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Bronx Warriors Trilogy

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Posted 5th August 2010 at 10:23 AM by Bringer Of Funerals

In the early 1980s Italian cinema was in full swing, producing `homages' and blatant rip-offs of anything that was popular in the Hollywood cinema of the time. So when both The Warriors, Mad Max and Escape From New York hit it big it wasn't long before Italy produced their own post-apocalyptic tale set in New York. In charge of bringing an Italian twist to the genre was producer Fabrizio De Angelis, who handed the directorial reigns to prolific director Enzo G. Castellari who had become known for producing great movies on low budgets, and so The Bronx Warriors Trilogy was born. The Bronx Warriors Trilogy have been long-regarded as cult-classics of the 80s, and its not hard to see why - filled with action, violence, gore and that special 'spaghetti' twist, the three are examples of some of the best in Italian `homage cinema'.

What this great boxset from Shameless has is Castellari's complete post-apocalyptic vision on DVD in The Bronx Warriors trilogy, an exclusive three-disc collection featuring the cult classics The Bronx Warriors, its sequel Escape From The Bronx and The New Barbarians. If you love Italian knock-offs, then these cult classic exploitation flicks are required viewing, these films were great fun and had alot of cheap sets along with some unintentionally hilarious bad dialogue (especially from the lead character Trash), and yet you can't help but love these films.

In 1982's The Bronx Warriors, perm-sporting, tight-trouser wearing Trash (Di Gregorio) comes to the rescue of a socially conscious teenage heiress who finds herself amongst the gangs of the Bronx which in the year 1990, is a lawless mess. One of the first, and certainly the most influential, of the low budget Italian rip-offs that followed in the wake of Escape from New York, The Warriors and Mad Max, this is a classic slice of political satire.

An instant hit in its native country, The Bronx Warriors led to 1982's The New Barbarians. A really fun film and an enjoyable watch, with lots of explosions (and exploding heads) car chases, hilarious bad acting, rubbish costumes and great stunts. Set in 2019, where humanity is almost totally wiped out after a nuclear war, and taking its cue from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, this one sees Fred Williamson wearing all kinds of embarrassing costumes who turns up at the most opportune moments with his explosive-tipped arrows and deadly aim and battling evil gang leader George Eastman (the erstwhile Anthropophagous the Beast).

Finally we have 1983's Escape from the Bronx, in which the returning Trash attempts to try and save the area, and its people, from being killed by an evil manufacturing company. Focusing on the re-building of New York and the destruction of whole communities (something that would happen with the later rebuilding of 42nd Street), this is a strangely solemn sci-fi shocker and arguably the highlight of the entire set. This also has a memorable opening scene where Trash shoots down a surveillance helicopter with a handgun!.

This is a well put together set of some cult films from one of the great exploitation directors of Italian cinema. The special features includes near-half hour long interview with Castellari (and his editor Gianfranco Amicucci), lots of trailers, a commentary track for each film and stunning packaging, this set from Shameless is utterly essential for any Italian B-movie fan, check it out.
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