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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Teens > Heist > Action > Australia > BMX Bandits (1983/Umbrella Entertainment/PAL Region Zero/0/Free DVD Import Set)

BMX Bandits (1983/Umbrella Entertainment/PAL Region Zero/0/Free DVD Import Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Film: C+



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD set can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Zero/0/Free PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.



In the midst of directing Oz-Ploitation classics like The Man From Hong Kong, Deathcheaters, Stunt Rock and Turkey Shoot (all reviewed on this site), Brian Trenchard-Smith decided to direct a teen action film for a younger audience and the result is a film that has was a moderate hit and comes with the period title BMX Bandits.  The 1983 film was especially a hit in its native Australia and also helped launch the career of its then 15-year-old star Nicole Kidman.


Three teens (Kidman, Angelo D’Angelo and James Lugton) discover a box of (old, big analog) walkie talkies (new then) that turn out to have been used in a major bank robbery as a way to communicate and escape authorities.  When the robbers want it back, the trip knows they have no idea who found the box and decide to mess with the criminals, but as they keep pushing their luck, things may just backfire.


A comedy in the mode of Goonies (megafan Tarantino likes this film even better and I agree), Trenchard-Smith has delivered a competent, simple, child-friendly film that is also a time capsule of childhood long ago that transcends the market it was made in.  The title sounds like it would be a total piece of opportunistic junk, but it is actually not bad and at least a curio with Kidman in it, yet it could discover a new cult and kid audience if rediscovered (or even remade), so it is worth a look.  The adult cast includes veteran actor Bryan Marshall (The Avengers, The Saint, Brian Clemens’ Thriller, Return Of The Saint) in a film with more energy than expected.



The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image was shot in real anamorphic 35mm Panavision film by John Seale (Rain Man, The Perfect Storm) and is a fine use of the scope frame that does not look like a phony kids films the studio is ready to send to VHS tape.  Color is not bad, but detail can be limited.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is also not bad for its age and a film that was an old Dolby A-type analog theatrical release.


Extras on DVD One include the original theatrical trailer and a feature length audio commentary led by Trenchard-Smith, while DVD Two adds stills, brief TV appearance by Kidman promoting the film, PDF DVD-ROM accessible Press Clippings and brand new making of featurette BMX Buddies.



As noted above, you can order this PAL DVD import set exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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