Trespass – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Robevrt Zemeckis and Bob Gale are most known for their collaborative effort on the Back To The Future trilogy (Also Used Cars). Before that, they had a script lying around called The Looters. That film wound up getting picked up many years later by Walter Hill when he was looking for a thriller to pick up. The name later changed to Trespass because of the LA Riots and it not wanting any association with it. A positively review film, it didn’t make much at the box office. However, its a piece of the legendary Walter Hill’s filmography and Shout! Factory continues their love the director by giving Trespass a Collector’s Edition release under the Shout Select line. You can pre-order from the Amazon link below to have yourself a copy of the film when Trespass arrives on Blu-ray for the very first time on June 27.


Everyone wants a piece of the action – and the treasure. In the rubble of a four-alarm blaze, Vince and Don, two Arkansas firemen, discover a map leading to a fortune in stolen gold hidden in an abandoned East St. Louis tenement. What they don’t know is that the building is headquarters to a vicious mob, led by the notorious King James and Savon. When the firefighters accidentally witness the mob executing some of their enemies, they become the gang’s next targets in this pulse-pounding thrillfest.

Hanging with a friend from work can be a bit of a gamble. They are one person there, and then might be a completely different person once you leave the office. That’s sort of how this movie plays for two firefighters who stumble upon a map locating treasure for them from a suicidal man in a fire when we first meet them. While on the mission, William Sadler has one idea on how to deal with thing (By way of gun) and Bill Paxton wants to just take a look and opt for peaceful approaches. While we have conflict from Ice-T’s “Business”, there is even more betwen Sadler and Paxton in the film.

I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere, but this feels like Walter Hill’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Except you get an urban gang and it takes place within a condemned building. At least the set up and surroundings are found to be similar. Its a bit of a thrill ride through this building and it almost feels in that vein of film where you get stuff like Dredd or The Raid (Hell, even Enemy Territory).

Bill Paxton and William Sadler both have great chemistry when working for and against one another. Things get ramped up to the max and both manage to keep it grounded, never going incredibly big. Also impressive if Ice-T in one of his early acting roles. Ice-T is plenty cool and intimidating and able to handle the role with what seems like great ease. Another fun little side not to this film is that we get to see Argyle from the original Die Hard (The limo driver) in another notable film.

Walter Hill’s Trespass is a very fun closed-doors, claustrophobic thriller , the likes of which now and for its time feel very unique. Ultimately, for the limited telling of the story it does tend to drag in a couple spots and probably could have trimmed 8-10 minutes to strengthen it. As it is, though, its not bad at all and features some really good fights, moments of suspense, character development an adventure fun.


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio:

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Trespass transfers over with a rock solid looking Blu-ray image. Its a strong, full, well rounded looking picture. Its rock solid. Details are pretty good on the interiors of the building in the movie, with good debris and broken detail on wood and wood grain. Bricks and stones also have good textures, showing a lot of the decay in these rooms. It registers above average, but for every really impressive moment in the image, there are some that are disappointing and smoother looking. Those details are still very good, as in one scene you can see a glossy film of saliva on Ice-T’s teeth.

Depth: This transfer features a decent amounts of spacing between characters and their environments. Movements are cinematic and feature very minimal blur or jitter in rapid movements.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and manage to keep detail information well. The video camera scenes do eat up information, but that’s the nature of that beast. No crushing witness during this viewing of the film either.

Color Reproduction: This movie features a more natural palette, with a dingy atmosphere for a location. Though, there is some good vivid bursts with the fire at the beginning of the film.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from scene to scene for the entire duration of the film. Facial details like moles, wrinkles, lip texture, stubble and more are very good in close-ups and pretty decent, but a little smoother in medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: There is a very light layer of grain, barely noticeable.


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

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: Trespass has a very engaging and impactful 2.0 track at its disposal. Deep sounds are well displayed here and pound with gunshots, punches, pick axes smashing things and more. Special effects are very layered and feature a lot of depth. This mix also features a healthy balance of music, effects and vocals with none of them stepping on one another’s toes sounding free and clear.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Crisp, clear and plenty audible at all times.


Fool’s Gold (HD, 12:31) – An interview with actor William Sadler. His casting came from working with Walter Hill on Tales From the Crypt. He goes over everyone that he worked with on the film and that he and Paxton were doing their best in the film to avoid the sort of typecasting they were afraid of.

Born Losers (HD, 13:14) – An interview with co-writer Bob Gale.  The origins of he and Zemeckis’ script goes back 1976, being inspired by a magazine article and a twist on the film Deliverance. Gale goes over his process and then also details their characters as they were on the page. He also talks working with Universal, getting the film delayed and changing the title and becoming Christmas counter programming.

Wrongful Entry (HD, 13:49) – An interview with producer Neil Canton. He speaks on his relationship with Walter Hill and his and Zemeckis/Gale’s equal excitement about him directing the film. Canton tells the story off all the different pieces of the film coming together and working with Hill.

Gang Violation: The Stunts of Trespass (HD, 6:09) – Allan Graf talks about the old west at heart Walter Hill and their collaborative efforts. He goes through bit by bit the stunts in the film with plenty of anecdotes regarding their challenges and working with his crew on them.

Trigger Happy: The Weapons of Trespass (HD, 6:27) – Mike Tristano (“Motion Picture Armorer”) talks how groundbreaking the film was in mixing rap music and cinema along with the popularity of music videos. He goes over the particular weapons used by each character in the film and also mentions of having weapons being a big part of rap videos of the era too.

Vintage Featurette: Behind The Scenes of Trespass (SD, 4:06) – A studio EPK type thing featuring onset interviews and behind the scenes footage.

Music Video (HD, 3:24) – “Trespass” Ice-T & Ice Cube

Deleted Scenes (SD, 4:48) 

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:59)


Trespass is fun, exciting little forgotten thriller from one of cinema’s coolest directors. Shout Select gives it some love and attention in its Blu-ray debut with a very good presentation in both audio and video. This is plenty full with both new and old extras. Walter Hill fans should definitely want this one in their collections, and if you’re a fan of treasure hunt films, this is definitely a unique spin on it and a worthwhile one at that (For those that could be going in on this one blind).


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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