Warrior of the Lost World (1983) (part 1 of 6)

SUMMARY: After the nuclear holocaust, a totalitarian government ruled by Donald Pleasence shall take over the world. They will be vicious, show no mercy, and the only man who can stop them… will be a sullen, puffy-faced jackass played by Robert Ginty!

[Note from the author: Apologies for the rather dodgy quality of the screen captures. The DVD for the movie appears to be a full-screen direct-from-VHS transfer.]

In the wake of the dual successes of Mad Max and its sequel The Road Warrior, it was only a matter of time before the international B-movie circuit latched onto the series and churned out a ton of knockoffs. A bunch of Mad Max rip-offs came out of the Philippines and Spain, South Africa got in on it, and there were some made stateside, but really, most of them came out of Italy.

Ah, good old Italy. If there was ever an enterprising film industry that knew how spot a hit formula and immediately run it into the ground, it would be Italy. From the tons of zombie films made in the wake of Dawn of the Dead, to cheesy post apocalyptic action flicks (like today’s feature), to Jaws knockoffs as far as the eye could see, Italy was probably the prime distributor of cheesy B-movies based on American hits in the late ‘70s and ‘80s.

Warrior of the Lost World (1983) (part 1 of 6)

Warrior of the Lost World premiered in 1983, and it’s rather unique in that they were able to get some actual names on the project, as opposed to the standard Italian cast given American sounding names, with one or two notable-but-down-on-their-luck actors thrown in. Yes, this cast was actually doing fairly well at the time the movie was made!

It also seems to be one of those movies where they came up with the poster before the script was even written.

Robert Ginty of The Paper Chase and the Exterminator movies plays Rider, the strong, silent, loner hero of the piece, who’s aided by a rather annoying souped-up motorcycle that talks. Persis Khambatta, the bald chick from the first Star Trek film, is on hand as his love interest.

Donald Pleasence shows up as Prossor, our evil ruler, and Fred Williamson puts in an appearance too, making for a surprisingly strong cast given the type of movie we’ll be watching.

This film is probably best known for an appearance on season five of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (a fan request, in fact), and if you thought Joel and the Bots made this funny, you really need to see it without them. It’s frigging hilarious on its own. We get tons of explosions, endless action scenes (though not in a good way), plenty of actors who all left this off their resumes, and enough ‘80s cheese to last two films.

Interestingly enough, like Time Chasers, this is a film that appeared on MST3K despite not being really all that bad, at least compared to some of the other films they tackled. But it’s not really all that good, either (as a matter of fact, it’s quite terrible in many ways), but that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker for me.

I give it 6 out of 10 “Joel Silver on a budget”-level explosions. Let’s check it out.

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Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Warrior of the Lost World (1983)

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