Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 10th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1971
Director: Alexander Singer
Writers: Milton Sperling, Philip Yordan
Cast: Lee Van Cleef, Carroll Baker, Stuart Whitman
DVD released: September 29th, 2000
Approximate running time: 89m33s
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 & 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: Stonevision Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £15.99
The Film :
Captain Apache (Lee Van Cleef) is assigned the task of discovering what a dying Indian Commissioner’s last word’s “April Morning” mean’s. It also appears that other want to keep the meaning behind “April Morning” under wraps. Every time Captain Apache finds someone who knows something about “April Morning” they end up dead before they spill the beans.
This DVD presents Captain Apache in two aspect ratios. The opening credits are in the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and the rest of the film for whatever reason is framed about the aspect ratio of about 1.78:1, at least this title has been given an anamorphic enhancement. Despite the incorrect aspect ratio it appears the image appears has minor picture information is missing as the image looks stretched and not cropped. Colors look good and flesh tones look accurate. Details look softer on some of the wider shots as items or people in the background are not as clear. There is some minor print damage through out, still nothing that ever becomes to distracting. There is plenty of room for improvement in the overall image quality and despite its flaws this is the best Captain Apache has looked to date on home video.
This DVD comes with only one audio option a Dolby Digital mono track in English. The dialog is clean and easy to follow. The music and effects sound evenly mixed. There is some minor hiss and outside this the audio is pretty clean and there are no problems with distortion. This audio track is never going to blow your mind; still considering its mono limitations this audio mix is more then adequate.
This DVD comes with genre menu that resembles the god awful cover art for the DVD. There are twelve chapter stop. The only real extras are filmographies for Lee Van Cleef and Alexander Singer. Also the movie automatically loads instead of going to the menu.
Captain Apache is not a good film by any means and its plot is the films weakest link. Lee Van Cleef makes everything he appears in better and in Captain Apache not only do we get to hear him sing the films theme song. We get to see Van Cleef in full Indian dress wearing a hair piece. If you thought Burt Reynolds was unconvincing as an Indian wait tell you see Lee Van Cleef’s interpretation. Captain Apache’s dialog is filled with a lot of politically incorrect racial stereo types like “Red Ass” that give the film a dated feel. Overall Captain Apache is so awesomely bad that sitting through this film can be a painful experience if you watch it sober and to get the best out of your viewing experience it is best to watch this film blitzed.