Warlord 3000 (1993)


aka Dark Vengeance

USA. 1993.


Director/Producer – Faruque Ahmed, Screenplay – Faruque Ahmed & Ron Herbst, Photography – Stephen N. Timberlake, Music – Christopher Farrell, Production Design – Wendy Guidery. Production Company – Fahmed Entertainment


Jay Roberts (Nova), Denice Marie Duff (Anani), John Croshaw (Yeager), Steve Blanchard (General Tadder), Wayne Duvall (Veros), Dawn Martell (Sheena), Victor Foulk (Tab)


It is after the holocaust where the ozone layer has been destroyed and the world left a desert wasteland. The soldier Nova returns home to visit his family just as bandits attack and kill them. Nova is left for dead in the burning house but manages to crawl out. He spends the next three years training and then embarks on a campaign to eliminate each of the bandits responsible for killing his family. At the same time, he must also deal with an organised militia under General Tadder who is determined to eliminate the bandits and monopolise distribution of the drug Seed.

Following the pioneering efforts of Mad Max 2 (1981), the post-holocaust action film quickly became a creatively desiccated genre through numerous cheap, usually Italian-made, B-budget copies. In the 1990s, the genre had everything from kickboxing to killer robots and cyborgs grafted onto it. Thus something like Warlord 3000 that tries to do a straight Mad Max clone during this period is treading a well-worn trail and better have something incredibly original to add to the genre to make any difference.

Needless to say, Warlord 3000 does not. In fact, as Mad Max clones go, it is one of the dullest. There is the same loner hero fighting a vigilante war for the killing of his family – the story borrows most of its plot from John Ford’s classic Western The Searchers (1956). In the film’s favour, Jay Roberts proves a moderately more charismatic and warmer hero than the nihilistically tight-lipped loners that usually inhabit these films. The film features surprisingly little in the way of action. It seems to prefer trying to make a moody internalised drama rather than serving up action and tries to lecture about the need to find morality along the revenge trail but this only comes out hopelessly pretentious. As a result, it is a film that spends most of its time sitting around waiting for action to start happening.

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