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STRYKER (1983) **

 

What would it look like if you made a Road Warrior rip-off, changed the world’s most precious commodity from gas to water, hired a guy who looks like John Jarratt’s stunt double to star, got the man who gave you Vampire Hookers to direct, threw in a bunch of Jawas left over from Star Wars and only had the budget of about $12 hard currency? 

 

Why… Stryker, of course. 

 

Stryker, in case you’re wondering is this beefy looking dude who cruises around the post apocalyptic wasteland looking for water.  One day, he sees this chick get kidnapped and taken to an underground lair where the villain with a hook hand pushes her around.  The chick gets raped by some maniac, which leads to the great slow-mo scene of Stryker breaking the rapist’s neck while he’s in mid-thrust. 

 

So Stryker rescues the broad and heads out to the desert where he has to rescue a bunch of Jawas from the clutches of some Hell’s Angels.  Stryker then takes refuge with a bunch of beauty school dropouts wearing NFL licensed shoulder pads who tote around crossbows that match their outfits.  (These girls know how to ACCESSORIZE!) 

 

The Amazon women also protect the last remaining water reserve in the wasteland and want Stryker’s help in defending it, but he blows them off and takes a hike.  While Stryker is out taking a smoke break, he’s kidnapped by Captain Hook and gets beaten to a pulp.  Luckily the Jawas show up to save his bacon so he’s ready for the final showdown in which he guns down an entire army of Hell’s Angels with an M-60.   

 

Well we all know that director Cirio H. Santiago is in The Video Vacuum Hall of Fame for INVENTING the art of topless kickboxing in TNT Jackson, but I didn’t know he had it in him to direct a Road Warrior rip-off.  Although Stryker is far from the best post-apocalyptic action film to come out in 1983 (things get extremely sluggish once Stryker starts hanging out in the hippie commune), it does feature THE definitive US Army tank vs. dune buggy scene on record, and that my friends is worth SOMETHING in my book. 

 

As far as Road Warrior rip-offs go, it’s no Land of Doom, but it does feature a great musical score that sounds like Iron Eyes Cody fiddling around on a dime store Casio. 

 

And if you’ve got a movie called Stryker, it would be only fitting that he’d be given all the best lines like, “Everyone’s got their own highway to Hell.  You’ve got yours.  I’ve got mine!”, “You got a mirror in your mind.  Why don’t you go inside and take a good look at yourself and tell me what you see!” and “You know you’re like the clouds in the sky.  You look promising, but you’ll never give!”

 

AKA:  Savage Dawn. 

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