This was Vic Morrow's last completed film before his unfortunate on-set death while filming Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). In an eerily prescient scene that foreshadows his tragic death, Murrow's superior says to him, "If you don't get the girl by 11 o'clock tomorrow, I'll have your head!" Morrow's character replies, "We'll fly her in - in a helicopter."
Feature debut of Mark Gregory (real name: Marco de Gregorio), who was 17 at the time. He was billed as Mark Gregory everywhere but in the Italian release, in which he was credited under his real name. Gregory had a noticeable stiff walking style, which allegedly became the subject of joking by The Hell's Angels on the set.
In 2004, over 20 years after the movie was made, the UK domain website www.bronxwarriors was launched for this film and its sequel "Escape from the Bronx" aka "Escape 2000" aka "Bronx Warriors 2" [Escape from the Bronx (1983)]. The website includes a page about this film's lead actor Mark Gregory who allegedly has disappeared from public life since 1989.
According to an article in "Coming Attractions" magazine, the movie was conceived when producer Fabrizio De Angelis missed a subway train stop for his Manhattan hotel and ended up in the South Bronx--similar to the plot of the novel and film The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)--which at the time was a notoriously dangerous area, infested by street gangs, drug addicts, and just about every type of criminal there was. Entire blocks of the neighborhood had been reduced to rubble by fires, both accidental and deliberately set. De Angelis walked through the area and was both enthralled and repelled by the devastation he saw and the assortment of derelicts, criminals and obvious mental cases. Soon he was confronted by thugs with switchblades and quickly made his escape. He got back to his hotel in one piece, and the experience inspired this film.
The filmmakers discovered Mark Gregory (born Marco de Gregorio) at a gymnasium both they and he frequented in Rome, where he was known for being very quiet but stood out due to his physique. Once a worker at a local shoe store, his fiancée played a prank on him by sending his photo to Fluvia Film. He was called in for auditions and wound up beating out 2000 other applicants for the role of Trash. Gregory was only 17 at the time (the same age as the female character he protects in the film).
During the meeting scene between the Riders and Tigers overlooking the World Trade Center, the drummers seen playing were not originally scripted. The band was present in the area during the day of shooting, so director Enzo G. Castellari included them in the scene, giving no explanation as to why they were there.
Stefania Girolami Goodwin, who plays Anne, is the daughter of the film's director, Enzo G. Castellari. She once said of working on this movie: " . . . it was one of those things, my dad was casting, and . . . didn't find the girl he wanted, so I tried and it worked. I think it's also because he trusts me a lot, always has, and it's a wonderful feeling for a daughter. That movie also gave me the opportunity to practice my behind-the-camera abilities as an AD [assistant director] on my days off, and I loved it".
The name of the arms manufacturing conglomerate was "The Manhattan Corporation". The name of the gangs were "The Tigers" and "The Riders", the latter being portrayed by members of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club during the big confrontation.
Permission was not granted to close down the streets of the Bronx while filming. Hence the fact that traffic can be seen proceeding in a perfectly orderly fashion as The Riders cruise down the road (in a supposedly lawless "No Man's Land").
Some movie posters for the film featured a preamble that read: "In the year 1990, the Bronx is officially declared No Man's Land. The authorities give up all attempts to restore law and order. From then on, the area is ruled by the Riders".
Vic Morrow was dubbed by the other actor in the English language version. Because the English (or the local Italian) dubbing version was recorded after his sudden death from the helicopter accident during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).