This past week, I watched the single greatest film of all time. Just released on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD via Drafthouse Films comes John S. Rad’s action packed film that took a mere 26 years to complete: Dangerous Men. Rad’s film began production soon after he moved to the U.S. from Iran in 1979. Despite finishing this labor of love and getting it released in 2005, Rad did not live to see many people actually get to enjoy his masterpiece. Thankfully, a couple of years ago the film came on the radar of the great folks at Drafthouse. And, thanks to Drafthouse Films, this revolutionary film is available via Blu-ray, DVD, and/or most VOD outlets.
The story mostly focuses on two main characters, one a cop (David) and the other the cop’s brother’s fiancé (Mina). When the Daniel’s brother is murdered (credited simply as “fiancé”) at the hands of a vicious group of rapist bikers, Mina becomes a vengeful and clever murderer herself, hunting down perverts and exacting on them a brutal death like the one her innocent lover faced. The cop, of course, set on the path to find the men who killed his brother. We follow their paths until both stories hit their climax towards the end of the film.
If you haven’t figured this out yet, the wonder of this film is that it’s the embodiment of the cliché “so bad it’s good”. And from a technical standpoint the best compliment that can be paid to its achievements it is that it is, indeed, a film. Yet, at a tight and action packed 80 minutes, the final cut achieved through the quarter century of post-production doesn’t drag. While the story doesn’t always make any sense and the acting is on par with some of the worst student films (high school, not college) that I’ve seen in my years, the smiles and laughs that I had while watching the film negated its failures and faux pas.
The poster features the quote “The Holy Grail of Holy F***ing S**t” and it’s hard to summarize the film much better than these words. Our own Brendan Foley and Jon Partridge do a damn good job of explaining the film’s spirit in their reviews posted here on Cinapse (so good a job, in fact, that one of our quotes was included in the press materials for the film). Thus, rather than spend more time explaining how batshit crazy and earnestly inept this film is, let’s look at the packaging and the goodies included with the “Deluxe Edition” home video release.
Like every Drafthouse release, you get your choice of two different jackets to display on your case. These two pieces of artwork are both fantastic and are pictured side by side above. The first is the artwork showing when you initially open the package and the second is the original movie poster. Both are utterly fantastic, though the lower quality of the original poster artwork may be a bit more fitting.
Once you open the package, you’ll see the the DVD and Blu-ray on the right. On the left a small card and a booklet. The booklet contains the transcript of a 2005 LA Weekly interview with the writer/director/producer/musical director/whatever John S. Rad and a card with a digital download code; the card features a cartoon drawing of Black Pepper, the film’s primary antagonist. The interview booklet features a frame from one of the best scenes in the film (one where a naked man dances in the woods).
The special features include a commentary from Destroy All Movies! authors/editors Bryan Connolly and Zack Carlson, a documentary on John S. Rad and the film entitled That’s So Rad, the original trailer, the interview mentioned above, and an episode of a public access TV show that Rad appeared on. All of the special features are fascinating and make the release well worth the modest price tag.
The Drafthouse Films website also features other packages in addition to the “Deluxe Edition” that include extra goodies. These, most importantly, include the exceptional soundtrack to the film (the main theme is featured below). The film essentially has 3-4 tracks that are looped throughout. It should go without saying at this point that the music in the film is a true work of art (read: casio keyboards and funk bass playing behind scenes where the songs have no business being played).
I don’t normally do grades on reviews or anything of the sort, but to not call this home video release, or this film for that matter, an A+ would be a crime against humanity. Simply put, this is 2016’s must-own DVD/Blu-ray of the year.
Viva la Black Pepper!