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Article Archive >> Entertainment

Movies From the Black Lagoon: 2019: After the Fall of New York

Movies From the Black Lagoon
2019: After the Fall of New York; 1984, Unrated

Three excellent sci-fi epics are salvaged here, and stripped clean of all quality, as Director Sergio Martino mixes elements of "Mad Max", "Planet of the Apes", and "Escape from New York". Despite the quality of his inspirations this flick is rarely exciting though it is fun if you like your cheesy movies a bit under done.
It all starts with a shot of New York at dawn. A narrator (absolutely necessary as there's so much exposition here that you expect a test to follow) states that it has been 20 years since the bombs were dropped when America went to war with Eurac (an alliance consisting of Asia, Africa, and Europe). The camera pulls back to show that most of the "Big Apple" has been baked and is now a cesspool for mutants and street gangs. Eurac is still on hand and we are treated to scenes of mercenaries hunting down the citizenry with flamethrowers, guns, and a variety of bladed weapons. The New Yorkers fare poorly as they are merely armed with festering boils.
The narrator notes that a rebellion (calling itself the Pan American Confederacy, or Pac) is actively seeking a woman who can still have children, as there hasn't been a birth in fifteen years. At this point the narrator abruptly disappears and we're on our own to follow the story. To add to the confusion we are then treated to a scene that appears to be a sporting event as two cars sporting all manner of armor attack each other while over paid extras cheer and jump around waving their fists. Each vehicle rocks a mounted gun as well as four passengers who shoot at the opposing car. Our hero, Parsifal, turns out to be the driver of the car, which goes off a cliff before bursting into less than enthusiastic flames. The other vehicle stops and everyone pours out to gloat over their win, which turns out to be premature, but Parsifal has jumped from his vehicle (technically impossible but this is science fiction) and proceeds to kill them all with some fancy kicks and grunts. His prize for winning the contest is a personal slave (a rather butch brunette) and five tokens which represent a license to kill (you'd of thought that licenses for anything wouldn't be mandatory with out a federal government to collect the booty).
Parsifal frees his slave and even gives her two free kill tokens from his winnings before being hijacked by two astronauts that work for Pac. They spirit him to the moon where the president tells him that he must go to N.Y. And bring back the only fertile woman on the planet. His only other option is death so he takes the job and is issued two sidekicks named Bronx and Ratchet. Their qualifications are questionable as Bronx claims to know the city like the back of his hand (though he is missing his own which has been replaced with a hook) and Ratchet is supposed to be a tough guy but obviously lost a fight with his barber.
The three amigos had into the city where they tussle with gangs, rat eaters, and mutants. They are befriended by a dwarf named Shorty (I guess the Nukes also wiped out original sounding nick names) and eventually team up with ape people to rescue the last fertile woman (who has been kept on ice by her scientist dad who turns out to be dead by the time they find him so there are no explanations as to how this woman stayed healthy-how convenient). The group now has only five minutes till the films over so a quick escape is obtained via a fully stocked station wagon left next to the young lady's cryo-chamber.
That's pretty much it for story but the film does deliver on the action front and boasts several fights and horrific deaths which include multiple decapitations, plenty of flame throwing, and even one case of dwarf tossing. If you like this kind of thing then you have plenty to cheer about as this comes in a three pack with two other films from this genre. The set is called "Post Apocalyptic Triple Feature" and also includes "1990: Bronx Warriors" (featuring Vic Morrow and Fred "The Hammer" Williamson) and "The New Barbarians" (which also takes place in 2019 and again features Fred Williamson.) You can find it for pretty cheap and it should please that oddball Uncle who is hard to shop for come the Yuletide Season.
Best Line: "I'm one of the Needle people. You're Big Ape, right? I've heard a lot about you in the sewers."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@pennswoods.net.

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