Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 21st, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1966
Director: Antonio Margheriti
Writers: Alfonso Balcázar, José Antonio de la Loma, Ernesto Gastaldi
Cast: Anthony Eisley, Wandisa Guida, Folco Lulli, Diana Lorys, Luisa Rivelli, Francisco Sanz, Barta Barri, Tito García, José María Caffarel, Luciana Petri, Goffredo Unger, Renato Montalbano, Oreste Palella
DVD released: April 28th, 2009
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Rare Flix / Media Blasters
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99 (Only sold as part of Rareflix Triple Feature Volume 4)
Lightning Bolt was directed by Antonio Margheriti, whose diverse filmography includes The Virgin of Nuremberg, Castle of Blood, The Long Hair of Death, The War of the Planets, Vengeance, Naked You Die, Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye, The Stranger and the Gunfighter, Killer Fish, Cannibal Apocalypse and Yor, the Hunter from the Future. The screenplay for Lightning Bolt was co-written by Ernesto Gastaldi who’s other notable screenwriting credits include The Strange vice of Mrs. Wardh, Case of the Scorpion’s Tail, All the Colors of the Dark, Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Torso, Forbidden Photos of a Lady above Suspicion, Death Walks on High Heels, The Case of the Bloody Iris and Death Walks at Midnight. Two key collaborators on Lightning Bolt include composer Riz Ortolani and cinematographer Riccardo Pallottini, who both frequently collaborated with director Antonio Margheriti.
The plot for Lightning Bolt is your standard spy yarn; a secret agent avoids danger, seduces ladies and saves the day. The action sequences are not particularly exciting. Some other areas where this film is lacking, is its blatant use of stock footage and the poorly executed miniature models. The man bad guy is laughably over the top. The hero of the story Harry Sennet is not as resourceful like most secret agents (outside of using his checkbook). To further complicate matters, Anthony Eisley who is cast in the role of Harry Sennet gives a lackluster performance. At least the film features a handful of attractive ladies like Wandisa Guida, Luisa Rivelli and Diana Lorys, who has the most memorable moment in the film. She is taking a shower and Harry Sennet walks in on her. After some playful banter she then has him help wash her back. Ultimately Lightning Bolt is a mediocre film that fits perfectly into the, it’s so bad its good cinema category.
Lightning Bolt is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. There is noticeable print damage that varies in degree throughout. Colors look good, flesh tones look accurate and details generally look crisp.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. There are some mild instances of background noise and distortion. Overall while not without its flaws the audio is more than serviceable.
The only extra related to the main feature is a trailer for Lightning Bolt. Other extras include trailers for other RareFlix and Media Blasters titles that are available on DVD. This trailers gallery is not organized and it is disappointing that each trailer cannot be accessed individually. Lightning Bolt is only available as part of Rareflix Triple Feature Volume 4 which also comes with Boogie Vision and Transformed. Overall Lightning Bolt gets a good audio / video presentation.