Written by: Giuseppe Rijitano on June 6th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 17th November 1982
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Writers: Elisa Briganti, Enzo G. Castellari, Dardano Sacchetti
Cast: Mark Gregory, Fred Williamson, Vic Morrow, George Eastman, Christopher Connelly, Stefania Girolami
BluRay released: June 30th, 2015
Approximate running times: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
After a groovy title sequence flashing on the various weapons and face paint coming up we’re introduced to permed 80’s chick Ann (Stefania Girolami) running across a bridge into The Bronx. Not a good idea really seeing as this is 1990 (the future, God I feel old) and this particular area of the Big Apple has been designated as a “No Man’s Land” by the authorities, the cops no longer enter it and the street gangs rule. So unsurprisingly Ann is accosted sharpish by the dirty denizens. What is surprising is that her assailants, the Zombies gang, are a bunch of leotard wearing idiots on roller skates with hockey sticks for weapons. Their furtive gang-groping of Ann is cut short however with the appearance of the Riders, a bunch of bikers led by Trash (Mark Gregory). Obviously Harleys beat skates so the Zombies get a kicking and Trash gets a new girlfriend.
Lanky long-haired ladyboy Trash may walk like a post-op transsexual but you don’t want to get on his bad side, especially when someones been shotgunning members of his gang in the chest. The Tigers, led by The Ogre (Fred Williamson) are suspect but turns out it’s actually a ploy by undercover cop Hammer (Vic Morrow, slumming it) who’s been sent in by the ominous sounding Manhattan Corporation to recover Ann and generally stir up some shit. Trash’s best girl is heir apparent to the corporate throne it seems and the suits are desperate to get her back home where they can control her. Before Trash can wrap his tiny brain around any of that though, Ann is kidnapped by the Zombies.
Trash decides to pay The Ogre a visit for assistance. Trouble is he will have to survive enemy territory; the Jackals, the Scavengers, the Sharks, etc. The first gang he encounters are a terrifyingly avant-garde experimental dance troupe apparently rehearsing a musical version of A Clockwork Orange incorporating tap, presumably these are the Sharks (but where are the Jets?). Next up, the Scavengers; wannabe CHUD’s that look like pasty hippies and are no real threat to anyone. They do overpower a Rider but all they do is beat him and string him up, it’s Dr Trash Kevorkian that breaks his neck in a dubious attempt to prevent him suffering! After finally making it to the Tiger’s territory Trash gets the help he needs, well The Ogre and his cloak-wearing dominatrix Witch come along anyway, really, that all they could spare then? And it’s a race to save Ann from the clutches of those hockey-stick-wielding freaks, oh and the incoming police army with helicopters, flamethrowers and machine guns spearheaded by the cackling Hammer, The Exterminator……..
This isn’t a spaghetti post-apocalypse flick despite what the poster, cover, taglines, etc might have you believe. This is essentially The Warriors meets Escape From New York mashed together Italian exploitation style and if you’re a huge fan of either of those flicks you’re probably best staying far away from this one. BUT if you love Italian exploitation films (and I do) you’re in for a treat here. Dumbass dialogue “It could be a pile of shit out of somebody’s asshole!” and “We in The Bronx live with death” being a couple of tasty examples. Terrible acting from the lead Mark Gregory, discovered in a gym apparently, paint him blue pin a tail on him and send him to infiltrate the Na’vi sure but sign him to a three picture deal?! And who’s idea was it to dub him in a gormless Tony Danza monotone, genius! Appearances from genre stalwarts Vic Morrow, Fred Williamson, George Eastman, Christopher Connelly, etc all spice up this ham nicely! And ham it is, with a big old side of cheese, only the Italians know the correct recipe it seems.
Note: The BluRay portion of this review was written by Michael Den Boer
1990: The Bronx Warriors comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This is the third home video release for this film that I have seen to date. With the previous two being Shriek Show’s 2004 DVD and Shameless Films 2010 DVD release, both of these were stand definition releases. For this release Blue Underground has created a brand 2K transfer and now this film can finally be seen in all of its Hi Def glory. When compared to those two previous mentioned releases thins new releases is superior in every way. There are marked improvements in regards to colors saturation, image clarity and stronger black levels. Also there are no issues with compression and DNR is kept in check.
This film comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio is sounds clean, clear and balanced throughout. Known for shooting without sound or at least sound that will be used for the final audio master this audio mix like all Italian films from this era was created in post-production. With that being said, range wise things sound very good with the sound effects and the more ambient aspects of soundtrack being well represented throughout. And when it comes to the films score the audio sounds appropriately robust. Also included with this release are three subtitle options, English SDH, French and Spanish.
Extras for this release include, a Poster & Stills gallery, two trailers for the film, International trailer (2 minutes 41 seconds – 1080 Progressive) and Italian language trailer (2 minutes 42 seconds – 1080 Progressive), trailers for Escape from the Bronx (3 minute 15 seconds – 1080 Progressive) and The New Barbarians (3 minutes 25 seconds – 1080 Progressive), three featurette’s, the first featurette titled ‘Adventures in the Bronx’ interview with actor / stuntman Massimo Vanni (7 minutes 20 seconds – 1080 Progressive, in Italian with English subtitles), the seconded featurette titled ‘Sourcing the Weaponry’ Enzo G. Castellari visits the Italian Weapons Rental House of Paolo Ricci (11 minutes 55 seconds – 1080 Progressive, in Italian / English with English subtitles) and the third featurette titled ‘Enzo G. Castellari and Fabrizio De Angelis in Conversation Part 1’ (14 minutes 9 seconds – 1080 Progressive, in Italian with English subtitles) and an audio commentary with Enzo G. Castellari, Castellari’s son Andrea and moderator David Gregory.
Topics discussed in the ‘Adventures in the Bronx’ featurette include, how he was responsible for introducing Mark Gregory to Enzo G. Castellari and how Gregory was reluctant to accept the role, working with Castellari, scouting locations and his brief role in The New Barbarians.
The featurette titled ‘Sourcing the Weaponry’ is not so much an interview as it is a informal get together with old friends who reminisce about various projects that they worked on.
Topics discussed in the featurette titled ‘Enzo G. Castellari and Fabrizio De Angelis in Conversation Part 1’ include, how their they first meet when De Angelis offered Castellari the film Zombie 2, why he turned it down and how the film eventually went to Lucio Fucli and helped resurrect his career, how the idea of The Bronx Warriors came about, shooting on location in the Bronx, the cast and how Mark Gregory could have been a star but his interests where elsewhere and on set memories.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the film’s opening credits and how they came up with what ended up onscreen, the Hells Angels involvement for this film, locations featured in the film, the cast and films that inspired this film like The Warriors.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall 1990: The Bronx Warriors gets a solid release from Blue underground.