The Atomic Dust Bin: 10 More Post-Apocalyptic Films You Never Heard Of: Part 2

Well, the world had to end sometime.

What started out as a week of post-apoc reviews — and went off the rails into a month-long tribute — is over. It’s time for B&S Movies to move onto the annual Scarecrow Challenge, then a month-long tribute to Mill Creek’s Pure Terror 50-film box set, as well as a Halloween tribute to ‘80s slasher films.

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So, in closing out B&S Movies’ quest to chronicle the “future” for future generations, here’s our Part 2 tribute (here’s Part 1) to the celluloid uranium dust collected in the atomic dustbins.

American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1993) aka Steel Warrior

Prior to Lunar Cop, Boaz Davidson and Cannon Pictures produced this post-nuclear war caper with the usual sterilized population ruled by a “Skynet” run amuck from Arnie’s universe. Of course, one woman was able to give birth; she needs to get the child to a ship, and to safety (as in the previous After the Fall of New York ripped-off, and denied, by Children of Men). Of course, she’s pursued by the ubiquitous Terminator and protected by the obligatory “Kyle” (Joe Lara, excellent as Austin). Trailer Vudu/Full Movie

Apocalypse Mercenaries (1987)

Familiar recycled stock footage abounds (Editor Vanio Amici of The Bronx Executioner) in this inert Neapolitan homage to ‘60s Italian war films that ripped-off The Dirty Dozen. So don’t be duped into thinking this is set in a “future” WW III apocalypse — it’s the WW II one (you lousy, marketing bastards). At least the limestone cavern system where it takes place is a nice touch. And don’t be fool by the doppelganger Arnold Schwarznegger Raw Deal art work. Don’t be swindled by the shared Nasty Hero (1987) artwork either, which isn’t an alternate title to this film, but a separate Italian-action stinker. Trailer

The Bronx Executioner (1989)

It’s a sequel . . . but it’s not . . . is it? What it is: A rip-off, of a rip-off, that rips-offs half of its footage from the apoc romp, The Final Executioner. It’s the lone writing/directing effort from Vanio Amici (aka Bobby Collins; the editor behind the “worse sequel ever made,” Troll 2, along with Lucio Fulci’s possession flick, Aenigma) in an all-too-late-to-care hijack of the superior Enzo G. Castellari’s Escape from New York rips (1990: The Bronx Warriors and Escape from the Bronx) with a low-rent Mad Max hunting a Terminator in the baked Big Apple. And no: Umberto Lenzi didn’t direct this: know your Italian Bobby Collins directing-pseudonyms, buddy! Trailer

Crime Zone (1990)

An okay early directing effort by Peruvian Luis Llosa for Roger Coman’s Concorde Productions; Llosa also directed Sniper (1993) starring Tom Berringer, Fire on the Amazon (1993) starring Sandra Bullock, Sylvester Stallone’s The Specialist (1994), and the first/best “big-snake movie,” Anaconda (1997). This Lima-shot contribution to the apocalypse stars David Carradine (who went from Future Force (1989) into the Future Zone (1990) and into the Crime Zone) in a futuristic twist on the ol’ Bonnie and Clyde crime caper. Set in the usual post-WW III, gleaming police state, the wealthy Carradine hires two star-crossed teens (Sherilyn Fenn from The Wraith) to steal a hi-tech computer chip/disc; in exchange: he’ll smuggle them out of the sex-oppressive city. When the heist goes bad, the chase for vengeance is on. How about that artwork that predicts Sly’s Judge Dredd-chin—which doesn’t hit screens until five years later? Trailer Full Movie

Empire of Ash (1988) aka Manic Warriors

This is a case of come-for-the-crazy-rocket-launching-apoc-helmet-then-leave type of a flick where Vancouver doubles for a Mad Maxian “New Idaho.” It’s the usual elite survivors living underground, with the infected above harassed by the usual road warrior tomfoolery and hunted for their white blood cells and bone marrow. And beware of that crazy religion where you’re murdered to be “baptized” into it! Amid the mayhem, one sister—a Mad Maxine—sets out to rescue her kidnapped-for-cultivation sister. This was successful enough (!) on the video fringe to warrant a second the-video-box-art-is-better-than-the-film-inside, Part III sequel. Caveat: Part II is an EOA I repack made to extend its rental-shelf life. It’s all courtesy of Lloyd A. Simandi; he directed murdered Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratton in her feature film debut, and his first directing effort, Autumn Born (1979). Trailer Full Movie

The Final Executioner (1984)

Also known as L’ Ultimo Guerriero, Escape from New York collides in a beautiful disaster with The Most Dangerous Game (see The 10th Victim and the superior Italian “death sport” flick, Endgame) as an elite group of “clean” survivors holed up in lush mansion in the nuclear aftermath. For sport, they head out into the wastelands to hunt the infected; they pick the wrong victim in . . . Alan Tanner (Alan? Dude! Snake, Stryker, Hunter, Paco, Trash, and Parsifal are going to kick your ass!), played by William Mang who, like Michael Sopkiw before him, looks a lot like Kurt Russell. Half of this film’s footage was recycled in the “it’s not a sequel,” The Bronx Executioner (1989), reviewed above. Full Movie

Interzone (1987) aka Warrior Wolves (1989)

Writer/director Claudio Fragasso (Monster Dog) pens his third Italian Mad Max-romp (Shocking Dark, Rats: Night of Terror), this one helmed by prolific U.S television-series director Deran Sarafian (Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Death Warrant). It’s Sarafian’s ingenuity against the low budget, along with Bruce Abbott’s (Re-Animator) perpetual likeability, which rises this above the lesser knockoffs. A mercenary, Swan (Abbott), is recruited by psychic monks to protect a mysterious treasure from road warriors, so as to preserve the Interzone: the last fertile place on Earth. And yes, Swan (Hey, wait, uh . . . from Battletruck?) drives Calamity Jane’s repurposed car from Death Race 2000. Full Movie

Land of Doom (1986) aka Mad Force, Bad Raiders, Raiders of Death

Taking its cues from the superior, bigger-budgeted Hollywood frolics Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn and Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (both 1983), Star Wars and The Road Warrior ineptly collide in Cappadocia, Turkey for a knockoff of the Italian wastelands filled with plague survivors, Jawa-dwarfs, and way-over-customized ‘70s cars and cycles. The resident Mad Max, a solider-of-fortune named Anderson (Andy? Do you know Alan from The Final Executioner?), and a Mad Maxine, after her village is destroyed by a junior Wez overlord clad in armor n’ leather — with an arrow-shooting robot hand, no less — pursues them in quest of find a rumored paradise. And that end credit theme song. Wow, that’s not Tina Turner. Trailer Movie 

Steel Frontier (1995)

The always reliable Joe Lara (American Cyborg: Steel Warrior), along with the we-luv-‘em B-movie stalwarts Bo Svenson, Brion James (Blade Runner) and Kane Hodder deliver in this futuristic spaghetti western set in 2019 — Steel Plains Drifter, if you will — with Lara’s Yuma hired by the citizens of New Hope to fight the invading United Regime biker-psychos. Yeah, it has a vibe of Patrick Swayze’s earlier Shane-rip, Steel Dawn (1987), but this is so much more fun. Trailer Full Movie 

Urban Warriors (1987)

Unlike Vanio Amici’s previous editing swindle, Apocalypse Mercenaries, this post-apoc frolic — which doesn’t live up to its poster-art — really is a post-apoc adventure as a trio of scientists venture from their underground lab into a nuclear wasteland to search for uncontaminated humans for baby making, against the usual road warriors and cannibal-mutants. Trailer Full Movie

Be sure to check out B&S Movies’ past “More/Even More Fucked Up Futures,” “10 End of the World Movies We Love,” and “Ten Post-Apocalyptic Vehicles” tribute weeks for more expansive reviews on your favorite post-apocalypse films.

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Here’s the rest of the reviews (by Sam and myself) for our September 2019 rally of post-apocalyptic films:

The Features

Then, as is the case with B&S About Movies: we never say never. So we went post-apoc, again, in April 2021.

And there’s even MORE FILMS with our “Fucked Up Futures” and “More Fucked Up Futures” weeks of reviews.

˟ Reviews by R.D Francis

About the Author: You can read the music and film reviews of R.D Francis on Medium and learn more about his work on Facebook.