Comfortable and Furious

Steel Dawn

He is the desert warrior, carving the future with his

Entire Story in Fewer Words than are in this Sentence:
Patrick Swayze stands on his head for freedom.

Swayze always did his best to cater to the leathercrowd, and he tips his cap once again to those whoneed to see him in tight pants and glorious chaps. Theres a great deal of padding going on in the crotcharea as well, and our hero is blissfully bronzed,rippled, and beaded with sweat while swinging heavyequipment under the hot sun. Thankfully, Swayze alsohas an extended bathing scene, where we not only spenda great deal of time staring at this chest, but get tohear the line, Whats the matter? Never seen a grownman naked? Of course, hes surrounded by dusty hunksat the time. Theres also the bit part of the villagedoctor who is an even gayer version of Jamie Farr, buthes overwhelmed by the villain who is a dead ringerfor Nikki Sixx. He has several lengthy battles withSwayze, including a climactic clash of orgasmicproportions. The pair heave, huff, growl, and flex,all while poking, prodding, jabbing, and thrusting. The film is also kind enough to include hay carts anda windmill, giving the two lovers ample opportunity tofall to the ground in ejaculatory despair. Swayzemanages to receive a brutal gash near the groin, buthe triumphs with a savage blow to his rivals heart. Boys, you’ve earned those cigarettes.

Corpse Count:
Sixteen filthy beasts are dispatched in the films 101minutes, including at least one decapitation and aknife to the throat. The unfortunate bastard whoreceived the blade also fell back into razor wire,further enhancing the bloodlust.

How bad was it really?
The opening sequence set the stage, as Swayze spendsat least ten minutes fighting off demented sandcreatures with swords, somersaults, and a karate chopor two. Eight poor saps are sent to their maker duringthe battle, and Swayze manages to keep a straight facethroughout while looking eerily like Frank Stallone. Theres another ridiculous scene involving the headbaddie, an old fop who wants water and will stopatnothing to get it. So when he rides into the villageto scare everyone shitless, what does he do? Why, hehas his henchmen overturn a large barrel filled withburning trash! But why single out a particularcharacter? This is one of the eras silliest efforts,complete with atrocious dialogue, pitiful acting (theworst of all by Swayzes wife, who clearly sleptthrough her cue card classes), and an awkward romanceso lifeless that it all but forces the audience toconclude that heterosexual intercourse is worse than aroot canal. And did I mention that, once again,Swayzes character is into meditation? As such, hestands on his head to clear away the demons. Fine, Iguess Ill give you some sample dialogue as well: Youre a big, fat, slimy pig! Do you ever wonder what people did before thesandstorms? Before you fight, you must first learn to meditate. You used to be faster! You used to have hair. Its not you, its me! I attract violence!

Post-Mortem One-Liner:
After a laughable sand boat race involving a young boyand at least two pirate-like bad guys, the one dudewearing pounds of eyeliner is slammed in the chest bya massive blade. Assessing the situation with a coldeye, Swayze announces, I told you not to play withsharp objects.

Stupid Political Content:
In a decade full of pro-Reagan idolatry, Steel Dawn israther subdued politically. Sure, we can assume thatliberals appeased the Soviets, brought about nuclearwar, and gave us a post-apocalyptic planet, buttheres less overt grandstanding than wed come toexpect. Still, this is the desert and whites arefighting ethnic types for a precious resource, soperhaps this is a blueprint for Operation DesertStorm. But as our hero risks it all for a hot mom andher Aryan son, this could just as easily be theultimate triumph of the hard right of the politicalspectrum.

Novelty Death:
During the opening fight, Swayze sticks his sword deepinto the sand, a cry is heard, blood flows, and hefinally pulls out his blade, which is remarkably shinyand clean. What on earth did he kill down there? Still, kudos are in order for anyone who can look outon 100,000 square miles of endless desert and find theone spot where evil lurks.

What You Learned:
Crimped hair and mullets remain fashionable well intothe 23rd century. And fuck, man, the Reagan years werekind to foley artists. Very kind.



, ,