If I lived anywhere near Len Kabasinski, I wouldn’t be a film reviewer. I’d be volunteering on his movies or begging him to give me a job, because the amount of invention he can get out of non-professional casts and budgets that wouldn’t pay for a day of the average big Hollywood movie is a joy to behold.
According to the people at Killerwolf Films, this is being remastered and slightly recut this year, but the one thing I noticed is the increasing confidence in the use of special effects from his previous movie, “Fist Of The Vampire”; so I’m really looking forward to the new version. Heads explode and bullets fly about and things blow up, and it all looks good.
Luca (Darian Caine), Spring (Pamela Sutch), Vick (Amara Offhaus), and Carrie (Renee Porada) are trying to survive in a post- World War 3 wasteland, with zombies wandering about and all sorts of gangs of people who have made their own little societies. They’re trying to get to the last remaining city, as they’re tired of fighting and want to relax, have lives (and get drunk and laid, which I had a chuckle at).
The bulk of the movie is them fighting their way towards the city, and on top of previously mentioned problems, there’s Rollins (Debbie D), the dictator of the city, sending out her goons (including chief goon Largent, played by Kabasinski himself) to stop the girls. It seems that, despite the city behind her looking huge, she doesn’t want any more people in it. For shame, Rollins! They do get the odd bit of help though, including the prisoner they rescue, Harris (Brian Anthony), who knows the back entrance to the city.
I love the little oddities in this movie. Early on, they blow up a building where they were previously held captive – only problem is, they light the gas trail while they’re still in the building, causing them to have to run for their lives (a cool visual, I suppose, but…) And in tribute to martial arts movies of yore, when there’s a 20-on-1 fight the 20 fight one at a time, to give the 1 a decent chance of survival. I love it! And my favourite crazy credit – “Assistant to Len Kabasinski – Everyone”.
But what I really liked is seeing the ways Killerwolf movies improve. Kabasinski is a good actor and I hope one day he headlines one of his own movies, but he’s coming along as a director as well. The use of special effects is much stronger here, and there’s the way the fight scenes are filmed – there’s lots of interesting use of angles to capture the impact of the big moves, and as he hires a lot of real martial artists the fights themselves look strong. The scene in the lift near the end is a little gem of editing too.
I mean, if you look at it one way it could be seen like the typical micro-budget “people in the woods” movie we cover on here, and if you’re looking for stuff to mock, you’ll no doubt find a few things. But that’s definitely the wrong way to look at it! It’s fun, fast-paced and there’s a real love for genre movies and martial arts that shines through. I’d definitely recommend checking this out – available from a streaming service or DVD sales place near you now. And check out Killer Wolf Films for more information on what they’re up to now.
Rating: thumbs up
PS – this is, oddly, not the first film we’ve reviewed with this exact title. Check out our review of the 1985 “Warriors Of The Apocalypse”, one of the odder Filipino exploitation movies, here.