Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 2nd, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: USA, Janaury 13th, 2006
Director: Matt Pizzolo
Writers: Kate Nisa, Matt Pizzolo
Cast: Tony Dreannan, David R. Fisher, Kamouflage, Keith Middleton, Katie Nisa, Carlos Puga, Neil Rubenstein, Rebekka Takamizu
DVD released: January 24th, 2006
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Halo8/Red
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.97
Jim and Fred are co-workers who due to their race experience America from distinctively different vantage points. Jim is free spirit punk rocker Caucasian who is rebelling against the upper class that he grew up with in Long Island. Fred is an afro American who has a wife and child to support. Despite their differences they are able to forge a friendship which leads to a better understanding of each other and themselves. Saturday night there is a straight party being held some of Jim’s friends. Jim invites Fred and his friends to the party. A riot breaks out when one of Fred’s friends pours forty on the bouncer at the straight edge party. The violence escalates to the point where anyone who original wanted to stop it ends up getting caught in the chaos.
Threat is an interesting film that explores many of America’s most notorious sins racism and the class system of where rich always gets richer while the poor are treated as second class citizens. The thing that immediately grabbed me was how deep the dialog is that is spoken by the various characters in then film and in many ways it reminded of a Shakespearian tragedy.
This films final act where the riot erupts is one of the most visceral brutal pieces of celluloid that has ever been put to film. The violence is done is such a realistic way that you can not help but be moved by the tragedy that is unfolding before your very eyes. The films finale with Jim and young girl who go on tour beating up yuppies was let down as the characters must be numb to the bloodshed they have caused since they continue their viscous cycle despite losing several friends because of it.
The acting in this film is convincing with the standout performance being Carlos Puga as Jim. The story and its characters keep things moving at an incredible pace and even though the film is about eighty minutes in length it feels like so much more happens during is short running time. When discussing why Threat works so well on so many levels one must not overall look the contribution of first time director and the films co-screenwriter Matt Pizzolo who direction is intimate which helps bring the viewer even closer to the story unfolding.
Threat is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This film has footage in color and black and white. The colors on this transfer are a disappointment as they look lifeless and muted. The black and White images fare better as they exhibit good shadow detail and the image looks sharper during these scenes. The image also looks blurry during wider shots while mid range and close ups have an exceptional amount of detail. Overall the image is perfectly acceptable considering the film low budget and documentary feel.
This release comes with three audio mixes the first track which is in English and presented in a Dolby Digital stereo while the other two audio mixes are essentially different mixes of the films soundtrack. These two tracks are known as Mob tracks were the entire films original dialog, sound effects and music has been replaced with music by two DJ’s Alec Empire and Enduser. Both of these DJ tracks are a departure form the original score and while there inclusion is cool they are not the type of music one could listen too unless in the proper mood. The main soundtrack is pretty clean as dialog is easy to follow and understand. The music and effects complement each other without drowning the other out.
Extras for this release include three trailers and one news story about Threat. Other extras include eleven deleted scenes which run about twenty minutes in length and for the most part there are just extensions of already existing scenes in the film. The trimming of these moments and the re-cutting of the opening and ending of the film was a job idea since the film plays tighter and some much better in its current form. Rounding out the extras is a three minute segment titled “Threat: Behind the Scenes”. This segment besides including behind the scenes clips also has a few outtakes from the film.
In an industry were remakes and recycling old ideas is fashionable it is refreshing to see a film like Threat which takes familiar themes and makes them into something that is one of the most original films that I have seen in a very long time, recommended.
For more information about Threat visit Kings Mob Productions here.