Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 2nd, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1983
Director: Matt Cimber
Cast: Laurene Landon
DVD released: March 27th, 2007
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Subversive Cinema
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Hundra (Laurene Landon) is a female warrior whose tribe consists of women only. They only require the services of men when they want to bear more offspring preferable daughters or they give the child away if it is a son. Hundra’s village is slaughtered one day while she was away hunting. Confused and all alone in the world Hundra goes to visit an elder woman who lives in a call. This woman reveals too Hundra that her destiny is re-build her tribe. Will Hundra be able to fulfill her destiny of finding a mate or will she like many women before her become submissive and their slave?
The Sword and Sandal genre saw sort of a rebirth in the 1980’s after films like Clash of the Titans and Conan the Barbarian both became box office hits. So it is only naturally that even more of these types of films would spring forth due to the success of these films. Matt Cimber is a veteran exploitation filmmaker who has directed such exploitation classics like The Black 6, Candy Tangerine Man, Lady Cocoa and The Witch Who Came from the Sea. In 1983 he would venture into the rejuvenated sword & sandal genre with his female warrior epic titled Hundra.
From the get go the film quickly jumps into a bloody battle which sets the tone for the rest of the film. This action scene like those that follow are all well crafted and executed. The action at times can get bloody and down right nasty as head come flying off. The films lead actress Laurene Landon does an admirable job portraying Hundra the female warrior. She looks comfortable and convincing in all of her action scenes and this is what really sells the character and the story being told. The rest of the cast all give adequate performances that suite the material without ever getting to campy.
The plot for its time a strong female character that can hold her own while battle anyone even a man was not that common when this film was made. Later similar characters like Red Sonja and Zena the Warrior Princess owe a lot Hundra who paved the way before them. One of the best parts of Hundra is its use of location and despite the films limited budget they make due with what they had and make it look bigger and more expansive then it really was. Overall as far as Sword & Sandal films go Hundra is an enjoyable romp that is filled to the brim with action and carnage.
Hundra is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. For the most part colors look strong and details are sharp through out. There is no problem with compression, artifacts or edge enhancement and print damage is very minimal as it is mostly just a few specs of dirt here and there. Overall this is another first rate transfer from Subversive Cinema.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. There are no problems with distortion or any other major sound defects. Overall the mix sounds evenly balanced and robust.
Extras for this release include bios for cast & crew, a trailer for Hundra and a handful of other titles also released by Subversive Cinema. Other extras include forty seven minute featurette titled “Hunting Hundra” which includes comments from director Matt Cimber and actress Laurene Landon. The discussion is lively from the get go as the two get into an argument right away before things settle down for the rest for the interview. They discuss location shooting in Spain, stunt work, the character of Hudnra in great detail and various other things about the productions. The main extra for this release is an audio commentary with director Matt Cimber and actress Laurene Landon and it is moderated by Norman Hill of Subversive Cinema. Overall this audio commentary serves as a nice companion piece to the featurette. The audio commentary has few instances where information is repeated that appears elsewhere while the bulk of the audio commentary includes information that does not appear in any of the other extras.
This release also comes with a racy comic book for Hundra and the first 5,000 copies come with the complete Ennio Morricone on CD.
Subversive Cinema does it once again rescues and gives a fringe title the kind of red carpet treatment very few cult movies ever see. If you a few of sword & sandal movies then you should do yourself a favor and pick Hundra up especially while supplies of Ennio Morricones excellent score on CD are still available.
For more information about Hundra visit Subversive Cinema here.