And just who are the MANIAC WARRIORS? The year is 2050 and the world is a post-apocalyptic wasteland plagued by a deadly virus. The eponymous villains are a militaristic, government-sanctioned band of nomads who forcibly--they use needles--withdraw untainted blood from unwilling female
victims to bolster their own immune systems. Locating these unwilling volunteers involves kidnapping, roadside executions and selective torture under such appalling conditions as execrable direction, exiguous acting and excretory camerawork.
Also along for the ride in this anemic action adventure inspired by the tragic AIDS epidemic are hooded figures already infected by the deadly virus, innocent hippie-like families who are constantly being massacred (even though we don't know their blood quality), and two sixties-style rebels, Zak
(Andrew MacGregor) and Iodine (Joe Maffei), regarded as a subversive threat to the blood bank troops. Led by the butch Baalca (Nancy Pataki), the vampiric cruisers apparently are in collusion with bible-thumpers because the virginal, disease-free maidens they capture all have to have
post-baptismal sex with Baalca's sidekick, a preacher referred to as the Grand Shepherd.
After her grandfather is slain and her sister abducted by the blood groupies, Danielle (Melanie Kilgour) forms a mutual protection society with taciturn loner Lucas (William Smith). When he's captured by the "hoods," she helps him escape; when she needs some firepower to free her sister, he
pitches in. Although the underground rebels, Zak and Iodine, are seized by Baalca's clan and hanged upside down, a disgruntled guard gets high on their LSD and frees them. After assorted chases, scrapes, forays and flights, Danielle is reunited with her sister as the gonzo fighters join her and
Lucas, by now her lover, in destroying Baalca's militia and silencing the hypocritical preacher.
In this slovenly photographed and sluggishly directed action adventure, even the special effects seem half asleep. Everything is monotonously violent; the repetitious persecution scenes are coated with an unpleasant veneer of sadistic glee. Lacking the sophistication for satire, MANIAC WARRIORS
fails to draw blood when it attacks the warmongers and religious zealots who run the government in the not-so-distant future. Never rising to the level of competence, this future schlock plays out its running time with the shoddy feeling of a school assignment cribbed from an encyclopedia the
night before it's due.
While the romantic leads are personable, their thesping won't displace Cronyn and Tandy, nor can they undo the damage done by the amatuerish playing of the remaining cast, which seems to suffer from recycled extras. Given the low humor and casual brutality inherent in the screenplay, the project
was probably doomed. It's difficult for viewers to express enthusiasm for the film's dire glimpse at a disease-riddled future when the actors seem to be falling asleep while reciting the soporific dialogue.
Even low-low-budget action films have to drum up a little conviction, but this plasma-deprived expose of man's inhumanity to man is badly in need of a transfusion of talent. Sans energy or spirit, MANIAC WARRIOR is a DOA action adventure with no saving graces. (Violence, profanity, sexualsituations.)
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Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1992
- Rating: NR
- Review: And just who are the MANIAC WARRIORS? The year is 2050 and the world is a post-apocalyptic wasteland plagued by a deadly virus. The eponymous villains are a militaristic, government-sanctioned band of nomads who forcibly--they use needles--withdraw untaint… (more)