Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 27th, 2011
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1973 (Cop Killers), USA, 1983 (The Being)
Directors: Walter R. Cichy (Cop Killers ), Jackie Kong (The Being)
Cast: Thomas Burnes, Ted Ellison, Jim Ferguson, Diane Keller, Charles Kendrick, Steven Kenner, Larry Langela, James Nite, Bill Osco, Judy Ross, Donna Stubbert, Michael D. White, Jason Williams (Cop Killers), Martin Landau, Marianne Gordon, Bill Osco, José Ferrer, Dorothy Malone, Ruth Buzzi, Murray Langston, Kinky Friedman, Johnny Dark, Kent Perkins, Ellen Blake (The Being)
DVD released: February 22nd, 2011
Approximate running times: 94 minutes (Cop Killers), 82 minutes (The Being)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Cop Killers), Dolby Digital Stereo English (The Being)
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
The Being: A toxic waste site transforms a missing boy into a mutant that preys on the locales.
Growing up in the early 1980’s there was never a shortage of new horror films. And while many of them were just knock offs of whatever was most successful at that moment. There were also an abundance of crudely made horror films that have not aged well at all. The Being leans heavily in the latter category.
The nonexistent plot that is barley held together by its absurd kill scenes. Most of which induce laughter. Instead of fright. To make matters worse. The film is tediously paced. With way to many stretches were anything remotely interesting happens. The direction is at best serviceable and the acting (if one would even call it that) is awful. The most mind boggling aspect of this production. is how did they ever get an actor like Martin Landau (Ed Wood) to appear in this abomination. And while I can appreciate schlocky cinema. This film is not ‘so bad its good’. It is simply a bad film. You have been warned!
Cop Killers: Alex and Ray are ambushed as they attempt to cross the Mexico/U.S. border with 5 keys of cocaine. Instead of giving up they get caught up in a shoot out where in the end they are the only ones left alive while four cops are now dead. Now outlaws the two of them are determined more then ever to complete the drug deal they had set up and escape back across the border with the money they are getting.
Early on the films dark tone is set when Alex and Ray kill four border cops. The killers are not your standard and the last one is excessive in its brutality. This scene also gives sets in stone the difference between the two leads. Ray is a cold blooded killer who bullies those weaker then him to get what he wants and those who resist him end up dead. Alex is laid back and killing is not something he can easily stomach. The body count in this film rises as they trek across the land to meet their connection. All but one of the killings is by Ray and he finds new and fascinating ways to dispose of his prey. All the murders are bloody and graphic with a few point blank gunshots to the face.
About half way through the film. They pick a hostage named Karen and she quickly drives a wedge between Alex and Ray. Alex clearly starts to care for this woman while her feelings for him are not reeling confirmed as she just wants to escape from this situation. The longer the Alex and Ray stay on the road the further they grow apart as paranoia starts gets the better of both of them. The story is compelling despite the films low budget. Walter R. Cichy’s direction is pretty good especially during the shoot outs and car chase scene through the desert. This films old west like shoot out finale is reminiscent of Sam Peckinpaw. Overall Cop Killers is an exploitative film that relies heavily of shocking the viewer and in this regard is succeeds.
The Being is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors and black levels look pretty good. Flesh tones look accurate and details generally look crisp. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is minimal.
The Being comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio sounds clear and consistent throughout. There are no problems with distortion or background noise. Range wise this audio mix is rather limited.
Extras for The Being include a trailer for the film (1 minute 38 seconds – letterboxed widescreen) and a audio commentary with Marc Edward Heuck and comedian Johnny Dark. This audio commentary is a fun track. That also contains many interesting tidbits about The Being and those involved with this production.
Cops Killers is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. The film was shot originally on super 16mm and later blown up to 35mm. There is noticeable grain which gets kind of heavy at times throughout the film. The colors and flesh tones looks accurate. There is also print damage in the form of nicks and scratches that is present though out the entire film. Overall the transfer is while not flawless is certainly watch able and most of its flaws are due to the films low budget origins.
Cops Killers comes with one audio option an English Dolby Digital mono audio mix that lacks range as the dialog sounds a tad thin. The music and effects fare slightly better. There are some instances of hiss and distortion of this audio mix.
Extras for Cop Killers include a trailer for the film (1 minutes 44 seconds – letterboxed widescreen), a interview actor Jason Williams (15 minutes 32 seconds – 4:3 full frame) and a audio commentary with Jason Williams and moderator Adam Trash. Topics covered in the interview and audio commentary include how he got into the business, the film Flesh Gordon, how it got him the role in Cop Killers and how the film’s producers financed this and other projects by making porno features.
Also included with this release are trailers for Brute Corps, Family Honor and The Visitor. Overall another strong double feature from Code Red, who gives those who missed out on these two film’s previous DVD releases. A chance to pick them up at their most affordable price to date.