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Stone Cold Dead [Blu-ray]
(George Mendeluk, 1979)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Ko-Zak Productions
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,323,057,389 bytes
Feature Size: 19,546,398,720 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.96 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 3rd, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
• Audio commentary by Film Historians Howard S. Berger and Nathaniel Thompson
•Interview with director George Mendeluk (9:06)
• Reversible Blu-ray Art
• Trailer (2:27) and other trailers
Description:Sergeant Detective Boyd (Richard Crenna, First Blood, Wait Until Dark) has been assigned to a case with no ordinary circumstances. He is taunted by a sniper who selects only prostitutes as victims, and baits police with photographs of the victims at the exact moments of their deaths. Along the faint trail through the city's main streets, everybody is a suspect, from powerful dope dealer and pimp Julius Kurtz (Paul Williams, Phantom of the Paradise), to the attractive Monica Page (Linda Sorensen, Breaking Point), a spirited and classy hooker. Boyd enlists the help of a streetwise policewoman, Sandy McCauley (Belinda J. Montgomery, Blackout), who goes undercover as Boyd and McCauley slowly piece together the few elusive clues and await the sniper lurking in the dark corners of the city. Based on the best-selling novel The Sin Sniper by Hugh Garner (Waste No Tears), Stone Cold Dead marks the stellar writing and directing debut of George Mendeluk (The Kidnapping of the President). Alberta Watson (The Sweet Hereafter) co-stars in this unforgettable thriller with a shocking twist ending.
This is a fast-paced, standard crime story with Sgt. Boyd (Richard Crenna) as a lone cop out to clean up the neighborhood. Kurtz (Paul Williams) is a wild gangster who manages a ring of prostitutes, and right now he has problems. Someone is shooting his hookers. A few of the undercover cops get killed as they try to infiltrate the hooker trade, so Sgt. Boyd is more or less alone in bringing in the sniper and giving Kurtz his due. While he is focusing on those tasks, prostitute Monica (Linda Sorenson) is focusing on him.
Based upon the superb novel The Sin Sniper by award-winning Canadian author Hugh Garner, Stone Cold Dead, written for the screen and directed by debuting filmmaker George Mendeluk, tells the flawed but entertaining tale of a serial killer knocking off prostitutes in Toronto's red-light district with a high-powered rifle with a camera affixed to the barrel, thus capturing a victim at the moment of their death. The photos are tauntingly mailed to the police, the press has nicknamed the killer the "Sin Sniper," and the city's top cop, Inspector Sergeant Boyd, is on the case.Excerpt from eFilmCritic 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 Stone Cold Dead looks surprisingly strong in 1080P. The film looks almost brand new (mentioned in the commentary - as the source, probably, wasn't requested much for viewing.) It looks very sharp with plenty of depth, true, deep colors. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise. This Blu-ray gave me a remarkable viewing in regards to the picture quality!
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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 - but they are usually hollow. The score is credited to Paul Zaza (Porky's) and, pretty much the only credits for both Guidonna Lee and Alexis Radlin. It's unusually melodic, where something more disorienting would have pushed it closer to Giallo. Some will recognize Bob Seger's Fire Down Below and Bill Withers' Use Me. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
There is an audio commentary by film historians Howard S. Berger and Nathaniel Thompson (from 2017) who do a decent job of finding some details that garner appreciation. They make light fun of a few production details, discuss the Toronto-location, director Mendeluk, Crenna, the cinematographer, Dennis Miller, and there are some pauses. They do an admirable job of discussing a film that doesn't really merit a commentary. There is also a new 9-minutew interview with director George Mendeluk who discuses the tax-shelter deals associated with filmmaking in Canada at that time. He claims he was always fascinated with 'Jack the Ripper' and its relationship to Stone Cold Killer. He seems like a very genuine guy. There is also a trailer for the film - and other trailers - and the package has reversible cover art (see below).
September 13th, 2017
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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