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September 5, 2015

Movie Review: Escape from the Bronx (1983)

When I first looked at the CD art on this I thought Jeff sent me Escape from NY. Okay. Maybe John Carpenter re-released it or something, wanted to get it back in front of the general population. I enjoy Kurt Russell. But on closer inspection I realized this is a film that obviously tried to cash in on the popularity of Snake Plisskin and his band of merry thugs (I mean, they had a character with an eye patch for crying out loud. AN EYE PATCH!)

Escape from the Bronx tells us the story of what a shit hole the Bronx is and some douchebag CEO of the GC Corporation wants to raze it to the ground then rebuild all of New York with nicer housing and no crime. Riiiiiight. How can this guy run an entire company and be so fucking stupid at the same time?

The gubmint assures everyone that they will receive alternative accommodations, better than what they have now, in beautiful New Mexico. Why they have to go live all the way across the country is unclear. As you can imagine, some people are pissed and don’t want to leave. Well, too bad for you because if you don’t get out when they ask nicely, you are fried up extra crispy via the flame throwers carried by the DAS - Disinfestation Annihilation Squad.

Wow. They don’t even PRETEND to sugar coat it, do they? Though I can appreciate their honesty.

Meet Trash, one of these stubborn tried and true New Yawkers (played by Marco DiGregorio from Rome, Italy - I wonder if he’s related to Cha Cha?). He and a bunch of other folks live in the tunnels under the city, lead by Dablone. He thinks the death squads are too chicken to come down and run them out so he does nothing to fight back. But after Trash’s parents are murdered, he enlists the help of a plucky journalist, Moon Grey (who has been trying to get the truth out to the rest of the country about all the bat shit craziness) and a former bank robber, Strike, to kidnap the CEO of GC Corp which will in turn force the government to negotiate terms.

What. The. Fuck.

As you might imagine, not all goes according to plan. Don’t worry, gentle reader. The bad guys get it in the end but you still walk away with the feeling that nothing has changed and that everything is still terrible. So....yeah.

This flick came out two years after Escape from NY but from what I can determine, this is the sequel to Bronx Warrior which came out one year after EFNY. So it all has that ‘stolen’ or ‘borrowed’ or *puke* ‘homage’ feeling to it. Kind of like Escape from New York and the Terminator had a secret love child whom they threw into an orphanage that burned to the ground three days later.

The film doesn’t look that great and the editing felt choppy. I’m pretty sure all the voices were dubbed because this was an entire crew of Italians - actors, director, writers, etc. That also translates to shitty writing. Not because they’re Italian but I think the oomph gets translated out. Or perhaps they really believed American’s say, ‘He’s dead as a doornail’ when they discover a dead body. Or we shout repetitive commands at people while gesturing wildly: “Hurry up! Go down quickly!” 

I do like the material but...don't you have anything in a floral print?

The character development...meh. So many stereotypes and bad costumes and overdone tropes. Trash looked like a Bon Jovi reject; Dablone could have been pulled straight from a cheesy 80s music video; the silver suited death squads looked like what the people from the 50s thought clothing would be in the 90s. I did get a little upset when something bad happened to Moon but it was only for a second and then I walked it off and was fine.


Now, if you like a lot of explosions (and I mean A LOT - practical effects, too, no crappy CGI), slo-mo fighting scenes, gaggles of extras that are there just for the killing, and a shit ton of running, you might enjoy this film. All that can be a bit distracting from the lack of acting talent, writing, directing, editing, sound

If not, maybe just skip it. Go watch Snake beat the shit out of people instead.

.5 Hatchets (out of 5)

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