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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
El Gringo (Blu-ray) (2012)

El Gringo (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 2-Jan-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Featurette-Behind The Scenes-(6:08)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 98:44
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Eduardo Rodriguez
Transmission Films Starring Scott Adkins
Christian Slater
Yvette Yates
Erando Gonzalez
Vlado Mihaylov
Sofia Sisniega

Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Luis Ascanio

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     The Man (Scott Adkins) escapes on foot across the Mexican border with a bag full of US dollars and arrives in the small town of El Fronteras. The locals are not friendly; a young girl, Flaca (Sofia Sisniega), tries to rob the Man and steal his bag and no one will even sell him a glass of water except bar owner Anna (Yvette Yates). El Fronteras is run by a drug gang lead by Culebra (Vlado Mihaylov) and the corrupt Chief of Police (Erando Gonzalez) and when the dollars are discovered in the Man’s bag all hell breaks loose as the gang pursue The Man in a hail of gunfire. Meanwhile, back across the border in the US, Police Lieutenant West (Christian Slater) is on The Man’s trail and crosses the border in pursuit.

     El Gringo is the second feature by Venezuelan born director Eduardo Rodriguez; there is nothing remotely original about El Gringo and his most obvious influence is Desperado by Robert Rodriguez (no relation!) in its use of music and in some scenes. Stylistically, El Gringo throws in every camera and editing trick in the manual with colour manipulation, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts and pans and character’s names on screen. Thus we are always aware that this is not supposed to be a realistic film.

     As our “Man with No Name” British actor Scott Adkins gets shot numerous times, kicked, punched and generally beaten enough to fell an ox but gets up for more. Adkins has had smaller roles in a number of action films, such as The Expendables 2 (2012) and here he takes his chance to lead. He is athletic and looks good, doing everything demanded. The most prominent name in the cast is Christian Slater, who seems to be doing anything for the money these days. As El Gringo was filmed in Bulgaria, numerous supporting cast members look nothing like Mexicans, such as Vlado Mihaylov who looks more like a Vampire!

     But this is first and foremost an action film and El Gringo seldom stops for breath. There are car chases, crashes and explosions, shoot outs, hand to hand combat with fists, boots, knives and any range of blunt instruments, fires and a bazooka, double crosses, redemption and a bit of lovemaking. None of it is very credible but it works; the result is a film that is unashamedly loud, exuberant and very entertaining.

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Transfer Quality


     El Gringo is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     As noted, the print of El Gringo has been heavily manipulated. Brightness levels has been enhanced and colour reduced, giving the film a washed out, yellowish look. Close-ups have good detail, but the brightness and glare results in a lot of scenes looking soft. Blacks are solid, although some shadow details could have been better.

     Given all the manipulation of the print, as well as the jump cuts and pans, it was difficult to see if there were any artefacts. Marks were absent.

     There are no subtitles, not even for the substantial sections of Spanish dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1.

     This is a loud and enveloping audio track. Dialogue is mostly easy to hear and the surrounds and rears were used constantly for music and effects such as engines, shots, ricochets, explosions and the thumps and crunches of hand to hand combat. The sub-woofer added appropriate bass to shots, explosions, engines, thumps and the music.

    I did not notice any lip synchronisation issues which was a bit of a surprise as a number of the Bulgarian supporting cast were dubbed.

     The original score was by Luis Ascanio. It was fine, but far more noticeable on the soundtrack were a number of fun Tex/Mex rock songs by the likes of Spindrift and Los Dos, while the closing song El Gringo was performed by Manowar.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Behind the Scenes (6:08)

     A lot of film clips, a little on set footage and superficial comments by Scott Adkins, Christian Slater and Yvette Yates. A little about the story, characters and the director; sadly nothing about shooting a film set in Mexico in Bulgaria – now that might have been interesting.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     There are Region B German and Italian releases of El Gringo (including a German 3D) but no Region B UK or Region A US versions are listed on


     The action packed El Gringo is done with a sense of humour and Scott Adkins looks the part. It is loud, exuberant and entertaining; just remember the popcorn.

     The video is heavily manipulated, but fine, the audio very good. Extras are minimal, but I suppose at least there is something.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, March 02, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 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 DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE