The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Warrior of the Lost World (1983)

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I first saw this when it aired on MST3K, and absolutely loved it, especially the Mega-Weapon interview sketch at the end. Recently, the original un-MST3K'd version popped up on Netflix Watch Instantly, and with the MST3K version already up there as well, it gave me the idea to review both versions in one post, which I've done all this week with Space Mutiny, Cave Dwellers, and Soultaker.

Warrior of the Lost World stars Robert Ginty (or The Paper Chase Guy as he's referred to by Joel and The 'Bots) as a post-apocalyptic warrior travelling outside the Omega Zone, which is a dystopian dictatorship run by Donald Pleasence. After a run-in with their guards, and then some dangerous misfits on the outskirts, he crashes through a mountain wall and finds a mystical enclave which is seeking to overthrow Pleasence. They fix Ginty up and send him in with Persis Khambatta to get her dad out before he's executed. In the attempt, Khambatta is captured, and now dad, Ginty Moore Beef Stew, the misfits, and DTVC Hall of Famer Fred Williamson need to rescue her, take down the Omega, and bring The New Way and freedom back to the world.

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I don't want to come off as a contrarian or troller or some other such person looking to pick an argument or just be different for the sake of being different by saying this is good on its own without the MST3K riffs, because that's not what I mean when I say that. What I'm saying is, on its own, it has some great so-good-it's-bad qualities, plus some great early 80s exploitation qualities, that when paired with the cast, make it right up the alleys of myself and many who peruse the DTVC. It's very Cirio H. Santiago or Bruno Mattei, though it's David Worth, which is a name we've come across before too, so it makes sense that it's a lot of fun. The vehicles, the characters, the action-- especially the exploding cars-- it's all a lot of fun, and worth checking out-- no pun intended.

Now, all that being said, I don't want to take anything away from the great job Joel and The 'Bots do on this bad boy, because it's really hilarious. I think that's the key to making a statement like the one I just made above, understanding that the movie isn't better without their riffing, it's just good and different on it's own merits, if that makes sense. Joel and The 'Bots provide a great template for your own riffing adventure as you tackle a gem like this. As far as cuts to the original go, they removed an execution that comes before the one the father is about to have before he's rescued, plus some language issues, and a speech by the father after Ginty takes out the misfits in the battle royale. Nothing too crazy, though they add to the overall enjoyment if you're going at this sans the guys on the SOL. Oh, and in the stand-alone version, the opening back story is given in still text, as opposed to the Star Wars rolling style, making it much easier to read.

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I just checked, and it's been over a year since the last Fred Williamson flick. I know, I suck as a human being. How the hell did that happen? This is only his tenth movie overall as well. Not a good number for a Hall of Famer. It's definitely something I'll need to fix in the future. As far as this movie goes, he's more of a supporting part, but he has some funny scenes. I think if they ever made a sequel, he would've had a bigger role in that. Anyway, you can trust that it won't be over a year until our next Williamson post, I won't let that happen again.

The late Robert Ginty Moore Beef Stew is the main star in this. He sounds like a Kennedy with his accent, which, when combined with his somewhat dopey look and slow delivery, is hilarious. Joel and The 'Bots drive home just how funny in a sketch where they depict his character going for his license. I believe this is only Ginty's second film at the DTVC, the other Lady Dragon-- another David Worth original. That brings up the classic The Exterminator conversation, that it's one I absolutely have to do with a blog like this, and I know, I'll get to it eventually. Right now it's in a weird limbo state where Netflix doesn't offer it, but it's available new on DVD at Amazon, so I'll have to buy it if I want it, which is never a good thing. For right now we'll just have to settle for his too-sweet goodness here in Warrior of the Lost World.

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Persis Khambatta, she of the bald alien in Star Trek: The Motion Picture fame, has a full head of hair here. She passed away in 1998, at only age 49, of a heart attack. Other than a part in Nighthawks, her career really fizzled after Star Trek, perhaps because no one really knew what to do with a woman of Indian descent in the film business in the early 80s. That's too bad, because the market has really turned around, especially post-Slumdog Millionaire, and she probably would've found more work in bigger films today.

As of this posting, both the MST3K and stand-alone versions are available on Netflix Watch Instantly. I'd take advantage of both, watching the non-MST3K version first, then enjoying Joel and The 'Bots after. I think both work really well and are both worth your time-- again, no pun intended. Also, I posted the Mega-Weapon interview from the show on the image page, which you can go to by clicking on any pictures in this post.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088380/

10 comments:

  1. This sounds pretty good. I've not ever seen a MST3K episode and don't realllllly think I need to, but I might check out the original version.

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  2. If you can get some MST3K episodes cheaply (I know you don't have Netflix in Australia), I'd do it, because they're a lot of fun, plus it'll give you some insight on a lot of us American movie bloggers, because MST3K has been a big part of our pasts. Even if you can't, though, I think you'll really love this one anyway.

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  3. This was an extremely fun episode and I agree, Mike as Mega Weapon is priceless.

    I really like Ginty in this movie. He kinda sounds like The Man With No Name with a mouthful of Novocaine. I think he kinda gets a raw deal from the bots but oh well.

    And if anyone has never seen Ginty in The Exterminator movies, consider this your official recommendation.

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  4. I agree that Ginty gets a bit of a raw deal, though I bet even he loved Joel and The 'Bots doing that sketch of his character going for his license.

    I saw The Exterminator a long long time ago, and don't really remember it, but you're not the first person to say that it's a must for here, so I'll see what I can do about finding an affordable copy.

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  5. The Exterminator was one of my first reviews. Synapse are releasing it on Bluray in the coming weeks/months. More importantly they are also releasing Dolph's Red Scorpion in widescreen for the first time anywhere.

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  6. I remember reading that one, and I think we had the discussion then about me needing to do it too. The re-release might explain why it's in limbo right now as far as Netflix goes, so maybe I'll just have to bide my time. Thanks for the heads-up.

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  7. With you on the MST3k comment re: quality of the non-riffed version. I'm a big fan of that show but I also know that some of the movies they've riffed are entertaining (and in some cases, pretty decent) in their own right. Warrior of the Lost World is good times, riffed or non-riffed.

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  8. I'm glad you got what I was saying, because I didn't want to come off like I wasn't entertained by the MST3K version, or that it didn't enhance the viewing experience, just that both versions were good and fun to watch.

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  9. You are so right about this film's "so-good-it's-bad qualities" The 80's exploitation was definitely going on, too. I just finished a summary with a bit of a different style, if you're interested: http://synopsissophie.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/synopsis-sophie-warrior-of-the-lost-world/

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  10. Thanks for stopping by Sophie, I'll definitely check it out.

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