Dead End City (1988) Poster


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Direct to video action movie madness.
killer-robot!26 March 2009
In the year 1988 it would seem that Action International Pictures grew weary of the Italian film industry monopolization of the Escape From New York meets The Warriors genre. Their response to this weariness was to birth Dead End City into the world.

Sadly, when the dust kicked up by Dead End City's furious entrance into our world was settled, all one could see was an audience that had grown tired of the Escape From New York meets The Warriors genre. Indeed, no amount of Robert Z'Dar's terrifying jaw could get people to embrace this film as they had the adventures of Trash and his Italian partners in crime.

It somewhat unfortunate that this film has not been seen by more people. For one should know that Americans are sometimes just as capable of making ludicrous entries into the Escape From New York meets The Warriors genre as the Italians were.

I have grown tired of typing Escape From New York meets The Warriors genre so it is here that I will conclude my review.

If you must see this film humans, do so with beer and friends on hand. It will amplify your enjoyment of it.
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Dead Set Silly
helfeleather18 November 2002
The start is promising, with a gang of violent bikers on a murderous rampage, but it soon deteriorates into a drawn-out showdown between the gang and the heroes: Jack and Brett, two trigger-happy mates who like to wear their jeans extra tight, their friend Nancy, and her brother Malcolm, who for good measure is blind.

So that we don't get bored (It doesn't work.), there's a couple of sub-plots thrown in. A government conspiracy, and a love story between Jack and an ostensibly hard-nosed reporter.
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This is just barely worth seeing.
tarbosh2200011 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In the near future (?), criminal gangs have run so wild, normal civilians are relocated to shanty towns called "Evac Cities". The leader of one of the most ruthless gangs, The Ratts, is a guy named Maximum (Z'Dar). In the course of their daily rounds of terrorizing and killing, they run into one man who won't be intimidated: Jack Murphy (Cummins). He's a factory owner who inherited his business from his father. All Jack wants to do is sit in his office, eat his Chinese food and drink his Jolt Cola, but The Ratts have other plans. They stage a siege on Jack's factory, enraged that Jack won't be scared away. Jack and some of the people he's hiding, Nancy (Mekelburg), and her blind brother Malcolm (Wuesthoff), among a few others, break out their guns to defend the factory. Meanwhile, TV news reporter Opal Brand (Lunde) comes to do a story on Jack and ends up getting stuck there, so she and Jack forge a relationship. But what's the cause of all this mayhem? Could it be a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top? Try to imagine a cross between Assault On Precinct 13 (1976) and Chains (1989) - note that it's Chains - not The Warriors (1979) - because Dead End City is what you might call a "cheap and cheerful" tale whose threadbare plot and certain chintziness gives away its low-budget origins. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, especially as Peter Yuval, who also directed Firehead (1991), seems to have some aspirations of lifting this movie above the crowd, but its penury inevitably keeps it down.

It gets off to a funny start, with fan favorite Robert Z'Dar running around town yelling at people and harassing them, all the while wearing a suit jacket with an ascot, while his fellow Ratts wear the classic "80's gang baddies" getups we've all come to know and love. Z'Dar enlivens any role he's put in, and here is no exception. Gregory Scott Cummins, who forever will be in the hall of heroes because of the legendary Action U.S.A., makes yet another bid for being a leading action star. Sure, the market was flooded at this time with tough guys, everyone from Stallone to Van Damme to Edward Albert and Richard Norton and so many others vying for the video store patron's dollars and attention. While Dead End City may have its deficiencies, Cummins certainly isn't one of them, and he can easily stand as a leading man in his own right. For more Cummins, check out Bail Out (1989) and Cartel (1990).

While the whole "futuristic warzone on a budget" may recall you to some of Ron Marchini's classics, the music by Brian Bennett immediately puts you in AIP mode. Remember, this is the amazing musician who composed the killer song for Jungle Assault (1989). But there aren't enough ideas at work to make Dead End City feel like a fully fleshed-out concept. It can barely sustain its 80 minute running time (not 88 as the VHS box states). For this reason, it gets very repetitive and dumb.

If you're looking for action for pennies on the dollar, Dead End City certainly won't tax your brain. Thanks to the presence of Cummins and Z'Dar, this is just barely worth seeing.

For more action insanity, please visit:
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lukem-527605 September 2018
This is one hell of a fun Action packed survival siege thriller!!! Similar to Carpenters classic 1976 film Assault on precinct 13 as a small group of ordinary people are hiding out in & boarding up a big old factory like carpenters team did the same but in an old police building so i love that aspect of this movie as i love the survive the night in single place style also used in Trespass (1992),From Dusk Till Dawn (1996),Enemy Territory (1987),Critters (1986),The Green Room (2015) & Prince of Darkness (1987) another Carpenter classic & probably lots more films use that scenario. Dead End City is an excellent 80's movie with suspense scenes & excellent shootout scenes & an over all exciting atmosphere & two very good B-movie stars in the lead we have in the lead of the good guys & factory owner Greg Cummins as Jack Murphy a cool blu collar character who owns his father's factory & won't be pushed out of his property by the gangs or government,he is actually a really well done character & we have the evil boss of the Ratts gang played by Robert Z'dar (Maniac Cop,1988) Who is a great 80's villain character actor!!! Another great part that stands out is the excellent pure 80's synthesized elecro musical score it's one of the best I've heard for a low budget flick like this!!! I can also see where the whole PURGE idea came from in this movie with it's urban renewal & corrupted government undertone at the heart of this story all about getting rid of the poor or "bad" people & destroying their homes & building again to exactly how the government wants it, yep it's all in this excellent Thriller so many layered bits it's not a typical mad max gangs take over style flick it's so much more & very relevant even more so today just like the recent Purge Franchise!!! Dead End City is an excellent thriller & one of the best from the 80's vault of straight to video flicks,i know there's lots like this but not many as well made or as layered as this!!! This is an absolute Gem of a film,it's very exciting & action packed & has one of the best 80's music scores I've ever heard it's excellent!!! This also makes for great late night entertainment
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