Friday, June 6, 2014

Exterminators of the Year 3000 (1983)




I have always been a fan of the post apocalyptic sub genre. My first exposure was the seminal classic The Road Warrior(1981) and then quickly its predecessor Mad Max(1979). With success, imitation will certainly follow and boy did it ever after the box office success of The Road Warrior. There were many well made films in this sub genre including John Carpenter’s Escape From New York (1981). Unlike Carpenter’s film which took the basic world setting and created an entertaining and original storyline, Exterminators of the Year 3000 just pretty much mimics the chase scene and characters from Road Warrior. This film is just one of the plethora of Italian Road Warrior rip offs that littered theaters and home video in the 80’s.

Exterminators takes place in the year, well 3000, after nuclear fallout has turned the earth into a desert. Unlike the Mad Max films, gas isn’t the commodity; good ole H20 is what drives the survivors. The film starts up with a chase through the rocky desolate setting. Two “cops” on patrol encounter a driver who doesn’t seem to like law  40mph. …. Probably.  Alien wrecks the cop car in which he commandeered to chase after his own and is trapped underneath. 
Driving skills!
enforcement for some reason and with his “post apocalyptic” car attacks them. The car is about what you would expect from these films. The car is a 70’s model (in the year 3000 thank you) and it is decked out with armor and protective perforated sheet metal wheel protectors and a camera that is mounted on the hood. This is so the driver can lower his venetian blind windshield armor and still drive. Our “hero” is Alien (Robert Jannuci) and yes that is his name in the film, who is on the look out for water. He attacks the cops to steal their precious cargo but while trying to take it from the trunk of their car his car is stolen. A chase ensues! A typical romp through the wasteland at speeds exceeding

Now we are introduced to a group of people who live in a fortified hillside base made of caves. In these caves the inhabitants have formed a community and have a pretty snazzy post apocalyptic garden growing. But to keep the people and the garden alive they desperately need water. Their leader, The Senator, realizes this (duuuh!) and sends a patrol out to find a water well which hundreds of miles away. Doesn’t sound too bad a deal except that the wasteland is overrun with “Exterminators”; a group of barbarians led by Crazy Bull (Fernando Bilbao). CB is an almost carbon copy of “Wez (Vernon Wells)” of Road Warrior sans a Mohawk. He also uses the word “Mothergrabber” way too many times. I just can’t take the guy seriously when he calls out “Get them my merry mothergrabbers!” With that said, this is the best part of the film as the movie shifts into second gear with pretty entertaining chase/battle sequence full of explosions, dune buggies, dirt bikes and more post apocalyptic cars and tankers.  One of the leaders of the water patrol, John discovers that a young boy, Tommy (Luca Venantini) has snuck aboard the tanker. The tanker is overpowered by the barbarians and brought to a halt. Crazy Bull discovers the tanker is empty and threatens John if he doesn’t tell them where they were heading and where the water is. He spits at Bull who promptly delivers a hilarious look of shock and haves John killed. Tommy witnesses the execution while hiding in the tanker. Tommy escapes and treks through the wasteland for awhile.
The main "mother grabber" Crazy Bull


He discovers Alien in the wreckage of the cop car, gives him water and helps him out of the wreckage. Alien learns from Tommy that Tommy has a map to the water supply that his people were trying to get to. As they are walking through the desert Crazy Bull shows up and confronts them. Apparently the post apocalyptic “exterminator” car belonged to Crazy Bull but Alien took off with it at some point. In order not to get killed Alien strikes a deal with Crazy Bull; information to the water supply for freedom. Crazy Bull like the idea and gives Alien a motorcycle as part of the agreement. Alien leaves Crazy Bull somewhat high and dry and tells him ask the kid where the water is and he takes off! Nice call Alien!
Tonight on "Let's Make A Post Apocalyptic Deal"!
Crazy Bull threatens to do bodily harm to Tommy if he doesn’t spill the dirt about where the water is. Tommy wont give in so Crazy Bull ties each arm to a motorcycle and rips one of his arms off! Holy crap did I just see that!? Oh wait….Tommy is a robot! Really? Wow what a jip! Just when I thought Italian post apocalyptic flicks had reached a Cannibal Holocaust low, I get bamboozled. Oh well…..Alien rescues Tommy and his severed arm and they escape. Dollar short and a day late aint ya Alien? Alien duct tapes Tommy’s arm back on, which I found rather amusing….seems duct tape also survived into the year 3000. I’m surprised I didn’t see Keith Richards tromping around the desert too.

Alien's not so bad....he could be dragging the kid.
After trekking through the wasteland they end up at an encampment owned by Papilion (Luciano Pigozzi). It seems that Papilion knows Alien and also has the “exterminator” parked behind his living quarters. Papilion also turns out to be some kind of ex astronaut/technical guru and can fix Tommy’s arm. As Alien inspects his car he encounters his long gone jilted ex-lover Trash (Alicia Moro). She’s pretty pissed at Alien for leaving her so long ago. Tommy’s arm gets fixed and he can now crush metal with it, nice upgrade! Alien and Trash agree to go find the water supply but as they are on their way Alien informs her of his plan to take the water for himself……because Alien is a real dirt bag. I mean really this “hero” is a real jizz rag of a guy. Trash however seems to be a pretty stand up dame and Tommy knows this so really only she knows where the water really is. So with Trash in the know and Alien in the not so know, they set off for the water. They find the water supply which is actually a water plant out in the wasteland. Here they encounter a spiked log booby trap and some radiation faced goons with flamethrowers guarding the place. They get the water but Trash knocks out Alien with her trusty “ultrasonic key”. Once Alien wakes up he finds his tires slashed but that’s okay because the “exterminator” is second cousin to Chitty Chitty Bang Band who is twiced removed from KITT and has tires that re inflate themselves……….really.

If the trailers a rockin' don't come.....smashing through it!!
Alien catches up with Trash in the tanker but they are soon met by Crazy Bull and his gang for a final showdown. This battle consists of cars, trucks and motorcycles driving around a bunch of explosions for what seems like forever. Even the showdown between Bull and Alien is a big letdown which pits Alien armed with his apocalypse gun against Bull……with nothing but a sword. Meh, we’re hitting the 80+ minute mark so let’s wrap it up. Trash’s tanker gets attacked by a couple of Crazy Bulls goons. Trash is about to get killed when Tommy and Papilion show up. Tommy’s arm is all healed and ready to throw rocks. Yep! Tommy grabs a rock and throws it with his supped up arm. It’s like a cannon and he hits his mark on one of the goons killing him instantly. I was kind of hoping for like a laser arm or something since his arm is all decked out with bright lights and such on the VHS cover. I guess with this budget a rock is about as good as it gets. Trash escapes but as one of the goons is dying they empty out the tanker.
Post Apocalyptic hair styles......kinda 80's actually.

Now that the barbarians are defeated, Tommy’s arm is a bionic weapon and Papillion breathes his last breath because he is mortally wounded somehow, which is kind of oddly handled, the three trek back to the water well but it is destroyed by some dude in a hood…..mysterious hooded dude……huh? Where did this guy come from? Who is this guy? We never find out! Now that all is seemingly lost we get one last surprise……..it begins to rain! It’s a post apocalyptic miracle! Rain…..precious water is falling from the sky! And everyone lives happily ever after. The End.
Kinda what I felt like after watching this flick.

Holy smokes what a confusing ending to one of the silliest films I have seen in quite some time! I think this beats out Warrior of the Lost World (1983) on sheer goofiness but then again the exterminator couldn’t converse like the motorcycle in that film soooooooo…….looks like I need to revisit that one. I’m a glutton for punishment!




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