Quest for Vengeance (2013)
|Year Of Production||2013|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Gabriel Sabloff|
David A.R. White
Andrea Logan White
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Josh (David A.R. White) is a travelling salesman selling body armour on the way home to his wife and young daughter. Strange things are happening in the skies: lightning strikes the earth out of a clear sky and what the TV announcers call a solar storm is effecting mobile phones and electricity supply all over the world. In West Texas Josh stops to talk to gun shop owner Frank (Ray Wise) and his granddaughter Beth (Noell Coet) but while he is there three armed members of an outlaw biker gang arrive to rob the store. When the bikers are about to kill everyone, Josh displays remarkable fighting ability and takes out all three effortlessly. The police are puzzled about Josh as he has no record of existing until 5 years before and he is requested to remain in town. But this makes Josh a target as the rest of the vicious biker gang led by Hawg (Brian Bosworth) and including the female biker Cat (Andrea Logan White) want vengeance. As the electronic storms intensify, Josh must fight his way through the flashes of memories from his past, the bike gang and random acts of violence on the road if he is to get back to his wife and daughter.
This film has been released here on DVD (in an Region All release) as Quest for Vengeance although the IMDb gives its title as Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End. The film could almost be Mad Max meets Jason Bourne with themes of a global apocalypse, biker gangs roaming the highways, lawlessness and a superior fighting man with mental and physical scars from dimly remembered experiments in his past. The script throws in lots of ideas about gun culture, violence and memory, stating that the solar storm caused less damage to civilization than the people who reverted to lawlessness did to each other, and hints that the solar storm may be the beginning of the Biblical Rapture.
The film raises some interesting ideas but unfortunately none are developed to any real way and the last half of the film becomes little more than an extended Mad Max sequence of carnage on a desert road. This is reasonably well done on a very limited budget although we have seen it all before, and better. One reason is that director / co-writer / editor Gabriel Sabloff in all the action sequences, as well as a few non-action scenes, is keen to show off with camera tricks so we get jerky camerawork, out of focus shots, slanted camera angles and fast and slow motion that are overdone and draw attention to themselves without adding anything much to the storytelling.
As well as undeveloped ideas, a number of the main characters, such as Frank, his wife Marion (Eliza Roberts) and Cat, just disappear from the story. In all the film feels unfinished, so it was no real surprise when I found on the IMBd that Revelation Road 2: The Sea of Glass and Fire was also made in 2013 with the same director and cast and that Revelation Road 3: The Black Rider is due to be released in the US later in 2014.
The open-endedness might not matter if Quest for Vengeance had a more charismatic cast but unfortunately while Brian Bosworth is quite good David A.R. White makes Josh dour and boring and he is not an engaging hero, one you want to succeed. As well, the demons from his past, as shown briefly in flashback memory sequences of an experiment, tell us nothing about the man or what really happened to him
Quest for Vengeance is a jumble of ideas. I guess as the first part of a trilogy one should not expect any closure or knowledge of the fates of major characters, but even as a stand-alone film one would expect more development of themes and some idea of where the film is headed.
Quest for Vengeance is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The IMDb does not give the original ratio, and given the jumpy filming and editing it is a bit hard to tell if anything has been cropped. The original ratio was most likely 1.85:1 and, in any case, the only other DVD release in other regions is in the same aspect ratio.
The print is very good. Detail is sharp and crisp, showing all the whiskers and dirt on faces. Colours are deep and natural, the yellows and blues of the desert landscapes looking vibrant. Skin tones are good, brightness and contrasts consistent, blacks solid and shadow detail very good.
I did not notice any marks or artefacts.
There are no subtitles.
Audio is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo at 192 Kbps.
The audio track got the job done. Dialogue was clear and easy to understand. There was nothing in the rears but the music, impacts during fights and car engines and crashes did come over nicely in the stereo front speakers, although the gunshots were quite flat. The sub-woofer did toss a little bass into the music and some crashes.
The original music by Will Musser was low key. There were also some popular music in places including by Stephen Petree and Keaton Simons.
There were no lip synchronisation issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
The film’s trailer.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 NTSC US release Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End is in the same aspect ratio, adds Spanish subtitles and has no extras.
Quest for Vengeance jumbles together a global apocalypse, biker gangs, lawlessness and a superior fighting soldier with dimly remembered experiments in his past. Plot and character development are minimal but some of the action is well staged given the film’s low budget. Maybe the following films will make sense of what is happening.
The video is very good, audio is fine. The film’s trailer is the only extra.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|