In 2072 Rome, Italy, the ruthless CEO of a TV network plots to stage a modern series of gladiator games for ratings while one 'contenstant' learns of a conspiracy behind the true nature of the results.
In the future, two television networks compete for ratings by producing violent game shows. One network produces a modern day version of the Roman gladiators, only on motorcycles instead of chariots, and uses convicted murderers as the participants, The network decides it needs a champion for this sport, so they frame a constant winner from another game for murder, and place him on the show. Written by
The original title of the movie is "I Guerrieri Dell' Anno 2072", but the date changes a lot according to some countries. In the UK, the title is "Rome 2033 - The Fighter Centurions", and even the first Italian VHS pushed the date a little later - it was re-named "I Guerrieri Dell' Anno 2079". See more »
Take a good look at these contestants, because for these men violent death is just seconds away.
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I bet the almighty Lucio Fulci didn't half realize back in 1984 how progressive and visionary the concept of his film would become. Sure the idea of recruiting death row prisoners as futuristic gladiators and broadcast their battle to live and death live on television is still extremely grotesque but the underlying and less obvious themes of "The New Gladiators" like the appalling formula of reality-TV and the always-increasing quest for sensationalism were way ahead of their time. This film is one of the numerous futuristic exploitation ventures that were released in the early 80's, all of them with the intention of cashing in on the huge success of John Carpenter's "Escape from New York". All these movies are incredibly violent, feature grim sets and flamboyant effect and oh yeah for some reason they practically all star Fred Williamson! I think Fred actually lived in between the decors and on the sets of low-budget Italian flicks back then. Anyway, Fulci naturally had to participate in this profitable Sci-Fi action trend and it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that his effort is one of the coolest and most sadistically violent of the entire bunch. In their search for the ultimate crowd-pleasing TV-show, slick studio bosses come up with the brilliant idea of reviving the ancient Roman spectacle of Gladiator fights. Death row prisoners from all over the world are recruited to fight in the arena to the death and, just because every show does better with a celebrity on board, the vicious TV-stations owners frame a popular stunt bike rider with murder, just so that he can be put in the battle as well. But with Drake as their leader and the help of a cute and caring computer expert, the Gladiators fight back! Awesome, undemanding and adrenalin-rushing entertainment from Maestro Fulci, "The New Gladiators" offers a spitfire of explosions, macho-showdowns, squeaking bike tires, decapitations, laser beams and revealing manly skirt-outfits! Riz Ortolani delivers one of the best scores of his career (perhaps even second only to his work for "Cannibal Holocaust") and Fred Williamson remains the male role model for utter coolness, despite the fact he plays his supportive role on automatic pilot.
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