Written by: Ron Cotton on January 3rd, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: 1998
Director: Bernard Salzmann
Cast: Eb Lottimer, Miles O’Keeffe, Chistopher Mitchum, Timothy Bottoms,
Bob Thomas, Christopher Dukes
DVD Released: 2005 (1999 by York Entertainment)
Approximate Running Time: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Digiview Entertainment
Region Encoding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $1.00
“Today is the most important day since the birth of the Diamondbacks. This is our sacrifice so we can make a better place for our children. I have faith that this will be our greatest victory.” – Frank Jenkins, Diamondbacks Leader
The Space Shuttle mission launches amid a flurry of speculation and doubt of its true purpose. Diamondbacks, a group of militant radicals fight the government when injustices of freedom rise, flex their muscles in a small northern city in California. This band of vigilantes initially obliterates a federal courthouse with explosive detonators as an act of superiority. Bryce Pierson (Eb Lottimer) is assisting in the shuttle mission and Frank Jenkins (Miles O’Keeffe) leader of the Diamondbacks wants Bryce to sabotage the mission anyway possible. Bryce and Frank both face off in a race against time.
From all appearances, Diamondbacks must have been a low-budget film attempting for the big-budget look. Diamondback’s high-budget look depended on both locations and stock-footage. Poor Acting combined with a poor story and the majority of the scenes built around primarily two rooms pulled Diamondbacks into the trenches.
The footage of Diamondbacks, both audio and visually are quite stunning. Outside locations of California were quite stunning with the huge white satellite dishes aimed upwards against the dusk desert. The film includes NASA stock footage attempting to give a sort of realism to the film with amazing and stunning transfer by far for any budget label. The look and backgrounds are quite dramatic. The composition from shot to shot suffered. The sound and stereo mix is superior to an this DVD
The director Bernard Salzmann decided to film Diamondbacks with hideous results. Scenes at times were out of focus. The shaky cam action scenes looked extremely artificial without life. His dolly shots at times are quite shaky. There were but one or two cinematic moments that worked for this film. With his illustrious career with television and as a second unit director of photography for Emmanuelle knockoffs, Bernard Salzmann was probably given an incredibly low ratio to shoot with. Diamondbacks has all the signs of a rush-job gone horribly bad. When the footage is limited, no amount of editing can fix a flop.
Most of the action involved in this film was drawn-out chase scenes which lacked any sort of conviction. Even a Dukes of Hazzard chase scene has pound for pound more entertainment value. They Aimless run around only to be caught by faceless aggressors. Yawn. Frankly, I was surprised Diamondbacks had or even needed a stunt coordinator.
Diamondbacks was perhaps one of the worst excuses of a movie. It was imported to Germany with no real fan-fare. Diamondbacks has no enjoyment value whatsoever so don’t fool yourself with its beauty. A side note, Diamondbacks’ ending is quite flawed.