Item Description
Michael J. Murphy's first British lensed 16mm sci-fi outing was clearly taken as a challenge, to prove that he could match the efforts of the many post-apocalyptic efforts of the 1980s, primarily those of Italian and Filipino origin. It is apparent that he is not shy to reference the superior films in the genre also. The good post-apocalypse and action sci-fi of the period were few and far between, yet in Death Run they can be identified. Murphy is having fun, his sense of humour is out, and yet the film is still focused on being a fast-paced, professional actioner. Death Run is as good as many of this type of film of the time and better than most.Young lovers Paul and Jenny (Rob Bartlett and Wendy Parsons) are awakened from a cryogenic sleep that was arranged by Paul's mother, Dr Eileen Sanders (Kay Lowry), a space mission scientist. They have awoken into a future a quarter of a century on in which punk thugs jump to the orders of the Messiah (Patrick Olliver), a brutal dictator. All known relatively human survivors reside in Junk City, fenced off from the mutant majority. Messiah is a Nazi and no variation on it. He wears swastikas and listens to German cantina songs. He has a taste for boys and girls. Murphy cannot help himself and gives Messiah's pet boy the name of Sly. Messiah has a harem and wiles his time as Nero to a game called the Death Run. He also has a three-digit hand, but he's no mutant, it's 'genetic'.Paul awaits the Death Run in his cell and Jenny is raped. Barbara (Debbi Stevens), blonde hair and fishnets, takes pity on the young couple and plots their escape. By this time, Hero (Kirby) has been recaptured, the only person to date to have done the run and survived. There are four of them for the big escape now, Barbara releasing the flesh-eating mutants into Junk City adding to the chaos and aiding them. Jenny catches a crossbow bolt in the escape and her condition is poor. The group encounter three fugitives, a couple (Neal Goulbourn and Karen Turk) and a pregnant escapee from the harem (Kate Kneafsey) and they attend Jenny's medical needs before feeding the others. Too late they discover that they are being fed a stew that is predominantly Jenny in its ingredients. They return to Junk City for Paul to take part in the game as part of a plan that will remove the Messiah and his cronies in a bloody finale.The gore score counts. A dismembered head in the bed, a second gruesome decapitation, a staking, slit throat, spearing, spike traps, knife in the neck, arrows in the eye, a knife in the mouth, multiple stabbings, mutants petrol soaked and burned alive... and the drowning of the cannibal in her own stew by Paul as he vomits over the back of her head in the realisation that he has just eaten his girlfriend in a chowder. It leaves the majority of spaghetti futures way behind in sheer entertainment value. The athletic training exercises shared by Paul and the hero are hilariously homoerotic, a Triumph of the Wanton. There is plenty to gawp at. Not to mention the outrageous final scene, a twisted breastfeeding scene you might want to clap your hands and reel backwards at. I doubt I will ever be able to watch it without laugh out loudness resulting.ships in a plain sleeve with no artwork