BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Zone Troopers (1985) - Blu-ray Review

  • Movie Review

  • Film Details

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Trailer

Zone Troopers - Blu-ray Review

3 BeersOpening with the familiar notes of Glen Miller’s “In the Mood”, Zone Troopers is a fresh take on the clichéd WW2 war movie with its combination of American soldiers, Nazis, and aliens. Charles Brand (Puppet Master) strikes again, right? Seriously. Once you climb inside this supersonic ship, Zone Troopers just doesn’t disappoint. It’s a certifiable classic of the B-movie genre and rips right into its Amazing Stories magazine-inspired exploits as four American soldiers, survivors of a German ambush, witness a UFO crash landing behind enemy lines.

Directed by Danny Bilson (writer of Trancers), the outlandish tale – stocked full of legit 1940s lingo – stars Tim Thomerson as Sarge (otherwise known as he who cannot be killed), Timothy Van Patten as Joey, and Art LaFleur as Mittens, and Biff Manard as Dolan. Having just survived an unexpected ambush, these four men are winded and wounded when their world view gets expanded by the crash landing of an alien ship. It’s a lot to take in but coming in to contact with one of the aliens helps seal the deal.

"It’s schlocky, fun, meant to entertain kids, and, as drive-in fair, perfectly solid in its delivery."


 

When they realize that the Nazis are interested in the crash, too, they jump into action and will get their hands on whatever is inside the ship before the Nazis do. Full of great lines, solid humor, and a knockout punch to Hitler that even Quentin Tarantino has to be jealous of, Zone Troopers arrives on blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Written by Bilson and

Paul De Meo, the film is a marvel of low budget filmmaking that is buoyed by their excellent script that serves the strengths and needs of each of the four characters...even if only three survive the fight between aliens, Nazis, and G.I.’s.

Zone Troopers - Blu-ray Review

Sure, much of Zone Troopers is science fiction corn and, certainly, some audiences are going to be offended by how much fun the filmmakers and actors are having in front of the camera but, in all seriousness, the practical effects (specifically, the alien design and the crashed ship) are – pun intended – out of this world. I imagine, if made today, the effects here would all be CGI and that, in my opinion, is depressing as hell. It works here effectively and adds to the absolute joy of the film as soldiers chase aliens and tackle Nazis across open Italian fields.

It’s schlocky, fun, meant to entertain kids, and, as drive-in fair, perfectly solid in its delivery. The acting, while lightweight, is believable and, as a screwball adventure with a not-so sudden (or subtle) science fiction angle, perfectly suited for its narrative. It’s really hard to be critical about a movie that is as innocent as Zone Troopers and that, to make my point clear about how important B-movies are in this day and age, is why it comes so highly recommended.

Rescued from a time when men were men and rented VHS tapes, Zone Troopers makes its illustrious debut on blu-ray with this release.

Zone Troopers - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
86 mins
Director
: Danny Bilson
Writer:
Danny Bilson
Cast:
Tim Thomerson, Timothy Van Patten, Art LaFleur
Genre
: Action | Sci-Fi
Tagline:
They Take War To A New Dimension.
Memorable Movie Quote: ""
Distributor:
Empire Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
April, 1986
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 28, 2015
Synopsis: In Italy, during World War II some American soldiers find an alien UFO.

Zone Troopers - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - July 28, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Courtesy of Kino Lorber Studio Classics presents Zone Troopers on a newly minted transfer. While not a complete restoration, the transfer is pretty detailed. There is a nice layer of grain to much of the Italian scenery. The 1080p transfer is an upgrade from previous versions. Colors are well-saturated. Black levels are strong. The contrast is high. And get a load of the detail work done on the alien! Nice. The release is offered in a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The commentary from Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo is a breezy affair. It is obvious that these two are good friends and it is a joy to listen to them talk about the making of their film. Check it out.

Special Features:

Complete with a nice interview with Tim Thomerson (second only to Bruce Campbell as far as acting in B-movies goes), the supplemental material offered with this release is pretty solid. Thomerson, in his segment, talks about his experience making B-movies, how he gets the parts that he gets, and other recollections from his time on the set. Also included in the release is an original trailer for the film.

  • Interview with Tim Thomerson (10 min)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

 

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