Digi-Schlock: DARK ANGEL (Scream Factory Blu-Ray)

Despite the shock-evocative moniker, Scream Factory isn’t just about horror fare.  Their interests can extend as far as sci-fi fare like They Live and action-oriented material like Ninja III: The DominationDark Angel, known to most U.S. viewers as I Come In Peace, combines both action and sci-fi elements in a cult film fan-friendly way that has earned it the Scream Factory treatment.  The results give a nice treatment to a deserving and underrated flick worthy of rediscovery by the cult flick fanbase.

The new high-definition transfer looks really nice.  One of the film’s greatest assets is the slick cinematography by Mark Irwin and it shines in the presentation it receives here: the frequent night photography has rich blacks and the color and detail levels are appropriately rich.  Both 2.0 and 5.1 stereo mixes are offered in lossless form as audio choices: the latter was listened to for this track and it offers a smooth blend of elements with an appropriate surround boost to the explosion-intensive action sequences.

Scream Factory adds a trio of  extras to flesh out the presentation.  The first is an energetic theatrical trailer that plays like a compact highlights reel (it seems to include every single explosion in the film).  There is also a nice image gallery that includes a variety of color and black and white stills plus ad art for both titles this film was marketed under.

However, the key bonus item is a retrospective featurette that incorporates interviews with director Craig Baxley and stars Dolph Lundgren and Brian Benben.  Baxley reveals at the outset of the piece that Dark Angel was shot on about 25% of its intended budget and goes on to discuss how he used his knowledge of stunts and some talented FX people to maximize the amount of spectacle in the film.  There is also discussion/appreciation of Lundgren’s knack for quickly picking up action choreography, Benben’s sly comedic chops and how impressed everyone was with Matthias Hues’ physicality as the villain.  Everyone involved is a genial interview subject – it’s a real lovefest at times – and the resulting piece is both fun to watch and informative.

In short, Dark Angel benefits from the kind treatment it gets on this blu-ray and Scream Factory enhances the breadth of its catalog a little more.  Dolph Lundgren fans should pick it up, post-haste – it’ll make a fine double bill with Shout Factory’s blu-ray of Joshua Tree.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of Dark Angel, click here.

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