(1973/American International/MGM/Arrow U.K. Region B Import Blu-ray
Stranger Trilogy (1967 -
1975/MGM/Warner Archive DVD Set)/Tracers
B/C+/C/B Sound: B-/C+/C/B- Extras: B/C+/C-/D Films:
Import Blu-ray set is now only available from our friends at Arrow
U.K. and can only play on Blu-ray players that can handle Region B
format discs, while The
is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
are the latest genre releases for you to know about...
(1973) took advantage of the rising star of Pam Grier and became the
film that cemented her lead status as the queen and godmother of what
became the Blaxploitation cycle, a name that has stuck no matter who
has or has not been happy with it. As significant as the original
Grier is a nurse (think Julia
perhaps?) who seems to have a decent life when her sister is brutally
attacked by a group of out of control drug dealers who think they can
get away with anything.
a woman who has spend her life healing and helping people in pain is
going to let some loose as she seduces her way into their dirty world
and slowly but surely takes out each one, one by one by one by one.
Grier is great here and despite the stereotypes as bad as ever (a few
episodes of The
as compared to this more than show the limits of this film and the
ones that followed) but it was a big hit and kept American
International Pictures the king of the genre, even as the other major
studios stepped in after Sweet
Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
(1971) made a fortune on a tiny budget.
helms this very effectively (expect some graphic violence) and the
rest of the cast is solid including the late, great, ever-underrated
Robert DoQui (Altman's Nashville,
films, endless great guest turns) as the main villain who has some
odd charm for being a killer. That includes odd chemistry with Coffy
that makes the film always more interesting than most films in the
Blaxploitation era. Arrow U.K. has gone all out in a Region B-only
Import Blu-ray set that is the definitive home video release of this
film and it is a shame it is only available in that market. However,
diehard fans will want to get this set (and a Region B-compatible
player) that is one of the best, most comprehensive releases of any
such film in home video history to date.
include a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned
artwork by Gilles Vranckx and new illustrated booklet featuring new
writing on the film by critic Cullen Gallagher and a profile of Grier
by Yvonne D. Sims, author of Women
illustrated with archive stills and posters, while the Blu-ray adds a
feature length audio commentary by writer-director Jack Hill, A
Taste of Coffy
brand new interview with Hill, The
Baddest Chick in Town!
brand new interview with Pam Grier on Coffy and its follow up, Foxy
video essay by author Mikel J. Koven (Blaxploitation
on the history and development of the genre, an Original theatrical
trailer and an Image Gallery.
(1977) makes no secret that it is an exploitation film with a high
concept theme (Satanists penetrate (no pun intended) high school
cheerleading squad to keep their evil going), but this one landed up
having name stars at the last minute like John Ireland, Yvonne De
Carlo, John Carradine and Sydney Chaplin, so they are amusing when
they show up and some of the scenes with the guys and gals are
amusing, but this sadly drags on and on too much for its 92 minutes
adding up to too many missed opportunities. A low budget is no
excuse, as this is a problem with a poor script and going for the T&A
least it plays as a time capsule of its period, but it is a camp
piece and teen film primarily, with the horror genre coming in
afterwards and is inferior to the much better Satan's
School For Girls
(1973, reviewed elsewhere on this site) which was actually a TV
movie! This is still the best version of the film out there and you
could do worse. If you are curious, settle for this edition only!
include a feature length audio commentary track by Director Clark and
a Behind The Scenes photo gallery.
(1967 - 1975) is
a soulless, tired rip-off (like so many of its ilk) of the Sergio
With No Name
films with Clint Eastwood that also made for a trilogy. In this
case, we get Tony Anthony (that name...) in the title role in A
Stranger In Town
(1969) and the oddly karate/kung-fu-filled Silent
(a belated 1975 entry) co-produced with MGM and infamous near-Beatles
manager Allen Klein, whose name has been no much better feature film
can see why Warner Archive is issuing this DVD set as one of theirs
as these films were never that good, have not aged well, pale as
compared to other non-Leone Spaghetti Westerns and are all a curio at
best. The first is a very derivative imitator down to the imitation
editing approach that rings false, the sequel trying to do the same
thing with more energy to no avail and the third a last-minute
afterthought adding the martial arts cycle of the 1970s in the mix by
having our 'hero' go to Japan and deal with Samurai! I kid you not
and it is the worst, never even becoming unintentionally funny. If
you are curious, be very curious or just pass and move on.
trailer for the second film is the only extra in the whole set, but a
fourth film that served as a late continuation of the series with Get
Mean (1975), reviewed here on Blu-ray...
he sent it all up with his indie hit Comin' At Ya! (1981) in
3D, reviewed on Blu-ray here...
and least is Daniel
(2014) in another boring dud with Taylor Lautner picking the worst
possible projects to sign on. In what plays like a worthless, tired
(at 94 long, long minutes), pointless extended version of the opening
chase sequence in the Daniel Craig Casino Royale where the man he
runs after does all kinds of parkour (the name of the movements)
jumping and running techniques that combine acrobatics and martial
arts. Lautner is a bike messenger (his job not yet killed by e-mail)
who get in trouble with criminals until he meets a younger group of
criminals who steal with the same jump-and-run talents.
bad among all the items they heist, a better script is not
one of them. With Saban Films involved and everyone here pretty much
a no-name in the business, I was amazed how jaw-droppingly bad this
played throughout. Everyone has the depth of corrugated cardboard
and the stunt work is as played out and tried as lambada, Robert
and every bad music video of the last 30 years. Guess Lionsgate, et
al, were looking for a tax write-off. Yawn!!!!!!!
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes
capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds The
Art Of Motion
making of featurette and Director's
that somehow sold this thing.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Coffy
has a little sign of age, but is looking pretty good throughout with
more than a few demo shots that definitively show how hood AIP urban
color films of the time looked. That makes it the picture playback
champ in what is a fun, memorable shoot. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital
High Definition image transfer on Tracers
looks food for a digital shoot more than expected, but not enough to
make it more watchable by any means.
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Satan
is from a good color print, except that daylight shots have a slight
overcast look for the age of the print, but it is slight. At its
best, it looks really good for its age. The anamorphically enhanced
1.78 X 1 image on the three Stranger
films are rough, soft, have print damage more than they should and ll
need serious restoration work. Few shots are as good as they should
for sound, Tracers
is the sonic winner somewhat by a narrow margin, but I am not rating
it better than the PCM 2.0 Mono on Coffy
(which has never sounded this good) since that is very improved and
is uneven. The DVDs all have lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono with Satan
sounding about as good as expected, but the three Stranger
films are rough, show their dubbing and are down a generation like
their accompanying film prints putting them sonically in last place.
order the Coffy
Region B import Blu-ray set, go to this link...
to order The
Warner Archive DVD set, go to this link for them and many more great
web-exclusive releases at: