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Showdown: MVD Rewind Collection (1993) - Blu-ray Review

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Showdown (1993) - MVD Rewind Collection

“Why are there potatoes on the board every day?  Who took my desk?  Put that knife away!”

If your high school was anything like the knife-wielding, gun-toting, slingshot-carrying school that is featured in Showdown then, man, you just might be a true survivor.  This high school is not much fun.  I mean, lots of angry students attend and, with halls full of graffiti and skateboards galore, it comes across as a stereotype to all the 1990s angst that fed the grunge scene.

That being said, there is something wonderfully clueless and, dare I suggest, timeless about this goofy coming-of-age-narrative set inside a high school which feels like a really ridiculous attempt at a Lifetime movie.  Showdown, an Imperial Entertainment release, was a straight-to-video highlight for me.  I loved it and its “I left my cat in the microwave” jokes. 

"The film is an absolute scream and the MVD Rewind Collection are PROS at going hard on this VHS classics."


And, once I heard that MVD Entertainment was going to release it on blu-ray, I knew that it had finally achieved a respectable cult following.  And why not?  The film is an absolute scream and the MVD Rewind Collection are PROS at going hard on this VHS classics.  Yeah, I said it.  Showdown is a goddamned classic of the VHS era.  Eat that. 

And so the release is finally upon us.  THE perfect rip-off of The Karate Kid, compete with the girl you should not make eyes at (Christine Taylor, The Wedding Singer), the bully (Ken McLeod), the best friend Mike (John Mallory Asher), the sensei (Billy Blanks, The Last Boy Scout), and all the martial art takedowns that you could ever handle.

Showdown, directed by Robert Radler (Best of the Best) and written by Stuart Gibbs, wears its inspiration on its sleeve and, damn, if we don’t LOVE it for it.  A High School.  Martial Arts.  And two rivals.  It’s all there . . .

. . . of course, the only difference here is the inclusion of Banks as a police officer with a tragic past and by tragic I don’t just mean Banks’ lack of acting abilities.  There’s the clothes, the music, the acting, and the whole soap operatic feel of the movie.

Okay, so Showdown, co-starring Patrick Kilpatrick (Death Warrant), James Lew (Best of the Best), is a definite copycat flick.  It’s also hilarious obvious with its drama, its violence, and its overbearing machismo.  The proof of its “inspiration” happens when, seven years after the tragedy that causes Banks to leave the police force, a Kansas teenager, Ken Marks (Kenn Scott, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze), arrives in Paradise Valley, Arizona and goes to high school on the first day.  No one likes him; he’s the obvious midwestern outcast. Showdown (1993) - MVD Rewind Collection

Hell, even Brion Jones (Blade Runner) as Vice Principal Kowalski gives him grief on the first day. 

And soon enough, the dufus from Kansas is talking to the wrong girl.  Yup, he’s headed for a classic confrontation.  The surprise is that Banks, remember he’s an ex-cop, is now a janitor and offers, as Ken makes enemies left and right, offers to train the young man and turn him into a lean, mean, fighting machine. 

This film and its cast are all completely hopeless.  But, my goodness, I absolutely love every goofy minute of Showdown and now, thanks to the MVD Rewind Collection, Showdown has arrived on blu-ray!

Success is control.  Control is success.

5 beers

Showdown (1993)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
110 mins
Director
: Robert Radler
Writer:
Stuart Gibbs
Cast:
Billy Blanks, Kenn Scott, Christine Taylor
Genre
: Action
Tagline:
There is no other way.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Fail me, and you'll be lucky if I decide to let you live."
Theatrical Distributor:
Imperial Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 17, 1993
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 12, 2019
Synopsis: Ken Marks (Kenn Scott, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze) finds a dangerous enemy on his first day at his new school; an enemy who makes his living as the champion of an illegal fighting operation. School janitor and ex-cop Billy Grant (Billy Blanks, The Last Boy Scout) trains Ken to defend himself. What Billy doesn’t know is that the man behind it all is the one man from his past who wants him dead.

Showdown (1993) - MVD Rewind Collection

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Special Edition

Home Video Distributor: MVD Rewind
Available on Blu-ray
- March 12, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0; German: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The newly transferred High Definition Blu-ray (and Standard Definition DVD) presentation looks cool. While it takes place mainly in a high school, this 1080p transfer captures crisp details in clothing and in locations that are textured and fine. Loaded with juicy details, this is an atmospheric release that doesn’t shy away from the sunlight either. It has dark layers, yes, and those shadows are well-defined and crisp but the new transfer does not disappoint. The brand new 1.78:1 HD master is detailed and looks better than ever. Some shots, due to the era of the day, are fuzzier than others but the image is reasonably well defined with crisp contrasts and solid textures. Colors are solid, with reds being a standout. Blacks are, too. Surprisingly, there's enough fine detail on display to make this seem revelatory. The era-ready color palette looks terrific, too. The disc comes with the original 2.0 Stereo Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray) and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Featuring the original R-Rated version of the film, MVD Collection has once again got out of their way to make this VHS favorite a jam-packed release.  We get new interviews with the cast and the crew and a GREAT making of feature; all of which are brand-new.
  • ORIGINAL R-RATED VERSION OF THE FILM (98 MINUTES)
  • NEW "The Making of "Showdown" (new feature length documentary with director Robert Radler, writer Stuart Gibbs and stars Billy Blanks, Kenn Scott, John Asher, Patrick Kilpatrick and Michael Genovese) (HD, 98 mins)
  • NEW Robert Radler: Portrait of a Director featurette (HD, 12 mins)
  • NEW Billy Blanks: Martial Arts Legend featurette (HD, 15 mins)
  • NEW The Fights of "Showdown" featurette (HD, 47 mins)
  • NEW "Showdown": Anatomy of a Scene featurette (HD, 7 mins)
  • Photo Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)
  • Collectible Mini- Poster
  • Optional English subtitles for the main feature

Showdown (1993)

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