Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 3rd, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: USA, August 5th, 1970
Director: Jack Starrett
Writer: Alan Caillou
Cast: William Smith, Bernie Hamilton, Adam Roarke, Houston Savage
DVD Released: February 28th, 2006
Approximate Running Time: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital mono
DVD Release: Dark Sky Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
The Army Handed Them Guns…And A License To Kill!
When a CIA agent named Chet Davis is captured and held captive in a Cambodian prison camp. The U.S. government hires a biker gang known as The Devils Advocates too go under deep cover to bust him out and return him safely home.
The Losers is a unique film that mixes genre’s two of the most unlikely genres. The idea of using bikers as freedom fighting mercenaries in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia is an inspired choice. Instead of your typical combat sequences where we get to see the Devils Advocate’s ride around in their tricked out bike armed for killing and mass destruction. The biker gang in The Losers is called The Devil’s Advocate’s and even though the they share the same name as the bikers in the film Werewolves on wheels these films are not connected.
This film was shot on a shoe string budget and I have to give high marks to director Jack Starrett who stages some impressive battle sequences in the film which overcome his lack of budget. The action is fast paced and bloody. The bikers in the film were too easy going at times and one has to wonder why they were chosen for the mission. Several of the actors have appeared in biker films before and overall they all give solid performances even if they tend to be too comical at times. My favorite moment in the film is after the bikers have freed Chet Davis and they make an escape from the Cambodian prison. This scene reminded me of the escape sequence with Steve McQueen in The Great Escape.
There are two subplots in the film that revolve around two of the bikers and the women they have fallen in love with. This part of the film is by the weakest part and these scenes add little if anything too the story. The middle section of the film spends plenty of time fleshing out the characters and we get too see the Devil’s Advocate’s get themselves ready for the enemy. Overall the plot is above average and the action is the glue that holds everything together.
Dark Sky Films present The Losers in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors look strong with the reds and greens looking the strongest. Flesh tones look natural and grain is kept to a minimum. The black levels remain solid and constant through out as detail looks sharp in the background and foreground. There are no problems with compression or artifacts and edge enhancement is so minor you would have to be looking for it too see it. This transfer was sourced from the films original 35mm negative and the overall quality of this transfer is near flawless.
This release comes with only one audio option an English language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Dialog is crisp and always easy to follow. Music sounds crystal clear and the effects sound evenly mixed as they never overpower the rest of the mix. There are no problems with hiss, distortion or any other sound defects. Overall considering the age of this film and the mono limitations of the audio mix it is more then satisfactory as it gets the good done.
Extras for this release include theatrical trailers for The Losers and Werewolves on Wheels. Other extras include two radio spots and a photo gallery with lobby cards, stills and posters from the film. Rounding out the extras is an audio commentary track with actors William Smith and Paul Koslo. They discuss a wide variety of subjects like director Jack Starrett, working if the Philippines and a couple remarks about how cheap the films producer Joe Soloman was. Overall there are a few moments when there is dead air, still this audio commentary is filled with many great stories that are sure to please and entertain fans of this film.
Dark Sky Films The Losers is another solid DVD release that comes with a few interesting extras and a exceptional audio/video presentation, recommended.
For more information about The Losers and other titles released by Dark Sky Films visit their website.