Wednesday, 3 September 2014

1990: Bronx Warriors (1982)

This film begins by telling us that in 1990 the authorities gave up on trying to administer the Bronx, and left it to "the riders".  It never bothers to provide much explanation for this, given that the rest of society seems to be operating okay, but I suspect the real reason is "Because Escape from New York was a big hit the year before".

A young woman flees into the Bronx, and men in suits stiltedly inform each other that she must be recovered.  She, meanwhile, runs afoul of a gang of uniformly dressed men on roller skates.  I see we're ripping off The Warriors, too.  I guess the film's title might be a give away of that fact, though.

Our heroine is saved by the arrival of the aforementioned riders, led by the seriously pretty Trash.  Trash is a guy, but 'pretty' is definitely the right word for him:

Trash and his buddies beat up the roller skate gang and rescue the girl.  We next see them driving down to the riverside, in what anyone who knows New York will be able to tell is not the Bronx.  For ... reasons ... there's a guy playing drums there who will continue to play throughout the ensuing scene as Trash has a meeting with "The Ogre", the biggest, baddest gang leader in the Bronx.  Try not to remember this meeting when the script later makes a big deal about how hard it will be to get from Trash's territory to The Ogre's.

The Ogre, by the by, is played by blaxploitation great Fred Williamson, who is approximately 47 times too good for the rest of this movie.

Anyway, the men in suits send "The Hammer", a ruthless police captain, to recover the missing young woman, who gives no indication of wanting to be rescued.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  The Hammer isn't much interested in what she wants, though.  His first attempt to kidnap her is thwarted, but he won't give up easily.  With the authorities chasing his lover and the roller skate gang also reappearing to threaten her, Trash must make the long trek across the Bronx, tangling with various other gangs, in order to enlist the aid of the Ogre.

So frankly this is a bad film, badly acted, with a bad script and an almost complete lack of an ending.  And it's pretty obviously a pastiche of better films.  It does have some surprisingly well done action sequences, and occasional moments of endearing lunacy (like flamethrower-wielding police on horseback), but unless you're like me, and grew up in the 80s seeing the film in video stores and being too young to rent it, then it's safe to give it a miss.

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