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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist – July 18, 2014

Brandon's Blu-ray Wishlist THUMBDid you miss me?  No?  Well eff you too, pal!  Haha.  Like it or not, I’m back.  I had only planned to take one week off and it wound up being too (not by design).  For the next 5 weeks we’re going to be doing a ‘Countdown To EXPENDABLES III’ with the Wishlist.  Each week we’ll focus on a movie from one of the stars of the Expendables franchise that has not made its way to Blu-ray yet and needs to.  All the way up til the opening of Expendables III August 15.  I’m fudging a little bit on this first one, but I’ll explain a little below on why I decided to say screw it and do it.  So, lets kick some wishlist ass and get this Countdown To EXPENDABLES III started!

Nighthawks Wishlist

Nighthawks (1981) – Region A Or Open Region Edition

I wanted to kick this off with Sly.  But what was left to do?  Stop Or Mom Will Shoot?  Or his auteur masterpiece Staying Alive?  Nah, we gotta go with Nighthawks.  Yes, there is a German Blu-ray release out there, but ordering those are some of the biggest pains in the butt for imports and its also Region locked and a bare bones disc.  There’s reason to sort of hold on and wait for a US release of the film, that maybe offers more.

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Nighthawks was a cop teamup of Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams as they got up against a psychopathic terrorist in that of Rutger Hauer.  This was Rutger Hauer’s big American film debut as well.  This is a crime movie, action movie and at times even plays much like that of a horror movie.  Scratching your head about the “horror” addition?  Well, it was displayed in the clip show movie Terror In The Aisles back in the 1980s, so I’m pretty sure we can count it there.  In terms of tone, think of it as more a Seven meets Stallone cop movie.

Nighthawks 2

One of Nighthawks‘ most known aspects of its legacy was its off screen production issues.  Apparently the film was hacked to bits by the studio and Stallone himself.  Apparently Sly didn’t like that Rutger Hauer was testing well with audiences and they approved of Hauer over him.  So rumor has it that Sly went into the editing room and dwindled Rutger’s part a bit.  Apparently there’s an outstanding version of the film at 2.5 hours laying around somewhere.  Hopefully (maybe with a US Blu-ray release) it will see the light of day sometime.

Nighthawks 4

Speaking of Rutger Hauer, he’s absolutely terrific in this film.  He does absolutely steal the show.  You’ll see his role here was the perfect step right before killing it as Roy Batty in Blade Runner the following year.  Also notable in roles are the Bionic Woman, Lindsay Wagner and Star Trek: The Motion Picture‘s Ilia.  I also really enjoy the paring of Stallone and Billy Dee Williams in the movie, if maybe only for the sole purpose of being a film geek and seeing this sort of odd pairing hammer it out in a cop drama.  And to put a cherry on top, one of my all time favorite character actors, the late Joe Spinell, plays their boss.

Nighthawks 1

A little piece of trivia.  Nighthawks was originally written as The French Connection III.  But once Gene Hackman passed on the project it got repurposed to be Nighthawks.  If you were ever wondering what a third film in that series would look like, just swap Stallone with Gene Hackman and probably make it the style less grim of a film.

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Universal has the rights to Nighthawks, and honestly I think they have no desire to do anything with it.  I’d love to see someone like Scream Factory, Synapse Films or Scorpion Releasing get their paws on it and give this little gem a fair Blu-ray release.  Seeing the unaltered cut of the film would be ideal, but honestly the theatrical cut we have already is one I do like already.  Hence why I’m doing this piece.  I would love Nighthawks to come to Blu-ray.  Its not just one I find underrated, but its also one of my all time favorite Stallone movies.  C’mon folks, not only does he have a mane of hair, big ass glasses and a beard in this, he also dresses like a woman in it.  Can’t beat that.  Blu-ray please!

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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