Director: Anthony Hickox
Cast: David Carradine, Maxwell Caulfield, Bruce Campbell
Release Date: August 17, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
The road to Purgatory is paved with good intentions, and Count Mardulak (David Carradine) wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s seeking atonement for centuries of human carnage, which is why he’s instructed Purgatory’s vampire residents to slather on SPF 100 sunblock, pursue daytime activities…and drink only synthetic blood. But some vampires don’t agree with Mardulak — they want the real thing — and if that means wooden bullets flying in a vampire civil war, so be it! This wild horror-comedy also stars Bruce Campbell, Maxwell Caulfield, M. Emmet Walsh, and John Ireland.
Please Note: Lionsgate Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The silly and over the top Vestron Pictures cult classic ‘Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat’ tells the story of the peculiar town of Purgatory where vampires reside in an attempt to integrate themselves among the human population thanks to sunglasses, SPF 100 sunblock and an investment in artificial blood, not to mention plenty of acting including staging a local diner, gas station and other general commodities found in any human populated town. But when a collection of strangers arrive in town, they become stuck in the middle of a local feud between the strong-willed leader Mardulak and his followers and a group others who don’t agree with his modern ways of thinking. Unfortunately for these human visitors, the town of Purgatory is about to go to war, and they’re about to be stuck in the center of it.
The silly, bloody and just massively enjoyable cult classic ‘Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat’ joins the ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ as the twenty-first title, following ‘The Wraith’ in Lionsgate’s numbered Collector’s Series Blu-ray line bringing cult classics home on Blu-ray with all the fixings. ‘Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat’ definitely makes for a wonderful addition to the lineup (and maybe even more fitting than some as this one was actually a Vestron Pictures release, albeit one of the last from the studio) and as someone who hadn’t previously had the pleasure of this goofy gem, I was surprised at just how thoroughly I enjoyed it. Never so much as even attempting to take itself seriously, ‘Sundown’ quickly proves itself to be one truly entertaining and amusing vampire comedy that not only offers up a clever, humorous and fairly original story, but also benefits tremendously from an impressive cast that includes David Carradine, Maxwell Caulfield, Morgan Brittany, Bruce Campbell, Jim Metzler, John Ireland and M. Emmet Walsh, all nicely guided along by Director Anthony Hickox. Fans of this delightfully absurd and entertaining cult classic will almost surely want to make a point of picking up a copy of this new ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ release which brings the film home on Blu-ray at long last sporting pretty great high definition video and audio presentations, along with a noteworthy collection of worthwhile extras that shouldn’t go unappreciated.
Overall, the ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ Blu-ray release of ‘Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat’ brings the splendidly silly cult classic home on Blu-ray at last featuring rather great high definition video and audio presentations, along with plenty of impressive extras including an Audio Commentary, multiple Interviews with cast and crew, plus more which should quickly make this one a definite must own for any fans that haven’t already secured their copy of the Blu-ray, especially thanks to the incredibly reasonable price of the release. I would also strongly encourage those who aren’t familiar with ‘Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat’ or merely haven’t had a chance to check it out to make a point of doing so, and I personally can’t imagine a better looking and sounding option than this solid new ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ Blu-ray release.
The ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ Blu-ray release of ‘Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of the film with its original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and provides a smooth, sharp, colorful and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish with no notable or unexpected problems arising along the way. It holds up admirably even during the darkly it, fast moving and heavily populated sequences and never allows anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible throughout. Overall, this is a quite solid high definition video presentation that delivers capably every step of the way and should please the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a 2.0 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This two channel soundtrack does its job quite capably and offers up a clean, sharp and well balanced audio presentation throughout that’s absent of any issues or troubles. It delivers the music, dialogue and other audio effects and content crisply throughout and keeps everything smoothly balanced at all times, never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously with another to contradict each other or become distorted in any way. Overall, this is a nice 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that holds up well throughout and shouldn’t disappoint.
The ‘Vestron Video Collector’s Series’ Blu-ray release of ‘Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat’ includes a nice collection of bonus material that fans of this cult classic should really appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Anthony Hickox and Director of Photography Levie Issacks’, along with ‘Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interviews with Music Historian Randall Larson and Producer Jefferson Richard’. We are also treated to numerous Interviews including some new offerings exclusive to this release; they include ‘Wild Weird West with Anthony Hickox’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length), ‘Bloodsuckers from Purgatory with Special Make-up Effects Creator Tony Gardner’ (running approximately 14 minutes), ‘Memories of MOAB with Bruce Campbell’ (approximately 13 minutes), ‘A Vampire Reformed with David Carradine’ (13 minutes) and ‘A True Character with M. Emmet Walsh’ (11 minutes). Also include on the release are a ‘Still Gallery’ and the film’s ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (approximately 1 minute).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8/10
The Vestron Pictures Cult Classic ‘Sundown: The Vampire In Retreat’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray As Part of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series from Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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