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).