Get Mean 2-Disc Limited Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Get MeanAll one really needs to do is take a glance at the box art for the Blu-ray of Get Mean to make the decision that it is going to be awesome. Look at that box art! A four barreled shotgun? A man draped in sticks of TNT? And then the young woman in one of those classic “John Carter of Mars” poses? All of these elements spell greatness. It shouldn’t even matter that the film itself is even more ridiculous than the box art, you already know you are going to be in for a crazy time. Let’s get mean.

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Film Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

The best thing to start with for this film is a brief synopsis, which will not really be able to correctly convey that this movie just barely holds onto the ability to make sense at any point in its 90 minute runtime. So, The Stranger, who is most decidedly not the same “The Stranger” popularized by Clint Eastwood, is a recurring character played by Tony Anthony in a series of films, of which Get Mean is the final one. He starts this film by being dragged behind a horse into a small western ghost town while bound by his arms. Upon arriving in the town, he explores, on a search for water, and finds a distraught family in desperate need of a hero. The family contracts The Stranger to escort a young woman, described to him as the rightful princess of Spain, back to her home so she can obtain the secret of some missing treasure from her dying father, the King of Spain. The issues that might get in the way of the triumphant return of the princess are that two warring factions, barbarians and moors, are fighting for control of Spain and the barbarians know that kidnapping the princess could aid their cause. The Stranger takes up this task because he is promised a hefty sum for the safe return of the princess and along the path to earning that prize, he is befallen by numerous increasingly oddball challenges that impede his goal.

The Stranger gets tied up, shot at with canons, chased by a bull, gets on the wrong side of the leader of the barbarians, gets on the wrong side of the second in command of the barbarians, who is a Shakespeare-quoting hunchback, fights with, befriends, fights with, befriends, and fights with one of the most overtly foppish characters in cinema history, gets whipped by horny female barbarians, and also has to deal with an ancient test of courage in the face of evil spirits. All of that stuff happens… in this Western. And it is all backed with a zany banjo-heavy soundtrack that frequently comes and goes at times that are utterly baffling. All of it is wonderful.

Tony Anthony’s diminutive stature and put-on toughguy bravado combine for one of the most memorable hero characters ever. Immediately following the viewing of this film, I was struck to attempt to find the other films in this series so I could get more of The Stranger and his travels through craziness. Though he is mostly single-minded in his quest to get paid for the job for which he was hired, The Stranger pretty much just rolls with whatever insane roadblocks are placed in his way and usually finds an unexpected and entertaining way to get out of some bonkers scenarios. That is to say, this film is really fun.

There are some moments where it drags a bit, but the clownshoes soundtrack and The Stranger penchant for quips are frequently just around the corner to bring the viewer right back to that magic spot between confusion and utter entertainment. And even then, the climax is a work of majesty, with the stranger arming himself as promised by the box art and, tired of being put through so much nonsense, decides to get mean. See the following clip for yet another reason to find a way to get your hands on this 2-Disc Limited Edition Blu-ray:

Hahaha, yes! That this film isn’t celebrated as a cult classic is incredibly surprising. It is the perfect thing to throw on with a bunch of friends and marvel at what a batch of insanity-stuffed peppers it becomes by the end. It is quotable, has wacky characters, seems to not really be set in a specific time period, has a four barreled shotgun that appears to fire grenade rounds, has some weird mysticism mixed in there. It is an all around good time. I mean, get Get Mean, get what I mean?

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Clarity/Detail: Some scenes are a bit dark. Sometimes the focus isn’t perfect. Some graininess still exists. But this is still a huge upgrade for this film. Clips taken from sources other than this release show the great amount of work done to restore this odd film.

Depth: Plenty of shots of sweeping desert battlefields and the sprawling Spanish countryside with action in both the foreground and background do well to highlight the excellent job done on the production of depth.

Black Levels: The blacks seem okay. There is a bit of washed out dark coloration, which could be mistaken for untrue blacks, but it has more to do with the original film processing than the blu-ray transfer.

Color Reproduction: Again, some washed out colors here and there. Some scenes are not well-lit enough for the colors to really pop, but it does a good job with what it is given.

Flesh Tones: Flesh is pretty fleshy. Characters are noticeably using tanners, or perhaps even black paint to elude the portrayal of their actual skin coloration, but even then, it is clear that we are viewing flesh.

Noise/Artifacts: No digital issues with the transfer. Only things that were already on the film itself.

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Audio Format: DTS-HD Mono 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: This is a mono audio track, which really limits the ability of sound dynamics greatly. Don’t go in expecting a treat for the ears. Also, there is a tinny sound particularly with the sound effects (things like bullets, canons, and knives), that may have come from underwhelming sound production equipment used at the time of filming.

Low Frequency Extension: Gunshots, explosions, horse hooves, and hollering would all normally register highly on the subwoofer, but with mono sound, we are not getting a lot of what we should. There is still some enjoyment to be gained.

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue can be slightly muffled at times, and is pretty much buried behind the improperly mixed music soundtrack, but these issues aren’t a concern for this film.

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Extras Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5

Includes Blu-Ray and DVD

Audio Commentary with Producer/Star Tony Anthony, Co-Writer/Lloyd Battista, and Executive Producer Ronald Scheider – An entertaining commentary track with many good stories about the production of the film. Producer and star of the film, Tony Anthony is nearly as charismatic in this commentary as he is in the film itself.

The Story the Stranger: Interview with Tony Anthony (23:11) – An Interview with Tony Anthony where he shows just how much he really is like his character in the film. He talks a bit about his ideas behind the character who is always a stranger to his area. He loved a character who could just be slotted into any location and was just good at adapting to any scenario. Some great stories about the financials behind the production as well. He is clearly passionate about the Western genre and his character The Stranger. Very fun to watch.

Looking For Richard: Interview with Lloyd Battista (11:32) – Co-Writer and Actor Lloyd Battista gives some background on his decision to make his character into a wannabe King Richard. He also discusses his history with Tony Anthony. There are a lot of entertaining production details in this short little featurette, particularly regarding the amazing locations in which they were able to shoot.

Beating a Dead Horse: Interview with Richard J. Schneider (9:49) – The producer of the film tells some pretty entertaining stories about the challenges of securing funding and the issues of the film’s first release.

Tony & I: Interview with Director Ferdinando Baldi (8:03) – The gravel-voiced director of the film talks about some of his time spent with Tony Anthony. He mostly tells the story about Anthony’s fascination with 3D technology and its 70’s revival. An interesting small history lesson on the second time filmmakers tried to make 3D a thing.

Deleted Scenes (8:28) – Four different deleted scenes that seem to have really only not made the final cut for pacing reasons. Two are more like alternate takes than deleted scenes. There is no accompanying commentary for these.

Theatrical Trailer (3:21) – A trailer for the film. Plays down the goofiness in favor of portraying this as a revenge fueled spaghetti western.

French Trailer (3:21) – Same as the theatrical trailer, but in French.

Radio Spots (2 Minutes) – Four 30-second radio ads for the film.

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Summary Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

This is a cult film from the mid 70’s. The video quality, despite being given a 1080P HD release can only be as good as the source from which it was transferred. The audio is a tinny mono track with some noticeable mixing issues. None of that matters. Nobody should be looking at Get Mean negatively because it doesn’t meet Blu-ray reference-level video and audio production. One should just be looking at the box art, understanding the magnificence that is about to take place, and then nodding a vigorous “Yes, please” while clicking that “Buy Now” button. A great set of special features are a pleasant addition to round out this very fun release.

Get Mean 2-Disc Collector’s Edition

Get Mean cover


I like to be challenged to think about things, so I studied Philosophy in college. Now I am paying for it.

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