Written by: Carroll Jenkins on October 27th, 2015
BluRay released: October 27th, 2015
Approximate running times: 127 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Olive Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A plantation run by father and son apparently makes more money on raising and selling slaves (many sired by the son) than a cash crop. The father wants two things: a Mandingo slave for breeding and an heir to his estate.
This movie is not so much an exposé as ultra-sleazy big budget exploitation. To think The Warriors was accused of inciting riots when this potboiler intentionally pushes every button it can find – especially the big RACE button. Slavery is depicted as dehumanizing [no argument] and the slave owners as totally corrupt body and soul. Even the plantation is decrepit and rundown. You’d think with all that slave labor they could slap a coat of paint on the place.
Certainly the idyllic plantation life depicted in The Littlest Rebel is mostly fictitious, but equally so the world presented here. Both these films are based on partial truths and present polar extremes of the slavery issue: in one the slave owners are righteous, virtuous, and benevolent; in the other vision it’s the slaves with the high moral ground. There’s little room for historical accuracy in either film. In the world of Mandingo every white character is thoroughly evil and obsessed with sex and violence. Of course, that’s what this movie is really focused on – sex and violence, which it delivers in spades.
Note: The BluRay portion of this review was written by Michael Den Boer
Mandingo comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used is in very good shape. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels look consistently strong and details generally look crisp. Grain looks intact and there are no issues with DNR or compression. And when compared to Legend films DVD the area of greatest improvement for this release include image clarity.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion and range wise things sound good considering the limitations of the mono source. Dialog is clear and easy to follow and everything sounds balanced. Also the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented and the film’s score sounds robust.
This release comes with no extra content.
Overall Olive Films gives Mandingo a first rate audio / video presentation.
Note: Olive Films are also releasing this film on DVD.