Shout! Factory’s line of dou­ble fea­ture discs have become a real­ly nice val­ue for bud­get-con­scious movie fans.  This pair­ing of Off Limits and Gordon’s War is a bit loose the­mat­i­cal­ly — sim­ply put, the only con­nec­tions are both fea­ture black actors in lead roles and the Vietnam War as an ele­ment of the plot — but it’s a typ­i­cal­ly reli­able set in terms of both image qual­i­ty and sup­ple­ments.

Both films are pre­sent­ed in anamor­phic 1.78:1 trans­fers — each looks suit­ably vibrant in terms of col­or and the lev­el of detail was solid on both titles.  Surprisingly, it’s the old­er title — Gordon’s War — that looks the best.  The audio is 2.0 Dolby Digital on both films and each sounds good.

There are also a few extras includ­ed on each film.  Off Limits has a com­men­tary track fea­tur­ing direc­tor Christopher Crowe and star Willem Dafoe.  It’s a steadi­ly-paced track that has both men offer­ing a rea­son­able amount of detail about the film’s his­to­ry.  Both talk a lot about the prac­ti­cal chal­lenges of shoot­ing in Thailand and Crowe gets into real­ly inter­est­ing ter­ri­to­ry lat­er on about how the stu­dio tried to force him into mak­ing a “bud­dy cop” flick out of his film.  Dafoe main­ly plays a sup­port­ive role on the com­men­tary but has his moments, like when he notes which shots came from a reshoot by point­ing out how his hair is dif­fer­ent in those shots.  It’s not a rev­e­la­to­ry track but offers a few worth­while nuggets of triv­ia for the film’s fans.

Gordon’s War gets a bit more in terms of extras, offer­ing a com­men­tary track as well as a few trail­ers.  The com­men­tary pairs actor Tony King with cin­e­matog­ra­pher Victor Kemper and they offer a relaxed but steady stream of com­ments about the film.  The most inter­est­ing bit they reveal is how the film got loca­tion access and secu­ri­ty by employ­ing the Black Muslims in Harlem to work on the shoot.  Like the Off Limits com­men­tary, it’s not mind­blow­ing stuff but there’s enough worth­while moments to appeal to fans.

The trail­ers includ­ed for Gordon’s War also offer a bit of fun.  There are two t.v. spots and one the­atri­cal trail­er (all pre­sent­ed full-frame) and they’re clas­sic blax­ploita­tion trail­ers, right down to the hip nar­ra­tion (“It’s war, baby… Gordon’s War!”).

All in all, it’s anoth­er solid cat­a­log title from Shout Factory.  The main crit­i­cism here would be that the con­nec­tion between the two films is too loose for it to work as a gen­uine dou­ble fea­ture.  Chances are, most peo­ple will be buy­ing this for Gordon’s War and they prob­a­bly would have liked to see anoth­er blax­ploita­tion flick paired up with it.  That said, the disc offers plen­ty of val­ue for a cheap list so price so fans of either film will find it worth­while.

Gordon's War / Off Limits [Double Feature]

Gordon’s War / Off Limits [Double Feature]

Gordon’s War: Gordon (Paul Winfield, The Terminator) spent four years in Vietnam as a Green Beret fight­ing some­one else’s bat­tle … now he’s come back home to fight his own. He returns to a Harlem that has changed — drugs and pros­ti­tu­tion have tak­en over his neigh­bor­hood, and his wife even over­dosed from drugs. Along with his for­mer army bud­dies, he takes on the Mob to wipe out the cor­rup­tion that has tak­en over the city. Also star­ring Carl Lee (Superfly), Tony King (Bucktown) and singer Grace Jones (A View To A Kill). Directed by Ossie Davis (Cotton Comes To Harlem).Off Limits: Being a cop is tough. But in war-torn Saigon in 1968, being a cop is crazy. Someone is bru­tal­ly mur­der­ing Vietnamese pros­ti­tutes with chil­dren by American fathers, and plain­clothes mil­i­tary cops Sgt. Buck McGriff (Willem Dafoe, Spider-Man) and Sgt. Albaby Perkins (Gregory Hines, The Cotton Club) are put on the case that no one wants solved. But things are nev­er what they seem in ’Nam, includ­ing a novice nun (Amanda Pays), a deranged colonel (Scott Glenn) and a twist­ed trail of clues that takes McGriff and Perkins from back alleys to bat­tle­fields in search of a seri­al killer who’s ready to make them the next vic­tims. Fred Ward, Keith David and David Alan Grier costar in this explo­sive action thriller.