söndag 13 december 2009
Wtf is this? Isnt this supposed to be just another lame-yet-very-very-entertaining Italian Road warrior rip-offs? In a way it is, but the lameness factor is pretty low. I mean, there are actually parts of the movie that arent goofy, what's up with that? I rented this movie back in the 80s and though I dont remember much other than that nice axe in the head bit, there was still an aura of cheap knockoff emanating from a nearby timewarp. There are the usual parts of plastic attached to cars that are supposed to be futuristic, but the plot is pretty okay, the characters better than usual and there are even some cool action. I would've liked the movie to contain more gory violence, the gorefactor isnt really that high. But what the hell, you take what you can get!
Al Cliver plays Ron Shannon, a major tough guy playing in the Endgame, a running man like competition where he is hunted by three men. One of them is George Eastman, playing a badguy with the coolest name ever... *echo- KURT KARNAK -echo*. The Mighty Kurt Karnak gets beaten in the game by Shannon, but his life is spared because they are old childhood friends. Shannon is then contacted by a young woman who wants to hire him to help her and some other people travel outside the city. Did I forget to mention that the movie is set in a city in the future where everything is ruled by nazis? There is a wasteland outside, looking just like a mixture of an Italian countryside and one of those quarrys where they used to shoot the old Dr Who episodes. It's full of mutants of course which means that we have a shitload of bikes and cars owned by mutants with ape and fishfaces who like to rape women, probably because they look like apes and fish. I would probably be nasty to women too, if I hade scales in my face. Or probably not. And we cant forget Kurt Karnak, who is pretty pissed about the fact that he lost... the ENDGAME!!
Well, the darndest thing about this movie is how good it looks. Joe D'Amato has always had a good eye for visuals, no matter how crappy the movie itself is and Endgame actually looks like he had fun doing it. Imdb even states that this is one of his favorite films! The scenes in the beginning of the movie in some cool cityruins are really goodlooking and though the rest of the movie is set outside, the movie still has a little extra when it comes to the camerawork. The story itself is nothing new, but never really crosses that line into goofyland which cant really be said for most of the other similar Mad Max ripoffs of the time. Al Cliver makes a nice, rugged hero and George Eastman is always fun to watch, even better in a role where you actually cant tell if he is a good and/or badguy. Laura Gemser is Laura Gemser, though it's rare to see her in a role where she keeps her clothes on. Well, most of the time though. As an extra bonus, Michele Soavi pops up for a quick cameo towards the end in a role that doesnt require him to be gorily killed, and for added entertainment the movie is full of names and faces we know and love, like Gabriele Tinti, Gordon Mitchell, Hal Yamanouchi, Bobby Rhodes and one of the Dell'Acqua brothers, Alberto. See, tons of fun for the lover of Italian exploitation! To top it of we have a great score by Carlo Maria Cordio. And yes, we do get to see Laura Gemsers tits.
But I cant just hand out gold medals, can I? One of the not so good things about this movie is it's action scenes. Sure, they're fast and lively but D'Amato never was that much of an action director and in the end they come off a bit bland. Now, if Castellari or Martino had shot this movie, it would've been a shitload of fun, but they dont really grasp the atmospherics such as D'Amato could when he was on a roll so I think I prefer the movie as it is. At least it's nowhere near a wasted opportunity. Another thing I suppose I should bitch about is the lack of graphic violence. Yes, there is violence. We get a nice axe in the head, a messy gun in a mouth and some other stuff, but most of the shootings (of which there is a lot) are of the ole 40s western kind when people just fall over without any signs of bullet wounds. It doesnt really detract from the entertainment but a about a twenty dozen bloody squibs sure could've added to it.
Well, if you've actually managed to read this far you will know that I like this movie. If you like movies like this, you are in for a nice ride. Sure, it could've been better but it could also have been a hell of a lot worse, which in my book is a good grade. This is, in a way, an awesome timecapsule of the eighties and there is a bit of added nostalgia and warm fuzz towards my appreciation of it, but it still is a fine little movie of its own. When will this pop up on a nicely remastered, uncut dvd?