dir. Richard Compton
cast: Richard Harris, Ernest Borgnine, Woody Strode
Years after the world has been reduced to a poisoned wasteland by war, the few remaining survivors live in fear of groups of bandits known as Ravagers. Living a furtive, nomadic existence, scavenging in the ruins, Falk (Harris) is set up on by a group of Ravagers and his wife killed. In reprisal, he slits the throat of one of his attackers and flees. Unfortunately, the dead man seems to be the partner of the leader of the pack, who doggedly pursues Falk as he seeks a place of safety, the mythical Genesis where things can grow again.
A little seen film that was to prefigure a lot of post-apocalypse actions movies to come, Ravagers is let down by a weak central plot and wishy-washy hero. Falk just seems to meander aimlessly across the wasteland, telling the people he meets about Genesis but has no real desire to go there or really do anything other than wander aimlessly. It's not even that this apathy is turned into a plot point, it's just kind of... there. The film is not a dead loss, there's some interesting supporting characters such as Borgnine as the benevolent dictator of a group of survivors hiding on a ship and Art Carney as an old soldier still doggedly guarding a rocket base decades after the holocaust. Visually, it's pretty good. Everyone looks grimy, wearing mismatched clothes that look like they been scavenged, and the stark landscapes, and sand choked streets really add to the bleak feel of the film. Not really up there as a lost 70s classic like The Ultimate Warrior.