BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Deathsport (1978) - Blu-ray Review

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Deathsport (1978)

Deathsport.  In which the sport of motorcross gets its murder on!

We were warned this was coming!  Mutants in the hills and valleys!  Everybody get off your horses and fight!  Fight to the death!  Fight! Fight! Fight!  

Among swirling cloud effects that fill the screen, a synthesized score from Andrew Stein, Gene Tyranny, and Jerry Garcia, and Roger Corman’s New World Pictures label, an announcer gives us the score of this brave new world.  And it’s full of bug-eyed mutants, weapons that evaporate enemies, scantily clad men and women, and one pissed off David Carradine, who vows to take care of his own.

The announcer should have warned viewers of all the cocaine glazed performances in this B-movie because, outside of the child who gets abducted early on, I don’t think there’s a sober performance to be seen.

According to the screenplay by Nicholas Niciphor and Donald E. Stewart, the vile Great Neutron Wars have leveled everything, reducing society as we know to nothing but a rabid collection of barbaric city states who are constantly at war with each other and routinely put on games where criminals fight for their freedoms.  

With awful acting leading the way, Deathsport offers fans of B-grade flicks a tantalizing glimpse at an abysmal existence where only Statesmen use technology and doctors are sentenced to death.  No one trusts technology.  Everyone - seized with fear by all the mutant cannibals left in the wastelands - depends on nomads known as Range Guides for their protection . . . and those nomads serve only themselves.Deathsport (1978)

This is the carnivorous territory of producer Roger Corman’s Deathsport, a cult film that has been newly minted on Blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory’s quiet campaign to get Corman’s films back into the public’s hands.  Deathsport, starring Carradine and Playboy Playmate (in her last role), takes what worked well with cars in Death Race 2000 and applies it to dirt bikes.

The results - as Corman struggled to find a stable director for the flick - are less than perfect, but all of these behind the scenes struggles give this cheapo depot write-off, which features a coked-out Jennings stripped nude and then forced into a zone full of what appears electric zapping tape, an odd appeal to cult cinema fanatics as Ankar Moor (Richard Lynch) and Lord Zirpola (David McLean) do their best to force Carradine and Jennings into a mine-filled motorcross maze in a fight to the death 

With cheap lasers and evaporating flashlight-like weapons leading the way, Deathsport gives us a shirtless Carradine as Range Guide Kaz Oshay fighting off these cheap-ass Death Machines as he is thrust into Deathsport.

Directed by an erratic Nicholas Niciphor who was then replaced by Allan Arkush and Corman himself, Deathsport remains an ambitious and cocaine-fueled continuation of what began in Death Race 2000Carradine’s career might never have fully recovered from this flick, but you definitely will.

It is now on blu-ray in a limited run of 1000 copies. 

3/5 beers

Deathsport (1978)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- August 25, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

One thousand years in the future, following the Great Neutron Wars, the world is divided into desert wastelands and isolated city states. Lord Zirpola captures the notorious "death ranger" Kaz (David Carradine) to fight to the death in his game, Deathsport. Now Kaz must face his past, fight for his future and save the city from the war that Lord Zirpola is getting ready to wage. Co-starring with Carradine are Claudia Jennings (The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, 'Gator Bait), Jesse Vint (Forbidden World, Macon County Line) and Richard Lynch (The Sword And The Sorcerer, Bad Dreams).

Video:

The 1080p transfer, with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, looks pretty decent.  Colors are bright enough and lines are clean.  The black levels are also consistent.  As we go from one desert locale to another, it should be noted that there is a lot of the natural word on display here.  Yellows, browns, and specks of dust are dominant.  The female flesh is also supple, complete with pores and western-inspired close-ups.

Audio:

The sound is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track.  It’s flat as hell, but with effects this bad, you will be happy with the results.  The music, though, gets pretty damn funky.  So there's that.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The highlight of this release is commentary from co-director Allan Arkush and editor Larry Block.  

Special Features:

There are a few on this release which makes it worth owning.

  • Audio Commentary With Co-Director Allan Arkush And Editor Larry Bock
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spot
  • Still Gallery

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

2.5/5 stars

Deathsport (1978)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
82 mins
Director
: Allan Arkush, Nicholas Niciphor
Writer:
Nicholas Niciphor, Donald E. Stewart
Cast:
David Carradine, Claudia Jennings, Richard Lynch
Genre
: Action | Adventure
Tagline:
The Ultimate Ride for Survival.
Memorable Movie Quote: "My dishonor is your fantasy."
Theatrical Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
April, 1978
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 25, 2020.
Synopsis:One thousand years in the future, following the Great Neutron Wars, the world is divided into desert wastelands and isolated city states. Lord Zirpola captures the notorious "death ranger" Kaz (David Carradine) to fight to the death in his game, Deathsport. Now Kaz must face his past, fight for his future and save the city from the war that Lord Zirpola is getting ready to wage. Co-starring with Carradine are Claudia Jennings (The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, 'Gator Bait), Jesse Vint (Forbidden World, Macon County Line) and Richard Lynch (The Sword And The Sorcerer, Bad Dreams).

Deathsport (1978)

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