Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 9th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1987
Director: Guy Magar
Writers: Guy Magar, Lee Wasserman
Cast: Dennis Lipscomb, Leslie Wing, Suzanne Snyder, Jeff Pomerantz, George Murdock, Pamela Dunlap, Susan Peretz
DVD released: July 17th, 2012
Approximate running time: 109 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Synopsis: A depressed painter becomes possessed by the demonic soul of gangster, who is hell bent on getting revenge against those that are responsible for his death.
Retribution was co-written and directed by Guy Magar, who’s other notable film include, Stepfather III and Children of the Corn: Revelation. Notable collaborators on Retribution include cinematographer Gary Thieltges (Eating Raoul) and composer Alan Howarth, who is most known for his numerous collaborations with director John Carpenter.
Production value and content wise, Retribution falls somewhere in between studio backed horror films like, a Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th and SOV (shot on video) horror films like Sledgehammer and Boarding House.
Sure there are obvious budgetary short comings that are apparent while watching Retribution and yet the end result is a film that is far more polished the majority of this film’s contemporizes. The cinematography is easily this film’s greatest asset and it does a superb job driving home the more supernatural aspects of the story at hand. Though the film’s special effects often crumbly under the weight of this film’s meager resources.
With that being said, despite the short comings of the aforementioned special effects. All of the kill scenes are inventive and sufficiently gory enough that even the most jaded horror film fan should walk away satisfied.
Sometimes when it comes to horror films, the performances are often unfairly maligned due to the lack of depth in said performance or because most characters in these type of films are one dimensional. Retribution is not the type of film that is going to wow you with its performances. And outside of this film’s leading man Dennis Lipscomb (War Games) in the role of a tortured painter named George Miller.
Code Red presents Retribution in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s intended aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer is in excellent shape.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. The audio sounds clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include trailers for the film (8 minutes 24 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a photo gallery, deleted violent scenes (7 minutes 38 seconds -4:3 full frame) and an audio commentary with co-screenwriter / director Guy Magar. This audio commentary does a great job covering the more technical related aspects of this production, especially this film’s special effects. It should be noted that the rated R version of the film is the one that has been included as part of this DVD release and that the additional gore moments that have been excised are only available as part of the extras. Also included with this release are trailers for The Last Chase, Family Honor, Mardi Grass Massacre and Nightmare. Overall Retribution gets a first rate release from Code Red.