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A Breed Apart (1984) - Blu-ray Review

3 beersIt has to suck to watch a film suffer in its comprehension due to a missing reel. It almost screams of sabotage. But such is the case for A Breed Apart, now on blu-ray thanks to Shout Factory. Featuring Rutger Hauer protecting an island sanctuary and crawling nude (and sucking toes), acting like an animal in heat, all over one very hot Kathleen Turner, I don’t think this film suffers all that much from its missing reel. In fact, it might be better for it.

According to internet history, there were a total of four reels sent to Los Angeles but only three arrived. Damn. What was assembled, thanks to the missing reel, leaves a mysterious past for us to figure out and a few of the subplots to sort out on our own. Does it bog the movie down, though? It definitely adds to the mystery of Hauer’s character. Although I do wonder what’s missing in that love triangle involving shopkeeper, Stella Clayton (Kathleen Turner).


"a forward-thinking environmental flick that still packs a bigger bang than most"


A Breed Apart, directed by Philippe Mora (Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf), is a forward-thinking environmental flick that still packs a bigger bang than most. Unfortunately, it failed to make a dent upon its original release. No one cared much about the fight to save the eggs from a bald eagles’s nest…or maybe you’ve just never heard of this flick before. It’s possible. Although, for about a year, it was an HBO staple. {googleads}

In A Breed Apart, there’s this old dude, J.P. Whittier (Donald Pleasence), and he’s loaded with greenbacks; lots and lots of hundred dollar bills. He’s a collector of rare items. Some would say he’s obsessed. And his number one priority is the acquisition of bird eggs; the rarer the better. It just so happens that there’s a very rare bald eagle perched high up top a mountain and he needs someone to earn the confidence of the community, scale the mountain to nab it, and defeat the badass who protects the wildlife in the area, Jim Malden (Hauer).

Made when the bald eagle was on the government’s endangered species list (it’s not anymore), A Breed Apart is a film that asks us to consider what we are doing to the environment and those species dependent upon it. For those worried about their manliness in that message, know this: Hauer, with makeup and ash spread across his face and body, is all sorts of Blade Runner bad ass as the PTSD-suffering veteran protecting his island. He kicks major ass when the local hunters (one of them being another star of Blade Runner, Brion James) trespass onto his area of guardianship to hunt. He’s having none of it and sends them back home with scars they won’t soon forget.

A Breed Apart (1984) - Blu-ray Review

But Whittier is smarter than those foolish hunters. He gets a confidence man/mountain climber named Mike Walker (Powers Boothe) to infiltrate the community, woo Malden’s one love interest (Turner), earn the man’s confidence, and then scale the mountain to swipe the prized egg for a whopping $250,000. People are killed in the process. Allegiances are tested and, as the threat boils down to just the noble savage and the thrill seeker, even we are drawn in to the conflict, unsure of who exactly we need to trust in this battle.

Hauer plays a damaged man and he does it quite well, pushing everyone away and being just left of center. He’s great in the role and Boothe, as the confidence man, stands by his side until he makes his final move on the chessboard; posing as a friend can be pretty ruthless. In a movie about a loner, it’s amazing just how many people there are standing by his side. Even Walker must decide whose bidding it is that he does in this one.

A Breed Apart, featuring a new 2K scan from the original interpositive, is now on blu-ry thanks to Shout Factory. This is a movie for toe-sucking Bald Eagle hero in us all.


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A Breed Apart (1984) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
95 mins
: Philippe Mora
Paul Wheeler
Rutger Hauer, Powers Boothe, Kathleen Turner
: Drama | Action
One man protects the secret. The other tries to steal it. And only one woman can stop them from destroying each other. Together they are... a breed apart.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I swear those boys were behind the door when when brains were passed out"
Theatrical Distributor:
Orion Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
June, 1984
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 26, 2018
Synopsis: Deep in the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains, Jim Malden, a mysterious and dangerous recluse (Rutger Hauer, Blade Runner, The Hitcher) guards a secret with his life. When an adventurer (Powers Boothe, Southern Comfort, Sin City) dares to steal that secret, Malden's old flame (Kathleen Turner, Body Heat, Serial Mom) is the only one that can stop the savage war that is about to rage.


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A Breed Apart (1984) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- June 26, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Shout Factory presents A Breed Apart on blu-ray with a NEW 2K transfer taken from the best surviving film elements. There’s a good grain level throughout and the new transfer, presented with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, looks impeccable. Colors are solid and black levels, with clean edges, are all solid throughout. The film was shot in Asheville, so there are leady greens running throughout the presentation. Contrast is also good, especially the blonde in Hauer’s hair. The sound is presented in a crisp 2.0 stereo track. Maurice Gibbs’ soundtrack is exceptional.



  • Included with the release is a new commentary from the film’s director, Philippe Mora.

Special Features:

Alongside the NEW audio commentary is an on-screen interview with Mora, too.

  • Interview with Philippe Mora
  • Theatrical Trailer


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A Breed Apart (1984) - Blu-ray Review