Red Sonja: Queen Of Plagues (Blu-ray Review)

Red-SonjaFrom Gail Simone (Batgirl, Birds of Prey) and Walter Geovani (Vampirella, Witchblade), based on the comic series originally published by Dynamite, Red Sonja: Queen Of Plagues gives the iconic fantasy heroine a fresh new attitude! And now, you can see it all brought to life, starring Misty Lee (Ultimate Spider-Man)!  An epic tale of blood, lust, and vengeance, Queen of Plagues takes Red Sonja from the depths of her own grave to the heights of battlefield glory.  Kurt Busiek of Astro City and Avengers fame says “Gail Simone’s Red Sonja is an absolute winner — powerful, thrilling stuff that builds up so much momentum you won’t ever want it to end. Richly textured action-adventure with an unforgettable heroine.”


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Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, intends to pay back a blood debt owed to the one man who has gained her respect… even if it means leading a doomed army to their certain deaths! Who is Dark Annisia, and how has this fearsome warrior accomplished what neither god nor demon has been able to do: force Sonja to her knees in surrender?

Well, as I thought this was an animated film based on the Red Sonja comic (Of which I am not familar).  It kinda had me intrigued.  But popping it in, it was a bit of a bummer to find that it was in the wheelhouse of being a motion comic.  Now, on the Making Of that accompanies this disc, they go out of their way to say its NOT a motion comic.  However, maybe I’m just not familiar enough with these sorta things, but I could really tell you what the different is.  Maybe its a hair more animated.  I dunno.

Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues is is a sexy, blood soaked sword and sorcery movie that serves as a kind of origin story for our hero.  The story here is one that has a lot of kingdoms, familial ties and the like which can feign interest or lose it, but when the action comes it usually pays off.  There are some cool kills and fights.  Granted, this is about the equivalent of seeing panels in a comic even though I’m not supposed to say that.  It all works decently, I was just toughing out a disinterest in some of the story.

Maybe part of that interest feigning was due to a imbalance of performances in this thing.  There are some really terrific ones, including Sonja herself.  One-liners and humor are delivered perfectly and actually had me giggling and warming quickly to this character.  However, a lot of the supporting cast sound like you got a relative to fill in for someone who called in sick.  They can be very stale and flat, which sorta makes your brain wonder if you should care.

Overall, there is an audience for this kind of thing; I’m not it.  Maybe had it been for a character I was a big fan of or familiar with (Dynamite Comics also has a Shaft series that’s going on right now), I may have been a bit more in tune.  As it stands, this one seems strictly for the fans of Red Sonja and the fans of the Queen of Plagues source material.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  Well, this is easy as most of the images are pretty static and still  Its a really sharp picture with a strong colors and clean artwork.

Depth:  Decent depth work with the moving objects looking 3-dimensional and free of the rest of the image when moving.

Black Levels:  Its animated, the blacks are, well, black.  Solid, rich and deep.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are plentiful here.  They are all rather bold and plenty strong.  They pop right up off the screen.

Flesh Tones:  n/a

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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

Subtitles: English 

Dynamics:  This is a nice little stereo track that filters in some good foley on action and blends it with a good prominent vocal track.  Sound effects are clean, crisp, well rounded and layered.  There is a good traction on following the action right to left and back again.  Placement in regards to volume and character on screen is also very accurate. 

Low Frequency Extension:  n/a

Surround Sound Presentation:  n/a

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are loud and very clear.  Some almost sound like you can hear them right up in the microphone like a radio program/podcast.

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Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues comes with DVD Copy and Digital Copy of the film.

The Making of Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues (HD, 18:33) – A deep look at the comic, this feature (NOT a motion comic according to them) and a little history on Sonja.  Its pretty in depth and very fan friendly from all aspects, just as you’d expect a Shout! Factory “Making of” to be.

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Honestly, this kinda production isn’t my cup of tea.  While they go out of their way on the Making Of to make sure this isn’t referred to as a “motion comic” that’s really how it played for me.  The video here looks tremendous and its accompanied by a rock solid audio track.  What helps it even more is the very in depth and interesting Making Of included on it.  Likely a niche item that those who aren’t big fans may want to find as a rental before jumping in with a purchase.



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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