Friday, 23 March 2012
Wheels of Fire
WHEELS OF FIRE (1985)
Directed by: Cirio H. Santiago
Screenplay: Frederick Bailey
Starring: Gary Watkins, Laura Banks, Lynda Wiesmeier, Linda Grovenor, Joe Mari Avellana
The future is decidedly apocalyptic, sleazy and action packed in this Philippine shot cheapie. Cashing in on all things Mad Max, Wheels of Fire features a desert, a bad ass hero (who doesn’t say much), lots of cool cars, some scuzzy bad guys, a couple of babes and lots of car crunching action. So, in the future the planet has been nuked, the land is scorched and Trace (Watkins) is one super-badass (complete with souped up car and killer leather pants) and has just rolled into a local encampment to say hi to his foxy, big boobed sister (Playboy Playmate Lynda Wiesmeier). She’s dating some douche bag who gets in a fight, which Trace has to step in and finish which in turn, pisses off an evil gang of road pirates lead by the hilariously awesome Scourge (Avellana). What follows is really just one continuous chase as the gang pursue Trace, kidnap his sister which leads Trace to then go after Scourge: but not before he’s made friends with a peace loving tribe and encountered all manner of post-apocalyptic nonsense.
And what post-apocalyptic nonsense it is as along with all the car crashing mayhem and copious amounts of ammo dispensing action we get a rocket ship out in the middle of the desert (!), a brief sojourn underground where our heroes are captured by the truly bizarre Sandmen (weird little cannibal like dudes!), a constantly ranting in gibberish Filipino midget that for reasons even too inexplicable for this type of film ends up joining the adventure, a weird psychic like lady (it wouldn’t be the post-apocalyptic future without some kind of psychic!) and a whole load of sleazy goings on as poor Linda Wiesmeier is abused by the bad guys. This, unfortunately, lowers the tone somewhat but Wheels of Fire stays just the right side of nasty grindhouse trash and focuses mainly on cramming in as many car chases, crashes and gunfights as possible.
Cirio H. Santiago (who made of ton of these kinds of films and as well as other equally cheap action and war films) delivers action scene after action scene featuring such highlights as cars tearing through the desert crashing into one another, all the principals exchanging constant gunfire, Trace dispensing justice with a flamethrower, the bad guys making good use of some mortars no doubt left over from one of Santiago’s Vietnam action films and in one particularly awesome moment a bad guy meeting a nasty end when two cars literally land on one another. Awesome! If you’ve seen the likes of Equalizer 2000 and Raiders of the Sun (or any other of Santiago’s post-nuke action flicks) then you know what to expect and for once the awesome cover (see above) doesn’t lie as what you see is pretty much what you get: eighty minutes of non-stop post-apocalyptic car smashing goodness and machine gun blasting craziness!