|Starring||Michael St. Gerard
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan (?)||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Original Aspect Ratio||?||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The plot, such as it is, is set in an unspecified point in the future where the ozone layer has collapsed, and crime has risen to the point where the justice system has become downright arbitrary and peculiar. Two companies are competing to be the first to develop equipment that can synthesize any kind of material, including human tissue. One is an underground operation with a virtual reality genius doing most of the work, whereas the other is a greedy multinational corporation with unlimited resources. Both have the rather amusing feature that they hire parolees who were once convicted of computer-related crimes, and a popular crime at the time seems to be distribution of virtual reality-enhancing drugs. I think it was about at this moment that I gave up trying to discern a plot, although this is not necessarily because of the plot's stupidity.
My difficulty with this film lies mainly in the poor production values, especially with the editing, which looks as if it has been performed with a meat cleaver and a roll of household glue. Indeed, if more people take the time to vote for this film on the Internet Movie Database, and it manages to sink just a tad below its current 2.6 (out of ten) weighted average, then Replikator stands a chance of being listed as one of the hundred worst films of all time. This is a judgement I would have no problem with endorsing, as even the lamentable Battlefield Earth was easier to take seriously.
As previously mentioned, the transfer is Full Frame, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced. Overall, the transfer is quite soft and indistinct, which leads me to believe that this is merely a VHS master that has been transferred to DVD. Shadow detail borders on poor, but it is acceptable in context of the transfer's softness for the most part. Low-level noise is a slight problem, especially in white dissolves, where random noise can be seen crawling around in the artificially inserted colour.
The colour saturation is dull, with many shades of colour that should have been bright and vivid appearing dull and washed out. I doubt that this is solely the fault of the transfer, as the film itself screams low-budget at the top of its lungs from the opening shot, and never really quits. Again, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that this feature was captured on video.
MPEG artefacts were not readily apparent in the transfer, which lacks resolution to begin with. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some wobble that may have been introduced by the camera mechanism rather than any specific part of the telecine process, assuming there was one to begin with. Film artefacts consisted of numerous nicks, spots, and scratches upon the picture.
The music in this film is credited to one Donald Quan, and is equally unpleasant to listen to because of the mastering when it does appear. This is a real pity because the music sounded like it had some quality, leaving it quite out of place with the rest of the film. At 34:19, the heightened volume and digital distortion of the audio transfer make the music quite painful to listen to. There is little else I can say that is complimentary to this score, as the transfer simply gets in the way too frequently.
The surround channels are not used by this soundtrack at all, and describing the soundtrack as stereo is being slightly hopeful. There seems to be little in the way of stereo separation, although the combined high-frequency whine and hiss of the transfer also gets in the way of discerning any specific channel activity. With the non-existent production values of the film, there seems to be little opportunity for inspired use of the surround channels, anyway. The subwoofer was frequently called upon to support the lower registers of the soundtrack, but often seemed to produce more of a consistent rumble than anything specific to the rest of the soundtrack.
The video quality is reasonable.
The audio quality is terrible.
The extras are non-existent.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Amplification||Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Philips PH931SSS Rear Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|