Land of Doom – 1986 – Post Apocalypse
First of all, Land of Doom is a very dated film, let’s get that out of the way. It was released in 1986 and it’s pretty obvious. The settings, the way the motorcycles are “hotted” and the way the gangs dress certainly gives that away. Plus, it’s not a particularly good movie if you look at it objectively if there’s even such a thing as objectivity when it comes to movie watching. I think we all take our personal tastes into consideration even if we don’t want to. Sure, you can train yourself to recognize your preferences and ignore them but there will always be factors that your subconscious can’t ignore.
I, for one, really like post-apocalyptic movies like this one. There’s something special with a flick that takes place after a dystopian world finally destroyed itself and only a few survivors remain. It might be after a nuclear war or some other catastrophe, it really doesn’t matter. In this case, it’s not really explained what happened. We’re just into this barren wasteland world, to begin with. There is a motorcycle gang trying to control everything and of course, also trying to steal all food and resources for themselves. I guess human nature is always the same.
It’s so much easier just looking out for yourself than to see the greater good in a whole population. Some people will always want to have more and be in total control of everything. Look at the world today. Some filthy rich people can’t stay satisfied while others starve around the globe. And look at the dictators around the world. I won’t point fingers or mention names but we all know that some aren’t satisfied if they’re not in absolute power.
The New Barbarians
If we are to compare this to other movies I would say that MadMax is the most famous one. Maybe you don’t even have to isolate one of the original movies, mainly the first and second, both with Mel Gibson. They’re more or less the same or maybe I’m having a problem separating them from each other. There are futuristic gangs riding old cars and motorcycles that have been rebuilt to look a bit more aggressive. Although I guess the idea is to have them look more armored. But when I see Land of Doom, my mind doesn’t go first to MadMax but to Enzo Castellari’s The New Barbarians aka Warriors of the Wasteland. I can’t really explain why but I think it’s mainly the bikes and the controlling gang feel to Land of Doom that does it.
But yet, Land of Doom is also about feminism, if feminism was really a thing in 1986? We have this strong woman that more or less refuses to team up with anyone, especially not with the male lead of the movie. Of course, they team up anyway but she’s obviously reluctant to do so. We later find out that she doesn’t like to be touched and that she’s obviously been sexually abused in the past and can’t trust any man. Maybe I’m overanalyzing but it could be a social commentary there. Or maybe it’s just exploitation. Not that there is any nudity or violence in that sense but there is this equality between men and women. How we all must cooperate and help each other if we want to survive.
Yet, I can’t help but think that she’s being sexualized in some of the shots. Nothing major but it’s noticeable for sure. And, the main villain, because there obviously is one, what’s her for sex. Of course, she refuses to take part and holds her ground which leads to her being thrown away like garbage so that his men can “have fun” with her. Well, you know where this leads. She won’t have it and together with the male lead. They keep on fighting the evil gang of motorcyclists.
As I mentioned in the beginning, this is not really a good movie but I like it as I like postapocalyptic wasteland films. For me, it sure had great entertainment value, cannibalistic innuendos, and funny-looking motorcycles. Oh, and the costumes! They’re really hilarious but sure fit the theme of the movie. So…if you like this kind of movie and can find Land of Doom, you should definitely give it a chance!