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Man of Violence
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker) (1968, 75 mins): Pete Walker's pulp thriller which includes a climactic shoot-out in the snow on Brighton's now destroyed West Pier
  • Original trailers for Man of Violence and The Big Switch
  • Alternative 'Moon' title-card
  • Extensive illustrated booklet featuring newly commissioned contributors from Pete Walker, novelist Cathi Unsworth, producer and critic David McGillivray, and film historian Julian Petley

Man of Violence

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Pete Walker
Starring: Michael Latimer
1970 | 108 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: £22.99 | Series: BFI Flipside | Edition: #6
BFI Video

Release Date: August 24, 2009
Review Date: August 22, 2009

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SYNOPSIS

In a world of gangs and villains, one man - Moon - will stop at nothing to get the girl and take the spoils. Pete Walker's affectionate low-budget homage to the gangster thriller is packed with sights and sounds from a Britain about to swing out of the Sixties and into a somewhat less optimistic decade. It offers not only rare glimpses of a world gone by, but also some unexpected twists on generic convention. The cast includes Hammer girls Luan Peters (Lust for a Vampire, Twins of Evil) and Virginia Wetherell (Doctor Jekyll & Sister Hyde, Demons of the Mind).

Presented here in a stunning new High Definition transfer from the original negative, this release also includes Pete Walker's earlier thriller The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker).

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

For their sixth release in their Flipside series BFI Video presents Pete Walkerís Man of Violence (aka Moon) in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this dual-layer Blu-ray disc. The image is presented in 1080p.

BFI yet again surprise and deliver a top-notch, near-perfect transfer for an older, unbelievably obscure film. Colours are certainly the strongest feature of the transfer, presenting bright, bold reds (which there are a lot of,) vibrant yellows and greens, and deep blacks. The image is consistently sharp, a tad fuzzy in spots, but overall the level of detail is quite shocking. Grain is present though isnít too heavy, and the print is next to flawless.

Iíve consistently stunned by BFIís transfers, though by now I probably shouldnít be, but it truly is amazing how they can make films like this look almost like they were made yesterday. Itís absolutely striking.

8/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

We get a lossless mono track that is of excellent quality, presenting no pops, hisses, scratches, or any other signs of damage. Still it lacks a real punch and does sound fairly flat, even when the filmís score is blaring at higher levels.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

BFI includes a couple of intriguing supplements on here, though thereís not as much here as found on other BFI titles.

The first feature is a 3-minute theatrical trailer for Man of Violence, which of course pushes its exploitive charms as best it can.

Man of Violence ĎMooní Title presents a five-second alternate title card for the film. The main feature actually does start with a title card over the opening sequence for the title Moon, but the alternate title card here is over a blue background. First ďMan of ViolenceĒ is shown and then ďMoonĒ is pasted over it.

The big feature on here is two versions of Pete Walkerís film The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker.) The domestic version is the original UK version, running about 67-minutes. The movie is not very good, though has the same kind of feel as Man of Violence. Itís fairly energetic for the most part, but again has a ludicrous plot that, in the end, doesnít really matter (nor really makes sense.) The film exists just to titillate in whatever way it can and unfortunately it doesnít completely succeed. Itís amusing enough, and I enjoyed the obviously scattershot way it was put together (the last few minutes have quite a few continuity errors and I had a rather good chuckle when I realize the hero and the damsel-in-distress are running away from thugs, but appear to be in one spot pretending to run.) But like Man of Violence itís impressively put together when one considers its low budget and time constraints (apparently it was shot in less than a week.)

Even more interesting is the export cut which is what would have played in the States. Itís longer, running 76-minutes, and the plotline is (unfortunately) the same, but it has far more nudity, even opening with a rather horrific strip show. It also shows more full body nudity, and also shows the beating our hero takes at the hands of goons, which is unbelievably bizarre since it involves a topless woman. Still not very good but makes for an interesting comparison piece.

BFI closes of the supplements with a trailer for The Big Switch, which again pushes the exploitive nature of the film.

BFI includes a booklet, not as thick as others, but worth a read. It opens with an essay by Cathi Unsworth, which probably gives more credit to Man of Violence than it probably deserves, an essay by David McGillivray on The Big Switch, where he recalls first seeing it (and not thinking it very good,) and then another essay by Julian Petley on exploitive British cinema. Thereís a great little piece by Pete Walker where he recalls the two films (he has very little to say about The Big Switch other than he made a lot of money, and then the booklet concludes with a brief bio on Walker. As usual itís a great booklet.

Not jam packed and unfortunately the big feature on here is two versions of a rather bad film, but altogether this release is an interesting little curiosity.

5/10

CLOSING

I have a vague idea of what happened in Man of Violence but it appears plot was the last concern Walker had with the film, despite the rather convoluted nature of it (involving real estate, oil, gold, etc.) While itís a little on the long side it is a rather fun and fairly energetic film with a bizarre hero who will sleep with anyone (and I mean anyone) to get what he needs. With this release BFIís Flipside continues to be one of the more curious and intriguing series out there, and again they have given that extra bit of effort to an obscure title, giving it a better transfer than what a lot of newer films receive. The films on here arenít really all that good but I must admit itís still a fun release overall.




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