1 May 1999 | ChoiBaby
Not another "people must learn to survive in a post holocaust"-type science-fiction thriller!
In a world where government has deteriorated...laws are unbinding...and cruel savages rule the wastelands, comes a new heroic breed... The "Rangers," a team comprising of disciplined, dedicated, and laconic mercenaries are on a mission...to exterminate the evils that roam in the post-nuclear world. Led by "Nisus" (Al Cliver), the roster includes "Halakron," (Peter Hooten), "Catch Dog," (Daniel Stephen), and "Red Wolfe" (Al Yamanouchi). When the going gets tough...these guys slice it up!
The future is forsaken...all hope is lost and innocent lives are in despair. The asperity of the aftermath of World War III (or the *Atomic War*) has taken its toll on the human population... However, the remnants of the surviving human race must learn to rebuild their civilization and live in harmony...but too many obstacles and detours stand in their way...
However, an onerous dictatorship led by the Black One (Donald O'Brien) has seized control of everything: nuclear weapons, various resources, and especially human lives to utilize as slave labor. It is now up to the Rangers to help assist the wonderfully sexy Maida (Sabrina Siani) to discomfit the Black One's plans for rebuilding a tyrannical society... A rebellion must be instigated in order to revolt the New World Order or whatever...
2020 TEXAS GLADIATORS (the original title is ANNO 2020 - I GLADIATORI DEL FUTURO) is one of those movies that never ceases to amuse me! The melodramatic moments are sometimes sickening yet I enjoyed the perfunctory thrills and dramatic scenes which both serve to keep genre fans satiated. Directed by none other than the late, notorious Joe D'Amato (whose real name happens to be Aristide Massaccesi, but in this production, he also goes by the pseudonym Kevin Mancuso), 2020 TEXAS GLADIATORS is highly derivative. Virtually ideas and motifs from every other film in this particular sci-fi genre are stolen, cut-and-pasted into this drivel. Unfortunately, 2020 TEXAS GLADIATORS lacks the poignancy, the strength, intelligence, and imagination of a well-established motion picture.
With those statements said, I had a hell of a fun time watching this film. The nonstop action keeps this film moving at a steady, energetic pattern. The enlightening, dead heat violence is rampant and overwhelmingly overweening. Worthwhile highlights to watch include the Russian Roulette scene, the evil laugh courtesy of O'Brien himself, the village under siege, the prison break, the motorcycle chases, and of course, the beautiful foxy ladies. Enjoy rooting for the heroes as they raise hell and wreck havoc by the film's climax with a little assistance from a few Native Americans. Do not forget to pay attention to Donald O'Brien's performance of a lifetime as a neo-Nazi sadist with a penchant for torture and wealth. This character, played by O'Brien is perhaps one of the funniest fictional villains ever devised. He gets away too furtively with a way over-the-top role ever since his portrayal as a mind-bending, homicidal doctor in DOCTOR BUTCHER, M.D. (1979).
A special panegyric acclamation goes to Sabrina Siani. She is certainly one lascivious actress who knows how to make your pulse beat faster! Siani is definitely a magnificent Italian beauty whose elegance, personality, and the luscious facade help make viewing this movie a bit more bearable. Her presence alone makes this film worth seeing...
Just a tidbit, the title is once again a misnomer! Here's a pondering, perplexing, and ambiguous question: What does this film have to do with "Texas Gladiators?"
In spite of this film's ridiculousness, you will be mesmerized at the high voltage intensity of this spectacle. The cast is lively and prepossessing, plus this film moves at an unwontedly breathless pace. You can argue that this film is bereft of creativity, coherence, flair, and class, but what's the point of grousing about the film's foibles? This film is NOT great by any means, but it is delightfully entertaining on many levels (in a purely superficial matter, of course).
If you like movies with an absence of both logic and novelty, along with a melange of faceless antagonists and heroes who are poor decision makers, then this hideously dubbed film will appeal to you. Plus, revel in some really miserable special effects, inept acting, and unintentional laughs... Pop the champagne and enjoy!
RATING: ** out of ****.