The Ultimate Warrior

Year: 1975

Production: Warner Bros.

Director: Robert Clouse

Starring: Yul Brynner, Max von Sydow, Joanna Miles, William Smith

Screenwriter: Robert Clouse

92 minutes; Color

New York in AD2022 is in an advanced state of decay after a man-made biological catastrophe that occurred decades earlier. The leader of a group who have barricaded a street against gangs of thugs roaming outside hires the services of a super-Samurai (Brynner). This was promoted as the first kung-fu sf movie, following, as it does, the basic formula of the kung-fu genre (two camps each with their own champion fight it out to the death in the final reel) and it was produced by Fred Weintraub and Paul Heller, who had made Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon (1973), also directed by Clouse. But, surprisingly, it is well scripted and unpretentious, though cynical. The Ultimate Warrior was a forerunner of the post-holocaust action-movie boom represented by Mad Max (1979) and its many sequels and imitations, including Escape from New York (1981).

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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