Action, Adventure, Science Fiction

Stryker (1983)

Comments Off on Stryker (1983) 06 May 2017


Studio: Kino

Theatrical Release: September 2, 1983

Blu Ray Release: January 3, 2017

Director: Cirio H. Santiago


Review by James Klein

There’s nothing like a good Mad Max rip-off on a Friday evening and while I was watching the entertaining but mediocre Stryker, my feelings and memories of nostalgia came running back to the days of watching The Road Warrior, Megaforce, and Warlords of the 21st Century for the first time. Somehow I missed Stryker back in the day and while the film is a blatant, cheap knock off of The Road Warrior with less spectacular stunts, I couldn’t help but enjoy myself for 86 minutes. 

The opening narration sets up the basic storyline: the future has had a breakdown in technology and the only resource that is worth anything is water. Those who have water, control the world. In the vast wasteland, many groups or tribes of men and women are banded together, fighting one another for any water supply. In the dessert, it’s life and death and everyone is an animal. Humans will rape and kill anyone just for a taste of water. When Deltha (Andrea Savio from Death Screams) is attacked by a bunch of biker-looking men in the middle of nowhere. She is saved by two men, one of them the handsome and soft spoken Stryker (Steve Sandor from Fire and Ice and Bonnie’s Kids) and the other a gruff biker named Bandit (William Ostrander from Christine). 

Stryker is a loner and a man with a troubled past as his wife was murdered by the evil Kardis (Mike Lane from The Zebra Force) whose hand was chopped off by Stryker before he escaped his clutches. Now Kardis is bent on revenge and so is Stryker. However Deltha and her band of Amazon women hold a secret of where the last springs on Earth lay, where she and the other survivors are building a colony but are hellbent on keeping their secret from Kardis. Stryker and Bandit eventually must protect the springs from Stryker’s arch enemy in a violent and action packed showdown. 

Circo H. Santiago, a Pilipino director who has directed such exploitation fare as The Muthers, The Sisterhood, and Dune Warriors has a good eye for action and making cheap exploitation fare entertaining, while also making great use of a low budget. His films are generally entertaining but forgettable, often starring wooden actors who may or may not be dubbed, filling the film with some violence and tits. Stryker is mindless and silly and sometimes that’s the best kind of entertainment. 

Kino’s blu ray may not win people over. The film has probably never looked great due to its low budget and the rather dark picture seems to not have much of an upgrade in HD. The source print has seen some damage, scratches and speckling throughout the picture. I’m sure it looks better than any old VHS tape but that isn’t say much. The 2.0 DTS-HD sound mix isn’t much better but is serviceable. The only extra feature on the blu ray aside from the theatrical trailer is an audio commentary by filmmaker Jim Wynorski who had nothing to do with Stryker. Why is he on the commentary track? Well he explains that he was a good friend to Santiago before his passing in 2008 and helped finish his final film, Water Wars (which wasn’t released until 2014). Not to mention, they couldn’t find any of the remaining cast members of the film. Wynorski talks about his friendship with Santiago, his own career and start with Roger Corman and the film’s remake which was in fact Water Wars. It’s a decent commentary and worth a listen. 

If you are in the mood for a cheap, 80’s, post-apocalypse sci-fi action film, Stryker may be your cup of tea. It’s not boring thankfully and has some decent action sequences and cool cars. Film snobs…stay far, far away. 

Movie Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Blu Ray Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

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