Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 2nd, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1983
Director: William Lustig
Writer: Richard Vetere
Cast: Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright, Rutanya Alda, Don Blakely, Joseph Carberry, Willie Colón, Joe Spinell, Carol Lynley, Woody Strode
BluRay released: September 21st, 2010
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: 7.1 DTS-HD English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Mono French, Dolby Digital Mono German, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A man is forced to take the law into his own hands. When the street gang assaults his wife and murders his son, are not punished for their crimes. With the help of some of his neighbors, who are also tired of the rampant crime in their neighborhood. They take care of the scum that law has a turned a blind eye too.
After the success of his previous film Maniac, William Lustig would return to familiar ground with Vigilante. Both film’s deal with bleak subject matter, that often verges into nihilism. Whereas Maniac was told from the point of view of deranged killer. Vigilante ‘flips’ the protagonist around to the everyday man who finally resorts to violence after being pushed over the edge.
Structure wise, Vigilante is more focused film than its predecessor. And while some viewers may be disappointed that the chaos which unfolds is generally reigned in. The end result is a very satisfying mix of murder, mayhem and revenge. From the opening monologue with Fred Williamson’s character. Right on through to the its bittersweet finale. Vigilante does not let up for one moment.
Once again William Lustig uses the streets of New York as the backdrop for this film. And he populates the film with an array of jaded characters who are riff with sadism. Many of these vigilantes like their criminal counterparts are not just satisfied with roughing up their victims. In many instances they annihilate them with the utmost precision and delight.
When discussing this film one must not overlook its exceptional cast which includes Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) as the film’s main protagonist, Richard Bright (The Godfather), Joe Spinell (Maniac), Carol Lynley (The Shuttered Room), Woody Strode (Once Upon a Time in the West) and Fred Williamson (The Inglorious Bastards) in his usual enforcer type role that he is so great at portraying. Other key collaborators include composer Jay Chattaway, a frequent collaborator of William Lustig’s. They would work together on a total of five films, Maniac, Vigilante, Maniac Cop, Relentless and Maniac Cop 2. The Cinematographer on Vigilante was James Lemmo, in the first of his five collaborations with William Lustig. Some of his other notable credits as a cinematographer include The Driller Killer and Mrs. 45.
Vigilante comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This releases transfer has been sourced from a brand new 2K high definition source. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. A lot of the film takes place at night and contrast looks very good. Black levels are solid and details look crisp throughout. Grain looks natural, there are no problems with compression or DNR.
This release comes with five audio options, 7.1 DTS-HD English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Mono French, Dolby Digital Mono German and Dolby Digital Mono Italian. All the audio mixes included with this release are in very good shape with no problems with background noise or distortion. Dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. The bulk of the sound from each of these mixes comes from the front channels. With the more ambient aspect of this score coming from the rear channels. In all you really can’t go wrong with any of these audio mixes. This release comes with four subtitle options, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese.
Extras for this release include a promo reel for the film, a stills gallery, a radio spot, 4 T.V. Spots, the U.S., International, German, Italian, French and two British trailers. The main extras included with this release are two audio commentaries. The first audio commentary is with co-producer / director William Lustig and co-producer Andrew Garroni. The second audio commentary is with William Lustig and actors Robert Forster, Fred Williamson and Frank Peace. Both audio commentaries offer up a wealth of information about the various aspects of this production. With the audio commentary with co-producer / director William Lustig and co-producer Andrew Garroni being more technical related, than the other commentary which has a more laid back vibe to it. All the extras from Blue Underground’s DVD release of Vigilante have been covered over for this release. Overall Vigilante is another impressive BluRay release from Blue Underground.