The Nonsensical Cut-and-Pasteness of ULTRA WARRIOR

In From the Vault by John Tebbutt



“Hey John, you must have seen Ultra Warrior, right?”

“Huh? No, not yet.”

“It’s this terrible science fiction film that?s been pieced together
out of dozens of other movies.”


“We’re gonna watch it again tonight. Come on over and see how many
of the stolen scenes you can recognize. We need an expert.”


Throwing on my coat, it suddenly occurs to me that people are
starting to perceive me as some kind of crap-movie expert. Serves me
right, I suppose.

I arrive at Dan’s house a bit late, missing most of the evening’s
first flick, David Carradine’s cheapass Yojimbo ripoff, The
Warrior and The Sorceress (1984). Most of the gang has lost
interest and wandered away, so I sit down and start to heckle the
film. Before long, everybody’s back at the TV, having fun. (If
Mystery Science Theatre 3000 has taught us anything, it’s how to
enjoy a dumb movie.)

So...where's the Sorceress?

So…where’s the Sorceress?

Time for Ultra Warrior. Dan wasn’t kidding. This thing’s a tossed
salad of stock footage. What kind of hubris convinced the filmmakers
that they could just staple together slightly-altered scenes from 50
different (and I mean different) films, and still maintain a wisp
of a lucid narrative? (They were probably influenced by Hollywood
Boulevard [1976], a cult classic that did the same thing and
managed to pull it off nicely.) We go from spaceships to
gladiatorial combat to sleazy bars to sword-wielding barbarians to
softcore sex scenes (easily the most competently made bits in the
entire film), while the voice-over narration tries to tie everything
together and tells us that it’s all the same story! In a hilariously
surreal coincidence, the first bit of stolen footage is from The
Warrior and The Sorceress!

Me again?

Me again?

“We just saw this!!” everybody yells. There it was, the exact same
scene I had walked in on earlier in the evening — irrefutable proof that

Ultra Warrior is indeed The Daddy of recycled celluloid.



Delight filled the room. We were sure that this bizarre coincidence
would be the highlight of the evening, but it was bettered by a
particularly stupid bit of dialogue….

The heroes are driving through the radioactive desert, on the run
from the bad guys. “This is gonna be the biggest hunting party we’ve
ever seen!” they mutter, referring to the posse on their trail. (The
line is repeated three times, just to make sure we get it.) They
then decide to snoop on the villain’s radio broadcasts. Since the
budget doesn’t allow for an actual CB radio, they settle for
listening to the glove compartment. A voice from the magic glove box
says “This is gonna be the biggest hunting party they’ve ever seen!”
(That’s four….) “North team, approach from the South! South
team, you approach from the West! West and East teams, circle around
to the North! Party at the Coliseum when ya get back. God love ya!”
(We rewound this scene three times, laughing like donkeys, while I
frantically scrambled for a pencil.)

For the rest of the screening, I tried to maintain my newly acquired
status as a crap-movie expert by watching for more stolen scenes.
One bit was obviously from Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), but I
sort of fudged my way through the rest. (“That’s probably Lords of
the Deep… this might be from Raiders of Atlantis…” etc.) Most
of the film is actually taken from a 1990 flick called Welcome to
Oblivion. (I looked it up.) At the end, the heroes walk
triumphantly into the sunset, while some kind of outdoor PA system
announces that the ozone layer came back. (It came back!? Where the
hell did it go? Did it bring a pizza?)

We rounded out the evening with an old favourite, Death Race 2000
(1975). Twenty-five years later, Paul Bartel’s trash classic still
never fails to entertain. In fact, Maxim magazine recently
honoured it with the number one spot on their list of the “50
Greatest B-Movies of All Time.” It’s even got the worst pun in movie
history: Death-racer “Frankenstein” (David Carradine, again) takes
off his glove, revealing a metal hand with a fragmentation-patterned
explosive bulge in the middle.

“That’s a grenade!” his companion shrieks.

“A hand grenade!” he replies.