Digi-Schlock: GIANT ROBOT ACTION PACK (Shout Factory 2-For-1 DVD)

Shout Factory continues to blaze its trail through cult movie fandom by delving into different types of cult cinema.  The Giant Robot Action Pack finds the company venturing into the realm of Charles Band productions – his Full Moon era, to be specific.  Unfortunately, the results are as middling as the films themselves and the package is also surprisingly lacking in extras (usually a strong suit on Shout! Factory titles).

The transfers are mediocre, with both Robot Wars and Crash And Burn presented in a full-frame style.  Compositions don’t look terribly cramped but the transfers look like they might have come from pre-existing video sources.  Color and details are a bit muted on both, resulting in a look that isn’t unlike what you might see on a non-remastered presentation of a vintage t.v. show.  The original stereo soundtracks are used for both films: they’re mostly decent but, like the video, they could have used a remastering.

However, the big disappointment here is the lack of extras.  Full Moon catered to video buffs during their early 1990’s era, often including making-of featurettes (under the moniker Videozone) and other material on the original VHS releases of these titles.  None of that material is included here.  There aren’t even any trailers – which is strange because Shout! Factory will be releasing at least one other Band production, Oblivion, in the near future.

In short, the Giant Robot Action Pack is a passable release but doesn’t offer much of an upgrade in A/V quality.  The lack of extras further decreases the value.  That said, it does offer the viewer two films for a midline price in a dual-layer presentation and thus offers some basic value-for-money to the hardcore Full Moon enthusiast.

Crash And Burn / Robot Wars [Double Feature]

Crash And Burn / Robot Wars [Double Feature]

It’s the year 2030, and man’s worst nightmares have become an oppressive reality in Crash And Burn. Big Brother has come to life in the form of Unicom, an all-powerful conglomerate that emerged in the wake of a devastating global economic collapse. A group of dissenters has surfaced to fight Unicom’s autocracy and stop the murderous Synthoid — a humanlike robot programmed to kill all those who pose a threat to the organization. Starring Paul Ganus, Megan Ward (Dark Skies), Bill Moseley and Ralph Waite (Cliffhanger), and directed by Charles Band.The ultimate battle between metallic giants begins in Robot Wars when a malicious foreign dignitary hijacks the last mega-robot on Earth, the MRAS-2, and threatens to unleash its crushing powers against the people of the Eastern Alliance. There’s only one force magnificent enough to stop the MRAS-2 — a MEGA-1 robot hidden under the city. It’s up to a renegade pilot, his engineer and a brilliant archaeologist to revive the MEGA-1 and reestablish world peace. Starring Don Michael Paul (writer/director Half Past Dead), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) and Lisa Rinna (Melrose Place).

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