Saturday, September 11, 2010


Apocalypse-primed badass Trash returns in this sequel to “1990: The Bronx Warriors,” to defend his borough from a silver suited death squad lead by Henry Silva.

The back of the box states, “General Buildings – an imperialistic mega-corporation – is proceeding with its sinister plan to rebuild the doomed no-man’s land into a perfect, ordered metropolis.” I don't know about you, but I don't see what the big deal is. The only "unfortunate" thing is that the displaced denizens of this burnt out shit hole are simply being executed instead of relocated to New Mexico as promised. Once again, I don't see what the big deal is. I'd rather take a bullet to the head than move to New Mexico myself.

"Escape From The Bronx" begins with the hostile elimination of Bronx scum, and when Trash once again eludes the heavies, they dispatch a squadron to blow torch his parents. At the same time, a meddling female reporter crashes a General Buildings press conference where they have unveiled a small scale model of the future Bronx. After being forcibly ejected from the room for revealing GB’s genocidal practices, the reporter decides she must expose the truth about what's really happening to the Bronx survivors with some first hand reporting. So, she heads into the bowels of the wasteland, where she joins up with Trash in the midst of a heavy turf battle. Soon, they hook up with some militant nutjob and execute a plot to kidnap the head of General Buildings.

The story takes place ten years after “Bronx Warriors,” which is kind of weird because Trash doesn’t look much older and he’s still living with his parents. I’m sure if someone did a book on post-apocalyptic cinema, it would undoubtedly include both of these films. The future here, though, is more Dystopian. The only part of the world that’s fucked is the Bronx, which is the last hold out of scum in the way of total civilized progress. The plot is pretty flimsy, and the ending is hilariously abrupt, but it’s all a sacrifice in the name of gratuitous violence. Nothing gets in the way of this 100 strong body count! Not even the plot! So many action films strive to legitimize or excuse bloodshed, but this movie is amazing in its flagrantly unapologetic nature, which is why I love it so much.

Check out this promo for director Enzo Castellari’s Bronx box set, containing "1990: The Bronx Warriors," “Escape from The Bronx,” and "The New Barbarians." The latter of the three is referred to as part of the trilogy, but it doesn't have anything to do with the Bronx. However, it does have Fred Williamson kicking tons of ass.

Enzo makes no attempt to veil that these movies are derivative of "The Warriors" and "Escape From New York." These aren't rip-offs in any sense, as they are completely self aware attempts to distill the greatest elements from their influences. They imitate with honor and at the same time contain flecks of their own originality. Enzo may be paying homage to Carpenter, but he’s doing it in a way that only he can.

This is the kind of movie that keeps me combing through the annals of Italian trash cinema. Sure, most of it may be imitative of trends in American films, but often times they wound up doing it better than we did. They had hindsight when approaching shit like "The Exorcist." Not only that, but the Italians have a natural tendency to cling to the finest elements of a film and over-inflate them. It's like they don't understand pacing or the concept of the slow burn. Instead, they'll take the cool part and stretch it into an entire film. They beat you over the head with gratuity, which is an art unto itself. That is the national Italian style.

Also, who scores movies better than the Italians? Listen to this:

The performances in this film are great, too. Henry Silva has some memorable scenes as the leader of General Buildings’ death squad, one in particular where he loses his shit because someone has put sugar in his coffee. Antonio Sabato, too, is pretty awesome here as the flamboyant leader of the underworld.

While plowing for links, I ran across a cool little fansite dedicated to the Bronx films. You'll find some awesome interviews with the director. The creator is currently engaged in a hunt to find actor Marc Gregory, who played Trash. Apparently the guy dropped off the planet after his last film back in 1989. Check it out.

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