Saturday, 6 May 2017

2020: Texas Gladiators

2020: Texas Gladiators (aka 2020 Freedom Fighters, Anno 2020: I Gladiatori del Futuro)
1984, Italy
dir. Joe D'mato
Cast: Al Cliver, Harrison Muller Jr, Donald O'Brien, Al Yamanouchi

A group of Texas Rangers (shirtless do-gooders who patrol the post-atomic wastelands dispensing justice) interrupt a mutant raid on a defenceless settlement. One of their number, the dastardly Catchdog, tries to take advantage of the situation by raping one of the survivors but is driven off in disgrace by their leader Nisus (Cliver).Fast forward a few years and Nisus has shacked up with the woman he saved in a peaceful community built round a refinery. Catchdog shows up with a biker gang in league with the high-tech troops of the fascistic New Order and overrun the settlement. Nisis is executed but his wife escapes and reunites his former comrades, who with the help of the local Native Americans liberate the enslaved colony.

Made hot on the heels of D'Amato's Endgame, this recycles much of the locations, props and cast (sadly no George Eastman, though he did co-write this). Due to the lack of memorable characters, it's not as fun as the earlier film, with only O'Brien's mad dictator and his over the top evil cackle standing out, with everyone else being pretty much interchangeable. By D'Amato's standards, it's a competent movie, though that's not saying much. 

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