Trash of the Apocalypse: A Guide to Cirio’s Post-Apoc movies

August 29, 2011

As far as I am aware, no director has made as many post-apocalypse movies as Cirio H. Santiago.  You want to watch one or some or all…but which ones first?  This post is for you.

(Also check out my Viewing Guide to Cirio’s Vietnam Movies.)

First thing to know is that all seven of Cirio’s post-apocs share several qualities, settings, and actors/actresses, but none are directly related to each other.  Seven variations on the theme, with a core of similar elements, such as:

  • Spiked car chases on desert wasteland roads.
  • Football pads and other costume badassery.
  • Flamethrowers and other weapon badassery.
  • Militant factions of various stripes vying for control of an assortment of scarce resources.
  • Extensive scenes filmed at Intramuros (the old “Walled City” in Manila) and the former site of the Marinduque mines in the Philippines.

stryker embassy vhs front

Sorted by release date according to IMDB.com:

1983:
Stryker
1985:
Wheels of Fire
1986:
Future Hunters
1987:
Equalizer 2000
1988:
The Sisterhood
1991:
Dune Warriors
1992:
Raiders of the Sun

What follows are a list of keywords for each movie, ordered approximately from my least to most favorite.

Dune Warriors
Keywords:

  • Seven Samurai clone
  • David Carradine
  • Water shortage
  • Defense of plywood village
  • Henry Strzalkowski without a mustache
  • Little People bandits
  • Motorcycle joust
  • Saloon brawl
  • The nude cave bath

Why watch this first? The idea of a Seven Samurai clone starring David Carradine intrigues you.

Equalizer 2000
Keywords:

  • Set in post-apoc Alaska
  • Biggest Gun Wins
  • Vic Diaz as a Medicine Man
  • Plywood castle
  • Civil war unis
  • Yelping natives in jeans
  • The eponymous gun

Why watch this first? You want to watch the one that is most like a Western movie and can stomach the fact that Richard Norton has his shirt off most of the time but Corrine Wahl leaves her’s on.

equalizer-2000-poster

The Sisterhood
Keywords:

  • Men vs. Women
  • Witch powers: Speak with animals, Lazer eyes, Healing touch, Telekinesis
  • Skull Bar brawl
  • Homeless lepers
  • Tech weapon cache cave with AI voice
  • War wagon
  • Calcara, City of Ultimate Pleasure

Why watch this first? It’s the most like a 1980’s barbarian fantasy movie, until the women find the “war wagon” in the tech weapon cave.

Future Hunters (aka Spear of Destiny)

  • Spear of Longinus turn victims into a pile of ash that looks like a burnt suit.
  • The blonde thug in white polyester crushes a rose
  • Kung fu alert: Bruce Le (not to be confused with Bruce Lee) vs. the Silver Fox at the Forbidden Pagoda
  • Tasaday Amazons in Venus Valley (nothing like real Tasaday)
  • Ed Crick as the Nazi villain
  • Mongol riders
  • Jungle Rating: 3 (yay, jungle!)
  • Rope bridge battle
  • Little People cavemen with crossbows

Why watch this first? If you are okay that this starts out as a post-apocalypse flick, but then the wasteland warrior time travels back to the 1980s and it becomes an awkward Terminator/Indiana Jones/Romancing the Stone mashup.

photo(31)

Stryker

  • Water wars
  • Hidden spring temple cave colony
  • Ash dunes with buzzing Little People
  • Torture dungeon
  • Amazons with bows

Why watch this first? Notwithstanding the gang rape scene, this is probably the closest thing to a mainstream normal movie of all on this list, but it’s still trash.

Wheels of Fire

  • Gas wars
  • Topless carhood surfing
  • Sand hag underpeople
  • Homeless babbling Little People
  • Mind reading mutant girl
  • Rocket ship called “Paradise express”
  • Corregidor location
  • Music sounds more than a little like Star Wars

Why watch this first? This is definitely a car fetish movie most similar to Mad Max and Road Warrior on this list, in case you are interested.

Raiders of the Sun

  • Gunpowder Wars
  • The Great Dude Hoghead gang
  • The BAR
  • Little People gypsies with battle axes
  • Gunpowder mine in jungle village
  • Jungle Rating: 3
  • Corregidor location
  • Randomly inserted guitar power riffs
  • Great theme song: “Children of the world unite…stand up for your way of life!”

Why watch this first? Best Cirio H. Santiago post-apocalypse movie.

Yup, Raiders of the Sun gets the crown from me. Somewhat of a surprise because each of Cirio’s post-apocs seemed a little worse than the previous. Then all of a sudden Raiders of the Sun, his last one, hit on all cylinders! Stryker and Wheels of Fire are a close second place.

BONUS TRASHY POST-APOCALYPSE MOVIE MADE IN THE PHILIPPINES…

Gotta mention this one because it has some great jungle locations. I’d rate it about equal to Future Hunters on the list above.

Warriors of the Apocalypse, directed by Bobby Suarez (1985).warriorsofapocalypse-c

  • Gold!
  • Jungle rating: 5!
  • Rope bridge battle
  • Humming natives
  • Immortal death clown Little People
  • Amazon temple
  • Mindfeeble gaze
  • Spike trap
  • Fertility ritual
  • Lazer eye battle
  • Combat throne
  • Power plant with leprous keepers
  • Shoulder pad fetish

For more in-depth reviews of these and other PA movies, check out www.post-apocalypse.co.uk.

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5 Responses to “Trash of the Apocalypse: A Guide to Cirio’s Post-Apoc movies”

  1. […] ruined hill-top stronghold with a commanding view of the surrounding blasted jungle.  (Maybe like the ruins of Corregidor?)It is the main headquarters of the Phantom Soldiers.  General Li is here and he is a lot like Lee […]

  2. […] (Also check out my Guide to Cirio’s Post-Apocalypse movies.) […]

  3. This is a great list!

    TO THE NETFLIX!!!

    • dpbrandt said

      Hehe, I’m not sure if any of these are on Netflix?? I think Raiders of the Sun had an official DVD release. Non-official DVDs of many of these can be found at revok.com. Let me know if you’d like a coupon code. 😉 Or there is VHS, which is the best way to watch 80s movies!

  4. […] Wheels of Fire (1985) Corregidor ruins show up for about five minutes as a post-apocalypse militant gang hideout. Also of note is the painting of additional ravaged ruins into the scene during an outdoors shot of one of the batteries (perhaps Wheeler). Makes it look extra epic. Cirio recycled the same painted ruins scene for a few seconds in Raiders of the Sun (1992). […]

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