Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-Dirty Deeds, The Order, Last Orders
|Year Of Production||2001|
|Running Time||100:44 (Case: 102)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Darin Ferriola|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Kevin Patrick Walls
Tom 'Tiny' Lister Jr.
|RPI||?||Music||Kevin Saunders Hayes|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
'You've got my back, right ?' - 'Yeah, don't know whether to pop it or shave it!'
Soulkeeper is one of those American horror-comedy shows, popular in the 80s, based on a grain of lore and filled in with a cheesy buddy duo as epitomised in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure or Dude, Where's My Car. Mixed in with token references to action heroes and series we have a recent production, from tyro director Darin Ferriola, with a serious identity crisis. There's plenty of eye candy, and the film merits its MA rating with a good helping of vampire lesbians, non-erotic sex scenes and enough buxom babes done up in tight, revealing leather to keep the target teen audience's eyes popping. Don't go hoping for much of a story, however, or anything more than strictly C grade acting performances from its largely undistinguished cast, although its leading duo possess a certain charisma and given a better script could probably lift their game. There's a few cameos for the sharp-eyed, although they're pretty low-key - singer Deborah Gibson (no, I hadn't heard of her either) and Karen Black.
The aforementioned leading duo consist of small-time thieves Corey and Terrence, played by Rodney Rowland and Kevin Walls, succumbing to the honey trap laid by visitor from the after-life Mr Pascal (Brad Dourif). The pair are commissioned to recover the Stone of Lazarus - yes, the very same guy resurrected from the dead some two millennia ago, who passed on his good fortune to a stone which passed into the hands of Bedouin some time later. The feature starts with a rip-off from Raiders of the Lost Ark where the magical stone is imbued with evil and passes the powers of immortality onto its incarnation of 'pure evil' (somewhat oxymoronic), the suitably 6 tattooed Simon Magus (Ed Trotta). Magus continues his evil work to the present day, increasing his army by gathering lost souls using the magical powers of the stone. Somehow, our less than competent heroes bumble through with a little supernatural help - and that's about it. There's some reasonable CGI and a workable but rather clichéd demon - there's also a couple of genuine funny bits but I wouldn't want to spoil your enjoyment by giving these rare gems away. The humour, to me, is on a par with the flood of American sit-coms that flooded our small screens in the 80s and rather pales with its Aussie or British counterpart. Judging by some of the customer comments from online retailer customers, there's some fans out there for this feature but I have to confess I found it all a bit boring and predictable.
Well, we've been short-changed here - the original feature was shot on 35mm film and the original theatrical ratio was 1.85:1 but we've scored the pan and scan 1.33:1 version.
The feature is reasonably sharp - certainly impressive on smaller TVs, but when projected up larger it softens considerably, probably as a result of the compression necessary to fit onto a single layered disc. There's plenty of interior dark scenes, whether in the dungeon, the sewer or the cellar of pleasure, and for better or worse we can see all necessary detail. There was no low level noise.
Colours were well rendered without artefact but I felt there was a little excess of red tint on the interior flame lit scenes.
I couldn't pick any significant MPEG artefacts. There was some mild aliasing throughout such as on the hat case at 3:28 but this wasn't irritating. There was noticeable scan judder as often seen in NTSC conversions. The film stock was very clean - I'm sure I didn't see more than a couple of white flecks throughout the movie - one was located at 25:21.
There were no subtitles and the disc was single layered so there was no RSDL transition point.
There is just the one English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo here - a shame, as this would have suited surround very well as well as LFE augmentation by the subwoofer.
The dialogue was reasonably easy to make out - any difficulties were due to American slang rather than transfer deficiencies.
Lip sync seemed slightly out throughout the feature and there was more evidence of visible lag in audio sync during the door knocking at 34:30.
The music score is credited to Kevin Hayes and is in keeping with the quality of the story - pretty clichéd, unmemorable stuff accompanied by various grungy metal bands that I'm unfamiliar with.
There were no audio streams for the surround or subwoofer so they stayed quiet.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video transfer is good though marred by being presented at 1.33:1.
The audio transfer is also good, though again marred by being limited to 2 channel stereo.
Extras are limited to a few movie trailers - all of which looked more interesting than this feature!
|DVD||EAD 8000 Pro, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic PT-AE300E Projector onto 250cm screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Theta Digital Intrepid|
|Speakers||Martin Logan - Aeon Fronts/Script rears/Theatre centre/ - REL Strata III SW|