Anno 2020 - I gladiatori del futuro (1982)

Genres - Action, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |  
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Although it wasn't released in the U.S. until 1984 (where it was retitled 2020 Texas Gladiators), Anno 2020 - I Gladiatori Del Futuro was actually one of the first entries in Italy's early-1980's cycle of post-apolocalyptic action films. Interestingly, it doesn't follow the usual formula of ripping off The Road Warrior or Escape From New York (though it does take some visual cues from those sources). Instead, it plays out like an old spaghetti western updated with some futuristic gadgetry. The storytelling is fairly brain-dead: in fact, the first half of the film is hard to follow because it jumps from scene to scene, with no transitions or any connective scenes to explain the passage of time or the changes in the characters' whereabouts. It also doesn't help that the characterizations are pure cardboard and the dialogue is often hilarious. However, director "Kevin Mancuso" (a pseudonym for the collaborative efforts of Joe D'Amato and George Eastman) keeps the audience from having much time to concentrate on the story's deficiencies by burying them in a steady stream of explosions, shootouts and punchups. Literally, there is some type of action every few minutes in this flick. The end result is daft but never dull and that duality makes Anno 2020 - I Gladiatori Del Futuro good late-night fodder for fans of trashy b-movies.