Battletruck [Warlords of the 21st Century] (1982)

Roger Corman.

I would be hard pressed to point to any other name which is on so many good films and yet still causes a shiver of dread when it shows up on the film you happen to be watching.  Sometimes it is hard to believe that the young guerrilla filmmaker, whose ultra cheap films always had that something  extra that set them apart, is the same man producing all those endless cookie-cutter creature features on SyFy.

Here, his contribution seems to have been limited to distributing someone else’s film, which may explain why it is better than many of the other films he released in the Eighties.  Battletruck is one of the miriad copies of Mad Max which were floating around at the time, with a Military villain in a turbine powered ummmm…. “Battletruck” cruising around the wastelands pillaging the weak, and a loner hero with a futuristic armored Suzuki motorbike.  There are the peaceful settlers, the cache of extremely rare fuel, and the epic road battle between Hunter and Lord Humongous…I mean, Colonel Straker.

Yep.  It’s mostly familiar, and yes, it has a few idiot plot moments (if you’re expecting the bad guys to show up at any moment, this is a bad time to engage in some bedroom gymnastics.  Just saying), and yes, those who suggested it was better than Mad Max:  Beyond Thunderdome need professional help.  But it is better than most of these types of films, and some of the stunt work is exemplary.

However, I still wouldn’t plan on rolling my armored car into battle with a full somersault.  Even the Wachowski Brothers didn’t try that one in Speed Racer.


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