BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
Guns belch across a wasted continent. Wild women run around in torn leather hot pants, football shoulder pads, and not much else. Beat up Ford Mustangs with dented doors are the new chariots. And those who control the water supply control the world. Welcome to the post-apocalyptic landscape of New World’s Stryker. It is a place where anything – within a $100-dollar budget – can (and does) happen.
It all starts with a bomb. Stock footage of an atom bomb somewhere in a desert far away. The narrator informs us that no one knows why it started and that no one cares.The point is that it happened and the world is a changed place for it. It’s this economy of words and meaning that actually benefits this picture.One can’t help but imagine the events of Stryker happening alongside those in The Road Warrior, just without meaning or merit.
Directed by Cirio H. Santiago (T.N.T. Jackson), this Mad Max rip-off is unintentionally hysterical and crude, complete with midget mutilations and torture, old dudes (buried up to their neck in sand) getting pissed on, and lots of gratuitous female nudity. Apparently, when the climate goes to hell so does civility. Man’s appetite for muscle cars also grows as does his more lecherous wants. All because of a nuclear war. In Stryker, though, it seems the longstanding water shortage has caused chaos itself to ravish the land, leaving it arid and full of rampaging gangs of people who simply raid and rape their way toward a full canteen.
Stryker was filmed in the Philippines and earns every single bit of its D-grade descriptors. The action scenes are plenty, the dialogue is hysterically vapid, and the punctuated fiery explosions – most occurring for no real reason at all – are routine. Cirio made a lot of these post-apocalyptic movies, but that legacy of schlock started with this desert trek. But they all didn’t star Steve Sandor now did they? And Sandor – complete with a funky hairdo and a disappearing hat – simply makes this single-minded affair somewhat of a righteous experience.
We have a storyline to follow with Stryker instead of just a series of action shots edited together to fill 86-minutes. It’s not much to follow – especially when the “hero” usually just grunts after blowing shit up – but features a kidnapping by the evil Kardis gang who want control of a water spring and a reunited response from Stryker and his brother as they traverse the desert dunes to rescue the kidnapped victim...alongside an army of short people dressed in Star Wars garb.
Go nuclear with Roger Corman and Cirio Santiago in Stryker, now available on blu-ray thanks to Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime: 86 mins
Director: Cirio H. Santiago
Writer: Howard R. Cohen
Cast: Steve Sandor, Andrea Savio, William Ostrander
Genre: Sci-fi | Action
Tagline: Their odds are a million to one...And Stryker's the one!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Everybody's got their own highway to hell."
Theatrical Distributor: New World Pictures
Release Date: September 2, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: January 3, 2017
Synopsis: The world's water supply has dried up due to some sort of apocalypse. A beautiful woman holds the secret to where one of the last springs being guarded by a group of Amazons.
Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray - January 3, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A
Kino Lorber Studio Classics presents Stryker on 1080p with grain enhanced results. It is more than obvious that time has not been too kind on this low budget affair. The print used for the transfer might be the best remaining, but the results – presented in the film’s original 1.85:1 aspect ratio – are mixed. It’s almost too rosy-looking in its 86-minute running time. Sand and film grain run supreme and the black levels are a bit all over the place. Maybe saturation levels are too high? I’m not really sure, but this release is probably the best this D-grade flick will ever look. The sound is presented in a mono track for your listening pleasure.
Filmmaker Jim Wynorski provides the film’s commentary. He talks about the making of the movie, the post-apocalyptic movement in film during the 1980’s, and Corman’s relationship with the Philippines during the running time.