ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX (1983)
The Italian film industry has an interesting "parallel" developmental trend to the art house films that are known and loved the world over. That seedy side is the long-touted tradition of the rip-off! Going at least as far back as the surrealistic, sometimes nonsensical spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s and the edgy cop thrillers of the 1970s (which nod to THE FRENCH CONNECTION and the DIRTY HARRY films), one of the major film templates of the early 1980s was the post-apocalyptic action film. Premised on superior fare like, well, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, the 1983 film-in-question ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX is the direct sequel to 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS, a similarly rancid clinker.
The skeleton plot of ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX'S sub-90 minutes is as follows. Trash (Mark Gregory) - yes, that is correct, a protagonist called Trash - is a member of a miraculously united gang in the Bronx faced with a problem. Because of stray nuclear radiation and a greedy corporate entity known as the General Construction Corporation, all of the citizens of the Bronx are being evicted to !gasp! New Mexico !gasp!, or worse yet, murdered for trying to resist. The wonderful "Disinfestation Annihilation Squad" is moving from tenement to tenement with paddywagons and flamethrowers. The gangs (it should me noted that everybody in the Bronx is either a gang member or homeless) resist by kidnapping the president of GCC and holding him ransom.
I won't go into too many details because there aren't many to begin with. Needless, here are some of the lowlights:
- Trash manages to totally destroy a helicopter by firing 3 bullets from a handgun. Later, he obliterates an armored truck with six shots from the same firearm!
- Much of what passes for "New York" looks suspiciously like an Italian slum.
- We are doomed to this exact future.
—— Kevin Flanagan