Saturday, 29 January 2011

Steel Dawn


Yep it’s my birthday but I’m still getting this review in. That’s fucking devotion for you. I mean at least 4 people read this right... 3 maybe. Okay, 2 people, and you deserve better than me taking time off to get drunk. I can do that shit later.

So the review, Steel Dawn. If you haven’t seen this, it’s one of those 80’s post apocalyptic films that were rife back then. What makes this one so special I hear you ask... It’s Patrick Swayze, let me get this straight, this isn’t the gay ghost that dances with the big nosed girl from Ferris Buellers Patrick Swayze. This is the kick ass Roadhouse Patrick Swayze, Point Break’s Patrick Swayze. This is the Patrick Swayze that fucked people up in Youngblood, Red Dawn, and Next of Kin.

You can easily forget Patrick Swayze was awesome. I mean everyone has been forced to sit through Dirty Dancing at some point in their life by some ghost of girlfriends past, but let’s face it. The man was a fucking legend. Whether it’s ripping some guys throat out in Roadhouse or jumping out a fucking plane in Point Break the guy commanded the screen. This came out the same year as Dirty Dancing, talk about not getting typecast.

Steel Dawn has an awesome cast you have another legend in Brion James, he was the Limey in Tango and Cash to name just one of the many films he played a bad guy. He’s not even a bad guy in this film. Madness. Anthony Zerbe, who has pretty much had a guest appearance in every tv show in America at some point. And Darkman himself Arnold Vosloo. Yeah I know Liam Neeson played him in the first one but Arnold did a good job in the sequels. I won’t talk about his Mummy films though because let’s face it, the only good one was the first one. The music was done by Brian May, no not the guy with giant hair from queen but the Australian guy who did the music for Mad Max. Told you the ensemble was amazing. Put a fucking bow on it and call it Steel Dawn.

So it begins in a way all action films should, a fight. Swayze is meditating when crazy sand people try to steal his gear. But he’s Patrick Swayze and he kicks their ass before they get any of his stuff. It’s by no means a long fight but it’s just enough to let you realise how cool Swayze is in this and that he’s living in a bad bad world. He’s spiritual, like a sandy samurai with a dodgy ponytail. It’s the classic western style hero. He has to be mean cause he lives in a bad world.

Let’s get this straight, this film is a western set in the future, a weary traveller coming across a small farm that’s having trouble from local heavies who want the farm for themselves. He comes along and helps them out. Yeah it’s a futuristic Shane. That’s in no way a bad thing as Shane is one of the greatest westerns of all time. Bill Hicks did a sketch featuring it, you don’t need a better recommendation than that.

So we’re currently in a bar, Swayze is talking to his mentor and the shit hits the fan. Swayze is knocked out and the little Asian guy is surrounded. Enter the big haired bad guy, and the old guy gets it. By some rather underhanded means if I do say so. But he’s a bad guy. You should never expect them to play by the rules. Jack Palance wouldn’t have played by the rules and neither are the fuckers in this film. I know Shane didn’t have a mentor that died at the beginning of the film but stay with me on this, we need more apathy towards our heroes in the 80s obviously.

It’s time for the classic walk across the desert scene all these films had. If you don’t know the kind of films I mean I’m talking about Salute of the Jugger, and Mad Max. If you still don’t know then you’re a fucking moron because everyone’s seen Mad Max. Oh and like any classic desert ridden post apocalyptic film Swayze makes friends with a dog. Still mans best friend even after the shit has hit that fan. Though the best dog in a film has to be the big bastard in The Hills Have Eyes. That’s the dog I want on my side, he fucked those cannibals up. 

Now comes the Shane part of the film. Thank fuck because for a minute I was starting to think it was all in my imagination and I’ve have to start this review all over again. Swayze comes to a purification farm , they’re getting hassle from a local landowner who wants to have a monopoly on the water supply. Water is money when the worlds a desert. Brion James is the foreman on the farm. Again just to get this in, the guy is a fucking legend, he was in Blade Runner. I don’t even need to list any more films after that. There’s also the obligitary kid that will no doubt be an annoying little fucker throughout the film. They always are.

There’s a community of farm owners trying to stand against Zerbe and his men. Hoping for good times ahead in what is a horrific and turbulent time for them. Oh that Zerbe’s playing a right big bastard.  Like the majority of the cast in this film he looks like he’s been out in the sun too long. But I guess that’s what shooting a film in Namibia will do to you. 

Oh and a half hour in just before a fight there’s a guy with an awesome laugh. Has to be one of the best laughs I’ve heard in a long time. I know it’s a weird thing to focus on but I just snorted Irn Bru through my nose so thought it’d be good to warn you so you weren’t caught unaware. Oh the bad guy just kicked the kid. He’s went too far now. The Swayze isn’t gonna stand for that shit. Patrick Fucking Swayze. Yeah it’s his middle name, it deserves a capital letter. 

Anyway I know normally I’d have this go on for a while until I get to the stage of nearly ruining the end of the film for you but I have to go get drunk. I know it’s a hard hard life but needs must and anyway, this film is too good to watch sober. So go out and watch this film. I waited a long time for it to be released on dvd and eventually found it not long after Swayze died. It’s sad that his career derailed in the 90s, he made a lot of awesome films right up until his death and I was genuinely upset when I heard. I mean the guy was Dalton. I’m going off to rip some guys throat out as a tribute. Catch you next week. 

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