Blu-ray Review “The Mechanic (1972)”

Starring: Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland
Director: Michael Winner
Distributed by: Twilight Time
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Running Time: 100 minutes

Film: 4 out of stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

When I think about Charles Bronson, I think about two things “Death Wish” and “The Mechanic”. If you are thinking about the remake with Jason Statham from 2011, this is the original and much better film. Bronson is such a bad-ass in this film and in general. It has been many years since I viewed this film and it is still as gritty and entertaining as it was the first time I saw it. If you love Bronson, this release is a no-brainer.

Official Premise: Director Michael Winner’s The Mechanic (1972) stars his long-term collaborator, the sui generis Charles Bronson, as a hardened professional hitman who’s feeling the strains of his profession. He joins forces with a ruthless up-and-comer (Jan-Michael Vincent) in a partnership that wavers between sustaining and profoundly dangerous.

This Blu-ray release is an Screen Archives Entertainment Exclusive and is a Limited Edition release with only 3000 copies produced.  I was very impressed with the 1080p transfer on this release. For a film that is over 40 years old, it looks ace and sounds amazing as well. The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono is stunning, especially with one of my favorite scoirres by the legendary Jerry Fielding.

In terms of special features, there is not much here, but what is is still worth checking out. Speaking of how much I love Fielding’s score, there is an Isolated Score Track included on this Blu-ray. There is an  audio commentary track with Cinematographer Richard H. Kline and Film Historian Nick Redman. Lastly there is an Original Theatrical Trailer. If you want this film don’t hold out cause once it sold out, its gone for good!

Blu-ray Review “Burke & Hare (1972)”

Directed by: Vernon Sewell
Starring: Derren Nesbitt, Glynn Edwards
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Redemption Films
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Running Time: 91 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“Burke and Hare” is directed by Vernon Sewell, known best for “Ghost Ship” and “The Blood Beast Terror”.  This classic dark comedy/horror film has been newly remastered in HD and is the first time ever released on Blu-ray!  The film shows its age a little on Blu-ray but still manages to entertain with its campy humor. Kino/Redemption Films continues to release this classic gems and gets props for at least trying.  I would say that this release is for hardcore horror fans strictly and personally I enjoyed John Landis’ recent remake of this quite more.

The premise for the film follows, a pair of low-life thugs Burke (Derren Nesbitt) and Hare (Glynn Edwards), who deliver human specimens to the Edinburgh Medical College. Though they have their unique way of retrieving the bodies often by robbing the graves of the recently dead.  Though due to the lack of available options, the pair turn to murder to continue the flow of bodies.

“Burke & Hare” looks decent with its Blu-ray1080p transfer but not amazing.  The film is presented though in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1  I am assuming that the 35mm wasn’t in the best shape and even though Kino remastered the film, there weren’t any extensive restoration done.  The film’s audio track included is LPCM 2.0 track, it is also decent but nothing amazing. It

The special features are a little light as well for this release.  There is a short documentary called “Grave Desires: Corpses on Film”, which runs just barely 15 minutes. It features expert insight by Dr. Patricia MacCormack into grave-robbing and cadavers from the film.  Francois Pascal is featured in a new interview, in 1080p, chatting about  how she got involved.  Lastly there is trailers for other Redemption releases.


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