In the shattered wasteland of inner-city New York, a desperate alliance of beleaguered gangs arm themselves for a final, apocalyptic battle against ruthless authorities in the year 1990. Young Ann, a Manhattan runaway, finds herself alone and unprotected in the middle of this chaos, until gang leader Trash steps in to take care of her.
Directed by: Enzo G. Castellari
. Starring: Vic Morrow
, Chuck Zito
, Christopher Connelly
, Fred Williamson
, Mark Gregory
, Stefania Girolami Goodwin
, Ennio Girolami
, George Eastman
, Joshua Sinclair
, Betty Dessy
, Rocco Lerro
, Massimo Vanni
, Angelo Ragusa
. Music by: Walter Rizzati
Forget "Terminator 2", forget "Jaws" or "The Matrix" or any of those groundbreaking yet utterly predictable movies. What I am reviewing here is simply one (the other being its sequel) of the most fantastic works of art ever committed to celluloid, a movie of such vision and imagery as to haunt anyone who sees it for the rest of their lives. This is a movie that, if you just happen watch it on tv as a child you will be asking people 15 years later what it was and it will become so dear to your heart you'll have owned a copy in every conceivable format. VHS, CED, LD, VCD, DVD, Phase 4 Plasma crystal...well, in the future. If you see it as a teenager it will leave its mark on you and you might actually refuse to see it again because you will not want your fond memories of this movie wrecked, but I assure you, its magic and power will last a lifetime. One day, when you're no longer young, you will look back at this movie and remember what it was like to really feel alive. The main couple will be young forever on film, forever kissing as if each time was the first time. Young forever will remain the heroes.
And this I appreciate about it: finally a movie with teen heroes who actually are teenagers, not 30 year-old Eric Stoltz-types. Our hero was only 17 when he was picked to play the youthful leader of a motorcycle gang.
1990: The Bronx Warriors (1983)
The year is 1990. The place is the Bronx. In an alternate reality where crime has supposedly risen to such impossible heights that the police no longer attempt to enforce the law in the Bronx, Trash and his gang of Riders fight a corrupt corporation's efforts to destroy gang rule in the Bronx.
By 1990 most of the Bronx was owned by the evil Manhattan Corporation. This unscrupulous organisation was bent on dominating and owning the entire Bronx for the financial gains. They used of force to move people out of their homes. Naturally they needed the government out of their way so they exaggerated the Bronx's crime rate to get the government to give up on enforcing the law and left it up to the Manhattan Corporation to rule the place. However there was a flaw in the plan.
The Bronx may belong to the M.C. on paper but it really belonged to street gangs. In an environment where only the strong will survive, the many gather together to become stronger. Tribes are formed and together they protect their property and take justice into their own hands. And ruling over all is The Ogre.
Yes, that would be Fred Williamson! In the year when this was made it was already considered hyper-cool to have Fred Williamson in a movie. And he is here, yet another reason why this movie is AWESOME! As the Ogre, Williamson totally runs the show and steals every scene that he is in. We can see why other gangs fear him. His mere image imposes respect. He is regarded as a king, as THE King of the Bronx by everyone, friend or foe...only his foes don't get to live long, dig?
It's in this lawless world that we meet 17 year-old Trash. This young men is way wise beyond his years. He has the beauty of youth and his eyes reflect the wisdom of ages. Even older members of his gang respect him as their undisputed leader. And they look to him for answers when members of various gangs start showing up dead.
Enter Ann. She runs into the Hell we call The Bronx, runs straight into Trash's arms. Who is this troubled young woman? Who or what is she running away from? This girl shows up out of nowhere, purposedly trying to enter the Bronx and is attacked by members of a gang named "The Zombies". The Zombies rollerskate around in white hockey gear with large epaulets and they tease Ann before closing in for the kill. She is rescued by Trash and she is eternally grateful to him.
The climate in the Bronx is tense. Although most gangs can share the Bronx as long as no one enters the other's turf, all hell can break loose at any moment. Hell..that's what this place is. Hell.
As two members of Trash's gang are making out in the stairs of a building, a lone mailman makes his way up the steps. He is carrying a long parcel. As he makes his way through the ruined building, one of Trash's men threatens the postman. But, there is something fishy here. The postman turns and dispatches the Rider with shots from a rifle he was concealing in the package. Why, IT'S VIC MORROW!!!
VIC MORROW!! One great underrated american actor! Here he plays a great villain, a mercenary working for the Manhattan Corporation. His name is Hammer. He believes in nothing, he will stop at nothing. His only loyalties are to himself. As Hammer, Vic is what Tom Atkins usually tries to be, but only Morrow can be Morrow. A dedicated character actor, Morrow was killed in California, while filming TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. I remember the very day, July 23, 1982. Morrow is an interesting casting choice because he truly was a Bronx native. He had been playing heavies since 1955's "Blackboard Jungle", an early JD flick, alongside Sidney Poitier, so by this time he had elevated it into an artform in itself! This was his next to last movie. Before that he had also been in a different italian film with James Franciscus named L'ULTIMO SQUALO. His character's last name in that movie was also Hammer, if I remember correctly.
So now I have explained the plot elements and I will not spoil anything else about this fantastic action-horror movie. The stage is set for the ride of your life in this NON-STOP movie where every minute something new happens. Boy, was I surprised to see BIG APE HIMSELF, Mr. George Eastman as Golan, the leader of the Zombies! He has a great little fight scene with someone in the cast...and I really don't want to spoil anything but it is one of my favourite scenes. The Ogre has a henchowoman named "Witch" who is anything but, unless it's meant to say she's enchanting! Like a superheroine from a Marvel comic book (Not DC....they'd never get it right), Witch is a leather clad kitten with a deadly whip! Trash's right hand man, Ice, looked like a young Steve Jobs. ;-) But everything in this movie is so crazy and hypnotic! The costumes of the different gangs, the ruins of the Bronx...this movie plays like a modern-day fantasy-quest!
The acting is a little uneven but this is to be expected in a international co-production where actors speak different languages and have their lines dubbed in afterwards. Mark Gregory as Trash is simply incredible. In more than one touching scenes he actually cries! The tough exteriour is briefly removed so we can get a glimpse of the real man inside.
Ann is played by Stefania Girolami, daughter of actor Ennio Girolami who is also here as the President of the Manhattan Corporation. Director Enzo Castellari has his usual cameo, in this case as the Vice-President.
This is a movie that is incredible, and its sequel was even better!
1990 i guerrieri del Bronx Also Known As: 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1983).
Review by Cristian-3 from the Internet Movie Database.