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Old 02-07-2018, 01:26 AM   #11161
Blu2u Blu2u is offline
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Originally Posted by josuv22 View Post
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Needless extra cost and I don't like the packaging. But if a standard case is also available, no problem.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:59 AM   #11162
Markgway Markgway is offline
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Originally Posted by josuv22 View Post
"Hey guys / gals / guygals! Who loves a media book then? We fancy doing something a bit different with an upcoming HD upgrade and we’re thinking about one of these. Thoughts?"
Only if it's something I have no interest in...
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:02 AM   #11163
Indiana Jonezzz... Indiana Jonezzz... is offline
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Originally Posted by Cinema74 View Post
If you enjoy mindless popcorn entertainment, I'd say yes. There's an element of fun jungle adventure amid the cheesiness. If you're looking for brain food, rent Macbeth instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dykesy View Post
I enjoyed it. It's standard Cannon fodder (pun intended) but there is something about Cannon's films.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aclea View Post
Below average for an Alistair Maclean movie (though not as bad as the did-they-really-think-they-could-release-that? Way to Dusty Death), slightly above average for routine video store Cannon fodder. This still probably tells you everything you need to know:



Produced by a triple jeopardy triumvirate of late or non-payers – exploitation legends Harry Alan Towers (aka Old HAT), Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus’ eternally dodgy Cannon Films and Avi Lerner – you can’t help hoping that the cast and crew of 1989’s River of Death got paid upfront. The last big screen Alistair Maclean adaptation, it’s a better standard of not-quite-straight-to-video nothing special hokum than the terrible trio were churning out at this point in their careers.

While Old HAT favored constantly remaking a handful of public domain properties or slapping names like Jules Verne over movies that had nothing to do with anything he’d ever written, as usual when he shelled out for the screen rights to a book he pretty much completely ignored everything but the title when it came to filming it. This steers closer than most, in outline at least but it does include many of his other staples – a tax shelter friendly location (South Africa, standing in for Brazil), a supporting cast of faded stars with enough name recognition to get some distribution and an interminable nightclub number from a bad German chanteuse to pad out the running time to the contracted minimum length, though of his regular stock company only Herbert Lom appears.

It plays like an old Republic movie serial with considerably fewer punchups and cliffhangers as various characters from Michael Dudikoff’s soldier of fortune who gets his own Apocalypse Now-style narration, Donald Pleasance’s Nazi, Cynthia Erland’s vengeance seeking trophy girlfriend, L.Q. Jones’ dwarf boxing promoter and a couple of Israeli Nazi hunters all out to find the lost city where Nazi doctor Robert Vaughn, looking like Hitler if he’d shaved his ‘tache, has spent the last twenty years perfecting a biological weapon that will eliminate the weak, the despicable and the scum of this world but leave the ‘chosen ones’ with nothing to fear, while Lom’s corrupt local police chief hinders their search.

It’s the kind of film where Pleasance only wearing a wig renders him completely unrecognisable to the man he’s sworn to hunt to the ends of the Earth for four decades and where you can tell what days the cheques cleared and what days they had to make do with whatever was lying around. Director Steve Carver must have been bitten by a long shot as a child and developed a mortal fear of them since the whole film seems to have been shot in medium shots and close-ups, though judging from his interview on the UK disc that might just be because he was afraid if he moved the cameras too far from the actors Avi Lerner would pinch them for another film he was making at the same time.

The main extra on the UK Blu-ray is a 51-minute interview with Carver (who provides an audio commentary instead on the US disc). He’s not a natural raconteur, but he does summon up one memorable image of Old HAT sitting in a crumpled suit in a stranded boat in a river surrounded by sharks, which, having worked for the man, is as good a metaphor for his career as I’ve ever heard. There’s a lot of information about the tribulations of shooting in South Africa in the apartheid era, when explosives couldn’t be brought into the country for security reasons but no-one thought anything of using live rounds in the shootouts and where the local costumiers thought Nazi uniforms were too difficult to make but he was able to secure the real thing, and authentic Nazi memorabilia, from the local neo-Nazis who held get togethers in the basement of the hotel he and the predominantly Jewish crew stayed in (of the Afrikaner extras playing Nazis he notes “they were comfortable in their uniforms”).

He’s also very complimentary about the professionalism of the three old pros who would pitch in and carry camera equipment through the jungle sets and frank about the challenges of trying to reschedule when his star (who is in almost every scene) got seriously ill on a location with no doctor and the underwhelming climax that saw most of the action go unshot because two weeks were suddenly shaved from the schedule. A stills gallery, trailer and trailers for other 88 Films releases are also included, as well as a leaflet with an interview with the film's composer in the first pressing. All this and L.Q. Jones and his boxing dwarfs too!

Picture quality is surprisingly good, the stereo soundtrack limited but more than acceptable.
Thanks so much for the feedback guys, and Aclea for the large write up! Much appreciated, and that photo was actually one of the reasons I really fancied giving it a go. Anyway after reading all that, how could I possibly say no, so I ordered it last night, and it arrived a little while ago from Amazon using Prime. Unfortunately, it appears to be resealed, as it wasn’t in the normal cellophane, but the heat sealed wrapping, so the black case is completely covered in wrinkles... sigh. I’ll check the disc for scratches or marks later, I’m getting a little tired of Amazon sending me what looks like returned stock that’s meant to be new.

Anyway, other than that, I’m very much looking forward to watching this, and I’m hoping for a good time, as I do enjoy a lot of Cannon films. Any word on a UK release of Avenging Force? I’ve heard that’s one of Michael Dudikoff’s better films, and I might grab the Kino release down the line if there’s no UK release rumoured. River of Death will be my introduction to him anyway, not sure if that’s a good or bad thing though!

Last edited by Indiana Jonezzz...; 02-07-2018 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:34 AM   #11164
Ste7en Ste7en is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu2u View Post
Needless extra cost and I don't like the packaging. But if a standard case is also available, no problem.
I hate mediabooks. They don't age well
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:29 PM   #11165
CrockettandTubbs CrockettandTubbs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana Jonezzz... View Post
Any word on a UK release of Avenging Force? I’ve heard that’s one of Michael Dudikoff’s better films, and I might grab the Kino release down the line if there’s no UK release rumoured. River of Death will be my introduction to him anyway, not sure if that’s a good or bad thing though!
I wish Arrow would run with AF - it's really good.

Dudikoff has got a small role in Uncommon Valor as "Blaster's assistant" - but I can't see him anywhere.

He's also in Bloody Birthday - but I haven't seen that.

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Old 02-07-2018, 02:49 PM   #11166
Markgway Markgway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana Jonezzz... View Post
River of Death will be my introduction to him anyway, not sure if that’s a good or bad thing though!
Ooh! Just watch Avenging Force before you decide to give up on him...
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Old 02-07-2018, 04:30 PM   #11167
Morriford Morriford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aclea View Post
Below average for an Alistair Maclean movie (though not as bad as the did-they-really-think-they-could-release-that? Way to Dusty Death), slightly above average for routine video store Cannon fodder. This still probably tells you everything you need to know:



Produced by a triple jeopardy triumvirate of late or non-payers – exploitation legends Harry Alan Towers (aka Old HAT), Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus’ eternally dodgy Cannon Films and Avi Lerner – you can’t help hoping that the cast and crew of 1989’s River of Death got paid upfront. The last big screen Alistair Maclean adaptation, it’s a better standard of not-quite-straight-to-video nothing special hokum than the terrible trio were churning out at this point in their careers.

While Old HAT favored constantly remaking a handful of public domain properties or slapping names like Jules Verne over movies that had nothing to do with anything he’d ever written, as usual when he shelled out for the screen rights to a book he pretty much completely ignored everything but the title when it came to filming it. This steers closer than most, in outline at least but it does include many of his other staples – a tax shelter friendly location (South Africa, standing in for Brazil), a supporting cast of faded stars with enough name recognition to get some distribution and an interminable nightclub number from a bad German chanteuse to pad out the running time to the contracted minimum length, though of his regular stock company only Herbert Lom appears.

It plays like an old Republic movie serial with considerably fewer punchups and cliffhangers as various characters from Michael Dudikoff’s soldier of fortune who gets his own Apocalypse Now-style narration, Donald Pleasance’s Nazi, Cynthia Erland’s vengeance seeking trophy girlfriend, L.Q. Jones’ dwarf boxing promoter and a couple of Israeli Nazi hunters all out to find the lost city where Nazi doctor Robert Vaughn, looking like Hitler if he’d shaved his ‘tache, has spent the last twenty years perfecting a biological weapon that will eliminate the weak, the despicable and the scum of this world but leave the ‘chosen ones’ with nothing to fear, while Lom’s corrupt local police chief hinders their search.

It’s the kind of film where Pleasance only wearing a wig renders him completely unrecognisable to the man he’s sworn to hunt to the ends of the Earth for four decades and where you can tell what days the cheques cleared and what days they had to make do with whatever was lying around. Director Steve Carver must have been bitten by a long shot as a child and developed a mortal fear of them since the whole film seems to have been shot in medium shots and close-ups, though judging from his interview on the UK disc that might just be because he was afraid if he moved the cameras too far from the actors Avi Lerner would pinch them for another film he was making at the same time.

The main extra on the UK Blu-ray is a 51-minute interview with Carver (who provides an audio commentary instead on the US disc). He’s not a natural raconteur, but he does summon up one memorable image of Old HAT sitting in a crumpled suit in a stranded boat in a river surrounded by sharks, which, having worked for the man, is as good a metaphor for his career as I’ve ever heard. There’s a lot of information about the tribulations of shooting in South Africa in the apartheid era, when explosives couldn’t be brought into the country for security reasons but no-one thought anything of using live rounds in the shootouts and where the local costumiers thought Nazi uniforms were too difficult to make but he was able to secure the real thing, and authentic Nazi memorabilia, from the local neo-Nazis who held get togethers in the basement of the hotel he and the predominantly Jewish crew stayed in (of the Afrikaner extras playing Nazis he notes “they were comfortable in their uniforms”).

He’s also very complimentary about the professionalism of the three old pros who would pitch in and carry camera equipment through the jungle sets and frank about the challenges of trying to reschedule when his star (who is in almost every scene) got seriously ill on a location with no doctor and the underwhelming climax that saw most of the action go unshot because two weeks were suddenly shaved from the schedule. A stills gallery, trailer and trailers for other 88 Films releases are also included, as well as a leaflet with an interview with the film's composer in the first pressing. All this and L.Q. Jones and his boxing dwarfs too!

Picture quality is surprisingly good, the stereo soundtrack limited but more than acceptable.
Aclea smashing it on the forum recently with his reviews!
Thanks so much for this, especially for a b-movie like this, do you have a blog or write for any current sites/mags?
BD's for trade: Woody Allen 1986-1991, City Lights (AE), Limelight (AE), Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Steelbook), Grease, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Jules et Jim.
https://mubi.com/tell-a-friend/global/p940ool
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Old 02-07-2018, 04:59 PM   #11168
Indiana Jonezzz... Indiana Jonezzz... is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markgway View Post
Ooh! Just watch Avenging Force before you decide to give up on him...
Will do! Which film was it that he got nominated for an Oscar?
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:23 PM   #11169
Markgway Markgway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana Jonezzz... View Post
Will do! Which film was it that he got nominated for an Oscar?
Forrest Gump.
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Old 02-08-2018, 03:46 PM   #11170
Bumblefeet Bumblefeet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste7en View Post
I hate mediabooks. They don't age well
I like mediabooks, especially the mediabooks Koch put out that are more or less the same height as blu-ray cases. Not a fan of the mediabooks that are DVD case height.
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:06 PM   #11171
CouncilSpectre CouncilSpectre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrockettandTubbs View Post
Dudikoff has got a small role in Uncommon Valor as "Blaster's assistant" - but I can't see him anywhere.
I'd pay good money for Uncommon Valor on blu. Bloody Paramount....
Split like light refracted....
....across a moonlit mile
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:14 PM   #11172
CrockettandTubbs CrockettandTubbs is offline
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Originally Posted by CouncilSpectre View Post
I'd pay good money for Uncommon Valor on blu. Bloody Paramount....
It's definitely DVD city only at the moment
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:05 PM   #11173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrockettandTubbs View Post
It's definitely DVD city only at the moment
Pretty sure there's a HDTV master knocking around...
Split like light refracted....
....across a moonlit mile
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:56 PM   #11174
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Great news for US customers - 88’s £30 free shipping threshold is now for international orders as well!
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:11 PM   #11175
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Great news for US customers - 88’s £30 free shipping threshold is now for international orders as well!
Oh my wallet hates this but my heart is so happy!
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:57 AM   #11176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
Great news for US customers - 88’s £30 free shipping threshold is now for international orders as well!
Great news?!? That's TERRIBLE news! I was picking up all the new Kung Fu that just went to preorder and I was all "Well, I could pay seven quid for shipping. . . . or for the price of just ONE more disc, I could get another movie and save the shipping!"

And then, when I used all my 88 skull points, I dropped below the threshold and had to get one MORE!

Damn your eyes, 88 Films, and my OCD nature of getting free shipping!

[THIS POST SUBTITLED FOR THE HUMOR IMPAIRED]
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:36 AM   #11177
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I had £15 pounds worth of Skull points, but under the old system would have had to wait until I had a £75 order to use them and also get free shipping (which would have taken an eternity to accumulate), so I was pleased as punch at the change, since I could pre-order all four 88 Asia titles (including two at £12.99) and still get the discount.

Next up, Alice Sweet Alice and Inframan! (Though I'll still be two pence (?) short.)
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:34 PM   #11178
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Is Blood Harvest up for preorder yet?
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:53 PM   #11179
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Yes. Also at Amazon - not sure if slip is shop exclusive.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:04 PM   #11180
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I'm in for Alice, Sweet Alice. Great news!
A fan of Classics, B-Movies, and Genre Trash.
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