BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Schlock (1973) - Blu-ray Review

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Schlock - Blu-ray Review

It’s time to go APE!

Producer Jack H. Harris, with his long stretch of AWESOME and INFLUENTIAL monster movies, created quite the underground movement in cinema.  B-movie after B-movie came following in the wake of his successes.  That wasn’t his intent, of course  The all-mighty dollar was, but the point is that there was a lasting magic in his films.  It is, in fact, still there today.

As a result, the legacy of titles he left behind – everything from The Blob (1958) to Dinosaurus! (1960) and Equinox (1970) – continues to influence a lot of filmmakers.  I’m talking John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, and, of course, John Landis, who – at 21 years of age – made Schlock, also produced by Harris, which is now on blu-ray courtesy of a 4K restoration from Arrow Video

"rowdy C-grade flick that promises to offend every banana lover out there.  Hold on tight! "


One could lump these directors into a category itself – outside of their esteemed peers (Lucas, Spielberg, Coppola) – as their early films were more inspired by Mad Magazine and B-grade horror films than anything else.  Yet, their voices – creating Evil Dead, Kentucky Fried Movie, Dark Star – were all important.

Teaming up with Rick Baker and actually donning the Schlockthropus suit, Landis made his first movie in exactly 12 days and, with it, he created a rambunctious comedy that would basically outline his career in Hollywood.  All you have to do is break down the gags as they roll in and you will see a path that leads to National Lampoon’s Animal House to The Blues Brothers to An American Werewolf in London, Into the Night, Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, and beyond.

It’s all here in Schlock, a slaphappy comedy that, as others have suggested, is as bad as it sounds.  And sometimes it is even worse than that.  Hit and miss in its 79-minutes, Schlock is rowdy C-grade flick that promises to offend every banana lover out there.  Hold on tight!  This film will give you whiplash.

This is what happens when the missing link is suddenly discovered and arrives ready to dismember unsuspecting humans before falling love with a blind woman who thinks this ape-like creature is a dog.  The police, rag tag as the force is, don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground in this bizarre movie, so this sleepy California town becomes the creature’s own personal jungle gym set. 

Schlock - Blu-ray Review

Some of the gags don’t work – an early scene in which a very tall police officer performs some pratfalls comes to mind – and some are quite entertaining – the ape reacting to humans getting ice cream from a machine and then trying to get his own without the quarters required - as the film brings us into the movie theaters itself, merging the story of this missing link with the films which inspired it. 

But, for every bad gag, we have a bouncing momentum pushing this vehicle forward that is carefree and, as in the case of the movie theater sequence, damn inspired.  Watching Schlockthropus play rhythm and blues on the piano is also a definite highlight in this mad film.  Seeing how he treats the rest of society is also entertaining.  Made with the same angst and attitude that inspired an entire generation to rise up and defy their elders, Schlock continues its rebellious reign, only now it is in 4K!

Watch the fur and the banana peels fly in Schlock!

3 beers

Schlock - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
80 mins
Director
: John Landis
Writer:
John Landis
Cast:
John Landis, Saul Kahan, Joseph Piantadosi
Genre
: Horror | Comedy
Tagline:
Due to the horrifying nature of this film, no one will be admitted to the theatre.
Memorable Movie Quote: "No, hold it! You can't shoot while that thing's got Mindy!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Jack H. Harris Enterprises
Official Site:
Release Date:
December, 1973
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 16, 2018
Synopsis: Carnage! Terror! Banana skins! The mighty prehistoric ape Schlocktropus has emerged from hiding to embark on a full-scale rampage across a quiet Southern Californian suburb. The police are baffled. The army is powerless. The body count is rising. But when Schlocktropus encounters a kindly blind woman (Eliza Garrett, National Lampoon’s Animal House) who sees beyond his grotesque visage, the homicidal simian is presented with a chance at redemption...

Schlock - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Films
Available on Blu-ray
- October 16, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Arrow Video presents Schlock on blu-ray thanks to a sparkling new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative.  The colors are solid, with browns and blacks being dominate, and the shadows are strong.  Baker’s creature work is maybe not as detailed as his work would become, but it is a good start and, as evident by this transfer, a strong addition to the movie.  A lossless mono soundtrack is also attached to the cleaned-up image. 

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Arrow Video presents Schlock on blu-ray with an audio commentary by writer/director John Landis and makeup artist Rick Baker.

Special Features:

Arrow Video presents Schlock on blu-ray with a new video interview with author and critic Kim Newman, a 2017 video interview with John Landis, and an archival video interview with cinematographer Bob Collins.  The release contains the 1972, 1979 and 1982 US theatrical trailers, radio spots, and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.  Contained in the first pressing is an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joe Bob Briggs.

• Interview with Critic Kim Newman

• Birth of a Schlock

• Archival Interview with Cinematographer Bob Collins

• 1972, 1979 and 1982 US theatrical trailers

• Radio Spots

Schlock - Blu-ray Review

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