Posts Tagged ‘Mark Gregory’

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To celebrate the release of the new Black and Chrome edition of the fantastic Mad Max: Fury Road we take a look at the seemingly endless number of films it inspired: the good, the bad and the ugly!

05.  1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982)

Directed by “Italian George Miller” Enzo Castellari this movie takes a peek into distant future (8 years later) where  war is raging between street gangs in post-apocalyptic New York. Amidst all of that is the gayest anti-hero Mark Gregory (who mysteriously disappeared from the face of the Earth) who manages to reunite street gangs and win against evil government agent Hammer (played by Vic Morrow). Fred Williamson also takes roll in this battle.

04. The New Barbarians (1983)

Another feature from mastermind of The Bronx Warriors Enzo Castellari only one year later. This time two mercenaries Scorpion (played by Giancarlo Prete) and Nadir (played by Fred Williamson) help wandering caravans fight off an evil band of white-clad bikers after the nuclear holocaust. In order to achieve this they had to go through a living hell, including Scorpion’s ass being penetrated by gang of gay Templars in this hilarious scene:

 

03. Made by a Pinoy c- movie maestro Cirio H. Santiago and staring our favorite Aussie bad-ass Richard Norton and eponymous. Equalizer 2000 (1987) the movie doesn’t offer much in the way of story but makes it all up with a whole lotta bullets and bombs (one babe too). Also Norton swears that the damned thing could actually work and I’m not going to question him for sure.

 

02. Steel Dawn (1987)

Swayze is most popular when dancing (), or fighting people in bars but in the late 80’s Swayze decided to take a post-apocalyptic vacation of sorts. In this career left turn Road Warrior meets Martial Arts as Swayze plays. Also it’s worth noting that new regions like China are just discovering the Mad Max franchise as evident recent rip- off , the Chinese Mad Shiella. So, I guess post- apocalyptic wasteland won’t stop being a popular destination any time soon.

01. Steel Frontier (1995) places Joe Lara (Legends of Tarzan) in a post- apocalyptic Western wasteland and surprisingly- it works! Actually it’s a good candidate for my favorite Lara film. The plot is your basic Yojimbo/ Fistfull of Dollars thing but if it works why fix it. General is played by always super entertaining Brion James (…) and Lara even goes mano- a- mano with Kane Hodder aka Jason Varhees himself!

We’re continuing Marco Di Gregorio month with this little gem of Rambo inspired mayhem!

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Returning home after a long time away (some military mission?) young Navajo warrior Thunder (Mark Gregory) visits The Old One (his great-unkle or something) and learns about about of the breaking of the treaty between their tribe and the Americans. Their sacred burial ground (they insist on calling it a cemetery) on Crow’s Hill is being desecrated by the illegal construction of the highway. Thunder enraged picks a fight with the workers and naturally that pisses off quite a few people in the town.

Gathering some sense Thunder takes the high road and follows the attack up by trying the legal path of stooping construction. He busts the hundred and some years old treaty from it’s dodgy frame and insist an audience with the Sheriff. Sheriff, and old B-movie veteran Bo Svenson (Inglorious Basterds, Kill Bill, Heartbreak Ridge) wants nothing more than to make Thunder disappear and make his life easier.

Thunder continues his crusade by trying to talk to the president of the bank financing the operation but deputy arrests him and exports him out of the town. Also he threatens Thunder’s life if he ever comes back. Now, after policeman leaves rednecks spot him and start chasing him down while spiting out the most racist things they can think of.

Hilarious part is that the worst of the rednecks  is Antonio Sabato who’s obviously Italian as one can get. After being tortured and left for dead Thunder vows vengeance on all of the town. He returns just to be attacked by police momentarily (it seems police isn’t interested in anything BUT molesting local Native population. One policeman sounds especially gay with dialogue like “I didn’t give you permission to bend over- yet” and “you’ll be queer by the time I’m done with you”. But unexpectedly Thunder fights back and his one man mission against the police (and other various racists) starts.

After a crazy car chase random journalist Sherman appears and tries to get to the bottom of all the craziness. Chase continues by foot (and contains a hilarious  jump down the canyon) until they finally lose him.  He even finds a time to save the deputy who’s not an asshole like the rest of the force. 

Straight like an arrow!

Journalist seeks out The Old One (who sounds like alcoholic Yoda). Following the case he visits the burial ground with the old Indian. Unfortunately deputies are gather there to lay a trap for Thunder and the old one ends up burned to death!!! The scene is both incredibly tragic and hilarious at the same time.

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Thunder surprises them during the night and hunt continues. All the dogs, horses and helicopters don’t really help the police when Thunder menages to get a hold of the full military arsenal. Nothing like a Native replacing bow and arrow with a bazooka.

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And like shooting up the place wasn’t enough Thunder steals a construction bulldozer and starts wrecking everything including a Police Station!!! In the end he gets surrounded by the police and end seem near but a good guy deputy decides to help him (’cause his grandfather is Navajo) and smuggles him out of town. Thunder is now free, ready to fight another day! Cue in the Western music…

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Verdict: Director De Angelis misses a chance to tackle a serious ( and still relevant) theme of treatment of the Native American population in USA and clings to the old Western tropes like his life depends on it. But truthfully what can you expect from the Italian directors who spent most of their lives copying American Westerns. What we’re left with is almost beat for beat copy of the Rambo (a big hit film only a year earlier) just cheesier and way more nonsensical than the original. Also the poor dubbing doesn’t help at all.

But hell, it obviously worked like a charm ’cause this movie was followed by a sequel Thunder II (1987) and even a Thunder III (1988).

 

WantedGregory

In the 80s with the exploitation scene still booming in Italy, a special kind of hero was born. Androgynous heavy metal teenager with a love for bodybuilding was ripped straight from his shoe repair shop and thrown directly onto the silver screen. And ignoring all the detractors who called him gay and made fun of him he actually made quite a splash staring in a surprising string of exploration success- even spawning a number of sequels and all just in a span of several years. Looking at the numbers now, he made the incredible 10 films in a span from from ’82- ’89 including two series like Bronx Warriors 1 and 2 (rip offs of the The Warriors, Escape from New York and Mad Max) and (Navajo) Thunder 1-3 (Rambo). He even had a team-up with another B- movie action hero veteran- Frank Zagarino (Ten Zan: The Ultimate Mission)!

Then after the movie Afganistan – The last war bus disillusioned with a movie industry in just 25 years of age he decides to quit acting. And soon enough every trace of his existence on this earth is gone- just like that! The Bronx Warriors enthusiast Lance Manley spent years trying to locate him, even going as far as contacting his old director Enzo Castellari and visiting the gym he was hitting in the 80’s but to no avail.

There was a rumor earlier that Marco is now working as a marketing specialist in the Milan area but it has  since been debunked. New information suggests that he works as a decorator in Cesano near Rome but nothing is confirmed ’till we have a photo of him. One thing is for sure, in the internet era were we can track down anyone and even facilitate a comeback of lost B movie legends like Eric Freeman or Matt Hannon Marco Di Gregorio is still as elusive as ever, still a complete mystery.

 

 

This movie is a trashy end of time action flick that was mainly produced to cash in on the success of two prior post-apocalyptic cult movies, Walter Hill’s “The Warriors” (1979) and John Carpenter’s “Escape From New York”(1981). Of course, when Italians want to rip off something who would else they call than the legendary Enzo Castellari. I believe you have already got the picture.

Objasnjenje

As you can see, in the very distant future (unbelievably 8 years from the year the movie was made) The Bronx is entirely in hands of criminal gangs. The authorities have decided to give up the Bronx and declared this territory to be no man’s land, where people have to kill each other in order to stay alive. So it was no surprise to us when we saw young girl Ann (played by Stefania Girolami) running in fear on the beginning. while running through a tunnel she gets intercepted by homosexual evil roller ball gang. Just when it seemed that she is done for (they certainly didn’t want to rape her) a group of bikers creatively named “The Riders” show out of nowhere and help damsel in distress. A tall, wide breasted, homosexual guy named Trash (played by Mark Gregory)
learned from her that she is from Manhattan and that she is running away of some evil people lurking there, But more of that later.

No women in this pictureNo women in this picture

When they came back to their compound The Riders found one of their brother Chris laying dead on the docks. Trash then went to a major player in Bronx, called The Ogre (played by none other than Fred Williamson). The Ogre explained  to Trash that The Riders should not have trespassed to his area and that actually he did him a favor since Chris was wearing a tracking gizmo used by Manhattan Corporation. As the following scene had shown, apparently The Ogre was  right. Manhattan police were actually monitoring them. When they lost the signal from their late informer they decided to bring up heavy artillery. They sent their best agent Hammer (played by Vic Morrow, who was really badly dubbed in post-production) to clean up the Bronx. And boy, he started cleaning the moment he walked in. Dressed as a postman, he walked in some building and killed with the shotgun two bikers who were making out (no, one of them was a girl. It isn’t what you think it is). Then, Hammer had planted a ring of the rival gang Tigers  next to their bodies in order to provoke a gang war in Bronx. Of course, dumb bikers immediately fell on that trick and started raging for a war. Well, almost everybody except Trash. He was suspicious about whole situation. And he didn’t want to risk a war especially now when he already got hooked up with Ann.

This ring has to be thrown into flaming garbage canThis ring has to be thrown into flaming garbage can

Hammer is under a pressure to find Ann so he recruits a local neutral mercenary Hot Dog (played by Christopher Conelly) to help him with that task. Hammer explains to him that the girl is very important since she is going to be the next president of Manhattan Corporation. He also asked from Hot Dog to set up him a meeting with Ice (played by Larry Dolgin), better known to Hot Dog as Fagface. Ice is the member of The Rider, with ambition of become a head of the gang in future. You can now see where this situation leads to. Meanwhile, on the other part of Bronx. Trash and Ann are having open conversation. She explains to him that soon she will turn 18 (which means that Trash has slept with underage girl) and she is going to inherit Manhattan Corporation which
controls a majority of world’s weapon production, and she doesn’t want to take part in it. A real noble decision. On their way back Ann got captured by Zombies (a roller ball gang).

Not a lesbo sceneNot a lesbian scene

After learning of Corporation’s plan and losing the girl, Trash decides to go to The Ogre in order to reunite all gangs in Bronx. Of course, that would mean going deeply into no man’s territory through compounds of all the other gangs. After couple of rough beatings and persuasion The Ogre decides to accept an offer. Meanwhile Ice, who sold himself for a handful of silver, immediately runs over like a good puppy to Hammer to inform him about Trash’ plans and new whereabouts of Ann. Hammer sends him to Golan (played by Robert Spafford), the leader of the Zombies with an offer which includes giving the girl back to Hammer in exchange for wiping out The Ogre and The Riders. Trash and The Ogre are also heading to Golan. While on they way there Trash stumbled upon Hawk (played by Nick Alexander) who went to warn Trash about Ice’s betrayal, but was captured by Scavengers somewhere along the road. With his dying breath Hawk
still manages to inform Trash in one of the gayest scenes ever seen in B movies production.

Now we have a Mexican standoff of the gangs. First blood was drawn by The Ogre who killed Golan in duel. Ice tried to escape but was intercepted by Hot Dog, who suddenly repent for his betrayal. Ice wouldn’t have that so he kills Hot Dog using a spike on his boot. But Ice got to taste his own medicine a few moments later when Trash throws him on spike, Then they rescued a girl and went back to The Ogre’s place for a big celebration. Looks like happy ending. Or is it?

While The Ogre, Trash and Ann were celebrating, Hammer conducted a rescuing mission. Dressed as SS officer he sends in heavy cavalry (literally) while laughing like a maniac. Everything ended up in orgies of blood and fire. First to go was The Ogre. And what a way to go! First, he got several bullets inside him. Having no regards for serious wounds he is having, he went then to his throne to light a last cigarette. But it wasn’t the only thing that was lighted since the moment he sat one of the cavaliers burned him with a flame thrower. The King (of Bronx) is dead! But the rescuing mission wasn’t going as Hammer has planed. Instead of rescuing Ann his soldiers killed her which made Trash go berserk, kill Hammer using a harpoon (which is standard weapon of bikers
apparently) and ride out alone into freedom.

Justice for manikins!

Conclusion: First of many wrong things in this movie: the title. It is named The Bronx Warriors despite the fact that most of very obviously was filmed in Brooklyn and Roosevelt Island. Then, for a post apocalyptic flick we can see strangely many pedestrians and cars running in the background. the movie had such potential as a screenplay written by the amazing Dardano Sachetti, but in the hands of Castellari, this turkey doesn’t even come out cooked. It’s got awful acting, baaaaaaaaaaad dubbing, not to mention writing which is horrible at least half of the time (if any character has to speak for more one line it hurts). Also, I can’t believe Italians would just dub out Vic Morrow’s voice with some cheap imitation because this one of the last movies he made before he died (he died in 1982). I mean come on! The guy was practically stealing this movie (with a bit help of Fred Williamson). He deserved his own voice in it! This is waaaaay too grose even for an Italian rip-off and Castellari. End yeah, beside flicks I have mentioned in prologue, this movie also got obviously stolen main character from “Rambo” with a bit of “Clockwork Orange” influence. For shame!