Warriors of the Apocalypse

Director: Bobby A. Suarez                                         
Michael James, Deborah Moore

Warriors of the Apocalypse isn't the worst post-apocalypse movie out there. However, this is without doubt the strangest example of this genre. For one thing, it's impossible to determine the movie's country of origin. We have a predominantly Caucasian cast (that's dubbed), a director with two names that are English and Spanish, and it's filmed in some country with a lush jungle. Yes, for once we have a post-apocalypse movie that spends most of its time on a mountain in a jungle. My best guess is that WOTA was backed by either a Mexican, Filipino, or Italian production company, using the resources and people of different countries to get the best deals and make the movie marketable in these countries. But I can't be sure. Anyone know?

Actually, the jungle setting isn't the most unusual thing about this movie, but I'll get to that later. A narrator tells us that its "150 years in the future. The place: Earth." We see a group of men, dressed in the usual metal-studded leather clothing, traveling across the beach (at an angle where we can't see the water), all tired and thirsty because the budget was too small to allow any vehicles in the movie. One of the men, "Trapper", is obviously the leader because it seems he's the only one in the group who has some kind of access to a razor. They encounter a cruel rival gang, and the two groups get into a fight, each side firing rusty guns that fire bullets that when hitting rocks or trees create explosions big enough to blow off someone's leg. (Curiously, when a bullet hits an actual person in this movie, it just leaves a hole the size of a silver dollar.) It gets rough for the good guys until they are saved by a mysterious stranger named Alook. After the fight, he tells them he comes from a secret place where the land is good and other people live happily.

Trapper and the rest of his gang follow Alook, eventually reaching a mountain that's covered with a thick lush forest. They have a number of adventures, including fierce fights with a pygmy tribe that wears KISS-like makeup. Eventually they are captured, and they are taken to (and I'm not making this up!) a village full of horny Amazon women ruled by an all-powerful Amazon queen (who seems to have found some ancient toenail polish and eyeliner) who can shoot laser beams from her eyes.

Yes, this turned from a post-apocalypse actioner to one of those all-women civilization movies. So we're getting two movies for the price of one. Unfortunately, the combination here isn't that well put together. You can seem to fell the staples holding both parts together. Both "movies" seem to be taking place in two different worlds. For example, the Amazon movie never really seems to acknowledge that there was a nuclear holocaust at all. But how good is each movie, then?

Well, the apocalypse adventure is the weaker of the two. As previously stated, the locations aren't the greatest, and these stark locations add to the painful fact of how low the budget is. Though it isn't really painful to watch, viewers will just be watching it just to see if later things start to get exciting and interesting, and not for what's happening onscreen at the moment.

The Amazon adventure is better, but that does not necessarily mean it's good. Most of the budget went for constructing the stone city of the Amazons, which is fairly large and impressive for the budget. There are a number of unintended laughs, including a show-stopping "fertility rite" dance by the Amazon women in front of the men. Unfortunately, we don't get to see as much of the post-dance "ritual" as we want to. The Amazon queen gets the most laugh in the movies. Obviously inspired by the title character and her actions in H. Rider Haggard's novel She, she can be relied on to bring a number of unintended chuckles, especially in the end where she has an incredibly long eye-laser battle with someone else with those powers, and having a stone chair with gadgets that would make a villain from a James Bond movie extremely envious.

Both movies - in fact, the entire movie - overall suffer from two major deficits. For one thing, the movie is too slow to get going. And the movie is not sleazy enough. The action/violence level is somewhat tame, and the movie disappoints with the Amazon women. Oh, a few pathetic breasts (pathetic in both senses) are shown, but nothing really more.

So in the end, we have a movie that has some good stuff, but just can't do it all on its own. In other words, this is another case where the folks at Mystery Science Theater 3000 would have to be called in to make it worthwhile (if they haven't already). Their editing of the movie, to make the program fit in a 2 hour timeslot (with commercials and intermissions) would take care of the slow story. And their comments would give viewers something to listen for while waiting for the movie to show some unaided good stuff. There won't be any breasts, but trust me, you won't be missing them.

Also reviewed at: Cold Fusion Video

UPDATE: I finally found out the origin of this movie, thanks to reader William Norton:

"Warriors Of The Apocalypse is a Filipino film, as the producers and a director have done Phillipino films, as one of the star, Bobby Guerreo, who did Phillipino films like One Armed Executioner and Devils Three and American Commandos (with Chris Mitchum and John Phillip Law!)"

Check for availability on Amazon (VHS)

See also: Survivor, Omega Doom, Stryker