Written by Amanda Pampuro
1990: The Bronx Warriors, by Italian director Enzo Casteralli was originally named 1990: i guerrieri del Bronx. At the time this film was released in the US, Hollywood thought nothing of changing certain names of the cast to make them pronounceable to Americans, so Marco de Gregorio appears as Mark Gregory.
Essentially 1990 is Escape from New York without Snake Plissken, but its directorial excellence makes up for it. I would rather watch 1990 than Escape from New York, for two reasons: 1990 is shot in daylight and because it has a much better beat. I don’t know if Casteralli meant to rip off Roger Waters on his sound track, but there is a strange bass throughout the film that makes it enjoyable to listen to. Not to mention the fight scene, scored by an on-set drummer.
By 1990, the Bronx has been abandoned to its gangs, and Anne the blond heiress to the Manhattan Corporation seeks refuge there, so she doesn’t have to rule a corrupt kingdom. Trash, a gang leader with a low-cut leather vest takes Anne on his bike, and spends the rest of the movie killing all who try to take her back.
1982 Italy thought New York in 1990 would be completely overrun by gangs, a modern western with motorcycles. The ‘80’s couldn’t see their decade ending in anything the fireworks of the apocalypse. Its solution to better society was to cast off all its problems related to race and immigration, leaving them to fight to death while Manhattan flourished over the Bronx’s ashes. The eighties portrayed the future, as hopeless and polluted, a reflection of their own defeatist mentality.
Gritty, lovely camera angles. That awkward B movie dialogue. I couldn’t figure out if the film was originally recorded in English or Italian, but everyone speaks loud and boxy, like there’s one boom mic for the cast. So it’s not as exciting as the movie poster promises, but they don’t make movies like this anymore. I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone who doesn’t “get” MST3000, after all kids have better cameras in their phone than anything Casteralli had to work with. Still kids these days, they don’t have moxy. Casteralli pumped out movies, like his heart pumped blood. This is fine cinematic ingenuity and creative budget stretching.