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Patrick Swayze's best post-apocalyptic sci-fi action underrated cult-classic gem!
ivo-cobra810 October 2016
Steel Dawn (1987) is Patrick Swayze's underrated post-apocalyptic sci-fi action cult-classic gem! It is my second personal favorite Patrick Swayze's action film he ever did! It is a cult classic film Patrick Swayze ever did. I miss the guy I really do. The first movie will always be Road House (1989) this is my second favorite film! In my honest opinion this movie is a classic of the 80's and it is MILES way better than Point Break (1991), Ghost (1990) and Next of Kin (1989) the characters that Patrick Swayze played. I have this movie on Blu-ray I hardly got it and I love this movie to death! I have so fun watching it and I enjoy it. This is a sci-fi post-apocalyptic action samurai flick, it is not Mad Max: The Road Warrior a copycat film like was in Resident Evil: Extinction that movie was mainly a copycat of that movie this wasn't. Directed and produced by Lance Hool who earlier directed Missing in Action 2: The Beginning my favorite Chuck Norris film! This was his second movie he directed and starring Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi. I love Nomad it is Patrick Swayze favorite character of mine.

Plot: Water becomes a precious commodity in the desert community of Meridian. When a mob, led by the evil Damnil (Anthony Zerbe), takes over the town's supply, the good people fight back by hiring Nomad (Patrick Swayze). Nomad is the only person who can put an end to the greet in this modern interpretation of the Western classic "Shane."

Let it be known, that "Steel Dawn" is a favorite of mine, one of those rare, nostalgic, obscure and imaginative beauties, a film that from my viewpoint, never really got the attention it deserved. Why it didn't, I don't really have any idea, as it's lined with a star-studded cast. Very well directed and acted (even enjoyably "over-acted" at times). With a super-cool futuristic take on the classic western genre, and not to mention, one of the most quotable movies I' ever seen! Though it never quite grabbed the multitudes (perhaps because audiences were becoming worn out on doomsday & post-apocalyptic films of the era), it did most certainly grab my attention and I' been hooked on it ever since catching it on television.

This is a childhood film, yes it is a film from a childhood that I have grown up with it. It has a great cast: Patrick Swayze, Lisa Niemi, Brion James, Anthony Zerbe and John Fujioka. Actor John Fujioka was also in American Ninja (1985)my favorite martial arts Ninja film, before was cast in Steel Dawn. This is my favorite Patrick Swayze film and it is awesome, the sword fights were excellent and I love it so much! The acting in this movie was decent from Patrick Swayze and the rest of the cast. I have enjoyed this film, but it is really underrated the same as it is Missing in Action 2: The Beginning but for an 80's flick for an 1 hr. and 40.minutes hey I enjoy it, watching Patrick Swayze kicking ass is my guilty pleasure.

I love samurai sword fights, Patrick uses a sword to kill mysterious sand creatures. Throughout the battle with Sho (Christopher Neame) and Nomad (Patrick Swayze), I at least felt like they were actually trying to kill each other as opposed to posturing and/or baton twirling... I actually think this was a fight choreographer who was doing the best they could with what/who they had to work with. Patrick Swayze helped with the choreography. He definitely knew what he was doing and how to work the hardware. He was legit bad-ass, this final fight between those two is epic!

Theme Song for this movie: Australian composer Brian May (not the one from Queen) did the music for the post-apocalyptic Steel Dawn. He also did the music for Mad Max and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, which the makers of Steel Dawn brushed off as pure coincidence. Brain May must be an expert at post-apocalyptic atmospheric movies.

Patrick Swayze has to jump in to help, and instantly kicks everyone's ass. Steel Dawn is a damn solid action cult classic gem!

R.I.P. - Patrick Swayze (1952 - 2009) I really miss you so much and I wish you could do more bad ass action movies, I am your biggest fan and so was my mom we all miss you and we all love you, I love you to death!

Steel Dawn is a 1987 American post-apocalyptic feature film that mixes the genres of science fiction, western and samurai cinema. It stars Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi.

Steel Dawn (underrated) (why doesn't THAT film get the cult/appreciation/notice of this POS) Road House and Black Dog are my top 3 personal favorite best Patrick Swayze movies he ever did! This movie get's 10 out 10 the best underrated unappreciated cult-classic post-apocalyptic sci-fi action western samurai movie!
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Swayze plays it again, and again ...
Bill-B2 September 2006
The outline (plot may be too strong a word) of this movie is set in the future when water is scarce, and civilization is a dusty one-bar town. Our hero (Swayze) must prevent the evil cattle (oops!) Water baron from owning everything and defiling everyone. To be truly evil, our villain has to get an evil warrior to be Swayzes' warrior nemesis.

Think of this movie as "Road House" after the apocalypse. Swayze plays the troubled warrior; uneasy with the violence he must commit for a higher purpose, yet wise in literature and sensitive to a woman's needs (Sounds kinda like "Next Of Kin" too, doesn't it?).

While unworthy of an Academy Award, it is a fun movie that provides the kind of entertainment you expect from a modern swashbuckler. The good people are really good (or flawed in an OK way like the ranch foreman), and the bad people are really bad -- except for Swayzes' nemesis who is bad, but has a code of honor that is almost as complex as Swayzes' character.

I like it; it has a place on my shelf and I've probably watched it 3 or 4 times since it came out.
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Oh, so Cheesy!
shadowmonkey13 May 2004
Wars and drought have ravished the future, a distant reality, and the world is now a husk of its former self. Civilisation now exists in small pockets spread across the desolate landscapes. It is the time of heroes, fighters, and bronzed men who know how to kick butt in a big way.

Steel Dawn, is has an interesting premise, but as a story struggles to develop much higher than a collection of action set pieces. Swazye plays a nomad (the man with no name), who after a tangle with some strange human like creatures of the waste lands, runs into his old mentor on the way to the pub. His mentor is killed and Swazye's character is now after revenge. The film has a spaghetti western feel to it but with out the mystery.

But despite that it has its good side too, as always Swazye is enjoyable to watch and the supporting casts do an admirable job with their characters. Christopher Neame brings a likeable side to his fallen warrior turned assassin, Sho. Who after all just wanted to challenge a worthy opponent to fight. Brion James is good as Tark, Kasha's foreman, whose initial jealousy of the Nomad make him suspicious of all he does, so of course Tark's trust must be earned.

This is not an example of cinematic magic. It is in many ways though a fun film, silly and enjoyable , with out a doubt oh so cheesy.

Enjoy I did.
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Low rating not deserved
the_mysteriousx30 December 2012
Just caught up with it after 25 years and while this is not a classic, this is not a bad movie. I saw this when it first came on video and remember enjoying it and feeling it was a solid action flick for Patrick Swayze. I am very surprised all these years later after seeing it today on TV, that it still is, though I would only recommend it to people who like old movies and/or post-apocalyptic stories.

First of all, it was nice to see Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi paired together on screen. They had a tremendous relationship in real life; one of the only Hollywood couples to whom "till death do us part" really meant something. They clearly have an easy demeanor around one another that makes their scenes memorable. Most of all what's good about this movie and similar old flicks made on clearly-low-budgets is the lack of pretense. It's not trying to be flashy, it's not trying to be epic, nor is it trying to be something it's not. This is just a simple tale of a wanderer (Swayze) who comes upon a tiny village and learns to help the people in exchange for food, water and a bed and comes to defend them from marauders. Nothing more. His character, called "The Stranger" in the film, becomes a man of example, whose actions speak louder than words and who shows us how we can trust someone based on how they act and not what they say. Swayze has charisma and that's what makes it better than average for this type of old film. He was such a good dancer we forget he had some action chops as well. NEXT OF KIN, and ROAD HOUSE were made after this, along with POINT BREAK, and are better known. This is a quiet flick, a good one to watch on a lazy weekend afternoon.

The direction and music score are a little dated, as is Niemi's hairstyle (very popular in the '86-'87 years). The acting is okay overall, though Anthony Zerbe always makes a good villain. Mostly the excellent fight scenes keep the film moving forward. The choreography of the action is very good and Swayze truly has the grace of a dancer in his hand-to-hand combat. STEEL DAWN holds up as a nice reminder of simple, unpretentious 1980s storytelling.
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Post-apocalyptic action with a low budget feel to it.
Enchorde16 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Recap: In a barren post-apocalyptic world a few struggling farmers try to make ends meet. Water is scarce and any vegetation absent. In this world the lone Nomad wanders, armed with his sword, fighting sand raiders and meeting up with friends in the rare taverns around. When a friend, just named peacemaker in an isolated village, get murdered by an assassin hired by the local rich rancher, Nomad walks to the village and takes a job on one of the farms. Soon he finds himself in trouble leading to an inevitable showdown with the assassin.

Comments: A classic sci-fi action made out of the eighties. It is a poor post-apocalyptic world and that not only means that the costumes can be crude but that any special effects will be rare. Combined with that the population is way down you have the perfect mix for a low budget, small cast sci-fi action. Throw in a sword and some odd vehicles and you're clearly set in the future (ironic about the sword, isn't it?).

There are some OK swordfights and a few good fistfights, augmented by some too emphasized sound effects, and a thin story that gives enough material and motivation to work with between the fights. But there isn't much more. Ironically this is also a typical recipe for a cult movie, even though Steel Dawn hasn't seem to garner that acclaim. Husband and wife Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi stars in this movie, and does it well considering the story they have to work with. A little extra trivia with Brion James and a young Arnold Vosloo also appearing in the cast.

But finally this is movie is only for two different groups of people, those who are either fan of the genre, the post-apocalyptic science-fiction movie, or fan of Patrick Swayze. If you don't consider yourself belonging to one of those groups I doubt that you will find Steel Dawn to your liking. To me it was OK, but there have been much better movies in the same kind made, both before and after.

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Steel Dawn
Scarecrow-8827 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A desert warrior, a former soldier of a war that left the land barren and practically worthless, assists a young women, her little boy, and laborers(..who operate a camp attempting to develop water for their valley), soon defending them against a tyrant and his sadistic brood who wish to overrule the region.

As much as I hate to admit this, Steel Dawn is really a rather average Mad Max clone, offering nothing really new to the post apocalyptic genre except a really good cast attempting to give the rather mediocre material a boost. Brian May's score, quite a majestic orchestral composition, and stunning South African locations are a shot in the arm, and there's plenty of violence(..a lot of people get stabbed)thrown in for good measure, but not much in the way of originality.

Swayze's enigmatic warrior, called Nomad, has a 'steely' resolve and is equipped with the physical presence needed to fulfill the required Mel Gibson look. His skills at spinning kicks which down his foes are on full display and Swayze does engage in not one but two spirited battles with Christopher Neame, in a showy role as a hired assassin, Sho, who murdered Nomad's mentor and trainer Cord(John Fujioka, making the most of a nothing role)in cheap fashion(Sho has a blade hidden in a knee pad which springs forth when it appears he could be in trouble). Brion James has a nice supporting turn in a rare hero role as Tark, an intimidating worker whose strength and girth help Kasha(Lisa Niemi)a great deal around the camp, repairing and building plumbing systems needed to operate their water machine. Tark is quite a loyal hand who, at first, rejects Nomad out of jealousy mostly, for he carries a torch for Kasha, and doesn't appreciate this outsider moving in on his "family". Obviously, Nomad will form a fatherly bond with Kasha's son, Jux(Brett Hool).

The characters all appear in "post-Holocaust wardrobe", patterns sewn together from materials that weren't destroyed during the ambiguous war. You also have ratty hairdos, odd land rovers(..seemingly formed from various metals and materials found from junk yards) and incongruous swords(..steel fashioned in peculiar styles). Anthony Zerbe is Damnil, the cold-blooded despot whose authoritarian command over the region strikes fear in the communities attempting to survive in such harsh environs. Early role for Arnold Vosloo, as one of Damnil's goons, who would come into his own as a formidable presence both as hero and villain in cartoon action adventures such as Darkman( the sequels), John Woo's Hard Target, and the revamped Mummy movies.

Steel Dawn will be of interest mainly to Swayze's die hard fans and those of us attracted to the Post Apocalyptic genre as a whole. Others should beware. Might interest those desiring to see Swayze and his wife working together in a movie. But, in all honesty, this tale goes through the motions, never quite rising above other Mad Max imitations that existed around the same time.
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Patrick Swayze Cuts and is Cut
wes-connors26 January 2013
After most of civilization destroyed by a futuristic World War III, well-built warrior Patrick Swayze (as Nomad) wanders through the desert. He meditates while doing handstands (guess this helps make him a better warrior, and you will be proved correct), then shows excellent swordsmanship by annihilating some "half-people" who appear to live in the sand. As "Tremors" (1990) later confirmed, sand creatures are nasty; besides, they threaten the life of our handsome hero. Looking like a romance novel cover model, Mr. Swayze must find sneering vigilante Christopher Neame (as Sho), the man killed his martial arts mentor...

Cooling his heels, Swayze stays at a farm with beautiful blonde widow Lisa Niemi-Swayze (as Kasha) and her cute son Brett Hool (as Jux), who just may be related to director Lance Hool. They live with brave Brion James (as Tark). Proving hairstylists will survive a nuclear holocaust, the Swayzes must protect her irrigation development from wicked Anthony Zerbe (as Damnil). His wells are running dry and she has all the water. This is highly derivative, but with good enough action. Swayze body watchers will be in more than pleased with his appearance. The soundtrack by Mad Max" (1979) composer Brian May is adept.

****** Steel Dawn (11/6/87) Lance Hool ~ Patrick Swayze, Lisa Niemi, Christopher Neame, Brion James
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Not bad for a stock western
John Hensley30 June 2002
Underneath the thin post-apocalyptic setting, "Steel Dawn" is a standard "drifter fights the bandits" western. It has plenty of western cliches (e.g. a widowed pioneer woman whose farm is at risk) and plenty of action. I don't recommend renting this movie, but if it comes on TV you might consider watching it. It's better than any apocalyptic film that Kevin Costner was involved in (or will be). But the only characters with a glimmer of originality (such as Swayze's old mentor) get very little screen time. This places "Steel Dawn" a few notches below the gold standard of apocalyptic films, "The Road Warrior."
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if you like swayze, and you dislike good movies, this is the movie for you!!
craZyforswayZ27 February 2005
Steel dawn, had no dawn and very little steel to speak of. However, it did contain large quantities of Swayze. The hero, played by Patrick Swayze, is a nomad traveling post-apocalyptic wastelands in search a swayz-tacular adventure. He meets up with Tark, a hulk-hogan-like individual who eventually befriends swayze. Their advisary, played by a rejected member of Bon Jovi, spends the majority of the film trying to kill swayze because he is jealous of his hair style. There are many whimsical happenings along the way, such as a swayze finding a dog, and swayze climbing a sand dune. Overall i give this movie a 4/10 due to its poor method of conveying the modern struggles of the inner self in an existential environment.
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Cheesy isn't the word
Leofwine_draca15 March 2014
Of all the post-apocalypse movies spawned in the 1980s after the success of the likes of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and the MAD MAX trilogy, STEEL DAWN has to be one of the cheesiest - and that's a surprise when you consider all the silly nonsense that the Italians were churning out during the same decade.

Despite the sci-fi trappings of the scenery and scenario, STEEL DAWN is a western through and through. Patrick Swayze plays a nameless drifter who wanders into an idyllic small town and soon finds himself required to defend the townsfolk from an evil overlord, played by Anthony Zerbe. What follows will surprise nobody, but it is mildly entertaining thanks to its nostalgic appeal - in the form of dated costumes and hairstyles - and a pretty good pacing.

The narrative is heavily indebted to the likes of MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR, with a few things changed around (for instance, water is the scarce and valuable commodity here, rather than petrol). Fans of Swayze will get to see him do his martial arts stuff on some rather defunct bad guys (including the sand people from STAR WARS, it seems) as well as some zen-inspired meditation techniques.

Fans of B-movies may spot the likes of Arnold Vosloo (HARD TARGET) in an exceptionally early role, while British star Christopher Neame (DRACULA AD 1972) dons a fright wig as a tough. Veteran Anthony Zerbe embarrasses himself as the chief villain, but best of the lot is Brion James in an oddly touching performance as a bodyguard with a heart. I'm so used to seeing James typecast as a bad guy that it's a refreshing change to see him as a goodie for once, and he's the best thing about this movie by far.
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Maybe slightly cheesy...but easy going and enjoyable...a fairer review than others!...
DjLee-Manchester10 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I disagree with most of the other comments on here, as i throughly enjoy this film-and have recently acquired it on DVD to replace my video version.Granted it may sound and look a bit dated (after all it was made in the late 80's) I think people can get a bit too serious about films and picky-i love films (in fact iv'e always fancied myself to be a writer/director)Can't people just enjoy the film,however simplistic it is? Without expecting too much? Especially from an 80's creation.

Steel Dawn is a nice and easy to follow film-perfect for those weekday nights or when you don't want to watch something too complex that takes a lot of concentration.

It follows the story of Nomad (Swayze) who lost his squad of soldiers during a war. He now roams alone in the sandy wastelands, still wearing his tired uniform with pride. He meets up with his old mentor (who is now a peace keeper, and witnesses his murder) He ends up taking on the role of his former mentor, and heads to a valley of farms to act as peace keeper. The main landowner (Damnil) rules the valley with intimidation and fear,and is in search of a rare pure water supply-located on one of the other farms (hence the need for a peace keeper)No one is physically strong enough or capable of standing upto him-or his army of men.(thats why Damnil had a contract taken out to kill the former peace keeper before he reached the valley-but he wasn't counting on Swayze turning up! From then onwards the film flows nicely following swayzes attempt of being accepted and trusted by the people who have gave him shelter-to trying to keep the peace the only way he knows how-fighting. The film keeps you watching from start to finish (just to see what Swayze does next!) The ending is superb...predictable maybe, but a good end to a good film.

There are some hidden things in the film-such as Jux (a boy living on the same farm as Swayze) trying to over-come his fathers death-by looking upto Swayze as a role model.Plus the friendship growing between Swayze and Tark. ANYROAD! Iv'e gone on far too long! I feel even though 'Steel Dawn' maybe a bit cheesy and outdated,and sometimes predictable-it is simply an easy going, enjoyable film. With sword wielding and fighting to keep action seekers occupied-to the growing love story between Nomad and Kasha.(the person who's farm hes staying on) The story is meant to be simple-and don't forget the fact it was made in an era of cheese (the 80's!) overall though worth watching-maybe not as a Friday night 'film premier',but when you just want an easy going film to fill the gap. I certainly recommend it 8/10

Expect cheese...expect simplicity...expect an 80's made feel...and you'l end up enjoying this easy going and pleasant classic Swayze film ...
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Pretty good movie.
aeo3 July 2006
I give it 6 out of 10 because it has one of better sword fights I have seen made by Hollywood. As I was watching the movie, it sort of reminded me of the great western movie "Shane" starring Alan Ladd. It had many of the same elements like a lone stranger comes to town and battles the evil doers who would harm the innocent farmers. Patrick Swayze plays his part well as the protagonist in this movie. Interesting enough though, there is no weapon used save non projectile weapons. What I mean by this is that there are no pistols, rifles, or bombs. In some ways, not having those type of weapons in this movie makes it more refreshing. It kind of makes it like a samurai movie of sorts. All in all, a pretty good movie.

The story takes place in some future where the land seems more desert than anything else; and therefore, water is an important commodity.

In a small valley, a group of farmers try to make a living but is harassed by an individual whose aim is to take over the whole valley. In comes Patrick Swayze who plays a former soldier who comes to the valley to exact revenge on those who killed his former comrade.

During this pursuit, however, he meets a woman and her child who make him see what is really important in life.
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Its Alright!
loufalce1 September 2009
I saw this one laying in the bargain DVD rack at the rental store, and I just couldn't resist spending 3.00 to buy it. I always liked Swayze and I feel that he could have been a top action star if he got the chance. In short, this post apocalyptic desert epic set in the not too distant future combines elements of Mad Max2, Shane, Samurai epics, other westerns and sci-fi.Swayze is the loner-drifte who discovers a settlement in the desert and before long, he deciedes to stick around and help out with the water supply. He forms a friendship with the young son of one of the colonists-his wife Lisa Neimi,earns the trust of Brion James the defender and before long he helps to defend the settlement from the bad guys led by Damnil {love that name!} played by the fine Anthony Zerbe, the holder of water rights in that sector. The low budget somehow adds to the films atmosphere and the junkyard like settlement seems real enough.Though only a B film, it is enjoyable and is fun on its own terms. There are some good props like the windracer vehicles that are powered by sail and the long sword and knife fight at Damnil's settlement is very exciting and well handled -not to mention very graphic. . Early on in the film, there is a ship that somehow ended up in the dessert, probably inspired by the sequence in "Close Encounters- The Special Edition " where a cargo ship is also in a dessert. There are also a few sequences where Swayze seems to be doing a Clint Eastwood impersonation! All in all, this was a fun movie and well worth the 3.00 I paid for it. And, unlike others that I bought and only watched once, this is up for repeat viewings.A fun film for fans of the genre, it shows that a good film can be made on a small budget and still deliver a decent 100 minutes of entertainment, especially when compared to such mega-budget, mega-duds like "Waterworld" and "The Postman" with bad movie king Kevin Costner.Sure, its not "Lawrence of Arabia", but that is missing the point, but then again, I'm just a freak for any adventure film that is set in a desert.
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SanteeFats13 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I do not know what some people expect from a movie. This film had a little lacking in the acting area but over all it was very entertaining. Most of the main actors were veterans who did a good job. The whole concept of apocalyptic movies is well served in this movie. Patrick Swayze is decent as always and plays his role well, not great but who hits it all the time. His wife plays the female lead and she does deliver some of her lines seemingly by rote but does okay. The characters were very clear, the good and the bad were well defined. The actor that played the hired killer was cool looking and a cheat with his knife in the knee but got his just desserts in the end as is usual
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A cool samurai variant entry in the 80's post-nuke sci-fi/action genre
Woodyanders20 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Patrick Swayze excels as Nomad, a reticent itinerant martial arts specialist and adept swordsman who roams the parched, perilous nuclear fall-out ravaged desert wasteland meditating on sandy hilltops and dicing up any raggedy subterranean mutants who dare disrupt him when he's in his relaxed, reflective all's quiet with the universe zone. Nomad keeps on keeping on, a forever on the move loner with a troubled past and an unusual air of mystery hanging around him at all times. Nomad, who at first merely seeks water, food and shelter, gets involved in a heated territorial dispute between willful, but lonely widow farmer Kasha (a spirited and appealing Lisa Niemi) and resident sinister, despicable tyrant Damnil (the always terrific Anthony Zerbe at his most reliably hateful and disgusting), a total bastard with a vicious entourage of thugs ready to take down anyone who threatens his cold, iron-fisted reign over the land. Nomad comes to Kasha's aide, befriending her eager beaver son Jux (the endearing Brett Hool) and winning over the trust of dumb, but dependable strong-as-a-rhino farm foreman Tark (a typically robust Brion James, who's quite engaging in a rare change-of-pace nice guy role) with his supremely sinewy kung-fu skills and bottomless supply of raw courage.

Ably directed by ace direct-to-video action feature filmmaker Lance Hool, this flick really hits the post-apocalyptic sci-fi/action movie spot, offering up a strong, man-sized serving of stirring, down'n'dirty, no-frills action which includes gritty hand-to-hand fighting, a rousing across the desert wind-propelled car chase, and a particularly roughhouse final sword-swinging confrontation between Nomad and ruthless hired gun assassin Sho (a perfectly repellent Christopher Neame), an arrogant, sneering, spiky-haired behemoth who wants to carve Nomad up so he can prove that he's top dog. The action scenes are every bit as sudden, brutal, grisly and exciting as they ought to be; they are expertly staged in a smack dab on target harsh, bloody and unflashy style which keeps everything plausible throughout and thus all the more thrilling. Moreover, Doug Lefler's compact, intelligent script smartly combines the plot from the classic Western "Shane" with tasty elements of the karate and samurai mythos for a fresh, intriguing, extremely tough-minded and satisfying tweaking of your standard bleak futuristic scenario. Brian May's majestic score and George Tirl's fluid, expansive cinematography add a proper amount of grand scope and spectacle to the otherwise modest, yet well-mounted proceedings, therefor ensuring that this movie ultimately measures up as a solid and spot-on little winner.
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Good News...Cheese survives the apocalypse!
atf_81911 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
To be a great Cheese movie in my eyes a movie needs 3 things that all great cheesy movies must have.

-A Montage set to a bad power ballad

-A Misguided, awkward impassioned "get it together" speech by the protagonist

-A star who has a big ego and has since seen his career tank

Luckily the 3rd one's a check.

The plot is basic and simple (as are all cheesy movies). Lone wolf protagonist stands up to powerful bad guy to protect innocent people and do the right thing. With Steel Dawn Swayze's Nomad character roams the dessert, standing on his post apocalyptic head and meditating, and of course fighting post apocalyptic sand people. And then more crap unfolds that doesn't really matter.

What you need to pay attention to in this movie to enjoy its cheesiness are the following:

1. Post apocalyptic 80's hair: Our way of life may have fallen back centuries, but rat-tail mullets and teased hair came out OK

2. Post apocalyptic low budget action: Nothing spells chaos and destruction more so than one flaming garbage can getting kicked over!

3. Post apocalyptic Swayze fight scenes: Genius is the new name of the person who came up with the idea of hiring Swayze's dance instructor to teach him how to fight. Sassy High Kicks…Hooray!

4. Post apocalyptic bad child acting: The kid in this movie is terrible. After seeing this I found out on IMDb he shares the same last name as the director and producer. So now I know why he's in the movie. But bad child acting just means you now have a reason to root for the bad guys.

5. Post apocalyptic snide comments: I found while watching this with friends its really funny to say 'post apocalyptic' when making a bad comment about something in the movie.

In summary, I'm proud to own Steel Dawn. Its earned a spot on the Cheese shelve of my DVD section alongside great like Over the Top, Road House, Eye of the Tiger and Viva Knievel! Beside, this movie is so awful it could provide a much needed boost to the Nuclear disarmament movement.
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Good as a low-budget ripoff can be
Rafael Sarges19 April 2007
First off, I've got to state that I first saw this movie before Mad Max 2 - Road Warrior, what is, indeed, very important for the final rating of it.

If you've already seen both, you know what I'm talking about. Steel Down feels very much like a remake of Road Warrior, except for the cars and guns the detractors would say SD couldn't afford due to budget restrictions.

Each and every main character in SD has a correlated one in RW, and the storyline is so alike you can't help feeling it's "seen before" stuff.

So, if you rate this movie in comparing with such a standard, it's obvious it'll fail in almost every aspect. But if you don't have that standard in mind, or haven't seen it at all (kind of hard, I admit), and take Steel Down in its own terms, you'll sure find it a very much enjoyable piece of the "80's style" action movie.

In this fashion, some particular aspects of it, such as the feel of rivalry between Swayze's character and Sho, the well choreographed fight sequences and the well crafted swords, get this film a step ahead from other of its kind (though unable to avoid the unanimous status of cheesy stuff), and keep myself from calling it a B-movie.

The straight in the face, no frills, no plot, storyline, in my opinion, is a good point in the movie. I can't see any way to improve it! Add some kind of turn or mystery in the script, far as I can see it, would only make it confusing or pointless. So, if the writing is not original, at least it is honest about it, not trying to fool the viewer with unnecessary plot turns.

One important thing about it is that it was not intended to be a milestone in movie-making. There was no concern about critics or reviews. It was never meant to be an award winner, and that's the way it was made.

From this point of view, the production succeeded in making the movie they wanted to do.

Nevertheless, it's undeniable that there's much to criticize about the movie, from its overall poor acting to the excessively conventional direction, not to mention more technical aspects, such as set construction, sound and cinematography, that are, actually, the worst part of the effort.

If the movie was just the way it is, but having a great cinematography, well used music score and remarkable special effects - if it did look better - it could have been a classic, no matter the poor content. Movie-making history has plenty of examples of good-looking/no-content movies.

But, relying almost exclusively in Patrick Swayze's screen presence, the weaknesses quickly reveal.

But the one thing I wanted to state is that this is, in my opinion, much more interesting and funny than Dirty Dancing.

They both have the same good and bad points - the difference is in the style, action opposed to romance, and in the music, that is great in Dirty Dancing, and absent in Steel Dawn.

Both movies are built upon Swayze's character, they both have a worn out plot that anybody can figure out from the beginning, they both reach a climax that's based on choreography, they both are technically nothing special and the acting in both is poor.

So, there's no way a couple of good songs can make me rate Steel Down below Dirty Dancing, and I can't agree with anybody that does so.

After such a long comment, I think my final opinion is quite obvious, but, in a few words, I'd say that this movie has a lot of technical flaws, surely feels like something we've seen before and it's something you surely could spend your life without, but it's also harmless, straight and really fun to watch.

It's nothing special, but you won't regret giving it a try.
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Solid post apocalyptic B-Movie starring Patrick Swayze
Aleksandar Sarkic7 May 2018
Decade of 80's was full of movies similliar in nature to Mad Max. Nuclear war happened, and people who survived catastrophe are now fighthing for water resources. Steel Dawn is one of that many movies. Many of this movies are forgetable but somehow Steel Dawn stays in your mind for some time. The main charachter is played by Patrick Swayze, don't forget that this is the same year he starred in planetary hit Dirty Dancing. Swayze looks really funny in the role of tough guy, he is more for dancing movies definetely, but that is what makes this movie magical, other cast is really cool, Brion James, how i miss this guy, he was must have for this kind of movies, just that face and look, and the movie becomes interesting in second, also there is Anthony Zerbe as main villain, such a great actor, i still remember his role as main villain in The Omega Man (1971). Other cast is also solid. Soundtrack was written by Brian May, the same man who created music for Mad Max 1, and Mad Max 2, it is beautiful soundtrack and goes well with the film, just love those synths, the story is simple but the movie has really good atmosphere, maybe because it is filmed in stunning Namibian Desert, magical location. If you love adventure/action movies similliar in nature to Mad Max this movie is definetely for you, or just are 80s obsessed guy or girl give this movie a chance.
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"Whoever controls the water. Controls the valley."
lost-in-limbo30 March 2013
Before "Road House" came along, Patrick Swayze was kicking ass and practicing his spiritual mediation couple years earlier in the low- budget, post-apocalyptic "Mad Max 2" clone; "Steel Dawn". Even add "Shane" to the mix. Nomad is a drifter travelling the wastelands caused by the affect of world wars. He comes across a small community town Meridian, that's in need of a peace-keeper, as a tyrant and his gang fight for the rights of the local water source.

The derivative plot is simple and paper-thin leaving no cliché left unturned. A strong, promising opening only makes way for something rather run-the-mill and tepid where it has its moments, but just not enough. It's well-made nonetheless, but less than exciting saved by a couple of masterfully executed action choreography set-pieces and its vivid desert backdrop that's given scope by some agile camera-work. The workable performances by the cast are accomplished. Swayze is agreeable in a steely manner as the mysterious Nomad, a former soldier who possesses some valuable skills. Across from him was his real life wife Lisa Niemi Swayze. While a viper-like Anthony Zerbe scorns a lot as the tyrant Damnil, Christopher Neame makes a great lethal foe and a burly Brion James hands out some eccentric punishment alongside Swayze. Also appearing is Arnold Vosloo and John Fujioka as the mentor.

Earnest, but cheaply done routine post-apocalyptic Sci-fi adventure.

"You talk too much."
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what's the deal with 4.5?
bartko-trevor31 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know why this film got the rating it did. I mean it's a pretty good movie. Swayze does a nice job Like always. For some reason I like watching "Post-apocolictic" movies. Compared to the other movies I saw like "Badlanders and Interzone"...EWW! I thought it was good. The only real thing I didn't like was the end. Okay hold up a second when you watch a sword-fighting movie what happens to the main bad guy? He gets stabbed through the torso, but in this film it brings this cliché to a whole new level. when he gets stabbed he talks to him and he doesn't die! One more thing, this movie is realistic fiction...well if you don't count the apocalypses part, then what's with those little things in the beginning! Anyway, I recommend this movie.

Lennord Maltin gave it 2 stars by the way.
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Hmmmm, very interesting...
Thomas Beekers22 February 2003
It's actually kind of funny to think this movie was released in the same year as the world-hit Dirty Dancing.

This Mad Max-esque film does have a view things going for it. The atmosphere of a post-apocalyptic world isn't torn apart as bad as you would expect Swayze to do, and he's not a walking catastrophe in the film either, as you would expect, though his acting is weak.

Come to think of it, all the acting is weak, and the movie has one of the weakest story-lines ever. Still, it's not a complete loss, it's worth watching if you're really bored or just can't get any sleep (which is when I saw it, 12 o'clock (midnight))...
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What is the measure of a man?
Michael O'Keefe15 March 2003
Another post-apocalyptic leather clad warrior(Patrick Swayze)wanders through the desert and comes upon a settlement that is being threatened by a murderous and motley crew wanting their water supply. Swayze shares the screen with his real life wife Lisa Niemi and Anthony Zerbe. This movie comes up dry as the desolate world it depicts. After the dust settles...listen for the clink. Bad. ROAD WARRIOR this is not.
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Choad Warrior
utgard1429 April 2014
Mad Max knock-off of the "so bad it's good" variety. In a post-apocalyptic world, big-haired Patrick Swayze wanders the desert vastness fighting off Sand People with his aluminum sword and martial arts abilities. He sets out to help some farmers who are under siege by bandits out to steal their water. Oh and he picks up a dog along the way. Swayze's wife Lisa Niemi plays the widow he boinks. She's terrible in this with the same vapid expression on her face throughout. Also, where did she get a hairstylist in the post-apocalypse? Anthony Zerbe plays the villain. Brion James grunts his way through the role of Tark, the big dumb guy. Like I said, it's a knock-off of Mad Max with a little bit of Shane thrown in. A bad movie but good for some unintended laughs.
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brilliant - one line stands out above all
owen_mctague8 January 2011
A fantastic stand out movie in my opinion, I still remember that it has one of the best lines ever uttered in film - "you don't think very much of me do you? You flatter yourself, I think nothing of you." Class. Simple premise, simple story line, simple acting but some great actors involved - the English actor who plays the main bad guy is particularly good and the whole thing works well. Brion James from Blade runner (or Tango and Cash/ Red Heat - whatever takes your fancy) makes an appearance and Patrick Swayze's wife is the love interest which I never knew, thank you wikipedia. Overall a fun guy's film that doesn't go overboard on the whole look within yourself and make a change philosophy so just sit back enjoy.
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(Steel Yawn!)
ziggyvideo26 June 2001
This is, quite simply, the most boring and pointless movie that I have ever seen. The acting is languid, the direction absent, and there isn't even anything pretending to be a coherent story until almost halfway through the picture. I had once thought that no movie could possibly be worse than "TC 2000"... well, there goes that theory. Unless you are a complete masochist or want to make a drinking game out of trying to pick out all of the cliche spaghetti western references, don't waste your time.
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