2020 Texas Gladiators (Italian: Texas 2000) is an Italian science fiction action film co-directed by Joe D’Amato and George Eastman.
The film has been released under several titles, including Anno 2020: I Gladiatori del Futuro (lit. Year 2020 Gladiators of the Future), Futoro, 2020: Freedom Fighters, 2020: The Rangers of Texas and Sudden Death.
After bitter wars and natural disasters, the earth is devastated, depopulated and chaotic; morality and law no longer exist. Marauding gangs terrorise the last gatherings of peace-loving people, who often gather around churches. Only a small group of volunteers – the Rangers – fight back against injustice.
In Texas in 2020, degenerate villains raid a monastery in which pretty Maida took refuge, when five roving Rangers show up. The battle-hardened men quickly succeed in repelling the attackers and restoring order. However, during the incident, one of her saviours named Catch Dog falls into disgrace as he tries to rape Maida. He is eventually rejected by his comrades. Later, Ranger Nexus separates from his friends, taking Maida with him.
Five years later, Nexus and Maida live with their little daughter a seemingly safe life in the settlement of Free Town. In addition to basic services, the community operates a power plant and uranium mine. The village’s energy reserves soon lure in dark outlaws. One day, disaster strikes as Catch Dog manages to bring down Free Town with his gang. Catch Dog himself acts on behalf of the “Black One”, a totalitarian ruler who subjugates the population with his thugs. In an attempt to resist, Nexus dies. The able-bodied men are enslaved and used as laborers in the uranium production, the women are sold to different bars in the area.
At some point, the three remaining Rangers meet Maida and set her free from her master, a gambler. The three encounter and manage to enlist the help of an indigenous tribe. Ultimately, the Rangers and the recruited warriors succeed in taking back Free Town. The regime of terror is overthrown. Both Catch Dog and Black One are killed, and in the midst of combat, also one of the Ranger succumbs to his injuries. In the end, Maida and her daughter can expect a happier future. The two remaining Rangers leave.
- Al Cliver … Nisus.
- Harrison Muller … Jab.
- Daniel Stephen … Catch Dog.
- Peter Hooten … Halakron.
- Hal Yamanouchi … Red Wolfe (as Al Yamanouchi).
- Sabrina Siani … Maida.
- Isabella Rocchietta … Kezia.
- Geretta Geretta … (as Janna Ryann).
- Donald O’Brien … Black One (as Donal O’Brien).
In a 1996 interview, D’Amato stated that Eastman “didn’t feel confident enough in the action scenes and so I dealt with those, leaving him to the direction of the actors. But in this case, the name recorded at the Ministry (director’s credit) was mine.” D’Amato received directing credit, although Eastman directed most of the dialogue scenes according to D’Amato. Eastman also stated in 1996, that “These (post-atomic) films, which were made in the wake of the various Mad Max movies, were decidedly crummy. The set designs were poor….and the genre met a swift and well-deserved death. I only wrote these awful movies for financial reasons….no attempt at originality was made at all.”
2020 Texas Gladiators was passed by Italian censors in 1984. The film was released on VHS in 1985 by Media Home Entertainment.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Joe D’Amato (as Kevin Mancuso) and George Eastman.
- Producer(s): Joe D’Amato.
- Writer(s): George Eastman and Aldo Florio.
- Music: Francis Taylor and Carlo Maria Cordio.
- Cinematography: Joe D’Amato (as John Larson).
- Editor(s): Caesar White.
- Production: Eureka Cinematografica.
- Distributor(s): Eureka Cinematografica.
- Release Date: 10 June 1983 (US, limited) and March 1984 (Italy).
- Running Time: 91 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: Italy.
- Language: Italian.