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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Rolling Vengeance [Blu-ray]


(Steven Hilliard Stern, 1987)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Apollo Pictures

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:31:58.513 

Disc Size: 21,027,104,975 bytes

Feature Size: 17,336,555,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.94 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 17th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 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






• Interview with Star Lawrence Dane (9:45)
Audio Commentary by Paul Corupe of and Film Historian Jason Pichonsky
Trailer (1:41) and 6 other trailers





Description: When a clan of drunken goons get off scot-free after senselessly killing a young trucker's family, the trucker, Joey Rosso (Don Michael Paul, Robot Wars), takes matters into his own hands by building the ultimate monster truck to even the score. Spitting flames, armed with a giant drill, his awesome rig is unstoppable as Joey pursues the clan leader Tiny Doyle (Ned Beatty, White Lightning) and his murderous offspring. He tracks down the clan, one by one, crashing cars, flattening trucks, demolishing buildings and destroying anything or anyone that gets in his way. Rolling Vengeance is heavyweight action, a powerful story of twisted emotion and mangled metal, the telling of which costs the lives of no less than 65 vehicles. Steven Hilliard Stern (The Park is Mine) directed this action-packed revenge yarn with a screenplay by Michael Thomas Montgomery (Eye of the Tiger) and co-starring Lawrence Dane (Scanners). Compelling echoes of Rocky and Death Wish - Variety



The Film:

In rural Canada, six brothers drinking and joyriding in a pickup truck cause an accident that kills Joey Rosso's (Don Michael Paul) mother (Susan Hogan) and sisters (Alyson Court, Marsha Moreau). As it turns out, the brothers are the sons of an influential entrepreneur named Tiny Doyle (Ned Beatty), and they all get off scot-free. When Joey's father (Lawrence Dane) is murdered as well, there's only one thing left for Joey to do: build a massive truck to mow the entire Doyle family down.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

It's good to see a good old fashioned revenge flick nesting nicely in the 1987 vaults of outrageous, especially when that one features a giant monster truck running down Ned Beatty with a pompadour. Rolling Vengeance is just that special flick that many have been waiting for even if they didn't know it. The basic revenge scheme is typical for the genre, though at no point did had the hero gone and built something as ridiculous as this 'armored barn on wheels' before this. And boy howdy -- when this gigantic sucker starts-a-rollin' to the sweet '80s guitar licking soundtrack, that's when the movie's motor gets-a-movin'. Actually, the whole thing is quite tasty in a perfect cheese ball fashion, thanks to a heap load of hick dialogue, most of which is spat out by none other than Beatty himself. Looking like a grown up greaser reject, Beatty's bad guy is a hoot from beginning till end. And what would Rolling Vengeance be without those musical montages, best of which has got to be the homoerotic "Coming Up On You This Time" song that accompanies lead actor Don Michael Paul's laborious creation of his rolling death machine. Simply fantastic as a relic of ridiculous cinema that could have only been made in the decade that it was released unto, Rolling Vengeance is just what the cornball cinephiles of the world ordered.

Excerpt from B+Ns 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 Rolling Vengeance looks fairly modest 1080P. The image is blemish-free and shows the limitations of the mid 80s original film stock. The 1.85:1 aspect ratio is supported but the visuals are often dull although grain is present. The drab appearance is probably fairly accurate. This Blu-ray gave me less-dynamic but watchable viewing in regards to the picture quality.



















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1558 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are effects in the film - mostly vehicle-related especially with the vengeful truck and its spinning spike. The score is credited to Phil Marshall - who has some pedigree in the business, but there are also songs in Rolling Vengeance by Anthony Della'Reese (Life On The Outside, Have My Way With You and Coming Up On You) and other country ditties. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Kino offer an optional audio commentary by Paul Corupe of Canuxploitation and film historian Jason Pichonsky who cover a lot on the writer Michael Thomas Montgomery and about the Monster Truck niche. Also included is a 10-minute interview with, soft-spoken, star Lawrence Dane who tell us of his Canadian roots, struggles and surviving as an actor, writer and producer. Lastly, there is a trailer gallery.



I had never seen Rolling Vengeance and it's definitely from the other side of the tracks. A kind of pioneering exploitation of the monster truck craze - obvious, one dimensional - Ned Beatty trying hard but miscast as a gap-toothed hillbilly villain.  In fact, the film really plays up the small-town cracker, confederate-flag wearing, criminal element hick angle. It's really not that bad - yet it is baaaad. The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray is likewise servicing a niche with the mid-80's vengeance appeal. The commentary and interview add some value and will bolster appreciation.  

NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 37% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

October 8th, 2017



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