Endgame (1983)

Genres - Action, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |  
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The director's credit might say "Steven Benson" but this actually the work of Italian sexploitation Joe D'Amato, who took his second stab at the post-apocalyptic action genre with this quickie. Those looking for painstaking crafted, artsy fare won't find it in Endgame: D'Amato's workmanlike direction shows none of the visually expressive flair of his sexploitation work and the performances are mostly flat, especially grim-faced lead Al Cliver. That said, any b-movie fan willing to leave their brain at the door is likely to get a kick out of Endgame. The script, penned by actor George Eastman and D'Amato under the shared pseudonym Alex Carver, has some clever ideas (its gladiator game-show concept anticipates the film version of The Running Man) and the occasional flash of wit. Best of all, it delivers a steady stream of action setpieces that make the most of the film's low budget. It's also worth noting that Eastman delivers a charismatic performance as Cliver's main rival (and probably would have made a better leading man). Behind the camera, D'Amato keeps things rolling at an agreeable clip and never skimps on the stunts or gunplay. The finished product won't win over any highbrow fans but Endgame offers a reasonable amount of tacky fun for the cult-movie set.