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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Gas-s-s-s or "Gas! -Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It" [Blu-ray]


(Roger Corman, 1970)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: San Jacinto Productions

Video: Signal One Entertainment



Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:17:38.945

Disc Size: 23,090,986,929 bytes

Feature Size: 21,211,497,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.97 Mbps

Chapters: 11

Case: Standard (thicker UK) Blu-ray case

Release date: January 4th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080P / 24 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Guardian Interviews:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB



English (HoH), None



• The Guardian Interview with director Roger Corman (1970): archival interview conducted the day after work was completed on Gas-s-s-s (1:17:42)
The Guardian Interview with director Roger Corman (1991): the legendary director returns to the NFT to discuss his career
Counter-Culture Corman (2015): newly-produced documentary featuring interviews with Roger Corman, Ted Newsom and Chris Poggiali (9:45)
• 28 Lobby cards, press book and stills gallery
Original theatrical trailer (3:09)





Description: When the US military accidentally release a noxious substance that causes 'death from instant old age', everyone over twenty-five dies and the youth of America are left to their own devices to invent a new world order.

Fresh from bringing the late-60s counter-cultural explosion to the screen in The Trip, Roger Corman delivers his most ambitious and anarchic take on the 'Love Generation' yet - a free-wheeling blend of acid rock, far-out humour and psychedelic excess that faithfully captures the revolutionary spirit of its time.



The Film:

They used to say "don't trust anyone over 30," but there's no one over 30 left to distrust in this loosely plotted satirical comedy directed by Roger Corman. During the opening ceremonies for a chemical and biological weapons facility in Alaska, an experimental gas is accidentally released which has an unusual effect -- it rapidly advances the aging process of those over 25, while those under 25 are left untouched. Soon, the world's elders are dead, with the planet left to the youth. Wisecracking hippy Coel (Robert Corff) and his girlfriend, Cilla (Elaine Giftos), discover that rookie cops and conservative frat rats have taken over their hometown of Dallas, TX, so they hit the road in his vintage Ford Edsel in search of a friendly commune in New Mexico. Along the way, they pair up with music-obsessed Marissa and her radical boyfriend, Carlos (Ben Vereen), and as they look for their new home, they encounter Hell's Angels-turned-country club members, a neo-fascist football team, a pack of painfully shy would-be sexual predators, rock star and self-proclaimed "godhead" A.M. Radio (Country Joe McDonald), and Edgar Allen Poe (Bruce Karcher), who roams the highways on his motorcycle. Gas-S-S-S! (aka Gas-s-s-s...or, It May Become Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It) proved to be the last of Roger Corman's many projects for American International Pictures; according to Corman, AIP subjected the film to severe pre-release cutting without his consent, and the interference was one of the factors that inspired him to start his own company, New World Pictures. The film also provided early supporting roles for Bud Cort and Talia Shire, the latter billed as Tally Coppola; psychedelic rock band Country Joe & the Fish appear in a concert sequence and provide the film's musical score.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

This started life as a serious science fiction movie, but relatively late in the day Corman decided to transform it into a wacky comedy. He dispenses with his usual tight construction, and the almost non-existent plot chronicles the activities of America's youth after the adult population has been wiped out, with many of the themes and characters from his earlier movies turning up in a caricatured form. It may sound promising, but thanks to Country Joe's tedious score and an endless succession of feeble jokes, it is likely to be of more interest to Cormanologists than anyone else.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE


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

Gas-s-s-s gets an acceptable transfer to Blu-ray from Signal One in the UK. It is single-layered with a very high bitrate for the 1 hour 17-minute feature. It is 1080P in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. There is some minor texture, brief depth and contrast and colors are adept. Generally the visuals are very watchable - a reasonable if unremarkable HD presentation.















Audio :

Audio comes in a linear PCM 1.0 channel track at 1152 kbps (24-bit). Effects in the film are minimal and the score by Barry Melton sounds, predictably, flat but buoyant. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Signal One include two, lengthy, archival, Guardian Interviews (audio as the film runs) with director Roger Corman from 1970 and 1991 and a newly-produced (2015), 10-minute, documentary featuring interviews with Roger Corman, Ted Newsom and Chris Poggiali entitled Counter-Culture Corman. There is also a theatrical trailer and galleries with 28 Lobby cards, press book and stills.



Gas-s-s-s isn't a stellar comedy. It has some amusing sequences and a reasonably enjoyable pace, but I wouldn't revisit it often. Just not my type of comedy although I've always been a Cindy Williams fan. Signal One continue to impress with their Blu-ray packages. That's the most encouraging thing I can say about this release.  

Gary Tooze

February 24th, 2016


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.

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