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Desert Warrior

Desert Warrior (1988) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  89m  •    •  Directed by: Jim Goldman.  •  Starring: Lou Ferrigno, Shari Shattuck, Walter Abbot, Franklin Anson, Peter Arthur, Alan Bacall, Tony Baxter, Jerry Beyer, Kurt Bonner, Gerald Brown, Lawrence Bryan, Kenneth Caine, Frank Campbell.  •  Music by: Marita Manuel.
        Nuclear war has left Earth a desolate wasteland. The irradiated Tyrog civilization is on the brink of extinction. The desert plain erupts as the Tyrogs and the uncontaminated Drones battle with devastating assault weapons in a struggle for survival.


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Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Image from: Desert Warrior (1988)
Not to be confused with Enzo G. Castellari's earlier film of the same name which starred Mark Harmon, this effort features the Incredible Hulk himself, big Lou Ferrigno.

Things get off to a thumping start with a curiously happy sounding (and not very good) opening soundtrack after which an on screen narration informs us that a nuclear war has devastated society and that the remaining people have subsequently resorted to barbarianism....well aside from the nuclear war bit, it sounds not too dissimilar to the behaviour in the town in which I live - but I digress....

Anyhoo, the story centres on one such nomadic tribe who it transpires are searching for new, uncontaminated females with whom to procreate. Big Lou is apparently second in command in this group and in addition to leading search parties for females his role also involves standing as the leaders champion during combative arena matches.

As it happens, not all of humanity exists in the above primitive manner, for we are shown that there is also a secret society of uncontaminated men and women who reside in hi-tech underground complexes where they ostensibly bicker the finer points of law and order whilst simultaneously searching for a cure for radiation sickness......Fair enough.

In a nut shell, matters become complicated though when a woman from this hi-tech world gets captured by the tribe (after Lou liberates her from some fierce competition). It is around this time however that Lou sees the error of his ways and helps her to escape, having by this time fell in love with her.

In return she sneaks back and frees Lou the very same night as for his troubles our hero has been sentenced to death by his leader!

Jump forward a bit and Lou's new girlfriend is planning on introducing him to how the other half live in her underground home. Alas, all is not to be happy ever after just yet for upon arriving back they are immediately apprehended and she is sentenced to death! (Great Scott!!!) Big Lou gets a better deal and is miraculously cured of his radiation wounds (which have necessitated him to wear an eye patch up until now) and has his sight restored! Hallelujah! Seeing this miracle the council who had previously ordered the woman's death suddenly feel more charitable and seem to forget about such harsh sentences...well most of them do at least for one member absconds with her at gun point (erm...why?) and takes her outside (again...why???)

Matters come to a climax with our Lou pursuing his girlfriend and her captor whilst the tribe he originally belonged to launches an all out assault on the base (having followed Lou back to its location).

As some other reviewers have pointed out, this was quite obviously made on a very small budget and it shows. What sets and designs there are, are generally rather poor thus it is probably just as well that a lot of the action takes place in the sand dunes of the desert. The acting to, never rises above average from most of the cast members and it is especially surprising to see respected B-movie actor Mike Monty give a rather poor performance in his part. In fact I would say that the best performance here comes from Lou who acquits himself rather well in his limited role.

I've also just got to make a mention of the music in this....Ye Gods - it is truly dire and is furthermore intrusively noisy throughout.

But, despite the above criticisms, I must say that the film is actually fairly watchable in a non-demanding sort of way. In fact, if you're a fellow fan of the post apocalyptic genre then you to may well derive some not inconsiderable enjoyment from this.

As a final note, I must make mention of the hilariously optimistic, happy ending in this which caught me completely by surprise and furthermore had me in stitches at it's gormless audacity!

After a ferocious final pitched battle involving laser guns and explosions galore, our hero calls a ceasefire and meets, man to man with his former leader. I was expecting a final one on one fight but no! - After showing him his cured eye, Lou asks his adversary to give him a hug!!!! Yes, you read that correctly! - I had to rewind the scene again just to make sure that I wasn't dreaming!!! And they all live happily ever after, yes, just like that!!!

Well, how can you not warm to any movie which boasts such carefree optimism?

Review by HaemovoreRex from the Internet Movie Database.