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Code 7, Victim 5 / Mozambique – Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

Code 7 Victim 5-MozambiqueOne of the geeky things that sort of thrills me nowadays is when we see relics of cinema’s past that have never made the leap to home video before finally get their comeuppance.  And especially when they get to make said debut on the Blu-ray format.  It never really has to work its way to improving over the years, it gets to be impressive and pretty damn close to as it was intended right off the bat.  The photography is kept intact and the restoration and transfer come through as pristine as can be.  It truly gives them their chance at a fair shake.  This double feature from Blue Underground features a pair of knock off Jame Bond films from the 1960s from director Ryan Lynn that haven’t seen the light of day on video until now; Code 7, Victim 5 and Mozambique. 

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When a millionaires valet is murdered he hires a detective to discover by who and why his valet was killed, leading to connections of the Nazi sort!

James Bond set off a huge secret agent spy phase in both cinema and television throughout the 1960s.  Countless other agents and detectives would arise, but none as successful as 007.  In Code 7, Victim 5 we get detective Steve Martin.  Yes, that’s right Steve Martin.  Retroactively adding some humor to the guy in the lead.  This and the other film on the disc are both directed by Robert Lynn, mostly known for some legendary second unit work.  Superman I & II, Hammer’s Dracula and Black Narcissus just to name a couple.

This film hits upon all the check points you’d have in a bond movie.  Exotic locales, sexy women who all fawn for the lead, some stylish attire and furnishings and diabolical millionaires.  There are some solid action sequences that involves guns, car chases. and underwater struggles.  Overall, its a pretty solid affair.  Definitely not something for every one, but those of us who dig the likes of Harry Palmer and Derek Flint should be tickled to visit with Steven Martin for a little while.

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An American pilot assists the Portuguese colonial police who are battling a gang of criminals involved in drug smuggling from Lisbon via Mozambique to Zanzibar.

Mozambique came the year following Code 7, Victim 5.  For this review, I watched the two back to back, which maybe isn’t what director Robert Lynn may have wanted people to do.  The casts are different, the locations are too…but….maybe that’s it.  Right from the start, with the assassination, you’ll kind of feel like you’ve maybe seen this before.  And yeah, the plot of this movie, the story beats, even down to the big climactic finale are almost identical to Code 7, Victim 5.  Quite strange, but kind of expected.  You could get away with something like that back in the day before home video and the masses giving more attention to a film.

On its own though, Mozambique is still an enjoyable 1960s spy action/adventure film.  There are many things it actually does better than Code 7, Victim 5.  For instance, the characters are a little bit more troubled, layered and challenged making them more interesting and unpredictable follows.  Pretty much, if you enjoy one film on this double feature release, you’re going to like the other too.  Its really interesting that neither of these films have popped up at some point on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD or Blu-ray during the release of a James Bond movie to try and cash in.  But, kudos to them finally being available now seemingly at a random time.

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Video Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Clarity/Detail:  Both films have pretty identical images.  They were able to use the original camera negatives to create the transfer for their Blu-ray debut.  And its a pretty impressive and pretty looking image.  The tropical settings of both films look good, exotic and plenty detailed.  Its clean and pretty sharp given both films’ age.  

Depth:  There is some real solid spacing going on and the movements are smooth and cinematic.

Black Levels:  Blacks are solid and have no crushing issues.  The shading and detail on black surfaces and clothing is pretty intact.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are pretty good.  With it being the 60s it could have been tempting to get overly vivid, but the films both keep things in check while still getting the most of their palette.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural in appearance and keep a consistent look throughout the duration the film.  Impressively, close ups deliver wrinkles, make-up, stubble and the like.  Pulling back the camera further smoothens, but this is what it is.

Noise/Artifacts:  Grain and specs/dirt at a minimum.

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Audio Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics:  Both films feature an above average audio presentation that sounds clean, loose and very smooth.  Action takes stage and does make an impression regardless of being a mono track.  For what we have here and the fact these are forgotten films, you’d be hard pressed to complain about the sound.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clean and crisp.

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Extras Dexter-_5Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0

Code 7, Victim 5 Trailer (HD, 2:20)

Mozambique Trailer (HD, 2:23)

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Summary Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0Dexter-0

This turns out to be a fun little double feature if you’re into the whole 60s spy scene, particularly films that weren’t licensed to kill.  Together in one sitting they prove to be a bit of a monotonous journey, but still fun.  They also look terrific on Blu-ray.  Considering they’ve never been on home video before, just having them here in pristine fashion is bonus enough to outweigh the lack of extras.  For those who collect 60s spy movies, this is an easy get and addition to your collection.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a 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. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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