After the Oil Wars decimate the world, nothing remains but small communities of survivors eking out a living and those predators that prey on the communities. One particularly dangerous predator is Straker, an ex-military officer with a platoon of loyal scavengers at his disposal and an incredibly lethal weapon in the form of a heavily-armored semi truck that serves as a mobile command center and a battering ram. The combination of manpower and machine allows Straker and his men to roam the countryside seeking out all of the remaining fuel, murdering those who protect it and leveling everything in their path; he’s become nearly unstoppable.
When a young girl held captive by Straker named Corlie escapes his clutches, she’s recued by Hunter (Michael Beck of The Warriors), a heroic and enigmatic loner on a motorcycle. Unwilling to keep the girl with him at his secluded mountaintop home, Hunter drops her off in a little village for her safety. Straker’s far from forgotten about Corlie though and before long he and his juggernaut on wheels come a’knockin’ at the gates and only looting, torturing and murder will suffice until she’s found.
Hunter and Corlie must join with the remainder of the village and come up with a way to stop Straker and the Battletruck or they’ll never know peace.
Shout! Factory’s Corman double feature of Deathsport and Battletruck is low budget post-nuke gold and I can’t recommend this enough to cult cinema fans looking for action, adventure, wasteland warriors, damsels in distress and all the violence you can handle. If your post-nuke entertainment isn’t complete until you get poorly disguised, futured-up dirt bikes and stripped-down automobiles painted matte black, you’re guaranteed to get your fix here.
After watching both films on this disc, I’d have to say that Battletruck is my favorite, it focuses a bit more attention on characters and the production values were surprisingly solid and original considering the budget. This was a post-nuke mash-up of the wild wild west and the dark ages; slathered in mud, sprinkled with a little brutality and overflowing with your classic good versus evil storyline. Hunter and Straker represent opposites sides of the same coin, both appear to be products of the Oil Wars but each have taken a distinctly different path. The contract between them works nicely.
This isn’t rocket science but it is a bit deeper than most of the post-nuke films I’ve seen and though the big reveal is incredibly predictable, a rather disturbing dimension to it is revealed, making this just a bit more edgy and interesting. Don’t take my rave review to mean this is an amazing film or anything, it has some issues as most low budget post-nuke films do, but it’s got that extra touch of class that I found incredibly endearing. This Corman double feature is a must-have addition to the collection of any Corman or post-nuke fan.