Goofy and low-budget, but likable (in a poverty row kind of way anyway)
Sergio Martino's next futuristic film after his classic AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK, is unfortunately not apocalyptic, instead deciding to go more after the "bleak future" feel from BLADE RUNNER. Borrowing quite a bit from BLADE RUNNER and THE TERMINATOR, the movie stars Greene (a muscle-bound carbon copy of Mel Gibson for all practical purposes) as a cyborg who gets in a whole lot of trouble and has to find a way to get his old personality back.
The action scenes are wonderfully lame and cheaply done, the cast was outrageously tiny (and packed full of no-names in pivotal roles, many of whom aren't even credited), and the special effects often cheap and uninteresting. Poor production design, poor costumes, bad writing, but the general silly but meaning-to-be-serious atmosphere work well. This is thanks in large part to Claudio Simonetti's wonderfully cheesy downbeat synth score which has a way of staying with you long after seeing the film.
The colorful supporting cast of veteran Italian performers also nearly made up for these flaws. The late Claudio Cassinelli is great in his final role as a crazed bounty hunter, as is George Eastman as a vengeful Mexican arm wrestler. Donald O'Brian is sadly wasted in a nothing role as a mad scientist. Strangely enough, recognizable veteran stuntman Sergio Testori gets an unusually large part as John Saxon's top henchman (and even gets a couple lines in as well). Saxon is underused until the last act where he gets to run around with a laser gun bigger than he is!
Unfortunately large chunks of this film are rather dull and uneventful, and sure takes its time to get going. The last 20 minutes or so are pretty fast paced and feature some cool and out-of-place Sergio Stivalleti gore FX. A likable enough cheapo Italian cheapo action adventure, just very disappointing if you consider Martino's other work. Stay tuned for the ending freeze-frame and quote, which are thoroughly amusing.
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