Written by: Giuseppe Rijitano on June 6th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 15th August 1983
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Writers: Enzo G. Castellari, Tito Carpi
Cast: Mark Gregory, Henry Silva, Antonio Sabato, Andrea Coppola, Giancarlo Prete, Ennio Girolami
BluRay released: June 30th, 2015
Approximate running times: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Things aren’t going well for the people of the futuristic lawless Bronx. The Manhattan Corporation are sending in guys in silver spacesuits and TV detector vans to clear out the area for rebuilding, and as we learn during the hobo barbecue credits sequence, they aren’t asking nicely! Fear not, dimbo hero of the wasteland, Trash (Mark Gregory) is still alive and mincing. He’s fallen on hard times however, his Riders are all but gone and he makes a living selling ammo to what’s left of the rest of the gangs, now living underground and ruled by carrot munching hairy-armed circus strongman Dablone (Antonio Sabato). Plus the corporation still sends heavily armed assassins after him, lucky he’s got his trusty six shooter pistol, good for taking out helicopters with only a couple of shots it seems. And when he gets home he finds Mamma and Pappa Trash have been turned into crispy brown stains on the carpet.
As if all that isn’t bad enough here comes rat-faced, dead eyed corporation hired mercenary Wrangler (Henry Silva) and his men to demolish Trash’s home, while he’s still in it! Time for Trash to call in the big guns. That’s right, a hermit called Strike (Giancarlo Prete) and his arsenist in training, 8 year old son Junior who tells Trash “Go back home fag” – I like him already! The plan is; kidnap the President (“of the USA? No, the Manhattan Corporation!”) and force him to turn his men back. So with a mouthy journalist in tow they set off to find ‘The Man’. Cue lots of running up and down sewers, explosions, stuntmen flipping through the air in slow motion and obligatory flamethrower action.
In comparison to The Bronx Warriors this sequel has a more straightforward and coherent plot. It’s not as stylish as it’s predecessor but I suppose it makes up for that by upping the action stakes. Highlights include – 30 years before current blockbuster Kick Ass, a little kid gets the highest body count in the film; with his IEDs, hand grenades and even a revolver, although his “Go to my ass!” comment was just wrong on so many levels. The cheesy dialogue “I’ll twist his balls off and shove em down his throat”. The brilliant scene in which the annoying journalist woman is dispatched “She’s got a gun!” (cheers from the audience surely). The ridiculously OTT explosions; Striker’s shotgun explodes cars as if it’s firing rockets and Trash’s six shooter appears to have infinite ammo. Henry Silva calmly radiating complete insanity. The title itself, nobody is actually escaping from the Bronx here, in fact they are fighting to stay!
Note: The BluRay portion of this review was written by Michael Den Boer
Escape from the Bronx comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. To date my only other exposure to this film was via Shameless Films 2010 DVD release, a standard definition release. For this release Blue Underground has created a brand 2K transfer and now this film can finally be seen in all of its Hi Def glory. And just like the recently released 1990: The Bronx Warriors, and The New Barbarians, this new release greatly improves upon that aforementioned release from Shameless Films. Colors have never looked more vibrant and flesh tones look more accurate, black and contrast levels and image clarity are other areas where this transfer show improvement. Also there are no issues with compression and DNR is kept in check.
This film comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. Known for shooting without sounds or at least sound that will be used for the final audio master this audio mix like all Italian films from this era was created in post-production. There are no issues with distortion or background noise and dialog comes through clearly. Range with for a post sync audio master things sound very good. Everything sound balanced and when it needs to robust. Also included with this release are three subtitle options, English SDH, French and Spanish.
Extras for this release include, a Poster & Stills gallery, two trailers for the film, International trailer (3 minutes 15 seconds – 1080 Progressive) and Italian language trailer (3 minutes 15 seconds – 1080 Progressive), trailers for 1990: The Bronx Warriors (2 minutes 41 seconds – 1080 Progressive) and The New Barbarians (3 minutes 25 seconds – 1080 Progressive), two featurette’s, the first featurette titled ‘The Hunt for Trash’ interview with Bronx Warriors Superfan Lance Manley (12 minutes 42 seconds) and the seconded featurette titled ‘Enzo G. Castellari and Fabrizio De Angelis in Conversation Part 3’ (13 minutes 16 seconds – 1080 Progressive, in Italian with English subtitles) and an audio commentary with Enzo G. Castellari, Castellari’s son Andrea and moderator David Gregory.
The featurette with Lance Manley starts off his interview by describing what it is about The Bronx Warriors and his love for this film that makes him a Superfan. Then is the second half of his interview is focuses on his numerous attempts to track down Mark Gregory, a few of these attempts include him going to Rome.
Topics discussed in the featurette titled ‘Enzo G. Castellari and Fabrizio De Angelis in Conversation Part 3’ include, due to the success of the first Bronx Warriors film that there was no avoiding making a sequel, how this time around they would shoot primarily in Rome and not like its predecessor on location in the Bronx, visual tricks and stunt work, working with Henry Silva and how he can at times be difficult to work with, how the Italian film industry has changed over the last few decades and their thoughts on the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, The cast, stunts and special effects, the films score, keys sequences and how they shot them, how they only shot for two weeks in the Bronx and the rest of the sequel was shot in Rome and their thoughts on how the film turned out.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall Escape from the Bronx gets a solid release from Blue underground.