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The Dungeonmaster / Eliminators – Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

Dungeonmaster-EliminatorsScream Factory presents a double dose of science-fiction fun with The Dungeonmaster & Eliminators in their Blu-ray  debuts on December 15, 2015. This release comes complete with a new interview with director Peter Manoogian.  Call me crazy, but I’m actually very excited for this release.  Both are pretty culty schlock classics that deliver in the best ways.  I have been hoping and anticipating Scream Factory to upgrade The Dungeonmaster, and the double feature releases back this summer that promoted a handful of the titles that shared a previous 4-movie marathon release to Blu-ray.  And now, here it is.  Looks like The Vagrant and Contamination .7 (Also known as one of the fake Troll 3 film) are just sitting waiting for a double feature now.    I’m pretty sure nobody really cares if What’s the Matter With Helen? ever makes the jump.

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The Dungeonmaster 

Paul, a young computer ace, is forced to pit his physical and mental skills against unimaginable odds when a hulking wizard looking for formidable opponents picks Paul as his next challenger. Paul faces a series of seven spectacular and death-defying challenges and must survive not only to save his life but that of his girlfriend’s too!

I really like the idea behind this one, and because I geek out over low budget 80s science fiction, I enjoy the execution too.  It plays sort of like a video game, which is pretty much the intention I think.  For every scenario our hero must complete, they chose upon a different director to helm that portion.  You get a variety of aesthetics, storytelling and effects as well.  Its a real treat.  There are some really awesome zombie-monster-things in one of them that is creepy and impressive.  Not all of these work, but there’s seven chances to please you.

To me, and along with the other film on the disc, this is one of the perfect midnight movie pleasures you could find.  No, the film doesn’t qualify as a straight-out “good”, but its entertaining and fun because of how ambitious and confident it is.  Its a film that doesn’t scoff at budget restrictions and just does what it wants to do whether it looks bad or good.  It’ll have you chuckling, oohing and appreciating.  To me, the film is just pretty much a bunch of fun.  Its never ever boring, and that’s important.

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Elminators 

A mandroid – part man and part machine – seeks revenge on the evil scientist who created him. Enlisting the help of a beautiful woman and a mysterious ninja, he pursues the scientist in hopes of stopping him before he can be further harm to humanity.

Fans of the recent film Man-Borg should dial back and see where it drew a lot of it’s inspiration.  Eliminators features the MANdroid.  Which, one look at it, watching it in action…you can’t just not think its awesome.  It even takes its legs off to convert into a tank.  PLUS, that’s not all!  You also get; a mad scientist, cavemen, drunk hillbillies, that explorer-type guy, Denise Crosby, and a ninja-kung fu warrior!

One of the qualms I do find with Elminators is that a lot of this movie is spent just hanging out on a boat.  I guess that’s how you keep this film in check with its budget.  However, when the action does light up, it doesn’t disappoint.  This is gets silly, but its also family friendly.  So, you’re not going to see anything explicit or too exploitative.  Despite that, the film still works and is a fun little adventure if you’re on board for some silly!

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  Both films are inherently soft, but carry a fine, and good enough detailed picture.  Both of them are better than ever in appearance.  Comparing them to their 4-Movie All Night Horror Marathon and Sci Fi Movie Marathon DVD counterparts, these films are both a significant and impressive step up.  Both look rather clean and fresh in comparison.

Depth:  Both are solid, a little above average presentations.  Movements are cinematic with minimal blurring.

Black Levels:  Deep, hiding some detail, but giving a rather solid performance.

Color Reproduction:  Colors pop pretty good, doing an especially good job in representing the filters (Used mainly in The Dungeonmaster).  Reds look good in The Dungeonmaster and blues come out stronger in Eliminators.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and consistent in both films.  Facial detail like cuts, wrinkles, scars an make-up show good in close-ups and decently in medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts:  Both films feature prints that are in pretty good shape.  There are some specs here and there, bu they both look rather clear.

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Audio 

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

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  Both films features a surprisingly clean and crisp sounding audio 2.0 track.  Explosions and the like leap out and boom right in front of you.  Dialogue, effects and score all weave in and out with a looseness and good clarity.  These both really get the job done with a lot of fun in the process.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are loud, clean and contain a more than solid amount of clarity to them.

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Extras 

This double feature comes with reversible cover art featuring alternate poster designs for each film.  Bonus material is found on The Dungeonmaster‘s menu.

Interview With Patrick Manoogian (HD, 32:30) – An impressive interview with the director Eliminators, who also directed a segment in The Dungeonmaster.  He talks of his roots in Roger Corman films and then goes on to detail his work and the productions of these two films.

The Dungeonmaster Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:57)

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Summary 

This is the double feature that dreams are made of.  Haha.  I’m thrilled to be holding onto and owning this one.  No, these two films certainly aren’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of low budget, B-level science fiction films from the 1980s that just “go for it” despite financial limitations…these are top of the line.  This Blu-ray has them both looking and sounding fine as ever.  The interview included with this is pretty outstanding and thorough.  Pick this up in time to Mandroid-up your holidays!

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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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