‘‘Law is meant for man, not man for the law’’
It is twenty years following the Third World War, and the planet has been plunged back into an age of barbarianism since the nuclear holocaust. Scavengers roam the desolate landscape, preying on whatever they can to eat, including each other !.
One bright hope for the future of mankind emerges. The Drones. Civilised survivors intent upon reviving order from chaos, and rebuilding a new civilisation. A noble cause, threatened by the nomadic savages.
In a world with no law the strong rule and under their tenure those that dare oppose the regime of Baktar, leader of the Tyrogs, must fight for their lives in a makeshift arena in a battle to the death. Like gladiators before their Roman Emperor, in an open domed basic construct, akin to that in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), those foolish enough to cross Baktar have to stand against his champion in combat. That champion is none other than classic TV’s The Hulk, Lou Ferrigno. An eye patch wearing goliath of a warrior named Zerak.
Baktar’s self prophetic legacy is to spawn the first newborn free of infection from radiation poisoning. His opportunity comes along when the feisty Racela, from the race of Drones, patrols with her male companion beyond the designated safe perimeters of their underground community. Their advanced tech all terrain craft, replete with laser weapons, is attacked by the savages and Racela is taken hostage.
With news of Racela’s disappearance reaching the Drone high command, her father General Cortaz beseeches with the governing council permission to breach protocol and send out a search party. His request is immediately denied, only to be overturned on the strict adherence to the ruling that should he choose to leave the confines of the Drone domicile, then he, and whomever volunteers to go with him, may never again return.
Clearly green with envy at the scavengers having a pure and clean female specimen, and under order from Baktar, warrior of the wasteland Lou Ferrigno gets astride his retro three wheeled motorcycle, and along with his men roars to the rescue. It’s not long before he clashes with the scavengers as they go head to head with all manner of old fashioned weaponry. Top trumped only by a grenade launcher and of course Zerak wielding his mighty sword. Well it’s only to be expected when you make him angry !.
Zerak saves the girl but is injured in the process and only a grateful Racela can assist him in getting back to his own people, the Tyrogs. Unbeknownst to them whilst they struggle across the desert terrain, Racela’s father and two companions are not far behind, following their tracks in order to rescue her.
Back in the bosom of Baktar’s domain Zerak soon realises that he has feelings for Racela, and she for him. He cannot allow Baktar to force himself upon this innocent who in turn saved him from surely dying alone in the wilderness. In order to save her he must turn against his own people and align forces with General Cortaz to escape the clutches of Baktar.
Ferrigno fulfils his role as the resourceful anti hero pretty well in what is clearly a low budget outing, and his ‘B’ movie bravado comes into its own when he is allowed some clobbering time.
It’s a struggle to get back to the Drone complex, and to share in the news of a breakthrough by their scientists regarding the radiation poisoning, and an even greater one to overcome the mandate of the no return policy !. A battle ensues outside the underground complex as the location is compromised. The fight for dominance prevails as guns and knives go up against laser beam weaponry and organised tacticians, but the shear number of barbaric Tyrogs is more than enough for the Drones to cope with. It is up to General Cortaz, Racela and the hulking Zerak to bring order from chaos between the fighting factions. With Lou Ferrigno leading the way the planets future surely must be green.
Movie Rating: 6/10
Review Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS
Desert Warrior (1988)
Director Jim Goldman
With Lou Ferrigno, Shari Shattuck, Mike Cohen,
Anthony East & Mike Monty