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Thunder Warrior (Thunder) - Trans World Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
Written by Richard Taylor   
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
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AKA: Thunderb Thunder: I proti ekdikisi, Acorralado, Grom, A Fúria do Guerreiro, Navaho grom, Navaho grom, Simsek, Drug Traffikers, Thunder - Eine Legende ist geboren!

Directed by:
Fabrizio De Angelis
Written by:
Fabrizio De Angelis, Dardano Sacchetti
Produced by:
Fabrizio De Angelis
Cinematography by:
Sergio Salvati
Editing by:
Eugenio Alabiso
Music by:
Francesco De Masi
Special Effects by:
Giovanni Corridori
Bo Svenson, Mark Gregory, Raimund Harmstorf, Valeria Ross, Giovanni Vettorazzo
1h 16min

European International Films
Trans World Entertainment

Ahhhh yes! Italian cinema is indeed a beautiful thing. They always manage to rip off well known movies and are extremely successful at doing it. You gotta love it. Look at Lucio Fulci's (R.I.P.) Zombie or the countless hordes of Italian zombie entries. Fulci made a career out of paying homage to different American counterparts. Then we have great Alien rip-offs such as Luigi Cozzi's Contamination, Enzo G. Castellari's Jaws rip-off Great White or the classic sleazy Last House on the Left remake House on The Edge of the Park by Ruggero Deodato. Or the great Escape from New York rip-offs like After the Fall of New York or Escape from The Bronx (which also stars the lead in this film Mark Gregory, which is a sequel to The Bronx Warriors). The greatest ability of most of these b-movies is their quality and how they have stood the test of time and forever hold a place in cult movie collector’s hearts. Most of them star noteworthy American or British lead actors in search of that one last paycheck, but God bless 'em, it beats flippin’ burgers! If I was an actor (which I'm not and will never be) I would not pass up the opportunity to work with such greats as Antonio Marghertti, Ruggero Deodato, Lucio Fulci, Enzo G. Castellari etc. -- you'd be a fool!

This brings us to Thunder Warrior, or just simply titled Thunder as it was initially released in 1983. The movie has not seen an official release on DVD, let alone Blu-ray, which is a damn shame. I can't find it anywhere. Even Amazon is sporting VHS copies! You can buy DVD transfers from bootleggers which claim to be great quality. Thunder Warrior is a trilogy of action revenge films with a penchant for awesome big box cover art, extremely detailed and explosive scenarios brought to life by the artists accompanied by badass tag lines such as "They gave him hate, he gave them hell" on the front which make you want to watch the sucker. Larger than life and too good to be true for sure! The movie is entertaining but it’s predictable, dull, dragged out and the action scenes are mediocre. It’s still a fun experience on that level. I hold Thunder Warrior in high regard as a great spaghetti action movie to the fullest extent.

Thunder Warrior is Farbrizio De Angelis's attempt at cashing in on the famous First Blood movie which delivered the iconic Rambo character so famously brought to life by Sylvester Stallone. Angelis even went so far as to Americanize and change his name as director and screenplay writer, to Larry Ludman, as did writer Dardano Sacchetti under the name David Parker Jr. As in most of the Italian rip-offs, we have a famous noteworthy American actor playing the supporting role, in this case it being Bo Svenson, who actually went on to star in a number of Italian productions. Italian Mark Gregory plays our Italian Native American Thunder (hehe), but he actually looks good in the role and suits it (of course his voice is dubbed in English anyways so it doesn't really matter). We also have cinematography great Sergo Salvati behind the camera and he does a beautiful job capturing the aura and feel of the barren desert. We have a couple other noteworthy actors such as Paolo Malco (House by the Cemetery) as a reporter and even underwear model Antonio Sabato playing a small supporting policeman role and looking rather nerdy to boot.

The plot has Gregory playing the character Thunder who comes back home after many years to find a contractor destroying his families sacred land. Thunder tries to reason with authorities, protests at a bank, talks to racist construction workers, but they are all prejudiced towards him and don't want to listen to what he has to say. The cops would rather arrest him, or assault him (especially
Raimund Harmstorf in a rather scumbag cop role as Deputy Barry Henson). Construction workers would rather drag him to his death and the sheriff played by Svenson is more concerned with his toothache.

Thunder has had enough and goes on the warpath, by waging a guerrilla war up in the mountains with authorities. In one particular funny scene, Gregory's character breaks into a gun shop and steals a bow and arrow!? Later he acquires a rocket launcher and does some major damage on the town such as the bank and police station. One thing I must mention, in First Blood, Rambo never stole a big front end loader armed with a rocket launcher that literally drives it though buildings in the town like Thunder does in this movie. Eat your heart out Rambo! Thunder Warrior also sports some really nifty slow motion action sequences and car chases. In one particular scene it looks as if Thunder steals the blue pickup truck he hitched a ride with on his way into town!

All the bad guys and townspeople seem to be racist towards natives; you can hear bystanders in the background saying "They should stay on their reservation!" when Thunder is arrested for protesting in front of a bank and that goes to show how the movie tries to portray Thunder as a hero, but the whole non-natives playing natives ends up being a bit offensive. Especially when they try to dub an old Indian chief’s voice -- nice work there fellas! We get plenty of bad dialogue, and by bad, I mean good. Raimund Harmstorf's dirty cop character has a ton, such as: "This is my friend Billy, you’re gonna like ‘im!". I love the sound when someone gets punched in this too. It’s reminiscent of someone hitting wet cardboard.

You could pick apart this movie forever. It’s loaded with tons of goodies really. I love the ending, after Thunder blows up part of the town, and before the credits roll, you can see two kids play-shooting each other saying, "Thunder will never die!" Thunder Warrior is just a nonsensical joy ride of a film really. No logic, rhyme or reason -- just a good time.



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