BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Biohazard: Specially Signed Edition (1985) - Blu-ray Review

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Biohazard - Bluray Review

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Director Fred Olen Ray’s Biohazard is probably the best example of just how universally mutated the creature features coming out of the 1980s were becoming with their mix of gore, boobs, and lasers. I’m not saying Fred Olen Ray’s film is completely dismissible in any sense (read on to find out why) but, to a fault, by the middle to late years in the pastel colored decade of “Miami Vice” heroics, the B-movie was in desperate need of a strong vitamin shot in the arm.  Biohazard, currently enjoying a resurgence in interest thanks to its blu-ray debut courtesy of Retromedia Entertainment, is a prime example of a monster B-movie skin flick trying to maintain an energy balance of relativity in the mid '80s.

Much of Biohazard is a slapdash of ideas so incredibly exhausting that it looks and operates as if it were merely stitched together from unpolished, first take shots. It’s not, of course, one need only see the bloopers and outtakes that accompany the film’s closing credits to see that there were multiple takes in at least a few occasions. But there is a feeling that comes across through the entire production that screams ED WOOD!!!! From the secret lab in the California desert to the wretched dialogue that plagues the mouths of the actors, perhaps Fred Olen Rey recognized that monster flicks can still be a whole lot of fun…even in the 1980s.

Biohazard is a film about an alien invasion so minimalistic that the story needs only four or five different locations to tell it in. Full of bad acting, cheap gore, and two female actresses displaying their “other” talents, Fred Olen Ray’s resulting product is a film as scrappy as it is ludicrously harmless. Starring William Fair, Angelique Pettyjohn (Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Star Trek), and Aldo Ray (The Green Berets), this two-years-in-the-making low-fi flick is science fiction horror of the cheesiest and cheapest kind. It involves a military-guarded psychic experiment in which one buxom beauty connects with a dimensional rift and brings over items for one world into another. It backfires, of course, thanks to a lightning strike of some origin and, instead of a comfortable sofa (for example), a pissed off alien is brought into our world.

The alien – a showcase of stitches upon a dimly-lit rubber suit made on the cheap – is played by the writer, director, producer’s own 5-year-old son and stalks the cast viciously as they try to understand the meaning behind their lines, let alone what exactly is attacking them. Some of the best parts of the film are, literally, the most revealing as Pettyjohn answers a ringing telephone in a severely ill-fitting bra which displays the top part of her nipples. From homeless barbeques to military stooges without the intelligence for the clearance they are flapping on about, Biohazard throws everything but the kitchen sink at the screen, hoping that something will stick.

Well, it works.  When this monster flick is all said and done, you are left with a picture you don't dare forget. We are, after all, still talking about this “terrible” film 30 years after it was originally filmed. It’s completely campy and fun to laugh at and, hell, if that was the original intention then this is a total success. There’s nothing to take seriously here; nothing to take note of either (unless, of course, you just want to see some T&A) but, damn it, if you see this flick with the right crowd and under the right mind-altering conditions, you will enjoy the vapors this stink-fest puts out.

Fred Olen Ray’s Biohazard is a pathogen of the most harmless kind. Only the brave will spread it.

Biohazard - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
84 mins.
Director:
Fred Olen Ray
Writer
: Fred Olen Ray
Cast:
Aldo Ray, Angelique Pettyjohn, William Fair
Genre
: Horror | Sci-Fi
Tagline:
Science Gone Very, Very Bad
Memorable Movie Quote: "This device makes it possible to amplify Lisa's brain waves as she attempts to channel it."
Distributor:
21st Century Film Corporation
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 1985
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 13, 2015
Synopsis: Alien monster uses a psychic to try to take over the earth.

Biohazard - Bluray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Amazon Exclusive / Signed | Limited Edition to 1000

Available on Blu-ray - June 23, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Offered from Retromedia Entertainment, Fred Olen Ray’s Biohazard, presented in1.85:1 from the original 35mm negative, is offered exclusively through Amazon.com in a limited, signed by the director, edition. The film is an extremely low-budgeted affair so the fires of a fan’s expectation should be fanned a bit. While crisp, much of the film is muddied by low lighting and nighttime shoots. Even some of the interiors are a bit lackluster in high definition. For any serious fan of the genre, though, owning this rarity is a no-brainer. The soundtrack – presented here in Dolby Digital Mono – offers little more oomph to its Casio keyboard score and its alien sounds (reversed dog growls).

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Here’s where we strike it rich. Moderated by filmmaker David DeCoteau, Director Fred Olen Ray provides a commentary that is as fun as it is insightful about the making of the film and the woes his son faced while playing the alien. I’m not going to ruin it for Biohazard’s fans but, seriously, you should check this out.

Special Features:

While the featurettes are a bit scarce, they do feature new interviews from Fred Olen Ray, Chris Olen Ray, Frank McDonald, Richard Hench, and David DeCoteau. Up first is a documentary about the making of the film from 32 years after the fact. Up next are various scenes from an unfinished feature film entitled Beyond Fear, starring Aldo Ray and Richard Harrison.

  • Remembering Biohazard (40 min)
  • Beyond Fear (5 min)

 

 

 

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