Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 29th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1983
Director: Ralph Bakshi
Writers: Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas
Cast: Randy Norton, Cynthia Leake, Steve Sandor, Sean Hannon, Leo Gordon, William Ostrander, Eileen O’Reill, Elizabeth Lloyd Shaw, Micky Morton, Tamarah Park, Big Yank, Greg Wayne Elam, Jimmy Bridges, Shane Callan, Archie Hamilton, Michael Kelloff, Douglas Payton, Dale Park, Susan Tyrrell, Maggie Roswell, Stephen Mendel, Alan Koss, Clare Nono, Hans Howes, Ray Oliver, Nathan Purdee, Le Tari, Holly Frazetta
BluRay released: August 25th, 2009
Approximate running time: 81 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD English, 7.1 Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English, DTS HD 5.1 English
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $34.95
Synopsis: A barbarian warrior and a princess take on a power hungry sorcerer named Nekron.
Fire and Ice was directed by Ralph Bakshi, whose other notable films as a director include Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, Wizards and The Lord of the Rings (1978 version). The other main creative mind behind Fire and Ice was Frank Frazetta, whose illustrations have appeared on numerous Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks and he also helped create Vampirella.
The story for Fire and Ice keeps things simple as the main players and their objectives are quickly established. While the main function of the story is to depict a sorcerer named Nekron’s growing obsession with power. The film also spends a sizable amount of time exploring the evolving romance the barbarian warrior and the princess. Even though it is easy to see the direction in which the plot is going, this doesn’t diminish in any way the inevitable final battle between Nekron and the barbarian warrior. Besides Frank Frazetta’s unique visual style, one other thing that immediately grabs is of the animation process known as Rotoscope, in which a live actor is film and then an animator traces over each live action frame. Another area where this film excels is during its fight scenes that have an ample amount of bloodshed. Overalls Fire and Ice is an action packed adventure that fans of sword and sorcery films should thoroughly enjoy.
Fire and Ice comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Outside some very minor instances of print debris, the image looks exceptional with vivid colors (reds especially standout), solid black levels and details looking sharp throughout. This transfer is a marked improvement upon Blue Underground’s transfer used for their DVD releases of Fire and Ice.
This release comes with three audio options a DTS-HD English, 7.1 Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English and DTS HD 5.1 English. This release comes with four subtitle options English, English SDH, French, and Spanish. All three audio mixes sound dynamic, evenly balanced and dialog is crystal clear throughout. For this release the Dolby Digital stereo mix which was included on the previous DVD’s Blue Underground DVD releases has not been carried over.
All the extras from Blue Underground’s two previous DVD releases of Fire and Ice have been carried over except a documentary on the life of Frank Frazetta titled “Frazetta: Painting With Fire”. Extra for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 15 seconds), an extensive gallery of behind the scene photos that plays like a featurette with music from the film playing in the background (13 minutes and 5 seconds) and an audio interview / production diary with Sean Hannon (14 minutes and 6 seconds), he was the actor who performed live action moments Nekron which were later animated for the final feature. Other extras include an interview with director Ralph Bakshi (8 minutes 1 second), who discusses Frank Frazetta and a segment titled “The Making of Fire and Ice” (13 minutes 31 seconds). This vintage behind the scenes segment gives an informative glimpse in the techniques used to make this film. The main extra included with this release is an audio commentary with director Ralph Bakshi and moderator Lance Laspina. The audio commentary is an in depth and lively affair that does covers just about anything one would need to know about this film. Overall this is another solid BluRay rleease from Blue Underground.