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1990: I Guerreri del Bronx

1990: Bronx Warriors
The Riffs - Die Gewalt sind wir

Italy 1982
produced by
Fabrizio De Angelis for DEAF
directed by Enzo G. Castellari
starring Vic Morrow, Christopher Connelly, Fred Williamson, Mark Gregory, Stefania Girolami Goodwin, Ennio Girolami George Eastman (= Luigi Montefiori), Joshua Sinclair (as John Loffredo), Betty Desy, Rocco Lerro, Massimo Vanni, Angelo Ragusa, Enzo G. Castellari, Giovanni Bonadonna, Carla Brait
screenplay by Dardano Sacchetti, Elisa Briganti, Enzo G. Castellari, based on an idea by Dardano Sacchetti, music by Walter Rizzati, cinematography by Sergio Salvati

The Riffs

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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New York 1990: Anna (Stefania Girolami) is to inherit the all powerful Manhattan Corporation on her 18th birthday, which is only a few days away, but there are certain people who don't want to see her in power and would rather see her dead - and these people have the means to make this happen. Which is why Anna makes a daring escape, and of all places to the Bronx. The Bronx, it has to be noted, has turned into a war zone by 1990 (at least according to this film) and is populated almost exclusively by gangs who are hell-bent on fighting and killing each other ... and wouldn't you know it, right after her arrival in the Bronx, Anna falls into the hands of the Rollermen, a particularly nasty gang that does all their misdeeds on rollerskates. Fortunately though, Trash (Mark Gregory) and his biker gang the Riffs just happen to pass by, and since they are the good guys (relatively speaking), they free Anna and take her with them - and soon enough, Trash develops an interest for the girl, and she for him too.

In the meantime back in Manhattan, the bosses of the Manhattan Corporation decide they want Anna back to properly get rid of her, so they hire rogue cop Hammer (Vic Morrow) to do their dirty work, and Hammer has soon enough picked up the trail of the Riffs. Thing is, the Riffs don't have Anna for very long, soon the Rollermen kidnap her again. To free her, Trash decides to go and ask the Ogre (Fred Williamson) of the Tigers for help, a rival (and much more powerful) gangleader who can listen to reason though.

But while Trash is out, Hawk (Roco Lerro), one of the Riffs, decides to side with Hammer and in his employ, he persuades the Rollermen to hand over their captive to the Manhattan Corporation - which Trash and the Ogre can prevent only in the nick of time, pretty much annihilating the Rollermen on their own ...

It's Anna's birthday, and the Riffs and the Tigers celebrate this event as one big family and make an informal but everlasting peace agreement - which is when Hammer with the entire New York police force attacks, many of them armed with flamthrowers. the Tigers and the Riffs put up quite some defense, but ultimately they are erradicated, just like most of the police force, and even Anna catches a bullet. In the end, only Hammer and Trash are left standing - and trash simply harpoons Hammer and drags him through the streets behind his bike ...

 

Very obviously, this film was inspired by both John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981) and Walter Hill's The Warriors (1979), in fact the film is a rather obvious rip-off of both of these films with a nod to Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange (1971) thrown into the mix, just for good measure.

This however is not to say that 1990: The Bronx Warriors is totally without merit. Sure, it's trashy and derivative and made rather on the cheap, but it's also fast paced, extremely well edited, features many perfectly staged action sequences, a few bizarre and inventive ideas (like the gangs Trash and company meet along the way that range from tapdancers [!] to zombies), and profits greatly from extensive outside location shooting in New York.

Sure, it's a no-brain sci-fi actioner, but as such it is extremely watchable ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD