (1987)
Image from: Urban Warriors (1987)
Image from: Urban Warriors (1987)
Image from: Urban Warriors (1987)
Image from: Urban Warriors (1987)
Image from: Urban Warriors (1987)
Image from: Urban Warriors (1987)
Image from: Urban Warriors (1987)
Urban Warriors has to be one of the most unintentionally funny movies I've seen in a long time. It's the classic case of the rapid degeneration of a film and, shockingly enough, opens with a certain degree of promise. Swiftly though the visage melts away to reveal another hopelessly unoriginal film written by people who amazingly passed the 3rd grade. Ostensibly a MAD MAX clone, URBAN WARRIORS borrows just as much from such gutter "gems" as DEF-CON IV, BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, and even JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, but is severely hampered by a pittance of a production budget and even less enthusiasm.

Bruno Bilotta (who would later get to go head-to-head w Van Damme in a quality fight scene in DOUBLE TEAM, which ironically costars Ted Rusoff who provides Bilotta's voice in the English language version of this film) stars as a hapless hero who emerges from an underground bunker to find the world destroyed by a nuclear holocaust. The film, while certainly aware of its budget constraints and with its share of disastrous dialog, actually manages to make the most of itself by opening with a focused, low key approach. We follow Bilotta and two other scientists (including Z-movie favorite Maurice Poli) experience a blackout and have to find their way to the surface, facing hardship via rats, cave-ins, and lack of food and water. Okay, so far, so good. However things fall apart immediately upon their emergence as we're soon introduced to nuke mutants and crazed psychopath MAD MAX style bikers who all supposedly evolved within HOURS of the aforementioned apocalypse!

The funniest part comes near the end though - after being captured and put on a kangaroo trial for being the last normal person left and a threat to the new order (shades of LAST MAN ON EARTH right here), Bilotta manages to escape when the hopelessly poorly dubbed actress with zero screen presence in charge of the court has a change of heart the following night and springs him from mutant jail while the rest are soundly asleep (sound familiar?). What's funny is that she, the only character in this awful film to experience anything resembling a character arc, is ritualistically and undramatically killed off in the very next scene (a foleyed-in gunshot rings out and an obvious stunt double for her flies off the escape car) and is never even mentioned again! Did she just flake out and not show up for the last day of filming ...or was this entire ending scene just tacked-on after half the cast had left to cash their meager paychecks? Perhaps the director realized just how awful of an actress she was and fired her not bothering to re-shoot her scenes? Who knows?

What's even funnier about this chase scene is how completely pointless it is. The hero got away in one of the bad guys' two jeeps (all the production could afford), but this jeep was next to the one the bad guys used to chase him and he was not even in any particular hurry. Now this guy is a SCIENTIST, mind you, and he didn't even think to attempt to disable the enemy car in some way, by say ripping out the distributor wires or even merely deflating the tires?? Good grief. Things like this happen routinely throughout this film, a film called URBAN WARRIORS even though we're never taken to any city - only dirt quarries and the ubiquitous abandoned factory.

Also worth mentioning is the multitude of footage taken from FINAL EXECUTIONER, and some nudity brought to the screen in the form of Malisa Longo, who unfortunately is given nothing else to work with. As much of a fan of them I fancy myself to be, it really makes me wonder who the intended audience of these cynical cookie-cutter 80's Italian action movies was. They're so childishly stupid and lazy yet much too vulgar and violent to really be appropriate for any children, but not violent or exciting enough to entice action junkies or gorehounds. While this film has nothing of merit for all but die-hard fans of Mad Max clones, it at least manages to contain a fair amount of comedy gold. It's a crime that MST3K missed it.


Review by Michael A. Martinez from the Internet Movie Database.