Multi-film sets on DVD and blu-ray are a staple of the cult movie fan’s home video collection. Everyone from the cheapest public domain outfits to the major studios offers them. Some fanatics complain about getting films bundled together or the lack of special features these sets often have – but the truth is these sets are often the only way it is feasible for a big company to release back catalog titles that aren’t in high demand.
Shout Factory has done multiple-film packs in the past as part of their Roger Corman Cult Classics line and they just did a sort of “general interest” b-movie pack with their new Action Packed Movie Marathon. This set collects Eye Of The Tiger, previously released by MGM as a stand-alone DVD, with three new transfers of other MGM-owned titles: Cyclone, Alienator and Exterminator 2. Cyclone and Alienator have appeared on budget DVD before but this is the first-ever U.S. DVD release for Exterminator 2.
If you’re curious about the films themselves, Schlockmania has film reviews for each:
For the site’s film review of Cyclone, click here.
For the site’s film review of Alienator, click here.
For the site’s film review of Eye Of The Tiger, click here.
For the site’s film review of Exterminator 2, click here.
As for the transfers, each film is presented in an anamorphic style and everything looks quite good. Eye Of The Tiger looks as good as the past MGM disc and Cyclone and Alienator are improvements on their past budget disc incarnations. The transfer on Exterminator 2 will make a lot of grindhouse film fans happy: it’s got good colors and a nice level of detail. It’s several steps up from the grainy VHS version that most fans are used to. In terms of audio, Dolby mono soundtracks are provided for everything except Eye Of The Tiger, which gets a Dolby 2.0 Stereo mix. Each mix gets the job done.
This set is mostly bare-bones in terms of its functionality, even bypassing chapter menus in favor of simple “just press play” setups. However, it does provide one surprising extra: a commentary on Exterminator 2 featuring director Mark Buntzman and star Mario Van Peebles. It’s not the most informative track – gaps of silence pile up as the film progresses and neither Buntzman nor Van Peebles address the role William Sachs played in completing the film. However, fans will want to stick with it for some interest bits of trivia, like how Mario’s dad Melvin Van Peebles talked him into taking his role in the film and Buntzman revealing the many ways Cannon Films undercut the production by denying it resources.
In short, the Action Packed Movie Marathon is the best case scenario that b-movie fans can hope for from a budget-line film collection: the transfers look and sound great, at least one extra is thrown and, best of all, you can get the whole shebang for ten bucks. If you enjoy the low-budget side of ’80s action, this is a cost-effective way to get that fix. Having Exterminator 2 on DVD alone makes it worth having.