Lone Runner (1986)

Uh, oh. Here comes those alternate titles and artwork, again, with this Ruggero Deodato time waster that’s also known as Fistful of Diamonds and Flash Fighter. Now, while the first title may evoke a little of the ol’ Clint Eastwood spaghetti squint in your eye, do not let the second title confuse you into thinking you’re getting a repack of Micheal Sopkiw in Blastfighter. Or Micheal Sopkiw in Fireflash, which was a repack of 2019: After the Fall of New York.

But, if you’re confused into thinking you’re possibly watching a ripoff of Patrick Swayze in Steel Dawn — which wasn’t even released yet — don’t worry. It’s an Italian-made post-apoc movie: confusion is part of the dusty terrains, which, in this case, is in Morocco.

So, hopefully, you’ve got strong eyes can read the VHS box image — and save me from typing anymore about this movie than it deserves. If not, right click and hit “view image” on your pop-up menu, to make it larger, since the box copy pretty much tells it all. However, since I’d be remiss in my journalistic duties to you, ye B&S reader, here we go.

We’ve got our ubiquitous B-Movie beefcake Miles O’Keefe from Tarzan the Ape Man, ack! No! The Miles we love was Ator in Ator, the Fighting Eagle, The Blade Master, and Iron Warrior. And maybe you don’t remember Miles as the not-Snake Plissken Python Lang in Philippines war flick Phantom Raiders, but I do.

So, with a pinch of Swayze and Eastwood, and a dusty pair of cowboy boots and a white overcoat — and don’t forget the crossbow — the singular Garrett is our “Lone Runner” of these desert proceedings. He spends his days picking off Arabs with exploding arrows via horseback — since this “future” can’t afford the obligatorily 1970s-era Mad Max rust buckets — to free a kidnapped princess being ransomed for her daddy’s diamond interested.

Lots of explosions and “hiya-ahhh”-styled kills, ensues.

Honestly, I was so bored by it all and FF’in through it, that I don’t recall if we are in the Arabian Nights’ past or a post-apoc future. And you won’t care either, since this is more Ator in a western and less Ator in an apoc — courtesy of all of the galloping horses and sword fights and flying arrows. In fact, this isn’t really an apoc at all, since it reminds of Enzo G. Castellari’s Tuareg: The Desert Warrior from two years earlier — which isn’t an apoc flick and is just a desert adventure flick that feels more like a Philippines war flick. Not even the presence of familiar British actor John Stainer (Tenebrae) and Italian cinema mainstay Hal Yamanouchi (Rat Eater King in 2019 After the Fall of New York and Red Wolf in 2020 Texas Gladiators) can save it.

Yes. The guy who made Cannibal Holocaust made this. If you must, you can watch it this (poor) English dub with Russian subtitles on You Tube.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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