Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hands of Steel (1986)

"Vendetta dal futuro"

If I told you there was a movie starring an arm wrestling cyborg, would you want to see it?  Hell yeah, you would.  How could you not?  Well, here you go. And I'm not talking Stallone in Over the Top (although it could be argued that his acting is mechanical.)

Evil industrialist Francis Turner doesn't care for blind wheelchair bound Dr. Mosley, a leading environmentalist with a political agenda.  So he sends a cyborg named Paco (snicker) to assassinate Mosely.  But the scientists working on the cyborg project hadn't considered that Paco is only 70% bionic, and thus his human side resurfaces and he thoughtfully maims Mosely instead of terminating him.

Paco goes on the run and ends up with the FBI, Turner and eventually a group of arm wrestling truckers chasing him. What's that? You heard me. Because when Paco runs, he ends up in the middle of the desert at a small cafe/bar where he enters the strange world of trucker arm wrestling.  The bar is covered with photos of the champions, who in real life are pro wrestlers like Hillbilly Jim and Bruno Sammartino. (Side note - when I was a little kid I thought his name was Bruno Sam Martino).

Linda, the lovely bar maid, takes him in and you just know that's going to be trouble. As he looks at the photos on the wall, she says, "You ever arm wrestle?... it's a big deal around here. Those are the champs from the past ten years." (Pan to photo which has Champ of the Year written on it in Sharpie)

Yup, jealous truckers, arm wrestling competitions (including one match where whoever is pinned  releases a snake to chomp on the losers arm), evil Turner (John Saxon) and his henchmen, clear plastic skirts, more killer cyborgs (one with the annoying voice of a bird), and the unanswerable question - are they greasing up the cyborg or does he have the ability to sweat? And if he can sweat, good god why?! What more could you ask for?  Well, I guess you could ask for something slightly more interesting, but it's so ridiculous that it's got good entertainment value.  This has to be seen to be believed.

Questionable dialogue:

Paco: I need a place to stay for a couple days.
Linda: Sure. And in exchange you help me out around here until you cut my throat.  And take off with the few bucks I've got in the till.
Paco: I could have done that already.
Linda: Ok, I'll take a chance.

The hard to read title
What's an intimidating name for a cyborg? Let's call him Paco.
You just know they recycled those plastic walls
from some cheap Italian space movie.
George Jones demands an answer
This is the shape of the object that hit him.
It could be one of the following items.
Cyborg surgery.
Oh damn, the cyborg with the plastic skirt has gone crazy.
Really tough bikers roll up their pants legs
and wear plastic chest protectors.
Huh? The unexpected ending statement.
R.I.P.  Claudio Cassinelli who died in a
helicopter crash during filming
Not to be totally depressing, but if you want more info on the helicopter crash that killed Cassinelli, you can check out Arizona Aircraft Wrecks.

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