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Il Guerrieri dell'Anno 2072

The New Gladiators
Warriors of the Year 2072 / Die Schlacht der Centurions / Fighting Centurions / Rome, 2072 A.D.

Italy 1983
produced by
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

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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 Fulci's forte.

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.

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD