Thursday, January 2, 2014

Nightmare City (Blu-ray Review) - Raro Video

Directed By: Umberto Lenzi
Written By: Antonio Cesare Corti, Luis Maria Delgado, Piero Regnoli
Starring: Hugo Stiglitz, Laura Trotter, Francisco Rabal
Color/91 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A

The Film
When an unknown airplane that has been exposed to radiation lands at a European airport it's doors pour open with a horde of mutant, blood drinking, gun shooting, knife wielding, super powerful zombies. A reporter on the scene escapes to find his wife and they do their best to move across the city and out of harm's way until the military can formulate a plan to stop these super-human mutant zombie monsters. 

Italian horror master Umberto Lenzi directs this classic piece of schlock. While light on story NIGHTMARE CITY is very heavy on entertainment. The zombie action doesn't take any time to get going and once it does it doesn't stop until the credits roll. The movie is cheap and loose much like the best Baltimore Street hookers. If you're a gore hound you'll love this picture as there is plenty of it. This is a perfect movie to sit down with a few beers and turn off your brain to. It is simply awesome. 

The Audio & Video
This is disappointing. I was hoping for a brilliantly restored HD transfer for NIGHTMARE CITY but what Raro Video has delivered is sub par as the video goes. Is it better than the previous Anchor Bay DVD? Yes, but just slightly. The entire film has always looked a bit murky but colors are muted more than they should be and there is excessive DNR here leaving the image looking smeary at times. Compression issues are evident in the background of the image almost constantly and while not terrible it is there and that's annoying. Black levels should be deeper and the dark scenes suffer from that. There are a few moments where detail is strong, and flesh tones do look natural and not waxy which is good. Some areas of the film certainly look worse than others and a few scenes do live up to my high hopes but overall the disc doesn't look phenomenal.

Audio on the other hand is pretty damn good. there are options for both English and Italian (with English subtitles) language tracks and they're both strong. The 2.0 tracks are well mixed with  Stelvio Cipriani's excellent score shining.

The Extras
Raro did a nice job with the special features and packaging and included:
-Interview with Umberto Lenzi that runs almost 50 minutes
-Original English trailer
-Original Italian trailer
-A gorgeous 11 page booklet 
-Slipcover with alternate artwork 

The Bottom Line
While I'm let down with the transfer I still love the movie and have to say that Raro did a nice job on the other aspects of the disc, and it is a slight improvement over the old DVD in terms of PQ. Raro is always running sales through their Facebook page, wait for one and grab this disc then to soften the blow and it won't sting as bad.


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