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Ravagers

Ravagers (1979) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  90m  •    •  Directed by: Richard Compton.  •  Starring: Richard Harris, Ernest Borgnine, Ann Turkel, Art Carney, Anthony James, Woody Strode, Alana Stewart, Seymour Cassel, Brian Carney, Kurt Grayson, Arch Archambault, Bob Westmoreland, Gordon Hyde.  •  Music by: Fred Karlin.
       In a post-apocalyptic world divided between two groups called the Flockers and the Ravagers, an adventurer and his "pleasure girl" try to find their way to a rumored safe haven called the Land of Genesis.

Review:

Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
Image from: Ravagers (1979)
I remember having seen this movie before, when I was a kid and it aired on television. But other than the title and the semi-desolate feel RAVAGERS had (because there's quite a lot of people running around in this one), I remembered nothing of it.

Let's start with the soundtrack, because in my opinion that's one of the not-so-many merits RAVAGERS has. Occasionally, there's some "post-apocalyptic jazz music" on the soundtrack. Occasionally, there's a few eerie metallic scrapes integrated in the soundtrack. On one occasion, there's a sergeant playing the piano, providing some recreation. Occasionally, there's some good-sounding orchestrated string arrangements. But they sometimes do sound a bit overly dramatic.

Now that's actually the main problem with RAVAGERS: It's too melodramatic. The protagonist (Falk, played by Richard Harris) is a loner and the script tries too hard to make you like him. In a post-apocalyptic world, you expect everybody to have at least a little edge, right? But not Falk. The man's just too friendly (admittedly, he does fight when he has to). You can see his girlfriend, Miriam, getting killed by ravaging thugs in the beginning of the movie (well, we don't get too see much, actually), but if you think good Falk will go on a blood-seeking quest for vengeance, you better think again. He just kills one of them (not even the leader) and then starts running. At first aimlessly across the country... But then, these very annoying flashbacks of his girlfriend (that just happen too often in the movie) start reminding him of a place she talked about, called "Genesis" (It's supposed to have fertile ground and women who can still bear children). Will he ever find it? Will the Ravagers ever catch up with him? Who knows... All I know is, that it takes forever for anything to happen in this movie.

The opening-scene looks promising, though. Nicely chosen, properly framed, deserted-looking shots of a run-down town set the right tone. But in the end, nothing eventful really happens throughout the rest that follows for 90 minutes. Flak meets different people. All this while the Ravagers are on the search for him. But the violence portrayed in this film, is just too tame and there's not nearly enough of it. I was okay with this kind of western-feeling (as in: Western, the genre) this movie sort of has, but it still remains a slow and rather boring snooze-fest. Ann Turkel does provide some very brief, but welcome nudity in the background during one scene. Her character wants to be Falk's new love-mate, but him rejecting her constantly (because he just can't get over losing his beloved Miriam) became very old, very quick. And at the end, the pay-off to this annoying sub-plot-gag-thing wasn't even redeeming.

Ernest Borgnine must have arrived way too late on the set... He is credited as Rann, but he only appears in the middle of the third act. They do built up to the moment he makes his appearance, but he does nothing more then walk into a dining room and deliver a couple of lines. And then, when the action begins, it's: Exit Borgnine. Somewhat comforting where the final 30 minutes of the movie. They were a bit more amusing (the dining room scene, Falk's discovery of the fish having returned to the oceans) and an big old rusty, stranded ship provided a nice setting. But in the end, the third act had a climax with the Ravagers that didn't deliver much more than a bit of fist-fighting, shooting, an explosion thrown in the mix and a neat one-liner coming from Richard Harris about "Genesis".

The movie itself, isn't exactly badly put together, not in the over-all narrative structure, neither on a technical level. I could be forgiving and try to appreciate that this movie is about hope in desolate times and friendly people, undeserved and tragically, losing their beloved ones and all... But, I mean, this movie's called RAVAGERS... Get it?

Now I know why this movie didn't leave a lasting impression on me when I was a kid.


Review by Vomitron_G from the Internet Movie Database.