APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 22: A Man Called Rage (1984)

Tonino Ricci — often using the Americanized name Anthony Richmond — was an Italian exploitation director and you know what that means. He jumped genres. From mob films (The Big Family), westerns (Bad Kids of the West) and White Fang ripoff after doing second unit on the original (Zanna Bianca alla riscossa) to sharks (Cave of the SharksNight of the Sharks), horror (Bakterion), post-Conan peplum (Thor il conquistatore), aliens in the Bermuda Triangle (the baffling and wonderful Encounters In the Deep), war (I giorni dell’inferno), sexy romance (Pasión, Storia di arcieri, pugni e occhi neri), Raiders of the Lost Ark remix (I predatori della pietra magica) and a family-friendly dog movie (Buck and the Magic Bracelet), he really did it all. And then he made two post-apocalyptic movies, this one and the mocie that inspired this, Rush.

Working from a script by Jaime Comas Gil (A Fistful of Dollars, the insane Adam and Eve vs. the Cannibals) and Eugenio Benito, this starts with stock footage of modern life that’s soon blown asunder by b-roll and stock footage, signaling that the end times have come and gone*. Soon enough, Rage (Bruno Minniti, who was the hero in just about every Ricci movie from Thor the Conqueror on; he used the name Conrad Nichols in nearly all of them) must lead Werner, Omar and Mara through the Forbidden Zone to get uranium and battle the man he gave a scar — and the name Scar — and an entire army of his motocross soldiers and you know what this is all about? A cryo chamber with a Bible in it. Can Rage and his team take a train across the wasteland and deliver the Good News from Alpha Base to Gamma Base?

They do it all to the jazziest post-nuke boogie you’ve ever heard by Stelvio Cipriani. The rest of the movie may look dingy and a bit boring, but man, that cat can swing.

*One of those nukes is really the Friendship-7 launch, because we can still hear mission control say, “God speed, John Glen.”

You can watch this on YouTube.

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