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L' Ultimo Guerriero

Ultimo Guerriero, L' (1984) Movie Poster
Italy  •    •  95m  •    •  Directed by: Romolo Guerrieri.  •  Starring: William Mang, Marina Costa, Harrison Muller Jr., Woody Strode, Margit Evelyn Newton, Stefano Davanzati, Renato Miracco, Maria Romano, Luca Giordana, Karl Zinny, Cinzia Bonfantini, Giovanni Cianfriglia, Tommaso Mesto.  •  Music by: Carlo de Nonno.
    After a nuclear holocaust, as the rest of society regresses to primitivism, a small, "elite" group that has managed to escape radioactive contamination takes it upon itself to exterminate those it sees as "unfit", including certain members of its own group.

Review:

Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
Image from: Ultimo Guerriero, L
And here we have more Italian post-apocalyptic trash for masochistic fans of the genre. Kicking off with some stock footage of nuclear explosions and volcanoes (?), a monotonous voice-over tells us that society has been contaminated by radioactivity. Those free of the contamination now hunt the others for sport. It's an interesting premise and one that undoubtedly helped to influence THE RUNNING MAN.

Yes, we're in cheap B-movie territory here, and while this film is indeed poorly-made, it also turns out to be quite watchable and exciting at times. We are introduced to yet another violent society and watch as a group of helpless survivors are massacred in slow-motion by a cruel gang of armed men and women. The slow-motion is obviously intended to give this scene some kind of epic proportions, and manages to be somehow effective. Two survivors remain; our stony-faced hero, and his wife. Inevitably the two are captured, the woman is raped and shot dead, and the man shot and left for dead.

Thankfully, though, help arrives in the form of Woody Strode, the black actor who appeared in SPARTACUS all those years ago. Strode is still in fine shape for a man reaching 70 and shows off his mean fighting skills during the film's progress. His screen presence certainly makes the film easier to bear, as he stands head and shoulders over all the charisma-free non-actors filling the rest of the cast (incidentally, they're all a sweaty bunch of losers, I guess nobody really washes in the future).

From then on, our hero, played by William Mang, must build up his strength and his cunning to take revenge on the murderers and become the figure of the title. This involves running through a corridor of swinging sacks, crawling along a bridge covered in barbed wire and running through a pipe also filled with barbed wire. What relevance these moments have for later in the film I don't really know; he doesn't encounter any obstacles faintly resembling these at all when he finally takes his revenge. They are certainly amusing though. The latter half of the film sees Mang picking off the scum who did his wife in one by one.

The makers of this film ought to have some kudos for making each death scene creative, and not just standard bang-bang fare. One bad guy gets a knife in the stomach, another is blown up and an escapee is blown up by a booby-trapped motorcycle (amusingly the rider of the bike is seen to catch alight BEFORE the bike does!). In the end there are just two of the hunters left, a creepy miserable woman and an extremely flamboyant hunter, played by Harrison Muller, who likes to wear a long white scarf for some reason. Mang fights dirty and Strode turns up to save the day. They all live happily ever after. The end.

One thing that you cannot say this film is, is boring. There's plenty of action to keep things moving along, a lot of fist-fights and gun battles. The film is not particularly gory although there is some blood, and there is also a high dose of sex and nudity which seems somewhat surprising considering the genre which this film is in. Okay, so the acting is bad and the music is annoying, but fans of this trash would probably see these as plus points anyway (that includes me, sadly). THE FINAL EXECUTIONER is a fun, light and meaningless film which is a different way to spend an hour and a half, but is also quite forgettable.


Review by Leofwine_draca from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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May 16 2016, 18:05