DVD Review: Quentin Tarantino Rolling Thunder Pictures Collection

Quentin Tarantino Rolling Thunder Pictures Collection

Quentin Tarantino Rolling Thunder Pictures presents their TRIPLE FEATURE sampling of campy classic’s that every film buff should have in their DVD collection. Launched by Tarantino and Miramax in 1995 under the specialty label “Rolling Thunder Pictures,” with the goal to release older exploitation movies and undiscovered imports–Tarantino brought the movies back to life for the mainstream movie-going audience and a must have for Tarantino fans.

The Mighty Peking Man, Detroit 9000 and Jack Hill‘s Switchblade Sisters–all three film transfers  have an awesomely gritty appeal to them–the audio pristine. These cult classics are an absolute must see for any fan of the grindhouse style feature films.

The first title on the DVD was released in 1977 under its original title “Xing xing wang.” The Mighty Peking Man or “Goliathon” is Hong Kong’s version of King Kong. The “giant” gorilla, birthed out of the mountain, killed humble villagers and destroyed their homes. The “peking man-ape,” finds himself in love with a nearly naked woman (Evelyne Kraft) who he protects. Just as in all of the tales of a giant ape man–he is brought to civilization and eventually breaks loose and make a colossal mess of things. This film is one of the funniest of the “King Kong” features out of the couple I have seen. It is cheesy and campy in an exceptionally good way.

Synopsis: After a colossal ape-like creature is captured in the jungle and brought to civilization–along with the scantily clad blonde “Ah Wei” (Kraft) her protects. Of course, the fearsome beast breaks loose and goes looking for a giant-size payback!

Starring Evelyne Kraft (Lady Dracula, The Fifth Commandment) and Danny Lee (The Killer, City on Fire). The Mighty Peking Man is in color and depicts in a finely grained widescreen presentation (2:35:1) that’s hardly noticeable. Film run time approx. 90 minutes. Crisp English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio. Rated PG-13 for violence and sexuality. 

The next film in the collection is the 1973 film Detroit 9000. A from from Director Authur Marks about  two street-smart cops det. Danny Bassett (Alex Rocco) and Sgt. Jessie Williams (Hari Rhodes) who investigates a string of  robberies that further divides an already racially segregated “murder capital of the world” where “honkies” are the minority–according to the film subheading–1973 downtown Detroit. The film is a jam-packed with nonstop cop action and with an impressive 70’s soundtrack that is soulfully sublime, nearly narrates every scene.

Synopsis: This hip crime story follows two Detroit cops, whose pursuit of a dangerous gang responsible for a high-society heist that ignites a powder keg of corruption and violence.

The DVD transfer presents in surprisingly crisp video (in color, widescreen presentation 1.78:1 aspect ratio) and audio (English Mono Dolby Digital). There are a few wispy aspects in the darker scenes in the film, but won’t notice unless you are looking for it. There are moments in the film where several characters make references to the 1967 race riots–a few of the areas that were damaged during the riots are seen in the film. Expect disturbing language, racially charged arguments and shoot outs. However, this is the non-Hollywood charm about film’s like these–you get an actual depiction of the prevalence of societal racism and injustices. Where everyone called cops pigs and whites blame blacks for the rampant crime and their financial hardships. The dialogue is heavily cliched–almost everyone has a “dime to drop” on someone else. A visually and verbally stimulating crime drama overall–awesome.

Starring Alex Rocco (The Godfather, Smokin’ Aces), Hari Rhodes (TV’s Roots, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes), Vonetta McGee (TV’s LA Law, Repo Man), Herb Jefferson Jr. (TV’s Battlestar Galactica and The Devlin Connection) and Ella Edwards (Dirty O’Neil, Mr. Ricco and Sweet Sugar). Film run time approx. 106 minutes.

We come to the third and final film in the Tarantino/Rolling Thunder collection, the 1975 classic film Switchblade Sisters (The Jezebels). From writer/director Jack Hill–this is a film where sexy “Dagger girls” or “Debs,” bust asses. The film features gritty verbal dialogue, sex and drugs of gang violence. The conflict truly begins when Patch (Monica Gayle) begins to weave a web of deceit when one of the sisters, Maggie (Joanne Nail) becomes their leader Lace’s (Robbie Lee) top Deb. Teeming with infighting and rival gang turf battles–the Debs have to team up with revolutionaries to restore their inner-city copasetic–selling sex and drugs at a local high school.

Synopsis: A riotously entertaining mix of sex, jealousy and massive fire–the action-packed story of the toughest gang of teenage girls to ever hit the streets.

These high school vixens are nothing to play with. They go and do whatever they want to cause trouble wherever they go. The film presents in a clean DVD transfer (widescreen presentation (1.85:1) with remarkably clear audio (English Mono Dolby Digital).

Starring Robbie Lee (Big Bad Mama, The Therapist), Joanne Nail (Full Moon High, The Gumball Tally), Asher Brauner (The Boss’ Son, American Eagle), Kitty Bruce (Bad), Janice Karman (TV’s The Chipmunks, Breaking Up is Hard to Do), Marlene Clark (TV’s Sanford and Son, Lord Shango) and Monica Gayle TV’s General Hospital). Film run time approx. 91 minutes.

All three films are without additional features–you just get the three movies themselves, without trailers, deleted scenes or bloopers. The “triple feature” collection is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to purchase these classics on one DVD. You can see where Tarantino found his inspirations for making movies. They just don’t make them like these anymore.

Maybe. But just not how Tarantino does it.

Highly recommended collection. Artwork and supplementary materials courtesy of © 2013 Lionsgate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Quentin Tarantino Triple Feature Presentation The Mighty Peking Man Detroit 9000 Switchblade Sisters DVD
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

Review Summary:

This DVD compilation brings together three classic Tarantino favorites for any film buff, including The Mighty Peking Man, Detroit 9000 and Switchblade Sisters.

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