In the early eighties Italian hack film-makers were privy to a startling alchemical recipe and the director of 2019 was definitely in on the secret. Giallo journeyman Sergio Martino had already tasted a moderate degree of grindhouse notoriety with Mountain/Slave of the Cannibal God, a vehicle for an aging Ursula Andress set against a backdrop of jungle adventure, genital mutilation and Stacy Keach. Sadly on this occasion the taste was ruined by the at-the-time seemingly ubiquitous-to-the-genre scenes of genuine animal cruelty and the impression that Andress was deeply miserable about the entire experience and sour-faced throughout.
Martino's next foray into tasteless genre film-making was Island of the Fishmen, in many ways his genetic splicing of The Island of Doctor Moreau with some Shadow Over Innsmouth. Elevated by the presence of Barabara Bach and the by now permanently slumming Richard Johnson (amazingly once considered for the role of James Bond) it's an all round hoot.
Sergio's zenith in the field of low budget craporamas would come in 1983 with the marvellous 2019: After the Fall of New York.
Take the plot of Escape From New York, but hollowed out and filled with the key premise of Children of Men, along with some essential staples such as cheap gore, a leading man that makes Michael Beck look like John Gielgud, a truck load of rats and a healthy sprinkling of dwarfs. Once these cornerstones are established then terribly dubbed and lumpen dialogue only add to the magic. Cue some sloppily staged fights, a raft of tramp-chic costumes, oodles of illogical behaviour and a moving demonstration of heroic self-sacrifice and BOOM. My shit is itching ever so slightly less thinking about those Bullingdon Club cunts and their sleeper hold on everything righteous and beautiful about this decaying country.
Death to all tories.