Future Hunters (1986) - This is why I watch this shit! This film has everything!
Let me summarise. The film opens with shots of a post-apocalyptic
desert wasteland which, 60 Marlboro a day voice-over man informs us, is
'The Forbidden Zone'. (I pull out my mental post-apocalyptic movie
checklist. Forbidden Zone? Check!) cars appear. A chase!
The first car
is being driven by our hero.
He has a
mullet! He is wearing leather trousers! He is wearing fingerless gloves! (I start filling out my list. Tick! tick! tickity! tick!!)
His car has spikes on the bonnet! (Double tick!)
(Though I have to deduct one point for the neatly painted white lines down
the middle of the post-apocalyptical wasteland's well-maintained roads.)
The bad guys
wear black and stand up in their cars to shoot at him (tick!).
huge automatic machine guns Badadadadadadada! They can't shoot for
shit. He fires back. One shot. Their car explodes.
He gets out of
his car and fits some sort of explosive tipped bolt into a crossbow...
...on his Swiss Army rocket gun.
Look at the futuristic fire-power on
that thing! Two barrels, a couple of missile launchers, AND a crossbow. Talk about over compensating! Apparently there's a thingy for getting stones out of horses' hooves too.
Kaboom! Second set of bad guys explode. But... Oh Poo! His own car
explodes! Cut to boss villain who is naked-chested and wears bandoleers and a
cape! (The Gay fetish costume dressing in these movies has I'm sure been analysed in learned journals but it's hard to take villains dressed like the Village People seriously.)
I'm now running out of space on the sheet. Only open-topped oil barrels with something burning in them to go...) The
baddy is sat on a tank. The tank has the word 'ARMY' neatly stencilled
on the side.
Just in case we though it might be one of the Navy's tanks.
More chasing. (though, suddenly, we're in the standard Post Apoc Movie disused quarry location not open desert.) More Kabooming! Our hero is captured and taken to a glass painting of a desert
forty place. He escapes. More Kaboom! More heavy duty machine gun
Badadadadadada! More endless goons wearing balaclavas run out into the open and are mown down.
Why these guys are wearing woolly balaclava helmets in the middle of the desert is never explained but it doesn't take long to figure out that the endless disposable goons our hero mows down only appear in small groups, usually twos or threes. It's the same four stuntmen over and over again. The woolly balaclava helmets are to stop the audience recognising them.
Our hero reaches somewhere called 'The Temple' and finds the 'Glowing Thing of
Destiny' the 60 Marlboro a day voice over man was trying to tell us
about at the start of the film. (Something to do with the spear that
pierced Christ's side having the ability to transport people back in
time to avert apocalypses - if I had to read shit like that out as if I
meant it I would smoke 60 fags a day too.)
Our villain - who I am disappointed to note does not have an eye-patch calls up the tanks1 . Different tanks. These ones don't have ARMY written on the side. Pointing. Shouting. Biggo KABOOM! The tanks
(which suddenly now DO have ARMY on the side) blow up a very small model of the temple. Except it's not a very small model, It's actually a very large set. The same set people were running in and out of a few moments ago. Suddenly it looks like pants. It looks like pants because it's been shot so ineptly that what is in fact a three storey high construction looks like a pile of small cardboard boxes on a table top. They made a huge set, presumably surplus from another, more expensive, film, look like something from an early episode of Thunderbirds.
We tilt diagonally up with the smoke and the opening credits start, ten or so minutes into the film. All that crash bang wallop was the PROLOGUE!
The titles roll. The name of the film is curiously in a different typeface to the rest of the credits. A good sign that the film has probably undergone a name change somewhere. Most of the names on the credits would mean very little to most people but does include a couple of stand outs:
Peter Shilton??? Who would have guessed that the former England goalkeeper and team captain appeared in low budget SF films?
He didn't. (Though the IMDb thinks he did.) It's a different Peter Shilton.
And was this pile of bumdrizzle really written by the same J L Thompson as directed classic war film Ice Cold in Alex? The IMDb seems to think so and this time I think I'll believe them because, after Ice Cold in Alex, he did go on to direct shite like Battle for Planet of the Apes and Death Wish 4: The Crackdown.
We tilt back down and suddenly it's...
We're still at 'The Temple' but now it is overgrown and looks strangely
more decrepid than will look a couple of hundred years in the future
after a nuclear Holocaust. (Actually I've been to LA. I can believe
this.) Inside are a young woman with a clipboard and her boring
The film is looking like it's heading towards full compliance with Rule seven of cheap SF film making: 'Any and all time travel devices will only transport you to Los Angeles the year the film was made; no matter how hard you try to make it take you somewhere more interesting.'
They leave. She has to go
open up her restaurant. Suddenly they are attacked by bikers. Biff!
Biff! Biff! Scream! Boring boy is KO'd and bikers are having hur..
hur... rape 'fun' with the girl when Matthew the Mullet Man from the opening
sequence appears and rescues the girl. He gets shot in the process but
manages to kill all three bikers. He kills one by stabbing him with the 'The Glowing (and pointy) Thing of
Destiny'. Screaming with agony the biker crumbles to dust. Holy cow! LA Bikers are tough.
This bloke has outrun hundreds of killer goons, survived being shot at by
tanks, and had aprox 250 thousand rounds of rapid-fire machine gun bullets loosed off in his general direction and
some priapistic greaser with a .45 gets him in the belly? Time travel
sure must take it out of you...
1 If he had worn an eye-patch this film would have made a near clear sweep of the official Post Apoc cliché list in the opening sequence! The only other set dressing cliché that I didn't spot was the aforementioned Rusty Oil Drum Brazier. Oil drums did appear in shot several times but none of them were on fire, so only half a point there.