Exterminators of the Year 3000 (1983)
Director: Giuliano Carnimeo
Starring: Robert Iannucci, Alicia Moro, Fernando Bilbao & Luca Venantini
Released by: Scream Factory
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
Set in a post-apocalyptic future where water is the most precious substance, Exterminators of the Year 3000 focuses on a rebellious drifter who wages war against a gang of road-dwelling psychos for control of their deserted environment and its water source. Joined by a former flame and a young child, the leather-bound warrior undergoes countless car chases and numerous shootouts to make a difference for the few survivors of nuclear fallout. Robert Iannucci (Young Doctors in Love), Alicia Moro (Edge of the Axe), Fernando Bilbao (Roots of Evil), Luciano Pigozzi (Blood and Black Lace) and Luca Venantini (City of the Living Dead) star.
In true Italian exploitation fashion, Exterminators of the Year 3000 hardly shies from its blatant attempts to mimic George Miller’s Mad Max films. Substituting gasoline for water, a band of underground survivors strive to locate more of the element in order to keep their peaceful community alive. After a recovery team is murdered by a gang of road warriors led by Crazy Bull (Bilbao), a child, Tommy (Venantini), is the only survivor left with knowledge of the water source. Scared and alone, Tommy encounters Animal (Iannucci), a fellow scavenger, who temporarily puts his selfishness aside to journey with Tommy to the mysterious location. Dodging Crazy Bull and his ruthless gang proves difficult as violent showdowns involving, exploding car chases and Tommy’s robotic arm being ripped from his body, sidelining Animal and his young partner’s mission. Meanwhile, Animal encounters Trash (Moro), a former flame still angered by his disappearing act on her and determined to join their hunt for water. With dangerous threats mounting and horribly mutated creatures protecting the valued source, humanity’s last hope for survival is in question.
From Director Giuliano Carnimeo (The Case of the Bloody Iris) under the pseudonym Jules Harrison, Exterminators of the Year 3000 is one of many post-apocalyptic cash in attempts that closely mirrors its inspirations with little individuality. A co-production between Italy and Spain, shot predominately in the latter, Exterminators of the Year 3000 makes the most of its desolate locations and limited budget with an, at times, laughable dub track offering plenty of unintentional hilarity. In addition, a product of its time, the futuristic film delivers a pleasing synthesizer score with decent action set pieces that should satisfy likeminded viewers. While, it hardly towers George Miller’s road ravaging classics nor qualifying as a total blunder, Exterminators of the Year 3000 ultimately, falls into the grey area of mediocrity as a B-movie effort with mildly fun moments that never quite reaches the status of cult iconography.
Scream Factory debuts Exterminators of the Year 3000 with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Relaying its drab desert landscape and lacking vibrant colors, the film appears relatively soft with minimal detail in closeups. Luckily, dirt and debris is virtually nonexistent in this otherwise clean transfer that retains its natural film grain. Previously released on DVD in full frame, Scream Factory’s Blu-ray treatment while, although mild, is still a decent upgrade in quality that honors the film’s OAR for the first time. Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, Exterminators of the Year 3000 sounds relatively tame with audible dialogue levels and a rather lackluster boost during more action-orientated sequences. Ported over from Code Red DVD’s previous release, special features include, an Audio Commentary with Actor Robert Iannucci, moderated by Code Red’s Bill Olsen, Boogie Down with the Alien: Interview with Robert Iannucci (17:43), a Trailer (3:51) and TV Spots (0:43).
Following in the tradition of other nuclear aftermath pictures, Exterminators of the Year 3000 does little to differentiate itself from the pack. Complimented only by its humorous dub track and moderately engaging action sequences, Exterminators of the Year 3000 is best appreciated for laughs than its “wildly unique” concept. With expectations kept at bay, fans of B-grade, post-apocalyptic fare will find enough in this Italian/Spanish co-production to be entertained by its satisfyingly synth score and copycat characters. Meanwhile, Scream Factory’s Blu-ray treatment is a suitable upgrade from its past DVD release that improves by retaining the film’s original aspect ratio and porting over all previously available special features. Cheesy yet, stunted in mediocrity, Exterminators of the Year 3000 falls somewhere in the middle of other futuristic survival films from a decade booming with them.