- Movie Rating -

Steel Dawn (1987)

| November 6, 1987

Steel Dawn is a negative space.  It forces a phenomenon all it’s own in which your brain cannot retain anything that you see on the screen.  That’s particularly troubling for me since I have a good memory for even the limpest dreck that I put myself through.  In sitting down to write my review, I had to look it up.  I knew I had seen a movie with this title but I had could not remember anything about it.  I guess my brain had negated its existence.  That’s just as well because, as I recall, it gave me nothing to really latch onto.  It just slipped right by me.

Recalling what I had seen, I have to write quickly as it seems determined to leave me once more.  It is one of those movies that only exists because earlier and better movies made money, including The Road Warrior and Conan the Barbarian.  This whole production looks and feels like a dime store version of those.  Patrick Swayze, if I recall, played a buff and tanned hero so uninteresting that the movie only gives him the name Nomad.  Maybe they should have called him Buff Tannen.

Nomad lives in the desert because – we’re told – the time is after the nuclear bombs have reduced mankind down to a population that could qualify for the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog.  After fighting off a bunch of zombie ninjas that live beneath the sand, he then sees his best buddy Cord (John Fujioka) murdered, sending him off into the desert.  Alone, of course.

One the brink of dying a buff and tanned death after wandering the desert, Nomad comes up on (of course) a small civilization of beautiful people who are (of course) being menaced by an evil jackass named Damnil (Anthony Zerbe) who (of course) wants all of their water for himself.  Nomad and his buddy Tarqe (Brion James) steal a waterpump from Damnil’s facility and there’s some nonsense about Tark not feeling that he got enough credit for the success.

Honestly, I don’t know, and I don’t really care.  It is slipping away again.  I remember now that after defeating Damnil, our hero Nomad had to leave the facility and be on his merry way.  Why?  They have water.  Just stay there!  Guess that’s what buff and tan guys do.  I wouldn’t know.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1987) View IMDB Filed in: Action