Dune Warriors (1991) Poster

(1991)

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6/10
Forgettable but entertaining post-apocalypse adventure
Leofwine_draca6 July 2016
The old SEVEN SAMURAI story of heroes defending a village from a marauding gang is one that has been told over and over again in literature and film. Why, just recently we've had Tsui Hark's SEVEN SWORDS which is a simple retelling of this plot line. In 1991's DUNE WARRIORS, the prolific Filipino director Cirio H. Santiago comes up with the idea of mixing a post-apocalypse world straight out of MAD MAX with this classic 'village defence' story, and the result is a typically low-budgeted but action-packed movie which is pretty much one running gun battle.

The film wins no awards for quality and there seems to be a singular lack of originality in the production – even the names of the hero and villain, Michael and William, are among the most uninspired I've come across. The paucity of the budget is evident in the cheap wood-and-cardboard sets and sackcloth costumes. Still, fans of Santiago – are there any apart from me? – will know that the director always gets every penny from his cheap budgets and the film is chock-full of explosions and gunfights that will mildly appeal to any adventure fan. The special effects guys are particularly in their element here, with lots of bloody squib hits and even a severed limb or two.

Despite being made in 1991 – a bit of a latecomer to the post-apocalypse craze, with most of the Italian Mad Max rip-offs having been produced in the early '80s – this film has the cheesy '80s feel to it, as none of the sets look professional for a second. COMMANDO is an obvious influence on the action, which is repetitive but cheesy enough to be interesting. Santiago has amassed a mostly Caucasian cast this time around, with only a few native Filipinos lower down in the cast list. David Carradine (KILL BILL) is the Hollywood draw, and he must know that this is one of the cheapest films he's ever made, because he doesn't put in much of an effort and his hero seems weak and elderly, especially in the embarrassing fight scenes. Far better is Rick Hill, an old hand at this sort of stuff, having appeared in the DEATHSTALKER films. Once he's torn the sleeves off his shirt and grabbed two machine guns, you know you're in for a fun time. Resplendent with cheap bloody fights and a totally gratuitous nude bathing scene, DUNE WARRIORS is an utterly forgettable addition to the post-apocalypse genre but one that plays out its predictability with speed and a somewhat refreshing lack of pretentiousness.
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8/10
More post-apocalyptic sci-fi/action fun from Cirio H. Santiago
Woodyanders25 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In a grim future water has become a precious rare commodity that's horded by vicious warlords. Feisty Val (winningly played by foxy blonde Jillian McWhirter) rounds up a band of warriors led by Michael (an aging, but still viable David Carradine) to defend her village against the evil William (Luke Askew in fine nasty form) and his gang of bandits.

Filipino exploitation cinema specialist Cirio H. Santiago keeps the enjoyable, if derivative story moving along at a quick pace, makes nice use of both generous blood squibs and the desolate desert terrain, blows up lots of stuff real good, stages the rough'n'tumble action with aplomb, and tosses in a little tasty gratuitous female nudity for extra trashy measure. Thomas McKelvey Cleaver's compact script draws the various warriors with a reasonable amount of depth. The sincere acting by the sturdy cast rates as another big plus: Rick Hill as the rugged John, Blake Boyd as the cocky Jason, Maria Isabel Lopez as the fierce Miranda, Henry Strzalkowski as the traitorous Luis, Bon Vibar as the noble Emilio, Val Garay as slimy henchman Jason, and Joseph Zucchero as the cowardly Reynaldo. The spirited score by Gary Earl and Odette Springer hits the stirring spot. Joe Batac's competent cinematography boasts a few snazzy visual flourishes. An entertaining little B-flick.
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7/10
Shows its audience a good enough time.
Hey_Sweden19 September 2019
In another of his numerous 80s / 90s B movie assignments, David Carradine plays Michael, a lone wolf in a post-nuke desert. One day, he encounters a young woman (Jillian McWhirter, "After Midnight") who hopes to hire some warriors to defend her community of "Chinle". The main bad guy is a warlord named William (veteran movie bad guy Luke Askew, "Rolling Thunder"), and Michael's been yearning to destroy William for vengeances' sake.

The script (by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver) and direction (by Filipino exploitation icon Cirio H. Santiago) are very routine, but "Dune Warriors" is still sufficient entertainment for undemanding viewers. One has to respect any movie that dispenses with exposition regarding the current state of planet Earth and dives head first into the action right away. Here, we're treated to a plethora of explosions, nasty gunshot wounds, and a couple of good fire gags. Basically, "Dune Warriors" is an "action for its own sake" type of deal. But giving the story some interest is the fact that it's yet another variation on the old "Seven Samurai" formula (except that the number of warriors assembled here is five, not seven).

Carradine is okay - no more, no less - as he and the always solid Askew, his nemesis from the fantasy flick "The Warrior and the Sorceress", face off. The supporting cast is fun: Rick Hill ("Deathstalker") as Carradine's sidekick, Blake Boyd ("First Kid") as the handsome Dorian who takes a fancy to McWhirters' character Val, Joseph Zucchero ("Naked Vengeance") as the cowardly Reynaldo, Henry Strzalkowski ("Equalizer 2000") as Vals' weaselly fiancee, and especially the enticing Maria Isabel Lopez ("Kinatay") as warrior woman Miranda.

A collective dubbed "The Score Warriors" did the music, and it's pretty good; the end credits song is also quite enjoyable.

This is a decent mindless diversion for fans of the post-nuke genre.

Six out of 10.
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3/10
Not the worse mad Max rip off...
mhorg201827 May 2020
That would be warriors of the wasteland, because the Italians had already cornered the market on bad mad Max films. David Carradine plays his usual lone warrior monk teacher role and this is basically yet another riff on the seven samurai. Rather than oil (see: Stryker and Exterminators of the Year 3000 for other examples), it's water. Of course, and ridiculously, be the town built on a spring is full of farmers who can't fight. Get it? While it is tediously show in parts, it isn't as horrible as some.
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4/10
The defenders...
fmarkland3226 September 2006
David Carradine stars as a martial arts expert who with his prodigy Richard Hill defend a village from viscous mutant thugs looking to make a power-play and destroy the peaceful community. Chiro Santiago is without a doubt one of the worst directors out in the field today (Yes he still makes movies) he always makes the movie feel like a cheap kung fu movie that would star Bruce Li or Bruce Le plus he never knows how to dub any actors right, so it is jarring just like a bad kung fu movie. That being said, this is the sole appeal of Dune Warriors which feels like Mad Max meets Bruce Li:The Invincible. David Carradine does do some martial arts and despite being slow (As expected for a man in his 50's at the time) looks sure of himself and puts his fancy footwork to good use. Richard Hill is also a decent hero and this remains one of Carradine's better movies of the 90's. You have to admire a movie that consists of cheap-jack action for the sake of cheap-jack action and the story manages to hold your attention through out. Also it's (mercifully)very short so your never too bored to turn it off. Plus it has Carradine in his Kung Fu mode.

* * out of 4-(Fair)
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1/10
Bottom-of-the-barrel action fare and a clinic of cinematic mediocrity.
Idiot-Deluxe21 December 2015
Yeah, because no Carradine ever made a bad movie, right? LOL!

This movie is awful, even by Cirio H. Santiago standards and I've seen a lot of his work. When watching this marvel of film-making it's quite obvious to any viewer, who has more than three brain cells, at just how little care and effort (let alone passion or enthusiasm) was put into it. The films "hero" is a middle-aged, sword-swinging, David Carradine... but temper any expectations you might have, because he looks and sounds completely bored with the movie and no doubt just showed up to get paid.

Just to cover some of the films short-comings (and there are many), you have the indifferent and uninspired direction of Cirio H. Santiago (he put more effort into his earlier PAW films, one strongly gets the since he was just bored while making this). The acting is mostly lame and flat, with some occasional over-the-top moments. The films dialogue is remarkably boring and cliché-ridden and generally delivered with zero enthusiasm. The sets are insanely cheap, even for Cirio H. Santiago standards, which is really saying something. On several occasions you can plainly see the flimsy, paper-thin sets shake from the concussion of the pyro-charges during the films action scenes.

I won't waste time explaining the plot, it's just not worth mentioning. There's precious little in the way of vehicular stunts (most, if not all good PAW flicks are loaded with them), even the gun fire and explosions sound weak and muffled, the films soundtrack is modestly effective - but generic as hell. As I said Santiago's earlier PAW films are better, especially WHEELS OF FIRE! However by 1990 when this crap-heap of a movie was made, Cirio H. Santiago must have been bored out-of-his-mind with these types of films.

From experience I can say that Dune Warriors is the kind of movie that literally saps you of your energy, as you sit there waiting and wishing for it to be over souring any semblance of a good mood you might of had, due to sheer boredom and disappointment. I hated every minute of Dune Warriors and I was lucky enough to see the "Directors Cut" which is even longer and more boring. Having seen many movies of this type I can say with confidence, that NO ONE should waste their time or money with what is a complete dud of a movie. Dune Warriors flat out sucks!

From what I've seen of his work from this time period, it's pretty obvious at this point, that Carradine was a middle-aged burn-out and was simply making a living, ambling from one lame, low-budget, production to the next - in a state of chronic mediocrity. David Carradine seemed to except ANY script that was handed to him - not unlike Bela Lugosi decades earlier. What other conclusions can one draw. If you've seen Future Force and it's sequel (or several others Carradine flicks from that era) that only strengthens my point. Sad to say, but Future Force is actually a slight up-grade from this movie...... just plain pitiful.

Lastly let me leave you with this quote: "Yep, if your movies terrible enough David Carradine will magically appear." - Michael J. Nelson
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chintzy and dull, rip-off of Mad Max
silentgpaleo21 June 2000
DUNE WARRIORS is low on many things. The plot is very sluggish, and hardly discernable, except that there is not much water kicking around, and everybody wants it. There are masked gunmen, dunebuggies(of course), bad dubbing, and silly-looking explosions. (It's quite obvious that its some flammable substance, and not the vehicles, that are shooting flame balls in the air.)

OK. So, its cheap. I like some of producer Corman's other, older films, but this is just a sample of some of the "programmer" material he puts out nowadays. It's not even worth further discussion.
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