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Film / 2020 Texas Gladiators

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"When Earth becomes an arena... Murder becomes a way of life!"

2020 Texas Gladiators is a 1982 Italian post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Joe D'Amato of The Blade Master and The Anthropophagus Beast infamy.

After the End, humanity has become a race of scavengers. In Texas, this is about to change due to a man setting up an industrial settlement. However, a band of fascist raiders decide to comquer the settlement for its resources. After a former Knight Errant is killed trying to stop the takeover, his old buddies go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.

This film contains examples of:

  • Action Prologue: The Rangers stopping a gang rape.
  • After the End: The story is set on a classic desert of punks due to some disaster or another.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Rangers have Catch Dog, a former member who was expelled for Attempted Rape and immediately joined the side of villainy, eventually killing a member who retired in good standing.
  • Big Bad: Black One, the fascist who has taken over the settlement.
  • Crapsack World: Society has collapsed, with vigilantism being the only way to stop the roving psychopaths terrorizing the land. The only semblance of government is fascist conquerors or small settlements too weak to stop their own conquest.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The film follows Nisus, a retired Ranger, for the first half hour as he tries to stop the fascist takeover of the settlement. Then the baddies kill him, and we follow the rest of the Rangers for the rest of the runtime.
  • Depraved Homosexual: One mook forces a teenage boy to blow him before murdering him.
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous: The scantily-clad henchwoman played by Geretta Geretta is shot down while she's distracted by a boy she was threatening and is blown onto a table, briefly exposing her right nipple as she dies. Her killer pauses to admire her spread legs as she lies there before moving on. The other recurring henchwoman who's topless is killed right after, but the camera turns away from her right as she is shot.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Black One is an Evil Overlord of the sort the Rangers fight all the time. Catch Dog, on the other hand, is a former Ranger himself who was expelled for raping somebody, and is also much more sadistic than his boss.
  • Job Title: Gladiators in the post apocalypse.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The villains use riot shields that deflect "hot" bullets with force fields but are also hollow and do nothing to protect against "cold" projectiles like plain old arrows.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The evil henchmen seen throughout the film include a pair of scantily clad women played by Geretta Geretta and Michelle Soavi. The first has nipple slips every so often and the latter wears fetish gear that leaves most of her breasts exposed.
  • Rape and Revenge: A minor subplot of the film has one of the fascists rape and murder a teenage boy. The lad's grandmother ends up shooting the thug in the head.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A group of post-apocalyptic vigilantes topple the authoritarian settlement that killed a former member for protesting against them.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The Black One's helmeted soldiers have special thermal(?) shields that are somehow able to repel all bullets. When the Rangers gain the trust of a native tribe to help them against the thugs, the warriors' arrows pass through the shields since they are "cold" projectiles, unlike gun bullets. So the soldiers are readily defeated and sent running for their lives.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Averted; Catch Dog was a Ranger and a rapist, but he was kicked out the moment they discovered his crime. He later shows up as The Dragon.

Alternative Title(s): Twenty Twenty Freedom Fighters