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The story is simple: Marines home from Vietnam take the matter of a lunatic cult of murdering mother*ckers into their own hands with what we like to refer as, a little bit of vigilant street justice. Or in this case, backwoods in-the-middle-of-nowhere justice. With a set up like that, how can you go wrong? You really canít, as TSNKE delivers exactly what youíd expect: a gritty revenge flick with tons of blood splatter to go around. But unlike other grindhouse exploitation films, this one has a sense of humor, and amidst all the violence, it doesnít take itself too seriously. Itís from the people who brought us THE EVIL DEAD, after all.
The effort by everyone involved is felt throughout, with some really solid performances by Brian Shulz, Tim Quill, and Robert Rickman. But the biggest standout in the film is by famed director Sam Raimi as the infamous Cult Leader, a role he plays as obnoxiously over-the-top as humanly possible. And itís this over-the-top portrayal that sets him one step ahead of the rest. Heís creepy, heís vile, heís crazy, heís dirty, heís crazy, and heís just so damn fun to watch that you look forward to seeing him in the next scene. And as a villain, heís perfect, as you want nothing more than this guy to die a messy death.
While the film isnít perfect (itís low budget grindhouse, afterall), it sure as hell accomplishes what it sets out to do, itís entertaining as hell, and itís a whole lot of fun. Thereís plenty of violence and gore, but thereís also a lot of time spent with the characters, building relationships, background stories, and all-around character development (of the heroic Marines, at least), making it more than just a splatter flickóbut a splatter flick where you actually give a flock about the characters involved.
Audio: Most audio mixed in 2.0 is either Mono or Dolby Digital, but since this is the remastered Blu-ray, this puppy is 2.0 HD-DTS quality, yo! And itís the touch of DTS gives the filmís 2.0 mix a pass. Considering this was the original way it was presented, filmed, and conceived, you canít really fault it, now can you?
Alternate "Sgt. Stryker's War" Title Sequence: See the opening sequence with the film's original title popping up on the screen!
Deleted "Puking" Scene w/optional commentary from director Josh Becker: For those who wanted more vomit in this movie, there's this deleted scene of Manfredi barfing in a biker's helmet--with hilarious results!
Interview with Bruce Campbell: The Chin makes an appearance to talk about the film as he walks around his compound in Southern Oregon. It's Bruce Campbell! What's not to like???
Original Super 8mm "Stryker's War" Short Film: The original 45 minute short STRYKER'S WAR, starring Bruce Campbell as Striker, which was later made with a bigger budget as THOU SHALT NOT KILL... EXCEPT. Great to see Bruce in action doing his thing (so young!), and to see what the original vision of the story was and what the final product ended up being. Differences here and there, but it's more (or less) the same fun film.
Original Theatrical Trailer: The film's original '80s-flavored trailer! Great voice-over, great music--it's what great trailers are made of.