Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 13th, 2014
BluRay released: October 14th, 2014
Approximate running times: 73 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Mondo Macabro
Region Coding: Region Free / Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Trying to merge two genres into one cohesive entity has been tried in countless films over the years. And successfully pulling off such a task is easier said than done. With the films that have pulled off such a feat are far and few in between. And this is precisely what The Devil’s Business tries to pull off?
The first half of the film is all about the characters and getting to know them. And at one point the more experienced hit man tells his apprentice a story about one of his former jobs. Needless to say this first half is dialog driven and the film’s visuals lend these early moments a tremendous amount of atmosphere.
Then about half way through the film things start to morph into a Horror film as the plot introduces elements pertaining to the occult. Thankfully when this moment arrives it does in such a way that it does not take one out of the story. From there the pace really picks up for the last half of the film as things start to go awry for the hit men and the blood starts to flow.
If ever there was a film that relied heavily on its leading man’s performance, then that would be this film. Fortunately for this dialog driven film its leading man Billy Clarke gives a remarkable performance in the role of Pinner, the experienced hit man. Another performance of note is Jonathan Hansler in the role of Kist, he is man that has been targeted for a hit. Ultimately The Devil’s Business is an engrossing film that quickly draws you in with its well defined performances and a truly satisfying payoff.
The Devil’s Business comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This is a very dark film that takes place at night and dimly lit rooms. With that being said, black levels look solid throughout and details always look crisp. There are no issues with DNR or compression. Once again Mondo Macabro have delivered another first rate transfer.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound very good as dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. Also the DTS-HD 5.1 mix does not disappoint when it comes to range and managing the nuances of this films soundtrack.
Extras for this release include three music videos, outtake (54 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), a ‘Making of’ featurette (9 minutes 21 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) with comments from cast & crew who discuss the origins of the project and casting, four interviews, writer / director Sean Hogan (26 minutes 21 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), producer Jennifer Handorf (12 minutes 34 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), actor Billy Clarke (13 minutes 5 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and composer Justine Greaves (16 minutes 2 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and an audio commentary with Sean Hogan and Jennifer Handorf who discuss the look of the film, difficulties that arose during filming, the cast and their performances, the score, set design, the ending and their thoughts on the final product.
Topics discussed Sean Hogan’s interview include, his influences and how he got into filmmaking, low budget filmmaking and keys to being successful, how he got involved in The Devil’s Business, the cast, humor and how it was used in this film, critical reaction to the film and other projects he is working on.
Topics discussed Jennifer Handorf’s interview include, how she became a producer, sound design and the visuals and post production. Topics discussed Billy Clarke’s interview include, acting, working with Sean Hogan and Jennifer Handorf, the cast and his performance. Topics discussed Justine Greaves interview include, how he became involved in the project and the score for the film.
Rounding out the extras is the Mondo Macabro preview trailer. Also included with this combo release is a DVD counterpart to the Blu-Ra disc. Overall The Devil’s Business gets a solid release from Mondo Macabro, recommended.