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Directed by: Sergio Martino
Starring: Daniel Greene, Franco Fantasia, George Eastman, Janet Agren, and John Saxon
A big thank you to Sutekh from Explosive Action for providing us with a copy!
In a post-apocalyptic city, Rev. Arthur Mosely (Fantasia) is the man controlling things. With posters pasted all around that scream “You Have No Future”, the populace is understandably despairing. Enter a hulking brute named, inexplicably, Paco Queruak (Greene). Queruak is 80% cyborg and has been programmed to kill Mosely. After seemingly completing his mission, Paco goes on the run and ends up in rural Arizona. He stops at a road house run by Linda (Agren) and begins working there, as well as developing a relationship with her. But her joint is known for its rowdy arm-wrestling competitions. A man named Raul (Eastman) sure does love to wrist-wrassle. All the while, a mysterious businessman named Turner (Saxon), as well as his goons, are after Paco because they want to stop him, and they will stop at nothing to do so. Dodging danger at every turn, what will happen to Paco Queruak?
Paco Queruak. That name is really all you need to know. The minds that could come up with that applied their talents to an entire movie. How do you even pronounce that last name? Is it like Jack Kerouac? Because if so, Paco Queruak is the real “beat poet”, if you know what we mean. Hands of Steel is director Sergio Martino’s take on the movies of the day - it’s sort of a melange of The Terminator (1984) and Robocop (1987) if they were to walk into a Road House (1989) and go Over The Top (1987). Impressively, Hands of Steel pre-dated all those movies except The Terminator. Martino would go on to use Daniel Greene in American Tiger (1990) a few years later, but here he’s cast perfectly as the lead, because he can be as robotic as he wants to be.
In the future there are plenty of abandoned warehouses, signs warning against acid rain, and, perhaps most dangerously, John Saxon with a laser cannon. It seemed like Saxon was going to have a sit-down role for most of the movie until this scene occurred. It’s worth watching this movie for this part alone. Plus there’s an evil cyborg named Susie that is uncredited in the movie but looks a lot like Daria Nicolodi. But as for the lead, Daniel Greene as - one more time - Paco Queruak - for a guy with “Hands Of Steel” he sure ends up in the right place. That being a place where arm wrestling is king. And during a computer run-down of his attributes as part man and part machine, this is seen on the screen: “Negative Characteristics: None”. So he really is the perfect man. But the strange coda at the end of the movie just may confuse things. You’ll just have to see it to know what we mean.
Highlighted by some great music by Claudio Simonetti, Hands Of Steel is a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out.
Also check out our buddy, RobotGEEK's review!
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett
Great review! Always wanted to see this one!
Yeah, watched this earlier this year. This is a cheap and weird movie but a lot of fun if you're in the right mood.
I love the arm wrestling scenes where they added "danger" by having a rattlesnake on either side of the table!
As good as it (questionably) is I still prefer Sergio Martino's other rip-off movie "2019: After the Fall of NY".
Dead Moon Night: Thanks! It is a lot of fun. We know you will enjoy it.
Jack: Definitely agree...the arm wrestling bits were great...We just watched 2019. Review coming in December for "Post-Apocalyptic Month".
Ive got a copy back then from robotGEEK, and later bought the german VHS , which now is sitting on his shelf..I enjoyed it greatly, for the obvious reasons..In Germany, this is called simply PACO, which is a weird choice, since Hands of Steel would`ve sold a bit better I think.
It has since gotten released on DVD here and also allover europe, even the US, I believe.
GREAAAAT film! Glad you finally got around to watching it.
Ingo: PACO is an odd name, but it's really funny title for an action movie.
Explosive Action: Can't agree more, buddy! It was a blast to watch.
Ace review. Love this flick: cyborgs, arm wrestling, post apocolyptic craziness and John Saxon. My copy goes by the title of Atomic Cyborg...
Got the German VHS "Paco-Kampfmaschine des Todes". Enjoyed it.
Drive2 and Harry: That is very cool you guys have it under different titles and formats. This is an 80s classic to keep.
When Sergio Martino is on his game, he's really on his game. Hands of Steel is good times all around. Your review did it justice. Keep 'em coming!
Thanks for the kind words, buddy! This movie rocks.
Brilliant, can't wait for Post Apocalyptic Month!
Thanks! Happy you're looking forward to it.
We got a lot of fun ones to post like New Barbarians and Prayer For The Rollerboys.
Sergio Martino films are badass. He has a knack of making interesting knock-off types of films. He did some cool giallo horror films, but also had some pretty slick spaghetti westerns as well. Check out "Mannaja" AKA A Man Called Blade. great stuff. I need to see this now!
Will definitely check that one out. You are going to love this one if you liked other Martino flicks!
Excellent. Movie watched it yesterday on DVD previous to that I watched it when I was a kid can anyone tell me who the blonde sexy biker chickthat Paco fights what's her real name
Great movie! Classic Paco fun. Good question...i wonder who she was?
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