Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 21st, 2014
Theatrical Release Dates: UK, 2014
Director: Manish Patel
Writer: Manish Patel
Cast: Dave Courtney, Lucy Drive, Jerry Anderson, Richard Angol, Sukhraj Singh, Jamie Bannerman, Nigel St Lewis
DVD Release Date: May 20th, 2014
Approximate Running Time: 114 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Revolver Entertainment
Region Encoding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: A young man who has just recently returned from military service in Afghanistan gets a job with a notorious crime boss.
Content wise, the film is about the rise and fall of a crime boss. And though there have been countless other films that have traversed a similar path. It is safe to say that this film firmly establishes an identity all of its own.
As mentioned before this film quickly sets in stone what it wants to accomplish. And right from the opening moments, there is no doubt that the majority of the characters in this film are a nasty bunch of criminals who often display their more sadistic side. Very earlier on there is a scene with a crime boss name Dave Bishop who confronts one of his associates whom he believes has been stealing from him. He takes said associate into a sound proofed room and cranks up the classical music while he beats the man to a pulp with a golf club. And this is not your run of the mill beating; it is over flowing with rage. Needless to say no one is free of his rage including women.
From a production stand point the visuals are rock solid as this film does a superb job setting the mood with its use of colors. Whether colors are subdued or overly vibrant most notably like the aforementioned scene where the man is beaten with a golf club, this scene is drenched in red. Pacing is never an issue as this film has a few well place twists along the way. And this film’ score features an eclectic mix of songs that effortlessly reinforced not only the aforementioned violent imagery, but this film’s tongue and cheek undertone.
From a performance standpoint this film is anchored by two performances, Dave Courtney in the role Dave Bishop and Jamie Bannerman in the role of the young man who has just been hired by Bishop. Personality wise these characters could not be further apart, polar opposites. Courtney gives a menacing performance that is exhilarating to watch and wonder what he is going to do next, where Bannerman gives a more subdued performance that serves as this films emotional center. Ultimately Original Gangster is a riveting crime film that far exceeds its limited resources.
Revolver Entertainment presents Original Gangster in an anamorphic widescreen that retains this films intended aspect ratio. Colors look vibrant and nicely saturated, black and contrast levels look strong. Details look sharp throughout; there are no issues with edge enhancement or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio sounds clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too. Range wise this audio mixes takes full advantage of the sound spectrum and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.
Extras for this release include a brief segment titled ‘Confessions of Violence: The Dave Bishop Story’ (6 minutes 1 second – anamorphic widescreen) this is essentially a condensed version of the film and a informative featurette titled ‘The Making of Original Gangster’ (19 minutes 9 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) that includes comments from the cast and crew. Overall Original Gangster gets a solid release from Revolver Entertainment.