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Film / 2019: After the Fall of New York

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"In the year 2019, the future depends on one man."

2019: After the Fall of New York (original Italian title: 2019 - Dopo la caduta di New York) is a 1983 Italian-French postapocalyptic science fiction film.

In a world where a nuclear war between the Americas and Eurasia has rendered most of humanity infertile, it looks like the end for humanity. However, the Americans have learned of a girl in suspended animation in the ruins of New York City who can still reproduce. Their enemies are after her too, however, and will subject her to horrific experiments. They hire a mercenary from the desert to infiltrate the Big Apple and bring her back in one piece.

As one can tell, the film was influenced by John Carpenter's Escape from New York. However, this film's plot in turn may have provided some inspiration to a better known film with a similar premise...

This film contains examples of:

  • After the End: Most of America is a desertified wasteland and New York is a bleak, mist-filled landscape of burnt out buildings and mutants.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: Flower, a woman Parsifal won in a gladiator match and freed soon after, has a deep voice and rough facial features that imply she might be Transgender, but it's never explicitly stated.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The President claims that one fertile woman, with roughly 500 eggs, will provide the genetics needed to repopulate the human race, not accounting for the fact that they would all be at least half-siblings, and mass inbreeding would doom the species. Even Parsifal points this out, but it gets a Hand Wave away.
  • Batman Cold Open: Parsifal gets one where he participates in a gladiatorial demolition derby, establishing him as a Badass Driver (and these skills get used in the third act).
  • Big Bad: The unnamed Eurak commander who controls New York.
  • Bittersweet Ending: With help from his allies, Parsifal is able to retrieve Melissa. However, some of his friends sacrifice themselves to help them escape. Ratchet turns out to be a cyborg and kills Giara before Parsifal kills him. Back at HQ, the President, who turns out to be terminally ill, offers Parsifal his place on the spaceship. The film ends with Parsifal watching Melissa waking up onboard the ship as it leaves the dying Earth.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: NYC is now a nuclear hellscape filled with mutants and genocidal fascists. To quote one character's Incredibly Lame Pun, "They baked the Big Apple!"
  • Childless Dystopia: Most of humanity was rendered infertile after the nuclear holocaust.
  • Crapsack World: After a nuclear war, the vast majority of humanity is left infertile. Most of the species are now roving, anarchistic wanderers who perform death games and trade sex slaves with impunity or a fascistic government committing genocide and horrific human experiments in a desperate attempt to save humanity. The only hope is if the last remnants of decent government can get off the planet with the only fertile woman, but Earth is beyond saving.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: An unnamed commander leads the Eurak forces, but Officer Aniia is shown to be much more competent and a greater threat to our heroes. It probably doesn't help that the former is undergoing surgery for most of the picture.
  • The Empire: The main antagonists are a fascist state that caused the apocalypse, and are committing horrific crimes in a desperate attempt to fix things.
  • Event Title: The film happens in 2019 after World War III has destroyed the world and the Euraks have taken over what remains of New York.
  • Exact Words: After the Eurak commander gets his eyes ripped out by Ratchet, he spends the rest of the film getting replacement eyes implanted while Officer Aniia leads the search for the heroes, and tells her she better find them before he sees again. Late in the final act the operation is complete and he makes clear that he will follow his threat to the letter but unfortunately for him Aniia is faster on the draw.
  • Eye Scream: The Eurak commander gets his eyes ripped out.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Euraks' monarch caused the apocalypse, and his military are the main antagonists of the film, but he is never seen.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: The tunnel that the climactic run out of New York takes place in is mentioned repeatedly to have land mines... which turn out to be marked with glowing road cones. As a result, it's not impossible for Parsifal to slalom his way through them.
  • MacGyvering: The climactic run out of New York is done with an old station wagon that got some impromptu armor attached to it in order for it to withstand gunfire and lasers.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: A post-apocalyptic mercenary is hired by the remnants of the US government to rescue the last fertile woman on Earth, and must blast through mutants and a fascist occupying force to do so.
  • Robotic Reveal: Toward the end of the film, it's revealed that Ratchet is an evil cyborg.
  • Spiteful Suicide: A rare heroic example: When the Euracs corner Shorty when he and the rest of the team are in a junkyard looking for parts to fix the getaway car and interrogate him for the whereabouts of the team, Shorty pretends he will talk if he's let go, the Euracs cut him loose, and Shorty impales himself on some car parts while calling the Euracs "stupid bastards!"
  • The Starscream: Officer Aniia executes her commanding officer when he tries to pull a You Have Failed Me on her.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Big Ape, a wannabe despot who joined the party only because he believes he's fertile and wishes to reproduce with the only fertile woman on Earth, consensually or not. He's only tolerated out of necessity.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The movie was released in 1983 and set in a very fictional 2019, or 36 years later.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The Euraks slaughtering a sector of New York.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Euraks are committing genocide and brutally experimenting on people in a desperate bid to restore fertility to the human race.
  • Wicked Cultured: The Eurak commander is a genocidal fascist who has a giant Picasso painting covering his office wall.