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Roger Corman's Cult Classic's Lethal Ladies Collection

T.N.T. Jackson (1974)      Firecracker (1981)      Too Hot To Handle (1977)

 

They call me TNT, martial arts expert Diana Jackson (Jeanne Bell) announces upon her arrival in Hong Kong to look for her missing brother, heading into the city’s worst area, a no-man’s-land that is a haven for drug dealers, thieves and killers. TNT does not know that her brother has been brutally murdered by Charlie (Stan Shaw), an American who is bent on inching his way to the top of the city’s drug-smuggling trade. But he has no idea what he’s up against when he tangles with dynamite in TNT Jackson!

Female karate champion Susanne Carter (Jillian Kesner) goes to the Philippines to look for her sister who has disappeared. She stumbles upon a drug cartel and a tournament of no-holds-barred fights to the death in the action-packed Firecracker. Directed by genre specialist Cirio H. Santiago (TNT Jackson) and costarring Vic Diaz (The Big Bird Cage) and Darby Hilton (Malibu Express).

Contract killer Samantha Fox (Cheri Caffaro) accepts a mission to kill a group of gangsters in the Philippines, but problems arise when she falls for the Manila detective investigating the murders. Director Don Schain, who was married to Caffaro, directed her in several films prior to Too Hot To Handle, including Ginger, Girls Are For Loving and The Abductors.

 

 

Posters

 

DVD Review

Shout! Factory - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Shout! Factory

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:11:48, 1:17:42, 1:25:42
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.07, 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Disc 1

Bitrate Disc 2

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

Aspect Ratio: - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary
with actress Cheri Caffaro on Too Hot To Handle

• Trailers

• Stills Gallery

DVD Release Date: October 25th, 2011
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters: 20 for each movie

 

Comments

Like the Women In Cages Collection triple feature package available earlier this year Shout! Factory are continuing with more Roger Corman's Cult Classics (see The Ron Howard Action Pack, other 'Double Features': The Evil / Twice Dead, The Terror Within / Dead Space, Up From the Depths /Demon of Paradise etc.) and are keeping in the woman-sploitation genre. This Lethal Ladies Collection package has 2 discs. The first has T.N.T. Jackson (1974) sharing the dual-layered disc with Firecracker (1981) and the second, a single-layered DVD, has Too Hot To Handle (1977).

The image quality, probably less consequential, is very acceptable.  Each film is quite clean, no damage, detail is more than acceptable for the SD format. These are progressive and anamorphically transferred in the slightly bastardized 1.78 aspect ratio. The bottom line - these 'new transfers' are completely watchable without any major flaws - there are some speckles and frame specific damage on Too Hot To Handle. Fans of Corman and the genre won't be complaining about the image. For 30-25-year old 'kitsch' films these look better than I anticipated.

Audio is flat and unremarkable - a bit of sync issue (not the fault of the transfer) which adds to the flavor. Dialogue is comprehensible and that is about all you can ask. There are no subtitles on the region 1 - NTSC discs.

The supplements are meager - nothing but trailers on the first disc for T.N.T. Jackson and Firecracker . On disc two Shout! Factory includes an audio commentary with actress Cheri Caffaro on Too Hot To Handle. It is 'hosted by Elijah Drenner - director of American Grindhouse (2010) - they talk about Manila, other films in her career (the Don Schain-directed 'Ginger' movies) and more with some anecdotes about Too Hot Too Handle and low budget films as well as sexuality in the business. It's an open discussion and fairly interesting. There is also a trailer and stills gallery.

I thought T.N.T. Jackson was the best of the three with huge camp value - the other two will certainly appeal to fans who like bad cinema. They are baaaad. Depending on your proclivities - there is definitely value here for the price offered and the commentary was educational. You know who you are who enjoy this schlock - go to it!

 - Gary Tooze


DVD Menus
 

 


T.N.T. Jackson

 

directed by Cirio H. Santiago

 

Release date: June 8th, 1974

 






Firecracker

 

directed by Cirio H. Santiago

 

Release date: May, 1981

 






Too Hot Too Handle

 

directed by Don Schain

 

Release date: May 27th, 1977

 







DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Shout! Factory

Region 1 - NTSC





 

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Gary Tooze

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