BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Opposing Force (1986) - Blu-ray Review

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Opposing Force (1986)

“Look, You got a limp and I got tits; these aren't great things to have in the military. So, why don't we pair up and get through the course as best as we can?”

With those words, US Air Force Lieutenant Casey (Lisa Eichorn) finds herself joining forces with Major Logan (Tom Skerritt) in order to survive a training exercise for elite soldiers that goes completely off the rails.  Thanks to fine performances from a cast which includes Richard Roundtree as Sergeant Stafford and a supremely psychotic Anthony Zerbe as Commander Becker, Opposing Force (also known as Hell Camp) makes for one hell of a survival story.

"While limited by its budget, Opposing Force is not messing around when it comes to its message of muscle over computers"


 

The thing is that somewhere along the line of duty, both Commander Becker and Sergeant Stafford flipped their lids and, what was supposed to be a training exercise for willing soldiers, has turned into a brutal and nightmarish fight for survival.  Becker makes that clear in his opening speech to the prisoners once they are all collected after their drop onto the island for training.  “I am the God here,” he says after hours of being tortured by all kinds of noises over loudspeakers.  

There’s nowhere to turn for these prisoners. And they thought they were all on the same side. Their mistake.  

Predating G.I. Jane by a decade, Opposing Force is both brutal and tense as soldiers  - but specifically Casey (because she is a woman) - are humiliated, raped, and tortured repeatedly during this “exercise” causing even the strongest of soldiers to crack.  It is also inexhaustible in its mission to be brutal. This is going to cause some audiences to shy away from it.

 

If the cries of agony don’t bother you, the nonstop psychological beat downs just might.  Directed by Erik Karson (The Octagon), Opposing Force is not always graphic in its depictions of torture, but it is relentless in its exploration of the sexes when it comes to brutality.  Do these prisoners dare make a run for it?  Water torture, men in wire cages, routine beatings, and slavery are par for the course while Casey and Logan try to figure a way out. Turns out, there are no “safe” zones, which has them wondering if this is training or the real damn thing?  

While limited by its budget, Opposing Force is not messing around when it comes to its message of muscle over computers; however, this also means that its message is beyond obvious and therein lies the problem with this production when it comes to competing with the major studios: it's too obvious.  Even the electronic music cues do little but cheapen the overall effect of watching the movie.  Opposing Force (1986)

But these performances - with Zerbe absolutely killing it as the main baddie - deserve to be seen. Skerritt, Eichorn, and Roundtree are solid in their performances, too.  They all will leave you appreciating these B-movies a bit more.  The question remains, though, how bold do you like your brutality?  Opposing Force thinks it knows.

Thankfully, Scorpion Releasing knows this and offers Opposing Force on blu-ray (for the first time) with a brand-new 2019 HD master.  Available through Ronin Flix, it comes with a brand-new commentary from Karson, too.

3/5 stars

Opposing Force (1986)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- November 12, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The only female soldier in a military experiment designed to simulate POW torture conditions falls victim to the commanding officer. He justifies his insidious actions upon her as a training technique. A soldier rebels with her and tries to bust out the others. Will anyone survive the opposing force?  Offered by Scorpion Releasing, this blu-ray features a brand-new 2019 HD Master and a new commentary from the film’s director, Erik Karson.

Video:

Its brutality is best served bold thanks to this 1080p transfer.  With a new 2K scan of the original camera negative, Scorpion Releasing gives fans of Opposing Force something to celebrate.  The images are crisp and detailed and retain their edges.  Framed in a tight 1:78:1 aspect ratio, this 1080p transfer is good, good stuff.  Colors are bold.  Shadows run deep and the crisp textures in the walls and in the backgrounds of this slasher are focused.

Audio:

The whippings! The beatings!  The sounds of gurgling due to all the water torture!  Everything in this sick and twisted prisoner camp is heard with an adequate DTS-HD Master Audio track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a new commentary from director Erik Karson who talks about the cast, the production, and his other memories from making the movie. 

Special Features:

Scorpion Releasing gives purchasers a brand new commentary, a new scan of the film, an alternative ending, a trailer and some reversible art.

  • New Audio Commentary with Director Eric Karson
  • Alternate Ending
  • Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

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

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars

Opposing Force (1986)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
110 mins
Director
: Erik Carson
Writer:
Mark Frost, Daniel F. Bacaner
Cast:
Tom Skerritt, Lisa Eichhorn, Anthony Zerbe
Genre
: Action | Drama
Tagline:
Where civilization ends and survival begins.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Look, You got a limp and I got tits; these aren't great things to have in the military. So, why don't we pair up and get through the course as best as we can?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Orion Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 1986
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 12, 2019.
Synopsis:The only female soldier in a military experiment designed to simulate POW torture conditions falls victim to the commanding officer. He justifies his insidious actions upon her as a training technique. A solider rebels with her and tries to bust out the others. Will anyone survive the opposing force?

Opposing Force (1986)

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