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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Exterminator - Director's Cut [Blu-ray]

 

(James Glickenhaus, 1980)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: AVCO Embassy Pictures

Video: Synapse Films

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:42:11.375

Disc Size: 30,370,335,472 bytes

Feature Size: 28,659,290,112 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.15 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 13th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1600 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1600 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1744 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1744 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1567 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1567 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Audio Commentary with James Glickenhaus

• Theatrical Trailer (1:24 in 1080P)

Television Spots (3:11 in 1080P)

Second disc DVD if the Feature

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The man they pushed too far is coming for you–in high-def! The exploitation revenge classic THE EXTERMINATOR burns onto Blu-ray in a newly re-mastered “director’s cut” version! Christopher George, Robert Ginty and Samantha Eggar star in The Exterminator, James Glickenhaus’ explosive story of Vietnam vet John Eastland (Ginty), a man who launches a bloody vendetta against the New York underworld when his best friend is brutally beaten by a vicious street gang. Eastland becomes a vigilante hero to the public, but to police The Exterminator is a psychopath capable of dangerously undermining an entire government administration.

Synapse Films is proud to present The Exterminator in its more violent and gory director’s cut, lovingly restored in high-definition from original vault materials. One of the most cold-blooded and controversial “revenge” films ever made, this is a “sick example of the almost unbelievable descent into gruesome savagery in American movies.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

 

 

The Film:

A Vietnam veteran declares a one-man war on crime in this vigilante revenge thriller. Michael Jefferson (Steve James)... saved the life of his best friend John Eastland (Robert Ginty) while the two were serving in Vietnam, so when Jefferson is left permanently paralyzed after a vicious attack by muggers, Eastland is determined to get revenge. Declaring war not only on the thugs who injured Jefferson but the entire lawless underclass, Eastland becomes known as The Exterminator for his swift and deadly retaliation against muggers and other street criminals. While Eastland's actions may be making for safer streets, they're also illegal, and just as the mob have put a price on Eastland's head, Detective James Dalton (Christopher George) has set his sights on putting The Exterminator out of business. Jazz great Stan Getz makes a cameo appearance as himself.

~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide.

In ''The Exterminator,'' which opened yesterday at the National and other theaters, the title character metes out rough justice to loathsome characters. He ties up the gang punks who crippled his Vietnam buddy in an abandoned tenement for the rats to eat. A Mafia don who preys on the wholesale meat trade is lowered slowly into a jumbo hamburger grinder. A procurer of young boys for homosexuals is soaked with lighter fluid and set afire.

You've seen the good man taking the law into his own hands before. Charles Bronson did it in ''Death Wish'' and Clint Eastwood did it in ''Dirty Harry.'' Those films look like high art in comparison with this one. Even connoisseurs of violence will be disappointed in ''The Exterminator'' since its grisly events are not actually shown on screen.

Excerpt from Tom Buckley at the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Exterminator appears fairly modest on Blu-ray from Synapse. This is advertised as the 'Unrated Director's Cut' and I am unsure where the past DVD releases (Anchor Bay or Tango versions) had the same length version. Grain is there but so is noise and being an early 80s production we can anticipate that less-stellar stock was utilized. I don't doubt this dual-layerd transfer with a high bitrate is the apex of how good this film can look on digital. Synapse revels in these lesser releases like their Blu-rays of The Dorm that Dripped Blood and Vampire Circus. There is some nobility in releasing this and they appear to have done the best that they can. It won't be looking any better than this for your home theater.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

We get the option of two lossless tracks - both DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at around 1600 kbps. One is restored and the other 'original mono'. I probably didn't sample enough to make a good comparison but I think I noted a difference in my brief sampling. For those you prefer the 'rustic' sound they might go for the original mono. There is, obviously, no depth or separations but it did sound clear and clean. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

We get a new commentary by James Glickenhaus - moderated by AVM contributor Chris Poggiali - full of those nuggets that make stuff like this intriguing - with a trailer and 3-minutes of TV spots - both in 1080P. Pretty good overall.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
In the right frame of mind - it's easy to 'get into' a revenge-against-the-criminals flick. Most recently I recall Taken. But The Exterminator is no Death Wish. It's heavy-handed and very reminiscent of lower budget fare of the early 80s. While disconnected there is some even-handedness to the plot with one war-vet taking umbrage at the lack of justice barreling into his small world. Not so much a Rambo - but the same theme. The Blu-ray may be modest - but true to the source and as good as we are ever likely to get. Surprisingly, it may be a film you revisit - if only for a down-and-dirty revenge flic 'night'. Have fun with a few beers for those willing to indulge. There is entertainment here doled out in occasionally gruesome proportions. 

Gary Tooze

September 5th, 2011

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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