Mid quality Fulci - Low quality DVD
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Once more it becomes appearant that Troma's president Lloyd Kauffmann comes from another world. In that world, lousy DVD's looking like conserved VHS tapes are called "loving restorations". At least, there is some interesting bonus material, including statements of Fulci's daughter Antonella. Anyway, it is nice that "New Gladiators" was released at all.
It is an interesting and dark variation on the "Rollerball" theme, though I would not call it a good movie. It is carried out in a style which is typical for that period of Fulci's work, that is, more effort is spend on enhancing single scenes to the maximum effect than on developing a coherent narrative. "New Gladiators" has a fairly good opening, including the surreal murder of the protagonist's wife, and an ending which is appropriate for a sci-fi movie. Unfortunately, the middle part is very weak and confused. It reaches its silliest moment when the protagonist swallows a computer chip which enables him to manipulate electronic devices and even melt metal walls only to be re-captured one minute later.
The special effects work well, even the toy models are not so bad, and the movie has a nice musical score. In contrast to "Rollerball", "New Gladiators" disposes also of the background of the antique Rome (at one point, new gladiators meet old gladiators).
As a Fulci fan you will probably be surprised that he could also handle a sci-fi project with some success."
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After a rapid decline in quality with CONQUEST, Fulci did better with this low-budget but enjoyable futuristic action thriller. It's a messily-plotted but fun movie made to cash in on the then-popular (and short-lived) [...]This is set in a BLADE RUNNER-style world of shuttles zipping across high skyscrapers, and is ruled over by corrupt TV stations who keep the human race in control with ever-more violent TV game shows. One such station stages a re-staging of the Ancient Rome Gladiator games - on motorbikes!Though it has many faults (tacky FX, poor action scenes, hard-to-follow story), it still has some good ideas and decent acting from Italo-exploitation regulars like Jared Martin, Al Yamanouchi, Claudio Cassinelli, Howard Ross and Al Cliver. Fred Williamson's also around, but he barely gets twenty words to say!Effective scenes on cruelty include prisoners forced hang over electrified floors, a pair of gory decapitations, and a good psychological torture scene. Best aspect of the film is Riz Ortolani's pounding theme tune, but this becomes overused with time.Not a great film, but it's certainly worth seeing."
New Gladiators is Definately 'Old School'
buffnye | Uncasville, CT United States | 01/13/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Coming from the 'Italian Master of Gore' I was definately expecting something that this movie is not. It is not comparable to Fulci's masterpieces. While there were a small handfull of scenes where the Master makes himself known, they were too few and far between to keep the movie alive.This movie is very similar to the dozens of other low-budget 'dark future' movies of the time, and if you've seen one you've seen them all. The story is slow and often difficult to follow and the ending makes zero sense.However I do give this movie points for originality. This movie is a lower budget version of 'The Running Man', except this movie was first. I also enjoyed the god-awful special effects; they were another saving grace of the film (read: the fly by city miniature scenes). Not to mention the soundtrack that consists of one song repeated over and over (not a bad song though).Even though the movie is not too enjoyable, I would have given in three stars because of the extras, unfortunately the awful quality of the movie took away from its rating. But in true Troma fashion there are a decent array of extras included with this flic.Bottom line don't expect 'Zombie', but rather a lower budget 'Logan's Run' or 'The Running Man'. If these kind of movies are your thing then you can probably get your money's worth from this film."
Forget Gladiator, The New Gladiators will always be newer.
Blake Ryan | Colo Vale, N.S.W Australia | 07/16/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a post-nuke fans delight. It's packed with Italian post-nuke regulars Fred Williamson, Al Cliver, and Al Yamanouchi. It's basically the same plot as The Running Man, but in a cruel irony, The New Gladiators was made years earlier! Plenty of futuristic sets, clothes, and dirtbike action to please even the most jaded post-nuke fan! ( this text refers to the vhs version)."