Friday, 7 February 2014

23rd Century DVD Review: 2019: The Fall Of New York (1983, Sergio Martino)

"In The Year 2019, The Future Depends on One Man."

 I have been writing a lot recently and have been involved in other projects so once again, the blog gets neglected. Recently received some review discs so I thought I would give the blog a little more attention. Before I get in to those films however, I thought I would have a look at another title released by my favourite grey market distributor. This time we look at a title from a sub genre that I have never really been (chemically) burnt with. That is of course the post-apocalyptic genre, more specifically the European efforts from the late 70's and early 80's. The film I'm looking at today is Sergio Martino's fantastic 2019: The Fall of New York. As with most of these reviews, won't go too much in to detail with the story because I'm sure if you're reading this, this is a film you have already seen or at least heard of in great detail. If not, I don't want to ruin the film for you!

In a nutshell, the film is obviously set in the year 2019. There has been a nuclear war and as a result of this and the powers that be, it's all gone to shit. To make matters worse, there is an infection which prevents the lovely infected survivors from creating new life. Our hero played by Michael Sipkow is sent on a mission to find a fertile woman who has been reported to exist in New York. Ok, I'm not going to win a Rondo for that synopsis but there is so much happening in this film that I would be here for a week just covering the madness and mayhem. Let me just say it's kinda like Children of Men on the best acid you will take in your life with added facial hair (I'm looking at you George Eastman). What you are going to get here is a story that's fairly solid but this is a cheap exploitation cheese fest so that's going to play second fiddle to other aspects of the film.

First off, the set design is amazing in this film. The miniature sets are some of the coolest (for me anyway) I have seen. Sure, they aren't going to knock your socks off if you are one of those Hollywood types who think a film produced 90% on a multi-million dollar effects software and hardware set up is the only way to go but for people like me who aren't elitist arseholes and enjoy actual fun, you will totally dig them. The opening sequence is great. The combination of miniatures and the score provided by the De Angelis Brothers is what makes being a cult film fan so enjoyable. The costumes are your typical affair, you know, civilians wearing scraps that make them look like punks and the bad guys who look like they're wearing the early concepts of Star Wars costumes that should have been used in the actual film. Again, elitists need not comment.

What else do we have? We have cars that are decked out in tin foil and spikes, George Eastman playing as "Big Ape" who looks, well, just look at the above photo, a self sacrificing dwarf, futuristic knights on futuristic.... horses, campy laser sounds, uber violence and... No... I have said too much. You can watch this film on Youtube so if you don't have it on disc, there's no excuse for you not to watch this piece of post-apocalyptic cheesefest. The 23rd Century disc has a really nice transfer (the screen grabs I have provided do it no justice), this was a nice surprise as we know most of 23rd Century's discs are fuzzy VHS prints. You know me by now, VHS quality is never a bad thing but I did really like seeing a nice transfer. I'm not sure what the Shriek Show disc is like but if you don't want to remortgage your house picking that release up, the 23rd Century disc is a great addition to your collection... You cheap mutant bastard!


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