10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™




Alien Thunder 
Written by: on August 12th, 2011


Theatrical Release Date: Canada, 1974
Director: Claude Fournier
Writer: George Malko
Cast: Donald Sutherland, Gordon Tootoosis, Chief Dan George, Kevin McCarthy, Jean Duceppe, Francine Racette

DVD released: June 28th, 2011
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: PG
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95


Synopsis: A Mountie’s obsession to catch the Indian that killed his partner pushes the boundaries of his sanity.

The plot for this film is based on a the true story of a Saskatchewan Indian named Almighty Voice, who was arrested and slated to be hanged for slaughtering a government cow. He would escape before being hanged and while on the run he would kill a Mounties, who was trying to bring him back in. Over the course of seven months he would continue too evade being captured by law enforcement. Ultimately, Almighty Voice’s luck when he and two other companions His brother in law and cousin )would be cornered and slaughter by heavy artillery.

Narrative wise this film pretty much stays in line with the above synopsis of the way things reportedly went down. There is a deliberateness to the story at hand and things tend to move at a leisurely pace. And while this lethargic approach to storytelling will be hard for many viewers to digest. At least it gives the film’s beautifully photographed scenery an ample amount of time to be appreciated.

Without a doubt this film’s most impressive asset is its cast which features Donald Sutherland (Klute, Don’t Look Now) in the role Sgt. Dan Candy, a mounting who becomes obsessed with catching the Indian who kills his partner and Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) in the role of Sgt. Malcolm Grant, who is killed by Almighty Voice. Unfortunately performance there is nothing about either of these two actors that leaves a lasting impression, especially Donald Sutherland’s performance which is painfully wooden.
 
Though there are not really any fleshed out female characters in this film. One performance of note is Francine Racette in the role of Sgt. Malcolm Grant’s wife. Besides being Donald Sutherland’s wife since 1972, she has appeared in a few notable films, Four Flies on Grey Velvet and Mr. Klein.

In closing I have to bring up this film’s absurd title Alien Thunder, which does not give the slightest clue as to what this film is actually about. Even the film’s U.S. re-title Dan Candy’s Law would have been a more appropriate title to go with. Or at least they go with this film’s French Canadian title Le tonnerre rouge, which roughly translates to Red Thunder.

The DVD:

Scorpion Releasing presents Alien Thunder in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original 2.35:1 ‘scope’ aspect ratio. Colors are inconsistently as they fluctuate throughout and black levels are at best average. Though details generally look crisp, there are several instances where things look too soft. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement, while present it is never too intrusive.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. There is constant background noise, that varies in degree throughout. Though the background does present some minor problems, dialog comes through clearly enough that is it easy enough to follow.
 
Extras for this release are limited to trailers for Power Play, The Last Grenade and The Internecine Project. Overall Alien Thunder gets a serviceable audio / video presentation from Scorpion Releasing.

Disclaimer: Some of the reviews contained here at 10kbullets contain screenshots that may not be suitable for those surfing the website at work and discretion is advised while viewing these pages. All of the screenshots and other images used on this site are solely for promotional purposes and are copyrighted to their respective owners. All reviews, bios and interviews unless noted in the text of the review, bio or interview are original content that was written exclusively for 10kbullets and has never been published anywhere else. On occasion there may be typos or errors in the text and if you let us know we will be more then happy to correct all typos or misinformation in the text. All opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author(s) and not that of any company or person referred to. All the written material contained on 10kBullets is intended for informational purposes only and it is copyright © 2004-Present by the authors.