Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Endgame: Bronx lotta finale Post-apocalyptic prime time entertainment
Year: 1983
Director: Joe D'Amato
Stars: Al Cliver, Laura Gemser, George Eastman, Dino Conti, Al Yamanouchi, Gabriele Tinti, Mario Pedone, Gordon Mitchell, Nello Pazzafini, Christopher Walsh, Franco Ukmar, Bobby Rhodes, Alberto Dell'Acqua, David Brown, Carlos Alberto Valles
Genre: Horror, Action, Trash, Science Fiction, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's the future, baby! And, surprise, surprise, the world is a post-apocalyptic hellhole overrun with freaky mutants, Neo-Nazi stormtroopers and punk rock bikers. Little wonder most folks stay indoors to watch Endgame, the hit reality television show wherein cynical, leather-clad road warrior Ron Shannon (Al Cliver) takes on assorted gladiators, including childhood pal-turned-deadly rival, Kurt Karnak (George Eastman). In the midst of his daily street battles, Ron rescues mutant telepath Lilith (erstwhile Emanuelle, Laura Gemser) from a gang of deformed rapists. Along with crazy-accented neurosurgeon Professor Levin (Dino Conti), Lilith promises Ron a fortune in gold if he can guide a group of psychic mutants across the desert to a safe haven run by benevolent scientists. He agrees, but crypto-fascist Colonel Morgan (onetime sword & sandal star, Gordon Mitchell) also has designs on the psychic runaways, particularly a little boy named Tommy (Christopher Walsh) who - aside from being a pinball wizard (it has to be a fix!) - wields devastating telekinetic powers.

Among the few highpoints of the generally dreary Italian post-apocalyptic sci-fi craze of the early Eighties unexpectedly arose from Joe D'Amato a.k.a. sleazemeister Aristide Massaccesi, here directing under the pseudonym Steven Benson instead of his usual nom de plume. Opening ominously on a mushroom cloud sunrise with a score by Carlo Maria Cordo that carries a real aura of dread despite stealing shamelessly from Vangelis, Endgame: Bronx lotta finale conjures a nightmarish yet surprisingly witty vision of future shock melding motifs from Italian zombie movies, spaghetti westerns, spy thrillers, jungle warfare and urban action films.

While as derivative of The Road Warrior (1981) and Escape from New York (1981) as most examples of the genre, in its early stages the film is also remarkably prescient. Its satirical intent foreshadows Paul Verhoeven and Ed Neumeier's work in Robocop (1987) (Endgame's host hawks high energy protein pills: "Don't delay, buy today!"), the psychic-kids-on-the-run-from-the-government subplot anticipates Akira (1988), and though Massaccessi draws in part from The 10th Victim (1965), the whole reality television death-match angle paved the way for the likes of The Running Man (1987) and The Hunger Games (2012), although the film is nowhere as provocative nor emotionally resonant as the latter. Of course the concept begs the question: if cameras trail Ron Shannon's every move, how did Lilith and her mutant comrades expect to hide their escape plan from Colonel Morgan?

After a promising start the film loses steam yet remains sporadically inventive and luridly compelling as Ron assembles a Seven Samurai-style team of guardians including post-apocalypse perennial Al Yamanouchi as the only ninja in the world actually named Ninja, burly Viking warrior Kovack (Mario Pedone), ace knife thrower Kijawa (Nello Pazzafini), and the eyepatch-sporting Bull (Gabriele Tinti, Gemser's real life husband). Thereafter the film devolves into a morass of motorcycle stunts and repetitive gunfights with monkey mutants and fishmen including one who is delighted to get his grubby gills on Emmanuelle ("Look at me while I rape you, damn it!"). Oddly in the midst of this sexual assault, when Ron telepathically inquires whether Lilith needs help, she replies no thanks, she is fine. Maybe she digs fishmen...

The cynical edge and casual cruelty that go part and parcel with the subgenre remain off-putting but the film stays true to its central theme as the cynical Ron rediscovers his humanity through interacting with idealistic mutants. None of the featured players are especially good actors but serve the material well enough. Ron's alternately cordial and antagonistic relationship with Kurt Karnak, who in return for the hero sparing his life lends his sharpshooting skills to the cause, adds an offbeat and interesting element with a nice payoff. Massaccessi makes effective use of his limited resources, crafting a grimy, cobwebbed, rat-infested urban hellhole overflowing with grungy mutants, but while the action is well choreographed his staging proves unspectacular. Look out for future director Michele Soavi in a small cameo as a scientist towards the closing scene.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 4362 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: