Il Guerrieri dell'Anno 2072
The New Gladiators
Warriors of the Year 2072 / Die Schlacht der Centurions / Fighting Centurions / Rome, 2072 A.D.
Maurizio Amati (executive), James Vaughan (executive) for Regency Productions
directed by Lucio Fulci
starring Jared Martin, Fred Williamson, Al Cliver, Donald O'Brien, Howard Ross, Eleonora Brigliadori (as Eleonor Gold), Cosimo Cinieri, Claudio Cassinelli, Al Yamanouchi, Valeria Cavalli (as Valerie Jones), Mario Novelli (as Tony Sanders), Cinzia Monreale, Giovanni Di Benedetto
story by Elisa Briganti, Dardano Sacchetti, screenplay by Elisa Briganti, Dardano Sacchetti, Cesare Frugoni, Lucio Fulci, music by Riz Ortolani
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To get better ratings, a TV-network decides to ressurrect gladiator-games in the year 2072, having convicts fight
each other to the death. To ensure the success of the show, the
network-executives decide to falsely accuse Jared Martin, star gladiator
from a rival network, of murder of his wife's killers, only to have him
for their own games. A few training sessions & escape attempts (once
Martin actually swallows a micro-processor that enables him to melt
steele) later, at the actual gladiator games, Martin & company
(among his fellow convicts are cult faves Fred Williamson & Al
Cliver) turn the tables on the network & destroy the evil computer
behind the scheme.
This actually could have been a great piece of satirical science
fiction, a take on the media's (& the audience's) predilection for
violence a little bit in the vein of Clockwork Orange or the
original Rollerball, as well as on a society's blind reliance on
computers, but director Lucio Fulci & subtle irony
proved to be uneasy bedfellows. What remains is an uninvolving
action movie with rather endearingly shoddy sets & props (the
futuristic plastic attachments of the motorbikes at the gladiator games
are a hoot, the stroboscope lighting of some of the training sessions is
just bad) which also shows that science fiction in general was not
Only in the few murder-scenes do we actually see the
director's personal style, them being closer to his giallos or
horror-movies than to the science fiction trappings of this movie. The
scene where 3 men in white whistle a tune unisono as they close in on
Martin's wife they are about to kill is especially chilling.