BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

VFW (2019) - Blu-ray Review

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VFW

Same shit.  Same soldiers. Different kind of war.  

Splatterhouse horror flicks don’t get any throwback worthier than with VFW!  The gloves are coming off in this instant cult classic.

"VFW delivers the grisly goods time and time again"


Starring Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Martin Kove, and Fred Williamson, VFW is an ass-kicking ride through the uber-violent side of barroom brawls.  Nothing I have seen in the last three months hits as hard as this bloody flick does. It is also a hell of a lot of fun as the veterans at the center of this action flick defend their life, their liberty, and their bar against drug-crazed lowlifes in this nightmare version of America’s opiate crisis.  

VFW, directed by Joe Begos (Almost Human, The Mind’s Eye, Bliss), is an intense spin on drug addiction and the situations in it, stemming from an opiate nicknamed “Hype”, quickly spins out of control thanks to a group of street punks who want more and more of the drug.  When a teenager named Lizard (Sierra McCormick), fed up with the street punks for killing her friend, takes off with the narcotic and seeks “sanctuary” in the local VFW post, the men - including George Wendt, David Patrick Kelly, and Tom Williamson - come to her aid . . . albeit reluctantly.

I mean, these old codgers are ancient.  They’ve already been through hell and back, but their duty to her and to protecting their own asses, kicks in almost automatically.  Age be damned. These thugs want to go round and round with them? Well, then, line up and get ready to be schooled in with one, two, three hard knocks upon the skull. {googleads}

But the soldiers aren’t ready for all of the tireless brutality that the strung-out thugs are coming after them with.  Hell, these dudes and dudettes aren’t afraid to use their own skulls as doorbusters. Blood follows as the men fend off wave upon wave of attacks from these crazed killers with chainsaws, axes, guns, and so on.  If they can wield it, then that blunt object is going to crack somebody’s head wide open. They aren’t dicking around with dealer Boz (Travis Hammer) and his men.

Prepared mentally for a sudden night of unrelenting (and bloody) war, the men waste little time in accepting that they aren’t going to the titty bar tonight.  Bones are going to break. They are back in the mud and the grime of an endless war. Written by Matthew McArdle and Max Brallier, VFW wisely sidesteps the whole Millennials vs Baby Boomers issue that could have sunk this feature.  It is intense, funny, and as grindhouse as it sounds.VFW

Thick and gnarly, the action scenes in this beast are brutal and not for the squeamish.  It’s an unending assault as this film turns into one long barroom showdown full of guts, balls, and duty bound men blasting their way through a crazy night in Dallas, Texas.  These men, going to battle against junkies, might not sound like a night’s entertainment, but VFW delivers the grisly goods time and time again.

With a wicked electronic score from Steven Moore (who composed the music for The Guest, Don’t Knock Twice, and Cub), VFW is full of piss and vinegar as a local VFW post finds its honorable men to defend it with.  The bodies might be stacking up beside the door, but none of that matters when Fred Williamson decides he’s had enough of dimestore druggies shenanigans.

VFW is now on blu-ray thanks to RLJ Entertainment and Fangoria Presents.  Heads are definitely gonna roll in this blood-soaked urban nightmare.

4/5 stars

VFW

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: RLJ Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray
- April 7, 2020
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

You all might be tired of me saying this, but RLJE Films is killing when it comes to quality transfers of instant CULT flicks.  From Mandy. Satanic Panic, Riot in Cell Block 99 to Color Out of Space and now VFW, they continue to release quirky films that go down easy and hit all the right notes when it comes to cult titles.

Video:

The blu-ray release from RLJE Films presents a rich-looking AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.35:1. The image is crystal clear with sharp, pinpoint details and no major technical flaws. The cinematography is often bathed in blue or red light so flesh tones are expectantly a little pale but fit in with the rest of the transfer. Black levels are of a high quality with nice lines, thick even in the shadows of the bar.  Colors absolutely pop in this cult title and the neon lights - strong in blues and reddish pinks - are strong throughout.

Audio:

The release also features a pounding DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track. Music is strong and smooth, with a powerfully natural and dominant presence. Big, heavy violence often rule the day, with gunfight and explosions throughout while the ambient effects are somewhat limited but nevertheless engaging.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There are two commentaries and they are both worthy of your time.  The first commentary is from director Joe Begos. The second is with the special make-up effects artists and others as they talk about their work on the film.

Special Features:

Go behind the scenes and meet the cast and the crew of VFW with the special features on this release.  There are three supplemental items and they run about 4-minutes each.

  • The Making of VFW
  • Meet the Cast of VFW
  • Special Make-Up Effects of VFW

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

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VFW

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
92 mins
Director
: Joe Begos
Writer:
Max Brallier, Matthew McArdle
Cast:
Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson
Genre
: Action
Tagline:
These veterans are in for the fight of their lives.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Right about now, I'm feeling real eager. So whatever you're gonna do, quit flapping your gums and do it. But when you come, boy, you come sharp. Because you make a mistake, I'm gonna cut your heart out."
Theatrical Distributor:
RLJE Films
Official Site: https://www.thehustle.movie/
Release Date:
February 14, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 7, 2020.
Synopsis: A typical night for a group of war veterans at the local VFW turns into an all-out battle for survival when a teenage girl runs into the bar with a bag of stolen drugs. Suddenly under attack from a gang of punk mutants looking to get back what’s theirs –at any cost –the vets use every weapon they can put together to protect the girl and their VFW, in the biggest fight of their lives.

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VFW

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