BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Wheels of Fire: Roger Corman’s Post Nuke Collection (1985) - Blu-ray Review

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Wheels of Fire - Blu-ray Review

Forget about the search for water.  This time out in the cinematic wastelands , the general public simply wants topless women in skintight leather shorts!  And, financed by producer Roger Corman, Wheels of Fire aims to please. 

There are two reasons this movie exists.  The first one can be answered by watching The Road Warrior or, hell, Mad Max.  Both good movies, right?  Let’s make our own in the Philippines!  The second reason is simply because making a ridiculously stupid knockoff of those movies is dirt cheap and drive-in moviegoers will buy a ticket and take the ride. 

And, well, because I am all about being honest here, there is a third reason: Playboy Playmate Lynda Wiesmeier’s spectacular breasts.  She looks good even when being tied down on the hood of a car.  I swear that her breasts actually have more screen time than Gary Watkins, the “star” of this B-grade motion picture, does. 

Wheels of Fire is incredible bad.  It is also all kinds of sooooo bad, it’s good awesomeness.


Directed by the prolific Cirio H. Santiago, Wheels of Fire speeds up the footage of junked-up hot rods racing through the desert as their drivers waste a lot of gas (“Fuck you!”) and make out with hot chicks with falcons that land on their arms.  All of this helps to make this rather cornball post-apocalyptic setting look like a not so terrible of a place to be stuck in at all.

But, man, does this story ever suck.  The characters are so poorly developed that, by the end of this exploitation flick, even the over-the-top action becomes pretty damn boring.  Dragging people by jeep through the wasteland?  Pretty cool.  Blowing them away with machine guns while leaping off impossibly high cliffs and landing on two feet while still firing your gun?  Pretty damn cool, too.

Except this movie makes it look all so incredibly dull, thanks to the senselessness of it all, that even the addition of pale munchkins living below the surface, all chanting some bizarre language, can’t help it find any sense of direction.

Our black-clad hero, Trace (Watkins, making all sorts of hilarious faces while he “speeds” through the wastelands) meets up with his hot sister, Arlee (Lynda Weismeier), and, with her boyfriend Bo (Steve Parvin) in tow, they proceed to run down a random gang of thugs.  It is some spectacularly low-fi carmageddon type explosions. 

Then, in order to have a romp in the sand, they split up.  Trace draws the baddies to a tower and, from the top, uses a flamethrower to burn their headbands off with.  And then he meets up with a bounty hunter named Stinger (Laura Banks).  She has her own eagle.  Why?  Because it’s cool, man. 

By the time Trace returns from roasting the bad guys, his sister has been kidnapped, stripped of her clothes, and strapped to the hood of a Ford Mustang, so the two of them go on a mission.  Except Stinger soon gets abducted by creatures living below the sand (in caverns).  Shit.  I give up. 

Wheels of Fire - Blu-ray Review

Wheels of Fire is incredible bad.  It is also all kinds of sooooo bad, it’s good awesomeness.  This wild film is all over the place with its exploitation wackiness.  Evil giggling sandmen that eat humans?  Check.  A psychic name Spike (Linda Grovenor)?  Check.  Short people?  Check.  But competent story?  WHO NEEDS THAT?!?!?!?

Ride or die.  Wheels of Fire is now on blu-ray thanks to Code Red.

3 beers

Wheels of Fire - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
81 mins
Director
: Cirio H. Santiago
Writer:
Frederick Bailey
Cast:
Gary Watkins, Laura Banks, Lynda Wiesmeier
Genre
: Action
Tagline:
There may be no tomorrow.
Memorable Movie Quote: "What's the matter, sweetheart? You don't like my looks?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Concorde Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
September, 1985
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 30, 2015
Synopsis: In a postapocalyptic future, a ruthless vehicular gang called the Highway Warriors is conquering the wasteland through murder and plunder. During a raid, they kidnap the sister of a road warrior named Trace. He brings hell down upon them.

Wheels of Fire - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Code Red
Available on Blu-ray
- June 30, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free Playback

Wheels of Fire looks pretty decent.  Colors are bright enough and lines are clean.  The black levels are also consistent.  As we go from one desert locale to another, it should be noted that there is a lot of the natural word on display here.  Yellows, browns, and specks of dust are dominant.  The female flesh is also supple, complete with pores and western-inspired close-ups.  A mono track for the dialogue and the cheesy music is also attached.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

With NEW interviews and Katarina’s Post Nuke Theatre, the special features on this release fill in all the gaps we need to know about this knockoff production. 

  • Katarina’s Post Nuke Theatre
  • Interview with Roger Corman
  • Interview with producer Clark Henderson
  • Interview with writer Fred Bailey
  • Trailer

Wheels of Fire - Blu-ray Review

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