The New Barbarians (1983)

The New Barbarians (1983)-* * *

AKA: Warriors Of The Wasteland

Directed by: Enzo G. Castellari

Starring: Fred Williamson, Giancarlo Prete, George Eastman and Giovanni Frezza

“The Templars are ministers of revenge!” - One

In the year 2019, after the nuclear holocaust, an evil band of marauding evildoers called The Templars want to be the ultimate “Warriors of the Wasteland”. These amoral baddies will stop at nothing to achieve their evil ends, but, unluckily for them, there are still heroes left in this harsh, unforgiving world. Scorpion (Prete), Nadir (Fred) and a young tot who’s handy with cars as well as a slingshot - making him a post-apocalyptic Dennis the Menace (Frezza) band together to fight the Templars and their leader One (Eastman). Will our heroes prevail - or will the Templars rule the ruins? Find out today!

The 80’s post-apocalyptic boom was in full force here - both in Italian production studios and shortly thereafter in video stores. With the usual suspects both in front of and behind the camera - director/co-writer Enzo G. Castellari, writer Tito Carpi, producer Fabrizio DeAngelis and most noteworthy of all, music by Claudio Simonetti - they probably figured “plot? Who needs plot? Let’s go out to the countryside and just see what happens.” And while you think that might not work, it totally does, because of all the creative inventions on show. By inventions we mean the outfits, props, hairstyles, vehicles, weaponry and all the little innovations in between. Thankfully, the untraditional approach of making the movie more about the inventions than anything else paid off.

Differentiating itself from the previous year’s 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982), The New Barbarians is a rural post-apocalyptic escapade, while 1990 is a grimy urban tale. There are plenty of “pew pew!” lasers on show here, as well as plenty of flamethrowers, blow-ups, and of course the prerequisite torture scene. Additionally, it seems a lot of time was spent of the sound effects, which go a long way. Visually, there are many cool shots in the movie, and the beauty of the photography is clearly evident on Media Blasters’ DVD. Sadly, a lot of this was butchered on the Warriors of the Wasteland VHS released by Thorn EMI back in the day.

While Fred Williamson doesn’t seem to actually say very much in this movie, it’s okay, because he lets his bow and arrow with exploding arrows do most of the talking. The movie is filled with crowd-pleasing effects and moments: don’t you wish you had a button in your car that would make a door fly off just in case someone happened to attach a bomb to it? Man, those post-apocalyptic weirdos thought of everything! So don’t get so angry and frustrated you rip a bible in half with your bare hands - just watch The New Barbarians tonight!

Comeuppance Review by Brett and Ty


Anonymous said...

This one was fun. You can't go wrong with George Eastman! The dude doesn't get enough props in my book. (Which probably will never be published...)

Roger Renman said...

This is one of the best post-apoc movies. Movies with the words terminator or exterminator in the title always guarantee a good time. Castellari's direction is solid as usual. On a side note, Frankie Goes To Hollywood were big fans and named a song after the alt. title Warriors of the Wasteland.

Ty said...

Video Vacuum: It sure was...we are also fans of Eastman's work. He always delivers...check out Emanuelle's Revenge from 1975.

Roger: Great point. As far as Frankie, that song can be heard in fellow Italian production, Too Beautiful To Die.

Jack Thursby said...

Can't believe you didn't mention "that" scene. They did a lot more than torture that guy!

Ty said...

Haha they definitely did.

It still counts as the prerequisite torture we all come to know and respect!

Anonymous said...

Man, yet another one that I have to check out.

Ty said...

You are going to enjoy it. Lots of fun action and Fred.

Chainsaw Cinema said...

I've been following this blog for a while and just want to say that its one of my favorites. Always a good read.

George Eastman is king!

Ty said...

Thanks! We really appreciate the kind words. Eastman rules.

Anonymous said...

Dear lord, that is a terrible hairdo on George Eastman, and he looks so cool on the cover art.

Ty said...

Haha! The haircut is unfortunate, but really silly to look at.

Thanks for your comment.