Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 1st, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1990
Director: George Elanjian Jr.
Writers: Brent V. Friedman, Michael Carmody
Cast: Starr Andreeff, Mitchell Laurance, David Gale, Charles Lucia, Riva Spier, Jeff Doucette
DVD released: October 28th, 2008
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English, Spanish French
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: All hell breaks loose when genetically created cyborg killing machines escape from their controlled environment. After the suspicious death of its creator Ethan Valentine, his niece Susan with the help of an inquisitive reporter tries to uncover the truth behind her u8ncles death. Standing in their way is Carter Brown the maniacal CEO of the corporation that her uncle Ethan created the cyborg killing machines for.
Syngenor Brent V. Friedman was written by would later go on to write for the short lived Sci-Fi series Dark Skies. There are so many things that just don’t with this film. First the plot feels like a cross between Robocop and Predator. Like Robocop this film features a out of control corporation that has turmoil which leads to its downfall. Another flaw is the rubber suit cyborg’s look like a second hand variation on the predator creature. If this wasn’t bad enough the plot is dull, predictable and the poorly acted.
All the scenes where cyborg soldiers attack their prey they never feel menacing. It doesn’t help that they are never semi enshrouded in the shadows of the basement and elsewhere during the film. There is too much of them shown which leaves nothing to the imagination. In this mess of a film the only saving grace is the maniacal performance from David Gale (Re-Animator). Overall Syngenor is a Z grade direct to video action film that many will find a chore to get through.
Synapse Films presents Syngenor in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This progressive flagged transfer is another remarkable transfer from Synapse that boasts strong colors and razor sharp detail throughout.
This release comes with three language options English, Spanish and French. There are two audio choices for the English language mixes. A Dolby Digital 5.1 mix or a Dolby Digital stereo mix, while the Spanish and French audio mixes only come with a Dolby Digital Stereo mix. All the audio mixes sound evenly balanced and free of any audio defects.
Extras for this release include filmographies for the cast & crew, an extensive image gallery and trailers for Syngenor, Strange Behavior, Patrick, Thirst and Dark Forces. Other extras include four featurettes “David Gale at the Tokyo Fantastic Film Festival” (8:30), “Publicity Photo Shoot” (1:56), “Doug Beswick’s Creature Shop” (2:25) and “David Gale Audition” (1:43). The four segments are a nice addition to the film main extra an audio commentary with actress Starr Andreeff, writer Brent V. Friedman and producer Jack F. Murphy. The audio commentary is lively with all three participants remembering in great detail stories related to making the film. All the previous content that was included on the now OOP Elite DVD release has been carried over for this release. Overall this is another strong DVD release from Synapse Film’s.