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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Wolf Lake [Blu-ray]

 

(Burt Kennedy, 1980)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Melvin Simon Productions

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:31:28.524 

Disc Size: 24,413,634,845 bytes

Feature Size: 19,162,945,536 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.85 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 25th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Interview with actors Jerry Harden and Richard Herd (10:17)
Interview with Producer Lance Hool (11:21)
Trailers (Avenging Force - 1:18, Malone - 2:00, Assassination - 1:57, Steele Justice - 1:36, Hero and the Terror - 1:26)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Screen legend Rod Steiger (In the Heat of the Night) heads a powerful cast in this violent and bloody clash between a WWII veteran and Vietnam army deserter. Steiger plays Charlie, an ex-Marine who lost his only son in the Vietnam War. He and his friends George (Richard Herd, Trancers), Sweeney (Paul Mantee, Framed) and Wilbur (Jerry Hardin, Cujo) fly to a remote Canadian hunting lodge for their annual outing. There they meet the lodge s new caretaker (David Huffman, Firefox) and his beautiful girlfriend (Robin Mattson, General Hospital). The tension mounts and the hatred slowly builds when Charlie finds out the new caretaker is a deserter. The two men clash as Charlie and his buddies start terrorizing the young couple... playing a sick game of survival. But when David is pushed too far, the hunters become the hunted and surviving the night at Wolf Lake becomes a challenge to all. Written and directed by western legend Burt Kennedy (Support Your Local Sheriff!, Young Billy Young).

 

 

The Film:

Charlie is a bitter war veteran. He and three of his friends go to Wolf Lake for their annual weekend retreat of duck hunting, poker and hard drinking. This year their usual contact person is not there, but instead they find a young caretaker named David and his attractive girlfriend. Charlie is deeply offended when he learns that David is a Vietnam war deserter and fugitive, because his son was lost in that conflict. So Charlie taunts David, and after a wild party with too much drinking, things take a violent and tragic turn at the lake.

Excerpt from TCMlocated HERE

 

Wolf Lake is a barely released ultra-rare post-Vietnam War backwoods survival thriller incorporating home invasion elements. It is often mistaken as a Canadian Tax shelter production due to the setting of the lakes in Northwest Canada but in fact was shot in Mexico with an American low budget of an estimated $970,000 by an all-American cast and crew. It is written and directed by the late Burt Kennedy best known in Hollywood for his screenwriting and directing work in the western genre from the mid-50s through to the mid-70s. It stars the late great Rod Steiger in a powerhouse performance and the also departed character actor the talented David Huffman who holds his own in a solid turn.

Excerpt from CinematicShocks located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Wolf Lake looks quite strong in 1080P. The landscape and cottage wilderness look impressive with quite a few shots reflecting the light from the lake onto character's faces. Colors appear real and the detail is crystal clear - although some of the later scenes are very dark. I noticed no noise - and there is plenty of depth. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable viewing in regards to the HD video quality.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1557 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are effects in the film - opening plane, plenty of gunshots and fire. They don't sound particularly deep or ominous. The score is by Ken Thorne (The Bed Sitting Room, The Outsider) and helps establish somewhat of a mood that isn't really supported by the dialogue. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Kino add interview with actors Jerry Harden and Richard Herd and another with producer Lance Hool. There are also a handful of trailers; Avenging Force, Malone, Assassination, Steele Justice, and Hero and the Terror.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm usually accused of liking 'everything' but, let me tell you, I didn't like Wolf Lake very much - at all. It had elements that I usually find positives in - I generally like this sub-genre - but I found this poorly written and totally unrealistic. The Steiger character has no development to explain his prejudices (yes, his son died - got it) but his rational buddies just turn into absolute savages without reason. Distasteful, exploitive, garbage, IMO. The bare-bones Kino Lorber
Blu-ray is adept with some extras thrown in. Perhaps a commentary would have altered my opinion but I say, based on my assessment of the film, that it's expectations fall far short of what it delivers. Pass!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 45% OFF at Amazon for those willing to indulge.

Gary Tooze

October 10th, 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.

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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