AKA: The Last Warrior
AKA: L'Ultimo guerriero
AKA: The Final Executor
(Release Date: March 10, 1984)
Sad Max, sick future... and one incredibly hot woman!
The film sucked, but I made it... just barely. But then suddenly, at the bankruptcy point (Chapter 11 on the DVD), something wonderful happened: Sweet Margi Newton got naked... my life was changed. That moment was, for me, what meeting Mozart was for Salieri. I now own three completely different copies of Hell of the Living Dead on VHS and on DVD. If anything could get me to invest in Blue Ray early, it would be the release of Hell of the Living Dead in that format. And with all that, has my friend once asked for his old copy back? Nope! Incidentally, my wife hasn't even advocated such a re-giving, even knowing the reasons... man... My wife's cool, man!
Still, even with Margi's magnificent performance, Hell of the Living Dead sucked raw chicken bones. This didn't stop me from hunting down all Margi Merchandise available the Globe Over! Which leads me to the subject of today's review. Yes, Operation: Sci-Fall begins with a Margi Movie. It's called L'Ultimo guerriero, amongst other things (some unprintable even here). The good news is that Margi is in this movie. The better news is that she's good in it. The GREAT news is that she's naked.
The bad news is that L'Ultimo guerriero sucks, licks, eats, bites, chews... and stinks. In fact, it's worse than HOTLD! But it's not Margit Evelyn Newton's fault. She does her best! Really! Sigh.
Sometime in the far and annoying future, almost the entire planet has been rendered uninhabitable by nuclear war or the proliferation of bad fast food joints and chain coffee huts... the script isn't really clear on which. Soon we see that mankind has mostly survived underground in a society that rivals the dullness of NPR during Pledge Week. For unrevealed crimes (possibly, hopefully, something sexy), young fool Alan Tanner (William "WAZZAAP" Mang) and his sugary girlfriend are exiled to the surface. To ensure that nobody but nobody confuses this for a sequel to THX-1138, we immediately flash to the world above, which makes Mad Max look both heavenly and well-financed.
It turns out that a small group of assholes (led by Marina Costa's Edra) have survived just fine in this irradiated, post-apocalyptic dystopia, without even the tell-tale hair loss or projectile tooth-spitting. In a silly symbiotic relationship with the safe world underground, these gassy guerillas pick off every survivor who crawls to the surface... sort of like whack-a-mole, but with guns and bad dialogue. It's called "The Hunt", but it doesn't look that sporting to me, man (but then, neither does Whack-A-Mole)! Surprisingly, one of said jerks is a beauty named Diane, played by Margi Newton, herself (though credited here as "Margie Newton" in the ancient and dishonorable practice of Americanizing Italian names for global consumption). The first glimpse we get of her, she's topless. She doesn't wear THAT much after that.
Clearly the inclusion of Margi in this gang of poor elevates them to undeserved heights, so had to add in the biggest asshole of all in the form of Harrison Muller Jr.'s Erasmus! This dink rides in on a motorcycle in full black leather with a badass looking medieval knight's helmet and a gun that looks like it's been decorated by a "Gays in the Military" advocate for a gay pride parade on Mardi Gras! Look, I'm liberal, okay, don't shoot! In truth, he looks pretty cool (even with the white, silk scarf [!]), until he takes said helmet off. Then he looks like Jess from Gilmore Girls, but with an afro, bad teeth and a worse beard.
In this latest bum hunt, Erasmus, whom I hate, and Edra, whom I hate, get into a contest to see how many innocent people they can kill. Naturally, this latest group includes Alan and his lovely lady friend. Let me tell you, this "hunting scene" is about seven different kinds of ridiculous. The bullet wounds don't produce blood (though some of the victims have red splotches conveniently placed on their clothing before the camera finds them). Erasmus shows us the true meaning of "bad sword fighting" as he ineptly dispatches a goodly number with his equally gay and dull sword. Generally this means he touches someone with the blade (in GRIPPING slow motion) then pulls the blade away. They die, bloodlessly, pantomiming Fred Sanford comin' to join Elizabeth! Meanwhile Margi, and some of the other hellacious hotties, look like they're starring in that "Chicks With Guns" video from Jackie Brown.
The movie sucks. Needless to say, it keeps getting worse. Alan is not only caught, but he's forced to watch his girlfriend get raped and murdered (in a particularly unnecessary exploitation sequence). Alan is then beaten, weakened and released (after a very un-Indiana Jones behind-the-jeep drag) to be hunted by the Twin E's of destruction (whose contest stands at a draw).
So that the movie lasts longer than 31 minutes (damn it), the Tannenator has other plans. Luckily, out in the wastelands lives a way-cool warrior (but not by Obi-Wan or Yoda standards or anything) named... Sam. That's right... Sam. Ol' Sensei Sam, they should call him. He'd be a model of bathos if he wasn't played by Woody Strode! Naturally, if you've seen any action movie whatsoever, you've seen this one. Sam trains Alan, Alan goes on a rampa-zzzzzz-zzzzzzzzzz-zzzzzzzzz-zzzzzzzzz-zzzz
Luckily before the film ends, Margi gets naked a couple more times. This lady is not shy! Good choices in thongs as well! I tell you, it was worth all of the $99.95 for the (now deemed useless) IMDBpro Membership, not to mention the effort, hunting, money, waiting and watching of this Japanese subtitled, English Language VHS from Italy. Ah, my wild, Italian Rose. She's even naked when dead. Great acting, because it was believable, except for the beautiful, lively color of her skin. Man, we're talking HEAVEN of the Living Dead! But seriously, is there anything heroic about killing Margi? Uh, no!
Director Romolo Guerrieri and writer Roberto Leoni were clearly watching as many rip offs of the Mad Max movies as possible here. If not for the presence of Woody Strode and Margi Newton, I'd tell you this flick was about fifty times worse than Alien from L.A.! With these two, it's only about 20 times worse. Still, Guerrieri and Leoni do manage to boggart some of the more interesting ideas from better (and even some worse) films out there, and the second half of the film is at least somewhat watchable (a relative term, of course). Interestingly, this film might fit nicely into the same universe as Bruno "I Suck" Mattei's Rats. Once Erasmus took off that helmet of his, he did vaguely resemble a giant rodent, I thought. Not that I'd recommend ripping off any Bruno Movies either, but hey... if you're playing pilfer party, who cares?
One good thing about watching this movie all the way through: I now no longer consider Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins to be far fetched and campy. Now there's a montage you can tip your hat to (by comparison, of course).
The Final Executioner is bad. Even the English Speaking Actors are badly dubbed, man! The plot makes almost as much sense as the fact that The War at Home was renewed for multiple seasons, and I even wanted to beat up the music. Not just the composer or musicians, I wanted to devise a way to inflict physical harm upon the SCORE! Stupid intangible nature of sound!
If The Final Executioner were a football scrimmage and Roberto and Romolo were teenaged players, I think we'd all be yelling "Do over! Do it over!" Interestingly enou-... well, okay, not "interestingly", but... funnily enough, someone actually did a "Do Over" on this movie, and got sweet Margi to return for the 1989 flop Bronx Executioner! It's even Sportin' a Woody too! No, Bronx Executioner isn't a sequel to The Final Executioner... it's a montage in and of itself, over fifty percent of which consists of footage from The Final Executioner! Not so final, then was it? Woody's part in that is all Archival Footage even! Hell, I'll still see it. Margi's in new scenes.
Do over or not, The Final Executioner lacks the class and sophistication of Ishtar or Yor: The Hunter from the Future. I hate to do this because Margi really tries here, does well and looks fantastic (when she's wearing anything it's a see-through nighty or a skin-tight leather dress), but The Final Executioner gets a DOG! A full on, out and out, maggoty Cane! Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to eBay. I'm in a bidding war with two Frat Guys, a Tokyo businessman and a Middle Eastern Lesbian for the English Dubbed Spanish Subtitled Beta copy of Ho vinto la lotteria di Capodanno. Wish me luck that I'll be the Final Bidder. If not... Maybe I can be "The Bronx Bidder" in another five years or so. I don't know what Ho vinto la lotteria di Capodanno's about, but I know who's in it. And she's worth the wait. I just hope nobody throws the damned tape away. See you in the next soft, round reel!
|What's New?||Alphabetical Listing of Reviews!||SearchThisSite:||Advertise With Us!||About...||Lynx Links:||F*A*Q|