One of the great things about the internet is that you can usually find a lot of information about almost any movie – even the ones that have been around for a while. Sadly, this movie is something of an exception is that regard. There’s not much information about it and so it still remains an intriguing mystery to me.
I found it back when there were still VHS tapes and video stores were the way to go for movies at home. There are alternate covers for this film, but the one I remember was an eye catching super hero-like graphic of Italian actor Marco di Gregorio (Mark Gregory in English), black hair flowing, bare-chested and totally ripped. That was enough to make me pick up the video and read the back cover where I found the words, “heavy metal,” somewhere in the description. Good enough! I took it home.
While there’s little “metal” in this movie as I understand the term, I loved “1990: The Bronx Warriors” enough to put some serious wear on the video store copy. Thank goodness for DVDs! It is many years later now and this movie and its sequel, “Bronx Warriors 2,” grace the shelves of my library.
From what I can gather, a substantial amount of this film was cut in order to satisfy some regulatory board in the U.S. I would love to see the original Italian version. It would probably fill in some gaps in the plot.
The premise is this: Ann, who is about to turn 18 and take control of the largest arms manufacturing corporation in the world, runs away to the Bronx, which has become a penal colony. Roving gangs have taken over the entire borough and war with each other for control of territory. Their common enemy is “Hammer.” Hammer is a less than laudable member of the police force. The word, “hammer,” by the way, is an old Anglo-Saxon term meaning “law.”
Ann is nearly captured by a gang of rogue roller hockey players called “The Zombies,” but, luckily, she is rescued by Trash and his gang. Trash (Mark Gregory) is the guy portrayed on the movie’s cover.
After that a war ensues between gangs over a device called a “gizmo” that has been found on one of the dead members of Trash’s gang. The gizmo is an indication that someone in Trash’s gang is a traitor and working with Hammer and the police.
The movie has an apocalyptic ending with few survivors. Fortunately, Trash lives another day and goes on to be the feature character in the sequel.
This has been one of my favorite movies for years and, apparently, I’m not alone because this film is referred to as a “cult” classic. But, I won’t lie to you. There are a lot of things in this movie that don’t make any sense and aren’t very well done. The acting doesn’t seem to be the greatest. Although, it’s not the fault of the actors necessarily because the dialogue is poorly written. Stunts are performed poorly. The fight scenes look pretty fake. And, to top it off, it’s poorly dubbed, so the actors lips are moving, but they’re saying something else.
If I had to nail down why it is I like this movie so much, I’d have to say it is only Mark Gregory as the character, “Trash,” that makes me play it again and again. Gregory and the character are the stuff of childhood fantasy set in a New York ghetto. Trash is not a prince on a white horse, but he is close enough for the Bronx. He is the head of the most powerful motorcycle gang in the Bronx – he has power. And, he’s wearing extremely tight jeans.
There’s nothing much else to this movie. It is primarily a “guy” flick. It has elements of apocalyptic science fiction, horror and cheesy Kung Fu. It’s littered with ugly motorcycles, lengthy fight scenes and a couple of quotable lines – although most of them are so vile, you wouldn’t want to repeat them in polite company.
This movie isn’t for everybody. But, I love it. If it sounds like your thing, there are plenty of copies around on DVD and you can usually pick ’em up pretty cheaply.