Warlords 3000

Director: Faruque Ahmed              
Jay Roberts, Denise Marie Duff, Steve Blanchard

Here is another case when I wish there there were truth in advertising laws concerning video boxes. To begin with, the warrior pictured on the video box of Warlords 3000 not only is brandishing weapons and wearing clothing that the movie's main protagonist (or, for that matter, anyone else in the movie) never has anywhere in the actual film, the warrior pictured is not even the actor who actually appears in the movie. Well, this kind of visual deception happens so much, that many of us (including myself), have become Our hero chokes his snake!kind of used to it. I might have been able to accept this alone, but the video box goes further in its deception. Not only does it deceive with a picture, but it deceives with its title - there are not 3000 warlords in Warlords 3000! Instead there's just one, maybe two if you stretch the criteria a little. Besides, in the movie itself, the opening credits proclaim that what's about to play is called Warlord 3000 - no "s". Though even then, neither of the two warlords here don't seem to be 3000th in a line of warlords. If the "3000" part of the title is supposed to be the year of the events seen in this movie, it seems kind of strange then that the amount of technology seen here seems to be that of the late 20th century, even if the world seen here is that of a post-environmental holocaust.

Now I know that the above sounds like real-nitpicking, and that you have to suspend your disbelief to a degree when you are watching most sci-fi/fantasy movies. But at the same time, such movies have to do their part to convince you that the worlds they are portraying even have a foot in plausibility. When they instead keep constantly slapping your face with an attitude that suggests contempt for the audience, how can you find in yourself the courtesy to do any favors for them in return? Doing something badly is bad enough, but doing something bad with no sign that you are even trying to do good is even worse. Warlords 3000 is so unimaginative, so badly done, that it barely even qualifies as a movie. About the only thing that qualifies it as a movie is that it runs 92 minutes - 92 of the most painful, endless, and torturous minutes you can't possibly imagine.

Both the movie's awfulness and lack of originality become evident even before the movie properly starts off. While we see endless footage of red radioactive skies (whoa, the colors), a senior-sounding narrator sets up the situation for us. This is obviously inspired by the opening of The Road Warrior, even more so when you realize that, just as it was in The Road Warrior, this aged narrator is subsequently seen meeting the Mad Max-like hero when he was a child. Oh, and the child in this movie is also quiet most of the time, as well as being unintelligible the few times he uses his mouth (Even though the child here is speaking English, he delivers his lines so badly I couldn't understand what he said.)

The narrator tells us that some kind of environmental holocaust happened, but he's remarkably coy in telling us just what exactly happened to screw up the world so badly. Subsequently, he starts to describe what the world is like now, comparing it to what the movie's central protagonist (named Nova) told him what the world was like (despite the fact that from what we see, these two characters spent virtually no time together.) The narrator tells us that Nova told him the incredible fact that the skies were once blue (despite the fact that in several shots we see bluish skies), and that you could once eat many kinds of plants (despite the fact that we later see characters with flour and French fries in their possession.)

This and other instances of contradictory narration is bad enough, but what is even This is just a wild guess... but I think that guy is crazyworse is that this pompous, overly theatrical narrator refuses to shut up. For the next few minutes he keeps yak-yaking in his colorful tongue until you want to strangle him so that he'll shut up. Eventually, he does - but not for long. Every so often, he returns to torture us with his flowerly speech to explain to us what the characters are feeling, important plot points that we never got to see, and.... Yes, I agree with you - the makers of this movie decided to use excess narration because of excessive laziness, or because there were a number of problems during the shoot that resulted in an inadequate amount of footage that would properly explain every plot point. I'm not sure which reason is more likely, because there's additional evidence to suggest either possibility. Sometimes the evidence suggests both possibilities, such as the fact that the movie shows off a lot of footage that was filmed of dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles racing along the dunes... that was apparently filmed at a real desert race rally, segments of which are edited in every few minutes with the explanation that these racers are the movie's drug-crazed bad guys, who spend much of their time aimlessly racing along these dunes.

I guess before I get further into who is who and who does what, I should first better explain the setup for this movie's post-apocalypse setting. But... I really can't. All the plot really consists of is yet another tired retelling of the old "revenge for a slaughtered family that had been preparing for the hero's homecoming" story, though it's never been so tediously told before. There is no possible reason why it should take the protagonist - who, naturally, is a deadly fighter - so long in completing his task. Except, of course, for the possibility that the people who made this movie had no idea how to properly stretch out the hero's quest for revenge for a hour and a half. So after the slaughter the rest of the first hour, apart from the hero occasionally remembering he's got to kill someone, consists mostly of three kinds of scenes:

(1) The brooding hero doing nothing but hanging around a bar, one that strangely has the capacity to distribute printed matchbooks advertising itself

(2) The villain screaming at his idiot henchmen to do better, including one bizarre sequence when he lectures his henchmen with the use of a chalkboard as a teaching device, writing the word RUTHLESS on it ("The word of the day!")

(3) Vignettes that have no influence on the plot or characters. Not just with the use of the desert rally footage, but scenes such as when two goons play "keepaway" with a grown woman's teddy bear, or when the hero cures someone suffering from a seizure by repeatedly punching the patient in the head

Some of this material, as you might have guessed, does provide some unintended laughs, so I guess there is something positive to say The director of this movie suddenly found himself surrounded by the disgruntled crewabout it. Mostly, though, it's just tedious, and just adds to the frustration generated by the protagonist's inability to get on with it. Then at the one hour mark, the screenplay takes an even worse turn by introducing a new villain out of the blue. Not that the idea of introducing someone new so far into the movie could never have any potential, but the fact that this doesn't do anything out of the ordinary to what's going on in the movie. Does the introduction of this additional villain add an extra dimension to the hero's quest for revenge, further develop any of the supporting characters, or simply add an interesting subplot? Nope, none of those things and nothing else, save, of course, just to further slow down our protagonist's quest for revenge for several more minutes. Well, maybe they were just trying to make our protagonist look more "good" by introducing more "evil", though it's too little, too late. Besides, in the course of the movie he doesn't always exactly do things that endear us to him. In one scene, he plants a bomb on the outer wall of a shack belonging to one of the bad guys. You may be able to shrug off the peculiarity of the subsequent explosion originating in the interior of the house, but probably not the fact that the bomb kills not just the bad guy but his totally innocent abused girlfriend. In another scene, he stays in hiding until the bad guys kill an innocent old man, only then deciding to jump out and fight. Nice guy.

I don't want to talk about the movie's "story" any further, though I don't think I could find anything else to talk about even if I wanted to. Instead, I just want to talk about what else the movie has to offer - more exactly, I want to talk about just how equally bad everything else is. Just name a typical aspect found in a movie and I'll tell you how it's screwed up here. The musical score? Triumphant music during a rape sequence, and elsewhere sounding like a six year old boy drumming on coffee cans and water pipes. Cinematography? Blurred and dark, with murky visuals even during the brighter sequences. Just look at the pictures with this review for a sample. Editing? At one point in a fight sequence, the hero falls to the floor unconscious, then in the next cut he's suddenly on his hands and knees still trying to fight. Later in the movie, our hero strangles a guy by whipping a rope around his neck - but we never actually see a shot of our hero using or even just holding the piece of rope. (Instead we just get extreme close-ups of our hero's face during the sequence.) With all that and much more, it is perhaps inevitable that there is also at least one instance where the editor had to reuse some footage that previously played in the movie.

Besides sharing a lot of the problems that you find in other bad movies, the movie "You can't find belts that keep your pants up these days!"manages to conjure up it's own unique awfulness to a large degree, which comes in the form of questions. For example: If the bomb our hero uses to destroy that aforementioned shack has a timer, why does it also have a fuse attached to it? How come at one point when our hero returns to the bar, he has to join a line where entering patrons get poison dust blown off of them - but at no other time previously or subsequently does he have to do this? If there is still an organized government and an army, why are so many defenseless people choosing to live out in the wasteland where they are in more danger? How is it possible that our hero's family lives in a house where inside there are windows as well as strong and smooth wood walls... but the outside of the house is a rusted-out tin warehouse with no windows? Okay, maybe I spent more time thinking about these kind of things than the average person, but I had to have something to do while watching this movie.

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See also: Neon City, Omega Doom, Stryker