Friday, May 21, 2010

Apocalypse: Texas

I'm not sure what one could say about 2020: Texas Gladiators that made persuade or dissuade a potential viewer.

It really is the movie you expect it to be.

(Ok, if you haven't followed exploitation movies as much as I have, you may be expecting some kind of references to gladiators or the great state of Texas, neither of which will be found here.)

Perhaps that's saying something, because I suppose not all Post-Apocalypse movies are what one expects, at least they're not always what I expected. In fact, there's an entire school of Italian Post-Apocalypse movies, and this may be my favorite of the one's I've seen.

Partly, that's because, like the Mad Max movies, this one knows that the format it's working with is essentially that of the western. And while the budget is clearly low, I think it also is the best at the balance between a world of the future and a world destroyed. There is technology beyond what we have now, but it's not in the kind of abundance that I think too many Italian Post-Apocalypse movies have, including a kind of post-Star Wars obsession with Rayguns.

Don't get me wrong, 2020: Texas Gladiators is no lost classic of a bygone era for anyone not already a sucker for this kind of material.

However, the screenplay by cult actor George Eastman never makes the mistake of slowing down and certainly can't be bothered with dull scenes of exposition. It moves from one action piece to another with little regard for whether the audience grasps why.

For me, this was a good thing. I quickly grow weary having the why and how of the apocalypse explained to me. And I almost never have the least bit of patience for made-up politics.

Cheap and utterly lacking in pretension.

I'm thankful better movies exist in the world, but I'm glad this one does, too.

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