Urban Warriors (1987)

What took man centuries to build, Italian film director Giuseppe Vari takes seconds to destroy through a barrage of mushroom cloud stock footage! Even more terrifying is that Vari apparently got a buy one, get one free deal on stock footage because he follows up his mushroom clouds with shots of volcanoes erupting!

There’s no need to fret though that he’s going to use the volcanoes to do something silly like having Earth overrun by lava monsters. Vari knows that what will happen following an apocalyptic nuclear war is an immediate rise in the population of mutant biker gangs!

And what mutants these bikers are! Their main mutant power seems to be that they fall over whenever the sun goes down! Apparently their mutation affects their balance whenever there isn’t any sunlight. We know this because Brad, the guy who worked at the underground power station and instant mutation expert, theorized this based on nothing more than seeing some guys fall off their motorcycles. And I just thought the stuntmen were clumsy! Just goes to show I’m no expert!

But a world destroyed in a fiery holocaust doesn’t become a haven for dudes dressed like survivors from a gay bdsm movie who need to requalify for their motorcycle license overnight! Oh wait, actually, it does!

Brad and his two buddies who survive the end of the world in their underground power station, wander around a little bit trying to get out before getting a good 8 hours sleep. When they awake the next morning and make their way to the surface, leather clad bikers are already prowling the landscape of the quarry and dilapidated factory that Vari used throughout the film. (What does it say about a movie if when I was watching it, I thought it looked like a cheaper version of a no-budget Cirio Santiago post-apocalypse flick?)

But a world gone so freaking mad that radioactive leather freaks spontaneously appear, our heroes benefit as well. Sure, maybe not for the one guy whose head was found on the hood of the beater car our two surviving heroes use to cruise the sandy wastelands. But Brad’s buddy Maury goes into a building and comes out with his own leather uniform, complete with sex-slave studded leather helmet and white scarf! He even finds a post-apocalyptic bike that has blasting weapons mounted on it! This apocalypse will be deliciously kinky and violent! Just like it was prophesied in the Bible!

And Urban Warriors delivers the sort of small scale stunts and violence you would expect from a movie that features a climax involving two dudes slowly grappling in the sand shot with a single camera before one gets shot in the back. Several guys fall down dirt hills off their bikes, people get shot and in one of the movie’s most suspenseful moments, Maury is killed while trying to get his and Brad’s beater car fixed! My God man, you’ve got to have the oil changed regularly!

With the death of his friend, Brad his kicks his apoclypse-ness into high gear, getting decked out in leather and forgetting the pain of his friend’s death by pumping a woman he runs into. Just because Armageddon has happened though doesn’t mean that one night stands are suddenly risk free as she attempts to kill poor old horny Brad so she can get his spinal marrow! Come on dude, you’ve got to use protection!. Like a MAC-10!

In a bit of a plot twist, he’s rescued by the biker mutants! But in a bit of non-plot twist, they only save him because they want his spinal marrow, too! I like mutants who are so self aware that they somehow instinctively know that nuclear war has caused them to suddenly crave non-mutant human spinal fluid! But why? I’m guessing all the answers were in a more expensive part of the movie that never happened.

Brad meets up with another woman while he’s held prisoner by the bikers and yet another woman who was pretending to be a mutant, helps them escape. Shoot outs, explosions and deaths follow. By the time Brad finally meets Alex Vitale (Jakoda in Strike Commander) for the previously-mentioned showdown, the viewer has resigned himself that the film really has no story to tell beyond the half-hearted mix of post-apocalypse tropes (mutants, motorcycles, and leather) that infest the film like the radioactive sand fleas that surely crawled into Brad’s leathers while Jakota was using weak-looking wrestling moves to dominate him.

Urban Warriors was Vari’s first film in ten years, so you would expect that he would bring something more interesting that this unabashedly minimalist take on what happens after the world ends. Brad talks about looking for other survivors, but he just gets caught by the biker gang and escapes (the escape perfectly encapsulates how little effort went into things as it merely involved him walking by the mutants while they slept). The throbbing synthesizer music is easily the best part of the movie as it gives off an appropriately unsettling vibe. A much less unsettling development was that this was Giuseppe Vari’s final movie.

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