THE EARTH IS IN RUINS!!!
ALL GOVERNMENTS HAVE COLLAPSED!!!
AN EVIL DESPOT NAMED PROSSOR HAS
ORGANIZED A DEADLY MILITIA TO RULE,
CALLED THE OMEGA. IN THE WASTELANDS
SURVIVE A SMALL GROUP CALLED THE
OUTSIDERS. THEY STRUGGLE AGAINST THE
EVIL PROSSOR AND HIS OMEGAS. INTO
THIS CONFLICT RIDES ONE MAN, ON HIS
SUPERSONIC SPEEDCYCLE. HE IS DESTINED
TO BECOME THE
A Loner/Drifter rides around the (oddly lush) post-apocalyptic countryside on his computerized motorcycle Einstein, dodging evil cops and junkyard dwellers. He stumbles across the Mook Army of The Omega, a totalitarian colony, and immediately flees; doing so, he commits the major automotive faux pas of not watching where he's going, and drives face-first into a rock wall.
That's not the end of our hero. The wall he hit was apparently a "Wall Of Illusion," and on the other side reside some crusty old people in togas, who heal his wounds by shining flashlights on them. Why do they do this? They are the Enlightened Elders for The Outsiders, who stand in opposition to The Omega, and our hero is their Chosen One. They want him to infiltrate the Omega colony and rescue one of their leaders, one Professor McWayne, who is about to be executed. Initially refusing, he is convinced when McWayne's daughter Nastasia pulls a gun on his testicles.
This proves both easier and more difficult than any of the characters in this movie make it out to be. While our "hero" rescues the Professor, he leaves Nastasia behind, allowing her to be captured by Prosser. Furthermore, The Omega have at their disposal Megaweapon, a slow-moving armored dump truck with spikes and a flame thrower attached to its front.
The movie is largely known for being a glorious Mad Max rip-off cheesefest starring "The Paper Chase Guy" note , "The Bald Chick From Star Trek"note , Donald Pleasence and Fred Williamson. It was roasted in a 1993 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, though multiple prints of the film exist.
Tropes featured in this film:
- Actually a Doombot: The Prosser Natasia shot is actually a robot duplicate of the real Prosser.
- After the End: Apparently the world was destroyed by "The Unclear War Has Been Forgot!"
- A-Team Firing: During the chase scene. Several minutes of near point blank range between over a dozen people and fully automatic weapons, and nobody gets hit, not even the trucks get pockmarks.
- All According to Plan: The Outsiders' victory and Prossor's "death" were all part of the master plan, according to The Stinger/Sequel Hook.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The Paper Chase Guy has to defeat the leaders of several Gangs of Hats for them to accept him as leader and become his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits so he can Storm The Castle.
- Badass Biker: It's what the movie was trying to shoot for with the Paper Chase Guy.
- Bald of Evil: Prossor shows off Donald Pleasence's shiny dome.
- Bookends: The hero riding in on his motorcycle... and then the hero riding away on his motorcycle.
- Bottomless Magazines: There were all of about two onscreen reloads in this entire film and only once is anyone actually shown running out of ammunition. Possibly justified by these being energy weapons—or possibly not; though all the guns make only soft electronic-sounding noises when fired, a few of them do appear to eject spent cartridges in one or two scenes.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Nastasia at the end; Prossor or rather his clone, orders her to shoot the other heroes. She obeys with Paper Chase Guy, but then snaps out of it rather than shoot her father.
- But Now I Must GoPaper Chase Guy: It's time for me to leave.
Nastasia: I'm not sad that you're leaving... I know you must.
- Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: Delivered by Donald Pleasence himself.
- Car Chase: Several. And a helicopter chase, too.
- The Chosen One:
- According to the Elderly Council, the "Paper Chase Guy" is this because of his Incorruptible Pure Pureness. Henchman (Williamson) compares him to King Arthur pulling Excalibur from the rock, although they clearly have Excalibur mixed up with Caliburn.
- The Elders think he proved his worth when he saw through the illusion hiding their settlement; he actually just drove directly into the fake cliff because he wasn't looking where he was going at high speed. Presumably Einstein was supposed to warn him about that kind of thing, but Einstein really couldn't see it. So either the illusion just doesn't work on machine sensors, or Einstein is the real Chosen One.
- Cool Bike: "Einstein" the "Supersonic Speedcycle" is in theory, although in practice it's actually pretty lame.
- Cool Car: Megaweapon, a haul truck equipped with tank-like armor, a flamethrower, and huge metal spikes on the grille.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Although we see only the togas. On really old people.
- Dull Surprise: Most of the time, our Hero appears to be half-asleep, even when he's attempting to be a Badass Biker. Prossor, as well, is Donald Pleasence perpetually on cruise control, because he probably doesn't care that much.
- Emphasize EVERYTHING: The Opening Scroll. WITH ALL CAPS AND PLENTY OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!
- Gang of Hats: There's a gang of kung fu fighters, a gang of rednecks, a gang of truckers, a gang of Amazons, and a gang of fake Nazis with a black Nazi.
- Groin Attack: When the Paper Chase Guy initially refuses to help the Resistance, Nastasia pokes a gun into his crotch and says "Either you help me rescue my father or I blow your balls off." The closeups of the gun shoved into his crotch were cut from the MST3K episode while retaining most of the other shots that surrounded them - suddenly that episode becomes even funnier when you realize why he was looking down.
- Healing Hands: The Elders use some unexplained magic to heal The Rider's wounds when he (literally) crashes their hidden village.
- Heroic Willpower: Nastasia. Despite being Brainwashed and Crazy, she resists shooting her father and shoots Prossor instead. She does follow Prossor's orders to shoot the Paper Chase guy, though.
- Hidden Elf Village: The Elders' hideout is disguised by a cliff face.
- Humongous Mecha: Megaweapon, really just an earth mover with added spikes and a flamethrower.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy
- Karma Houdini: Prosser fakes his death with a robotic duplicate, then flees once the New Way takes over.
- La Résistance: The Outsiders/"New Way" are trying to overthrow The Omega.
- Made of Explodium: Many cars explode when forced off the road and/or over cliffs, usually for no discernible reason. This also applies to Megaweapon.
- The Mole: The Henchman a.k.a. Fred Williamson.
- No Name Given:
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Elders in togas.
- One-Woman Wail: The opening song in the intro.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Paper Chase Guy gets shot in each shoulder over the course of the movie, and Nastasia gets shot in the leg. All these wounds only bleed slightly, and apparently have no long-term consequences. This may appear to be Justified by the fact that a group of psychic healers exists, but the characters weren't anywhere near them when they were shot.
- Opening Scroll: See above. (Some versions of the film have a less emphatic, but more intelligible and informative version instead.)
- Robot Buddy: Einstein, as its'self [sic]
- Robotic Reveal: Turns out The Leader that was "killed" was just a robot, with the real Leader and The Henchman commiserating how "it's not over".
- Rousing Speech: Professor McWayne delivers one to the various gangs after The Rider defeats them in gladiatorial combat.
- Rule of Three: Einstein says the same thing 3 times in a row.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Einstein claims the Megaweapon would take 40 megatons - the yield of an H-bomb - to destroy. What the hell?note
- Sequel Hook: The ending reveals Prosser survived thanks to using a robot duplicate, and Henchman is The Mole working for him. Apparently, the victory of the Outsiders/New Way was All According to Plan.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Nastasia gets this treatment as Prossor brainwashes her.
- Take Our Word for It:
- There was evidently a devastating nuclear war before the movie started, not that there's ever any evidence the audience gets to see. The roads are clear and well-maintained, there aren't any ruins, the trees and plants are lush. There's a place where a bunch of abandoned cars are stacked up (which, based on the sign, is supposed to be the Golden State Freeway), but it doesn't look any different from the junkyards right now.
- The Opening Scroll claims that the Loner's vehicle is a "supersonic speedcycle", but at no point do we see it go any faster than a regular street bike, let alone above the speed of sound.
- Unexplained Recovery: The Paper Chase Guy and Einstein both somehow survive being run over by Megaweapon.
- The Unintelligible: The Paper Chase Guy; sounds like he just came back from the dentist. Einstein isn't much better, and repeating everything three times rapidly doesn't help.
- Verbal Tic: Einstein has a tendency to say things three times.
- Would Hit a Girl: Our "hero" decks the Tina Turner-lookalike harder than anyone in the film.