Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 26th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Russia, 1993
Director: Vsevolod Plotkin
Writers: Aleksandr Aristov, Elena Karavaeshnikova, Vsevolod Plotkin
Cast: Vladimir Menshov, Aleksandr Rozenbaum, Sergey Veksler, Dmitri Volkov, Andrey Shcherbovich-Vecher, Yakov Golyakov, Murad Aliyev, Yuriy Gorobets, Oksana Salekh, Anvar Kendzhayev, Arsen Amaspyuryants, Anvar Azimov, Vyacheslav Ushakov
BluRay released: May 26th, 2017
Approximate running time: 113 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $32.98
“Russia. 1992. The Soviet Union has fallen but there remains an unholy alliance between the mob and the KGB. Oleg, an Afghan war veteran, is running a survivalist summer camp when his son is taken hostage as retribution for his friend’s refusal to lead a drug and gun smuggling caravan. With no other options to save his son, Oleg agrees to lead the caravan himself and is soon pitted against a siege of violence as he attempts to carry out his orders and live to see his son again.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
Content wise, this film bears a striking resemblance to the action films made by Cannon Films in the 1980’s. The narrative is a wall to wall action extravaganza that serves up just the right amount of backstory on the key characters.
And when it comes to the action set pieces this film does not miss a beat. With standout action set pieces including, the opening scene where police station is overrun by mercenaries who kill all witnesses and steal a cache of weapons. And a scene where the mercenaries’ hideout is overrun by the film’s protagonist, whose son is also being held hostage there.
This film’s standout performance is Vladimir Menshov (Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears) in the role of Oleg. He delivers a strong performance that finds a very satisfying balance between the more dramatic moments and action oriented moments. Another performance of note is Aleksandr Rozenbaum in the role of Jaffar. He is utterly convincing in the role of the nemesis.
Red Mob comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source for this releases transfer was scanned and restored in 2k from the film’s 35mm interpositive. There are no issues with compression, colors look accurate and details generally look crisp. It should be noted that grain is more prominent during night scenes and second unit shots.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD stereo mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds, clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include, a slip cover, reversible cover art, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 28 seconds, in English), a promotional stills gallery with music from the film playing in the background, two interviews with producer Arthur Schweitzer – the first interview is titled Producing Red Mob (18 minutes 2 seconds, in English) and the second interview is titled Shooting from the Hip (23 minutes 41 seconds, in English).
Topics discussed in the extra titled Producing Red Mob include, the origins of Red Mob, background information about the crew, shooting a film in the Baltics, actor Vladimir Menshov, why there is an English language version of the film, production / post production topics, reaction to the film the first it was screened for an audience and how the film fared at the box office.
Topics discussed in the extra titled Shooting from the Hip include, his origins as a producer, how he worked for 21t Century Distribution, Cinevest Entertainment Group, Romano Scavolini, Dog Tags, information about various films that he worked on and how the industry has changed over the years.
Other extras include, the original Russian language version of the film (110 minutes 34 seconds, in Russian with English and Russian subtitles).
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall Red Mob gets a solid release from Vinegar Syndrome.
NOTE: This Blu-Ray / DVD combo release is a limited-edition release of 1,000 copies.