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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Ticks [Blu-ray]


(Tony Randel, 1993)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: First Look Pictures

Video: Olive Films



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

Runtime: 1:25:43.138

Disc Size: 18,649,257,296 bytes

Feature Size: 18,569,342,976 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.98 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 22nd, 2013



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1585 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1585 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1568 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1568 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)






Commentary track with director Tony Randel, Nathaniel Thompson and Clint Howard





Description: A group of problem teens from Los Angeles join an inner-city wilderness project in and attempt to get back in touch with life's priorities; led by do-gooders Holly and Charles (Rosalind Allen and Peter Scolari). When they get to the campsite, they begin having problems adjusting to the wild life, particularly with the local marijuana growers using herbal steroids to accelerate plant growth, and the mutated ticks that the leaky steroid system has created - These oversized mutant ticks with an insatiable lust for human flesh starts terrorizing the campground, eating the campers and everything else in sight. The stellar cast includes, Ami Dolenz. Seth Green, Alfonso Ribeiro, Clint Howard and Rance Howard. Directed by Tony Randel (Hellbound: Hellraiser II).



The Film:

An affectionate homage of the "big monster" movies of the 1950s, Ticks takes what made those movies irresistible, and adds the choice ingredients that make 1990s horror movies so popular - which mainly consist of blood, slime, and all-out grossness. It's obvious the filmmakers (including executive producer Brian Yuzna) were having a hoot making Ticks, and were at heart making it for themselves. It's not just for them, because there's something to please everyone in this movie. It's nice sometimes to see a familiar plot line, especially if it's done with energy and a big desire to please. This bloodsucker is much better that the mediocre Skeeter released the same year. (There was also Mosquito released in 1996, which I haven't seen, but I've heard is not very good at all.)

Excerpt from The Unknown Movies located HERE

The premise is bad, I'll admit, but you have to love the sight of a softball-sized tick scuttling across the floor. Add to this a group of dysfunctional teenagers and two demented marijuana growers and you've got a plot! The special effects aren't so special but they're gooey; for some reason mutated ticks are covered in slime.

Excerpt from BadMovies.org located HERE

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

Ticks has a modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. As usual this is only single-layered and it looks a bit better than SD - but not a lot beyond that. In a strange irony the effects tend to look better than the rest of the film. There are some mild background artefacts but I suspect this is another fair-to-good representation of the original film with no undue manipulations. The 1.85:1 aspect ratio has been bastardized (probably opened-up) to 1.78. Detail is modest but colors look true. The Blu-ray isn't going to win appearance-of-the-year but holds up as good as this film deserves - maybe even a bit better than that.














Audio :

The audio is in a decent but unremarkable DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1585 kbps. Moments have surprisingly depth at times. Most of the effects are built-up with the the score by Daniel Licht and Christopher L. Stone. No range but it supports the film consistently.  There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Included is a commentary track with director Tony Randel, Nathaniel Thompson and Clint Howard, but it is not accessible via the 'Special Features' menu button (which seems to do nothing - authoring error?) only through depressing the 'Audio' button - to get the second track. What I listened to sounded fun. There's nothing else.



I'm always up for a creature-feature. Ticks fits the bill - a weak, limited production that pushes some of the right buttons and works if you are in the mood. Cool to see a pre-"Family Guy" Seth Green.  Cheese-factor is mid-to-high and the Blu-ray (sweet cover) gave me a fun presentation. No thinking required - enjoy! 

Gary Tooze

January 22nd, 2013

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 5000 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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