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Film / Warriors of the Wasteland

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Can mankind survive without humanity?

Warriors of the Wasteland, originally titled I nuovi barbari ("The New Barbarians"), is a 1983 Italian post-apocalyptic Science Fiction Action film directed by Enzo G. Castellari and starring Giancarlo Prete (credited as "Timothy Brent"), Fred Williamson, Anna Kanakis, and George Eastman. The film's score was composed by former Goblin member Claudio Simonetti. The story concerns a duo of mercenaries helping a caravan battle raiders.

It has been distributed in the US by New Line Cinema (theatrical), HBO Home Video (VHS), Mill Creek Entertainment (DVD) and Media Blasters (DVD, under their Shriek Show label).

This film contains examples of:

  • After the End: Obviously. We even see (model) cities getting blown up on the opening credits, courtesy of World War III. One wants to finish the job.
  • The Apunkalypse: Mostly averted, with the exception of One's lieutenants. One of them, Mako, sports a purple mohawk and the other, Shadow, is a Barbarian Longhair.
  • Ass Shove: Scorpion gets an implement installed on his car that eventually gets used for this.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Mako's weapon of choice is a whirling blade that extends from his car on a mechanical arm. It's great for mowing down terrified, fleeing peasants. Trying to use it against an experienced warrior who knows what he's doing and can easily disable it, on the other hand...
  • Big Bad: One, a raider who wants to slaughter everybody on Earth.
  • Bling of War: Nadir fearlessly wears golden armor plates on his outfit, complete with gemstones that are actually grenades.
  • Blood Knight: Nadir, Scorpion's ally, joins up with him because he thinks the Templars will put up a good fight.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: When called away to deal with the approaching caravan One entrusts Scorpion's execution to some mooks loitering nearby. Naturally it doesn't go correctly.
  • Child Prodigy: Scorpion's mechanic looks to be about 10 years old, but can fix a car like no other.
  • Crapsack World: 2019 Earth has been destroyed by the nuclear war. All scavenge for food in small settlements, stuck in a state of malnourishment to no starve to death. The most powerful faction is a bunch of omnicidal maniacs.
  • Cool Car: Downplayed with all of the cars that are used by the Templars. Sure, they have plenty of methods to cause death and destruction, but they are white go-karts that cause many a Low-Speed Chase scene to happen (when they really need to show those things racing, Undercrank is needed). Scorpion's car gets cool points by being an actual muscle car and also having weapons, but mileage may vary with all of the "futuristic" stuff bolted to it (like a big clear plastic bubble on the roof).
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The protagonist drives a black muscle car with a rotting human skill mounted on the hood. The white, stripped-down "cars" favored by the villains look delicate by comparison.
  • Depraved Homosexual: One, the omnicidal leader of the Templars, rapes Scorpion when he captures him. It's heavily implied that this is part of the standard initiation ritual of this all-male organization.
  • The Dreaded: Scropion seems to be this for One, to the point where his henchmen are growing frustrated with One's reluctance to go after him.
  • Happily Married: The caravan's resident prostitute laments that she doesn't get much work on account of this being rampant throughout the caravan.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Scorpion used to be an omnicidal Templar, but saw the error of his ways and fights them now.
  • Job Title: The warriors being the ones defending what remains of civilization.
  • Karmic Death: One captures and sodomizes Scorpion. When Scorpion finally catches up to One, he offs him with an ass shove involving a drill.
  • Kill It with Fire: Mako's Weaponized Car stands out by having a side-deployed buzz-saw and a front-mounted flamethrower, both if which he uses with great sadistic glee.
  • Knight Templar: The main antagonists are literally called the Templars. They're white-clad bikers who have gone on a quest to slaughter all of humanity in order to purify the Earth.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Templars wear white uniforms.
  • Low-Speed Chase: The Templars' cars are death machines, but the only scenes in which they seem to go faster than 10 MPH are the ones in which the editor applied Overcrank.
  • Mercy Kill: Scorpion obliges the request of a dying victim of the Templars who asks to be put out of his misery.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Shadow, One's Dragon, tries to claim Scorpion is no different from the Templars, since he steals and kills to live, but Scorpion shoots that down by pointing out that he's not trying to kill all life on Earth.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The main antagonists are a cider cult who want to purify Earth by slaughtering humanity.
  • Post-Apunkalyptic Armor: Whether it's One with patches of studded black leather sewn on his Templar coveralls, Nadir with his gem-encrusted golden body armor, or Scorpion with his bulletproof sculpted muscles of clear plastic, this movie sports some bold choices in tactical apparel.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: The moment Scorpion truly decides that the Templars need to die is when One rapes him.
  • Rock Beats Laser: At one point it's Nadir and the boy mechanic armed with explosive arrows and explosive sling bullets respectively versus at least a dozen laser gun-wielding Templars. Guess which side gets its ass handed to it.
  • The Sociopath: One, a cult leader who wants to purify Earth by eliminating the last vestiges of humanity after a nuclear war and rapes his soldiers as an initiation tactic.
  • The Starscream: Mako, One's insubordinate lieutenant who believes his commander to be going soft with age.
  • Straw Nihilist: One believes that with the world ravaged by nuclear war and most of the world population dead, nobody else deserves to live and should be purified and killed by the Templars.
  • This Is a Drill: A late upgrade to Scorpion's vehicle that gets put to vicious use during the climax.
  • Trick Arrow: Nadir uses explosive arrows as his weapons.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Made in 1983, set in 2019.
  • Weaponized Car: Used by Scorpion and the Templars. Good thing they have weapons, because they mostly look like go-karts.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The Templars slaughtering a settlement.