10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

New Barbarians, The 
Written by: on April 29th, 2010

Theatrical Release Date:
Italy, 10th June 1983
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Writers: Enzo G. Castellari, Tito Carpi, Antonio Visone
Cast: Giancarlo Prete, Fred Williamson, George Eastman, Anna Kanakis, Giovanni Frezza, Ennio Girolami.

DVD released: December, 2009
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Shameless Films
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: The Bronx Warriors Trilogy Tin £29.99

As the credits roll a tiny shoddily built toy city is slowly flooded with smoke in the corner of the screen, oh no wait, that’s supposed to be a visual representation of a nuclear apocalypse, my mistake! The year is 2019; welcome to the wasteland. Ruled by the vicious, nihilistic, kinda glam rock looking Templar gang, led by The One (George Eastman), not a very cheerful chap, fond of spouting crap like “The world is dead. It raped itself.” One can only assume their violence springs from the fact that the only clothes they could find after the fall of civilization were a stack of costumes leftover from Starlight Express. They also enjoy driving around in what appear to be man-sized Robot Wars vehicles made out of Volkswagen chassis and old golf carts, only with added cannons. Their mission seems to involve killing everyone they find who isn’t dressed as ludicrously as themselves. Fair enough. And for the moment their main victims are a traveling group of hopeful survivors being led by a promising radio signal and an ill-fated preacher.

Ex-Templar Scorpion (Giancarlo Prete) on the other hand found himself a real car and some slightly less dodgy attire so took off to wander the wasteland on his lonesome.  He’s back in town now though and already crossing paths with his old buddies, well he kills a couple of them while saving a damsel that a few of the low-ranking Templars were distressing, and delivering her to aforementioned survivors camp. When word gets back to The One he’s really not all that bothered, until a couple more of his guys get slaughtered by Scorpion, with some assistance by Nadir (Fred Williamson) and his exploding arrows and damn fine mustache. Then it’s all “His blood is not enough. I want his pride, his soul!” His arse. No really, he wants his actual arse, when he finally gets his hands on Scorpion he ties him up and bends him over!  Well that sort of behavior certainly calls for a last act revenge mission. So after a stop at the local garage, manned by the world’s blondest most irritating 10 year old (Giovanni Frezza), he’s all tooled up and ready for action…….

Not big on plot this one but a guilty pleasure for sure. The spaghetti western meets Mad Max 2 but with bigger hair, shoulder pads and added buggery. The film moves along at a good pace, never really letting you lose interest (quite a task for a low budget 80’s exploitation flick). The cheesy goodness inherent in the messy blowing up, decapitation and general abuse of numerous crash test dummies is recommendation enough but the appearance of genre god Fred Williamson sporting a blinged out gold costume and killing folks with his exploding archery equipment closes the deal. Giancarlo Prete is passable as a poor man’s Mad Max with his ridiculous car; tubes on the hood, plastic bubble on the roof and spectacularly rubbish button for opening and closing his door. And the aforementioned action isn’t exactly high octane, the car chases rarely exceed 25mph, but that just adds to the charm!  Unfortunately you do have to put up with a couple of appearances by child ‘actor’ Frezza (from Manhattan Baby & The House by the Cemetery).

The DVD:

Anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer with some slight fading of color here and there but looks very good overall. The soundtrack is clean but somewhat unbalanced with the dialogue suffering from being way too quiet when compared to the score and background audio.

Extras: Another quite interesting Shameless Fact Track by Paul Alaoui. Brief intro to the disc, same as seen on Bronx Warriors, by Enzo (pretty much just a thumbs up!) and an international trailer. Plus bonus trailers for Argent Films DVDs.

If you can find a bar of soap in this post-apocalyptic wasteland you’d better not drop it!

Note: The New Barbarians is only available as part of a limited edition tin which also includes Escape from the Bronx and The Bronx Warriors.

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