2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK
(2019 Dopo la Caduta di New York)
2019: After the Fall of New York is one of the more enjoyable Italian Mad Max ripoffs. In actuality, just as much as Mad Max 2, it is also ripping off of Escape of New York (1981) and its plot of an anti-hero tasked with venturing into the ruins of New York on a mission and having to fight the crazies and ruling warlords there. Escape from New York had also spawned the basics of another Italian copycat the year before 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982), which had led to a sequel Bronx Warriors 2 (1983). (There is even a tatty electronic score that tries to copy John Carpenters work for Escape). After the Fall of New York certainly has a more vigorous employment of science-fictional tropes than all of the other Italian post-holocaust films future national rivalries, cryogenics, cyborg spies, totalitarian states and troopers wielding rayguns (basically allowing it to shove every trope from the Italian sf film of the 1980s it can into the film). Moreover, the film does the quest for the last fertile person that has been a theme of a number of films subsequently see Hell Comes to Frogtown (1987) and American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1992), even the respectable Children of Men (2006).
The action scenes are ridiculously entertaining and without the basic concerns for believability that most Italian action films of the period had. There is a demolition derby in the desert early on where the vehicles seem built with the most absurd and improbable of attachments like giant shields on the side and random spikes. Or the ridiculous chase through the tunnel at the climax of the film that involves a series of improbable car stunts and moves like where George Eastman manages to throw a sword that decapitates three heads in a single tossed arc. There are even times where Sergio Martino seems to do something that seems on the verge of actual style like a beautiful tour around the model ruins of New York in the opening shots as one of the survivors plays trumpet. I mean what other Italian exploitation film can you say features a copy of Picassos Guernica (1937) in the background? and discussion of it.
Sergio Martino was a veteran director in numerous genres of the Italian exploitation industry. He also made the genre likes of:- the giallo Blade of the Ripper (1971), Theyre Coming to Get You (1972) about Satanists, the giallo Torso/The Body Bears Traces of Carnal Violence (1973), the cannibal film Slave of the Cannibal God/Prisoner of the Cannibal God (1978), The Great Alligator (1980), Isle of the Fishmen/Screamers (1981), the occult film Murder in the Etruscan Cemetary (1982) and the giallo Mozart is a Murderer (1999), as well as wrote Devilfish/Devouring Waves/Monster Shark/Red Ocean (1984) and the killer cyborg film Hands of Steel (1986).