Steel Dawn (1987)

Article 3130 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-22-2009
Posting Date: 3-10-2010
Directed by Lance Hool
Featuring Patrick Swayze, Lisa Niemi, Anthony Zerbe
Country: USA
What it is: Post-apocalyptic compendium of action cliches

It’s after the apocalypse. A wandering soldier witnesses the assassination of his old teacher by a hired sword. He hooks up with a farming family who were going to be under his former teacher’s protection, and seeks to save them from the machinations of an evil man intent on controlling all the water in the region.

Patrick Swayze makes a fine action hero, and Anthony Zerbe and Christopher Neame make for good villains, so I don’t really have issues with the acting here. It’s the script that is sleepwalking through the movie. It’s a rehash of THE ROAD WARRIOR, only without the motor vehicles, so we get a lot more walking. What it doesn’t borrow from THE ROAD WARRIOR, it culls from any number of western and action movies, and though the odd moment here or there may show a bit of creativity, the movie is otherwise totally lacking in surprises.

You know, you can just tell when you’re in the eighties…


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