Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 29th, 2016
BluRay released: November 29th, 2016
Approximate running times: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Death Machines was co-written and directed by Paul Kyriazi, the creative force behind the equally delirious Ninja Busters. The score for Death Machines was composed by Don Hulette who’s other notable scores include, Point of Terror and Horror High.
Content wise, Death Machines is a U.S. made martial arts films that was made during the 1970’s martial arts boom that was ignited by Bruce Lee. And though the majority of martial arts films from this era were predominately from China or Japan. Death Machines is one of handful of lesser known U.S. made martial films from this era that does not feature Chuck Norris in a starring role.
The Premise is actually this film most durable asset. Where the majority of marital arts films feature plots that have an air of familiarity to them. That is not the case with this film and its wild premise actually requires the viewer to take a leap of faith.
From a production standpoint, the action set pieces are all well executed. With this film’s standout action set piece being the scene where the trio of assassins slaughter all the students and their master at a dojo. Performance wise the cast are best summed up as serviceable. Overall Death Machines is a highly entertaining film that fans of vintage martial arts cinema are sure to thoroughly enjoy.
Death Machines comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new 4k transfer was sourced from this film’s 35mm Techniscope camera negative and this is easily the best this film has ever looked on home video. Grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio, a DTS-HD mix in mono English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds, clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, a director’s introduction (54 seconds), teaser (1 minute 5 seconds), a trailer for the film (2 minutes 5 seconds), trims /outtakes (3 minutes 19 seconds), an audio interview with actor Joshua Johnson, an interview with actor Michael Chong (10 minutes 19 seconds) and an audio commentary with director Paul Kyriazi.
Topics discussed in the interview with Joshua Johnson include, his connection to director Paul Kyriazi and how this lead to him getting into acting, The Tournament his first collaboration with Paul Kyriazi, his film industry experiences before Death Machines, the cast, the stunts and his thoughts about Death Machines.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the opening credits and why they have a Sci-Fi vibe to them, Crown International’s ill-fated original promotion for the film that mislead people to think it was a Sci-Fi film, how a scene was added after the film was completed, locations featured in the film, the cast and information about them, stunts and other production related topics.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall Death Machines gets an exceptional release Vinegar Syndrome.