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A Loner/Drifter (the so-called Paper Chase Guy) rides around the post-apocalyptic countryside (oddly lush) on his computerized motorcycle Einstein, dodging evil cops and junkyard dwellers (yes, even After the End, people still neatly stack their wrecked cars). He stumbles across the Mook Army of The Omega, a totalitarian colony, and immediately flees; doing so, he commits the major automotive faux pas of not watching where he's going, and drives face-first into a rock wall.
That's not the end of our hero. The wall he hit was apparently a "Wall Of Illusion", and on the other side reside some crusty old people in togas, who heal his wounds by shining flashlights on them. Why do they do this? They are the Enlightened Elders for The Outsiders, who stand in opposition to The Omega, and the Paper Chase Guy is their Chosen One. They want him to infiltrate the Omega colony and rescue one of their leaders, one Professor McWayne, who is about to be executed. Initially refusing, he is convinced when McWayne's daughter Nastasia pulls a gun on his testicles.
That being settled, in they go. Taking advantage of the heroes' superior gun skills, they quickly rescue McWayne, but in the process Nastasia gets herself captured in his place. Oops! Heroically, the Paper Chase Guy refuses to go back for her, so the Omega despot Prossor gets all the time he needs to hypnotize her to be his slave.
Meanwhile McWayne has taken the Paper Chase Guy out to a big Fight Club-like meet where the various lower classes are competing for... something. Insinuating himself into this big free-for-all, the (perpetually nameless) Paper Chase Guy somehow manages to be the last one standing, which by some unwritten law of their societies evidently makes him their new leader. Then he leads the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits under his command on a raid to rescue Nastasia and overthrow The Omega once and for all.
This proves both easier and more difficult than any of the characters in this movie make it out to be. The Omega have at their disposal Megaweapon, a slow-moving armored dump truck with spikes and a flame thrower attached to its front. The concept of simply driving around it evidently never occurring to anyone, it's apparently up to the hero to save the day. Following his bike's instructions, he drives Einstein under the truck (Einstein getting flattened in the process), and does some rewiring of the undercarriage, which through some highly improbable plot contrivance causes Megaweapon to explode in spectacular ball of flame.
Naturally, the revolution against the legendarily wretched marksmen of the The Omega is thoroughly successful, and McWayne and the Paper Chase Guy get to confront Prossor personally. Prossor, however, seems to have an ace up his sleeve: Nastasia, with a gun, Brainwashed and Crazy. She shoots the Paper Chase Guy at Prossor's command but snaps when ordered to shoot her father, turning the gun on Prossor instead.
Thus The New Way (as they're calling it now) casts off the oppression of The Omega, and both the Paper Chase Guy and Einstein are fine. However, this movie has a Stinger, possibly intended as a Sequel Hook: Prossor isn't dead either; that was a robotic clone Nastasia shot. Prossor and his henchman (The black guy in the Nazi uniform) escape to parts unknown. The Paper Chase Guy does likewise.
- After the End: Apparently the world was destroyed by "The Unclear War Has Been Forgot!"
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The Paper Chase Guy has to defeat the leaders of several Gangs of Hats for them to accept him as leader and become his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits so he can Storm The Castle.
- Badass Biker: It's what the movie was trying to shoot for with the Paper Chase Guy.
- Bald of Evil: Prossor
- Book Ends: The hero riding in on his motorcycle... and then the hero riding away on his motorcycle.
- Bottomless Magazines: There were all of about two onscreen reloads in this entire film and only once is anyone actually shown running out of ammunition.
- Possibly justified by these being energy weapons--or possibly not; though all the guns make only soft electronic-sounding noises when fired, a few of them do appear to eject spent cartridges in one or two scenes.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Nastasia.
- But Now I Must Go
Paper Chase Guy: It's time for me to leave.
- California Doubling: The movie supposedly takes place in post-apocalyptic California, despite being filmed in Italy. Those familiar with Rome might recognize the Omega headquarters and campus as the infamous Corviale, a kilometer-long public housing project in the outskirts of Rome.
- Canned Orders Over Loudspeaker: Delivered by Donald Pleasance himself.
- Car Chase: Several. And a helicopter chase, too.
- The Chosen One: ...and why exactly was he chosen?
- Cool Bike: "Einstein" the "Supersonic Speedcycle".
- Cool Car: Megaweapon.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Although we see only the togas. On really old people.
- Dull Surprise: Most of the time, our Hero appears to be half-asleep, even when he's attempting to be a Badass Biker. Prosser, as well is Donald Pleasance perpetually on cruise control.
- Emphasize Everything: The Opening Scroll.
- WITH ALL CAPS AND PLENTY OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!
- Evil Overlord: Prossor
- Expendable Clone: Prossor has one.
- Follow the Leader: Yet another Italian knock-off of a then popular genre; in this case, Mad Max.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: the late Persis Khambatta, of Star Trek the Motion Picture fame. Now with hair!
- Gang of Hats: There's a gang of kung fu fighters, a gang of rednecks, a gang of truckers, a gang of Amazons, and a gang of fake Nazis with a black Nazi.
- Healing Hands: The Elders.
- Hidden Elf Village: The Elders' hideout.
- Humongous Mecha: Megaweapon, really just an earth mover with added spikes and a flamethrower.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy
- La Résistance: The Outsiders/"New Way".
- Made of Explodium: Many cars explode when forced off the road and/or over cliffs, usually for no discernible reason. This also applies to Megaweapon:
- No Name Given: The hero, a.k.a. "The Paper Chase Guy"
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Elders in togas.
- One-Woman Wail: The intent behind the opening song by the singer in the intro.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Paper Chase Guy gets shot in each shoulder over the course of the movie, and Nastasia gets shot in the leg. All these wounds only bleed slightly, and apparently have no long-term consequences. This may appear to be Justified by the fact that a group of psychic healers exists, but the characters weren't anywhere near them when they were shot.
- Opening Scroll: See above.
- Robot Buddy: Einstein, as its'self [sic]
- Strapped to An Operating Table: Nastasia.
- Take Our Word for It: There was evidently a devastating nuclear war before the movie started, not that there's ever any evidence the audience gets to see. The roads are clear and well-maintained, there aren't any ruins, the trees and plants are lush. There's a place where a bunch of abandoned cars are stacked up, but it doesn't look any different from the junkyards right now.
- Unexplained Recovery: The Paper Chase Guy and Einstein both survive.
- The Unintelligible: The Paper Chase Guy; sounds like he just came back from the dentist.
- Einstein isn't much better, and repeating everything three times rapidly doesn't help.
- Verbal Tic: Einstein has this annoying tendency to say things three times.