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Exterminators of the Year 3000 Review

February 8, 2016

I don’t think I’m blowing too many minds when I repeat information online that this Italian-Spanish co-production is a Mad Max 2 derivative. Thanks to the glut of independent companies releasing cheap films from yesteryear to home video, it’s easy to spot these cinematic wannabes and have a quick laugh. Whether these laughs last the running time of the film is all up to the viewer. Exterminators of the Year 3000‘s director Carnimeo is known more for his spaghetti westerns and sex comedies and he clearly finds himself struggling with a sci-fi action film. It has even less of a unique personality than Enzo G. Castellari’s 1980s attempts. Among the characters here, we have a complete rip-off of Wez from Mad Max 2 named Crazy Bull (played by Fernando Bilbao) and Robert Iannucci as Alien, who resembles Mad Max only in uniform. Alien lacks the character arc of Max and seemingly just drives around as a lone wolf, jumping from being a villain to hero every other scene.

I mean, it’s not hard to spot the similarities. Even in Spain, the film’s poster even says, “Hey audience! It’s like Mad Max!”

Exterminators of the Year 3000 Spanish poster
Spanish film poster is at least not trying to bullshit us about the films origin

The script, by Lucio Fulci regulars Elisa Briganti and Dardano Sacchetti, fills the film with bizarre dialogue. The writers get pretty phoney here with lines from Crazy Bull referring to the crew as a bunch of “mother-grabbers”. Far too much of the script sets up problems that are resolved way too quickly to make any impact or are solved in lame ways by cheap sci-fi toys. Got a locked door? Why kick it down when you can just use my device that plays an annoying high-pitched sound effect that inexplicably unlocks things. The screenwriters are also aware that it’s an Italian production, so it’s not above showing children getting maimed. One of the more bizarre scenes in the film features a young boy (with the surprisingly un-Mad Maxish name of “Tommy”) has his arm ripped straight off by bikers. But don’t worry folks – it’s revealed to be a robotic arm (!) and is partially repaired by Alien, who puts it back together with duct tape(!?)
The only slightly original villain comes from singer and model Beryl Cunningham, in her final film role. Her weapon of choice is a glove with surprise spiked knuckles that shoot out whenever a camera zooms in on it. She wears this glorified switchblade glove along with a spiked leather bodysuit. . Seeing Cunningham in the suit makes one wonder if the role was intended for someone else, as the suit doesn’t appear to fit! Even a pinch saggy, Cunningham appears to be in great shape here and you think an exploitative film would want to make the most of this.

exterminators-3000-skeleton

One of the few unique action scenes. I dig the Skull rollin’

The action scenes are just as delightfully stolen from Mad Max 2. Did you ever not want to sit through the entirety of that film to get the final chase? No worries, Exterminators of the Year 3000 gives it to you during the second big action scene. Outside a few Castellari styled slow motions shots, we get some very obvious issues such as the cars moving far too slowly to represent any real chase (imagine a slight traffic delay around your local highway during rush hour) or any shot from the inside of a vehicle where it’s way too easy the spot that vehicles are not in motion. Later scenes involve vehicles surrounding their captives in a circle which resembles a demolition derby. This type of capture would make sense on horseback, but I gather that Carnimeo perhaps only had a budget to destroy a select few cars.

As is the trend since the release of Drive, is that every single film is getting it’s score re-released. Even Exterminators of the Year 3000! There are several samples here that include the sillier dialouge from the film. Reminds me of the Diabolik bootleg soundtrack in that sense.

I’m afraid this isn’t too great of a soundtrack, probably just due to the limitations in both time and budget to record it. At least it doesn’t go the Sammo Hung route and just steal the score from Halloween and Rambo.

So we have a generic film without much to recommend outside a few goofy scenes and to see the extent to which filmmakers go in ripping off Mad Max 2. After my viewing of Exterminators, I began questioning the criticism of being “original” in film. What makes a rip-off an instant write-off while sequels are “highly anticipated”? Let’s imagine it’s an alternative universe where the producers of this film somehow get the rights to Mad Max franchise and would officially make this the third film in the series. Would it still be a rip-off? No one from the original film is involved, but would they be less criticized if we didn’t know the production history? Let’s look at Aliens by James Cameron. What if Cameron didn’t get the rights from Walter Hill and the other producers of Alien to continue the next picture, but he made his own Alien-killers-from-space film. Would people bash it by saying “Hmm. Clearly taken bits and pieces from Alien” or would would they give it a free pass as they do now because it’s an officially sanctioned follow-up?

In the case of Exterminators of the Year 3000, it’s problem is not that it took from the Mad Max series, but that it’s mostly poor action, bizarre acting and delivers less quality than we have been set-up with in the Future Barbarian genre. So I encourage viewers to not pass off on films if they appear to be derivative. I hope to one day find the Mad Max film that trumps some

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Misleading Film Adveristing

October 13, 2013

I don’t know about any of you but I’m pretty much done with film trailers. I’ve always tried to avoid posting any new trailers on this blog as I feel they give me a false perception of what a film will even be like these days. On the other hand, I cannot just put on my nostalgia glasses and pretend everything was hunky dory two or three decades ago. For example, let’s take a look at international advertising with the 1973 Blaxploitaiton film Savage!.

”Savage” was directed by Phillipino director Cirio H. Santiago who is surprisingly still kicking out action films to this day. Santiago is probably better known for producing some women-in-prison films in the early 70s and directing several blaxploiation films and what I call the “girl-army” films of the 1970s. ”Savage!” is marketed as a blaxploitation film but doesn’t really dwell on following any rules of that genre too long. (It’s more about the main character joining a team of female vigalantes to overthrow a government). Italian advertisers must have felt the same way as me, as they decided to turn this:

Savage blaxploitation 1973 poster

to this:

I can understand Italian distributors thinking that a white lead would sell better, but I don’t understand in actually trying to fool the audience into thinking the lead isn’t black! If they go see it, wouldn’t they think they’ve stepped into the wrong cinema?

The Italian poster goes into further exploitation territory as well. Note the officer’s flame thrower on the American version has turned into a shotgun, and his victims have been added to the slaughter on the second advertisement. The race-hopping lead has also moved from a gun smoking to full blown guns blaring. Even the director’s changes aliases between posters: from Cirio Santiago to the nationality-confused name of Cirius Xantiac!

I have yet to see the film and don’t know if I ever will. It has very small release on DVD and was released on VHS under various titles (which also features images of actors not in the film). Among the few reviews I’ve found online, none have spoken to positively about it, generally referring to it as a weak film even among blaxploitation aficionados.

So who’s to blame for the race-change? The artist who designed the American poster was John Solie who did several other films posters (including the Shaft series) while the only unique credit I can find that isn’t an alias on the Italian poster is Remo Angioli as a presenter. Sadly, Angioli’s filmography is even more obscure than the film itself as the only other film credit I can find for him is being the producer of the Italian horror film ”Nude for Satan”. So who’s the real culprit in this ad? Has anyone else seen this happen in other posters of the era? Little help anyone?

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Italian Karate-Robo Zaboragar

May 30, 2011

From how much I talk about Karate-Robo Zaborgar, you’d think I’d have really enjoyed that film. I’m not crazy about it, but I’ve probably blogged more about it than any other film yet.

From what I’ve seen, a lot of Italian genre films that are of the post-1980s variety like to be rip-offs. Rip-offs of Escape form New York and Mad Max, variations of Romero’s zombie films and so forth. After the 80s, they sort of fizzled out. But some people somewhere are still making them. I bring you the Italian rip-off of Karate-Robo Zaborgar.

I might want to reconsider the quality of Iguchi’s film now after watching this.

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Where to Buy Films in Ottawa #2

May 12, 2011

Before we start, I did a mild site redesign. This include me creating a Facebook fan page. Click on the Like Button on the right-side banner for great joy. In the meantime, enjoy this mostly picture based post.

Invisible Cinema in Ottawa

Let’s start out with the facts. Netflix in Canada is currently kind of crap. Most items I’d like to watch are only available in the United States. Want to watch an episode of Twin Peaks? Well you are out of luck as it’s there, but unavailable for us. Personally, I like supporting things in my town that I enjoy. It’s not fun to go downtown and find that one of your favourite locations has become a Starbucks or torn down to make room for another condo. One example would be that one of my favourite record stores in Ottawa (Birdman Sound) has announced that they’ll be closing their doors in a new year due to rent issues. They plan to continue selling records outside their physical entitiy, but it’s sad to see something interesting replaced with a Shoppers Drugmart or whatever will go there. On that note, let’s be thankful for what we have. Here’s a quick tribute to my favourite rental joint in Ottawa: Invisible Cinema.

Asian films Ottawa
Anyone’s love for Asian cinema is covered. (Click to enlarge)

American action films
Failing that, here’s another collection. Note how only Death Wish 3 is available.

If you like to watch before you buy (which is what I’d recommend), than look no further than this collection here. If I have a small complaint, it’s that I get a bit lost looking for certain things in the collection. Most items in store are sorted by director, while others are by themes. It makes it a bit difficult to try and find if you are looking for Full Contact and wondering if they have a section for Ringo Lam or not. Other sections are sorted by genre. These include areas for films based on comics, French policiers, and Italian Poliziottescos and so on. Basically all your bases are covered.

Of course if you’d rather buy, they have a smaller but still impressive collection of keepers. Some of it is kept under locked glass. That’s fine, except the border on the glass obscures some of the DVDs and blu-rays they have for sale. Hope those are just doubles.

Criterion DiaboliqueSometimes they sell things before you should! As of the date of this post, this copy of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique is not for sale yet officially.

Inglorious Bastards soundtrack
Soundtracks for sale! I wonder if someone will buy this thinking it’s the Tarantino film when they take home the Casterllari soundtrack.


Even the items not behind the glass have a good selection.
Who doesn’t want their own copy of Light Blast?

Invisible Cinema also doubles as an art gallery with new works regularly displayed whenever I revisit. If gas wasn’t so expensive and if I didn’t live so far away, I’d visit more often but I try to support it if I can rent and return within my own schedule. If you live in decent sized city, I encourage you to seek out and support your local independent rental store. Keep your town less boring and remember that films like Light Blast are not available on Netflix.

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1990: The Bronx Warriors Review

February 25, 2011

I’m fascinated by director Enzo G. Castellari. Unlike the average Italian genre directors who usually stuck to giallo and horror films, Robert Mr. Castellari attempted to make several action films in his career and seems to be quite proud of his work.

Depends on the movie indeed. My first experience in watching 1990: The Bronx Warriors was at the Babylon Nightclub on mute. Top Obviously, I was only really able to grasp what was going on after a theatrical showing. In this film, cheap nba jerseys Castillari cuts a nice slice of rip-off pie that swipes ideas from The Warriors and Escape From New York. The film is set in the futuristic year of 1990, where the Bronx is declared a no man’s land and is overrun with violent gangs. Anne (Stefania Girolami), the daughter of the president of the Manhattan Corporation, runs away from home to the Bronx where she runs into Trash (Mark Gregory) Fairview the leader of the gang called Riders. The President sends an ex-cop named Hammer to retrieve Anne and wipe out the gangs.

I’m okay with plot rips-offs I’m fine with as long there are interesting things happening cinematically to carry Look the film somewhere new. There are some wholesale jerseys in The Bronx Warriors, but it’s all amazingly miscalculated. Our unique gangs include a roller 2016 skating gang (in full knee pads and helmets), tap-dancing gangs that tap-dance while they fight and whose make-up would give Visage a wholesale mlb jerseys run for their money. And least interesting is a gang of pseudo-zombies who are never really explained. This would be fine and dandy if they were all convincing bad-asses right? Outside the American actors (specifically Fred Williamson), the acting and dubbing of the cast induces more giggles than awe, especially Trash who shows no charisma in lead role at all. What kind of name is ‘Trash’ anyhow? It’s hard to get behind someone named Trash. Not that the others have better ones.

Try to guess who’s who before rolling over!

Wasn’t that great Neikos fun? It’s like you known these guys for years now! So can Trash, Review Ice, Hammer and Hot Dog fight? The action scenes do not cut it. For battles, they are wholesale nfl jerseys mostly restricted to unrealistic fist fights and blunt object beatings that resemble swashbuckling films more than street brawls. I can not recommend the film unless you are totally in love with trash cinema, especially the Italia-brand: Bad dialog, rip-off story line, and bad ideas. This one would have it all if the action scenes were thought out a bit more and could at least reach the level of enjoyably-bad.

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