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Film / Steel Frontier

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Steel Frontier is a 1995 post-apocalyptic film set in the then distant date of 2019. Staring Joe Lara as the mysterious motorcycle-riding gunslinger known as Yuma, Yuma finds himself in the town of "New Hope", which has been taken over by a group of bandits calling themselves the "United Regime", which is led by General Quantrill (played by Brion James), who is a descendant of the famous Confederate officer William Quantrill, who had left his son in charge of the town to give him some command experience. Yuma joins the group, but he soon starts pulling tricks upon the various members of the group, such as having them shoot each other while believing that they were going after rebellious townsfolk. Eventually, the gang members in town deduce that Yuma isn't actually with them, and try to kill him. However, Yuma manages to kill them, save one, Ackett (played by Bo Svenson) who goes to warn Quantrill about what happened.

Quantrill soon arrives, and engages in battle with Yuma and some of the townsfolk. Eventually, Yuma kills him, and decides to take the body in order to collect the reward on the man's head.

Basically, it's what you get when one crosses Mad Max with The Man With No Name.

The film features the following tropes:

  • After the End: Set in 2019, sometime after WW 3, which involved nuclear warfare.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end, Yuma drives away from New Hope, with the body of Quantrill on the back of his motorcycle.
  • Bounty Hunter: Towards the end, it's revealed that Yuma is one of these.
  • Combat Pragmatist: From hot coffee to explosives, Yuma will use anything he can in order to fight someone. He'll even grab his opponent's secondary weapon, and point it at them, if said person is close enough for him to do it.
  • Cool Bike: Yuma rides around on one of these. For extra badass points, it has a minigun.
  • Dead Guy on Display: After killing Quantrill Jr. and a number of the United Regime members, Yuma places them in coffins in front of the town. Quantrill is not pleased to find his son displayed in such a manner.
  • Famous Ancestor: Quantrill and his son are descendants of Confederate officer William Quantrill.
  • Join or Die: The United Regime seems to have this policy for recruitment. After taking over the town, members force the able-bodied men that they hadn't killed to line up and force them to chose between joining or dying. Only one joins, while the rest are mowed down.
  • Meaningful Name: Yuma is the name of a desert and a 19th century federal prison in Arizona.
  • Mercy Kill: At the beginning of the film, Yuma encounters a previous victim of the United Regime, whose legs had been removed by the brigands. After revealing who did it, he asks Yuma to kill him. Yuma obliges his request.
  • Mexican Standoff: When first captured by Quantrill's men, Yuma meets up with Quantrill Jr., who points Yuma's gun at Yuma's head. Ackett tells the other to look down - seems Yuma had pulled Quantrill Jr.s' gun out of its holster, pointing it at his stomach.
  • The Mole: Part of Yuma's strategy is to pretend to join the gang, and cause trouble within the ranks.
  • New Old West: Set sometime after the end, located in a small town overrun by bandits, and a lone gunslinger on a motorcycle arrives to save the day.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: One of the raiders likes to use knives to fight with, specifically, throwing knives. Yuma's no slouch with them himself.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The townsman that had reluctantly joined the raiders, dies trying to protect his mother from another raider. His mother makes sure his killer doesn't have long to live after.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Yuma tends to use revolvers in combat, although he has no problems using semiautomatic pistols.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: Quantrill likes to used a sawed-off double barrel shotgun as his weapon of choice.