Red Rock West (1992)

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Released 26-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Bagdad Cafe; Jamon, Jamon
DVD Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 94:02 (Case: 98)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By John Dahl

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Nicolas Cage
Craig Reay
Vance Johnson
Robert Apel
Bobby Joe McFadden
J.T. Walsh
Lara Flynn Boyle
Dale Gibson
Ted Parks
Babs Bram
Robert Guajardo
Sarah Sullivan
Timothy Carhart
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music William Olvis

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    Red Rock West is an engaging thriller from independent favourite John Dahl (The Last Seduction, Rounders). Michael Williams (Nicolas Cage) is a down-on-his-luck drifter who is mistaken for an out-of-town hit man by local bar owner Wayne Brown (J.T. Walsh). Brown has taken a contract out on his wife, played by Lara Flynn Boyle. Williams accepts the job, intending to skip town with the cash after leaving the local law a letter informing on the calculating bar owner. Problems arise when Williams discovers that Brown is also the town's Sheriff. Williams decides to warn Brown's wife, but matters get worse when the real hit man arrives to fulfil his contract.

    I have never been a great fan of Dahl's work. I thought The Last Seduction was an overrated bore and Rounders wasn't much better. Happily, Red Rock West is far superior. The film is tightly paced with enough plot twists for several films. The screenplay is also littered with black comedy that livens up the quieter moments. The cast are excellent. A pre-Action Hero Nicolas Cage shows off his thespian skills to good effect, but the film is stolen by the late great J.T. Walsh. Walsh was one of the great character actors and his portrayal of the evil Sheriff of Red Rock is undoubtedly a highlight. So, if you're in the mood for a well structured film noir, give Red Rock West a try. You won't be disappointed.

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Transfer Quality


    Red Rock West is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen viewing.

    I was very impressed with this transfer's sharpness levels, and failed to notice any edge enhancement. There were a couple of very minor instances of aliasing, but blink and you'd miss them. Shadow levels were well rendered with strong blacks and fine detail. There were no low level noise problems.

    Colours were natural with no unwanted bleeding problems apparent.

    The transfer was almost devoid of dirt and film artefacting.

    This is a good looking transfer for a budget release.

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


    The film has an English audio track in 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround and a 2.0 Dolby Digital Commentary track.

    Dialogue is clear with no audio sync faults.

    The film's music by William Olvis suits the mood of the film well and never distracts.

    The surround channel usage is minimal at best. There were occasional efforts at directional sound, but they were very few and far between. The only consistent rear channel activity is utilised by the score.

   The subwoofer adds the required reverberation when called for.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The menu depicts the road into Red Rock.

Audio Commentary

    The commentary is by the film's Director John Dahl, his brother and c0-writer Rick Dahl, and editor Scott Chestnut. The Dahl Brothers were recorded separately and their comments are not screen specific. Overall, the track is a bit of a bore. The Dahl brothers discuss in depth the process of setting up an independent film production and Chestnut addresses the on-screen decisions made during filming. Not something I would listen to more than once.

Filmographies-Cast & Crew

    Bios for Nicolas Cage, J.T. Walsh, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle and John Dahl.

Theatrical Trailer

    Original trailer in anamorphic widescreen.


    Additional Umbrella DVD trailers for Bagdad Cafe and Jamon Jamon.

DVD Credits

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on:

    Whilst there are no compelling differences between the two versions, there is enough there to sway the preference towards the Region 4 version.


    Red Rock West is a well made thriller with an above average cast. The disc has a great looking picture, with decent sound. The extras are reasonable for a budget release.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Friday, March 26, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

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