Friday, June 10, 2022

Vigilante: 2-Disc Limited Edition – Blue Underground (UHD/Blu-ray Combo)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1982
Director: William Lustig
Writer: Richard Vetere
Cast: Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright, Rutanya Alda, Don Blakely, Joseph Carberry, Willie Colón, Joe Spinell, Carol Lynley, Woody Strode, Frank Pesce, Steve James, Randy Jurgensen

Release Date: December 15th, 2020
Approximate Running Time: 89 Minutes 29 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive / HEVC / H.265 / Dolby Vision HDR10
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Atmos English, DTS-HD 5.1 English, DTS-HD Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono French, Dolby Digital Mono Italian, Dolby Digital Mono German
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $49.95

"New York City factory worker Eddie Marino (Robert Forster, Oscar nominee for JACKIE BROWN) is a solid citizen and regular guy, until the day a sadistic street gang brutally assaults his wife and murders his child. But when a corrupt judge sets the thugs free, Eddie goes berserk and vows revenge. Now there's a new breed of marauder loose on the city streets, enforcing his own kind of law. His justice is swift. His methods are violent. He is the Vigilante." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 5/5

Here’s the information provided about the transfer, "Blue Underground is thrilled to present Vigilante in a pristine new restoration, scanned in 4K 16-bit from the original 35mm camera negative, with Dolby Vision HDR."

Vigilante comes on a 100 GB triple layer 4K UHD.

Disc Size: 83.4 GB

Feature: 62.9 GB

Though the transfer for Blue Underground’s 2010 Blu-ray release looked very good at that time, This new 4K transfer from Blue Underground is another massive upgrade that improves upon that aforementioned release. Image clarity, black levels, and compression look solid throughout, and the grain retains an organic look.

Vigilante comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 38.4 GB

Feature: 24.2 GB

Audio: 5/5 (Dolby Atmos English)

This release comes with six audio options, a Dolby Atmos mix in English; a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English; a DTS-HD mono mix in English; a Dolby Digital mono mix in French; a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian; and a Dolby Digital mono mix in German. For this review, I listened to the Dolby Atmos track. Dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced, ambient sounds are well-represented, and the score sounds robust. The Dolby Atmos track is an exemplary mix that does a superb job of maximizing the sound spectrum. Included with this release are the following subtitle options, English SDH, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.


Extras on the UHD Disc include poster & still gallery #1 (103 images-posters/advertising materials/lobby cards/stills/behind-the-scenes/video & soundtrack art), poster & still gallery #2 (stills with music from the film playing in the background), promotional reel shot to sell Vigilante in foreign film markets (3 minutes 14 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles, with text information about the promotional reel), a radio spot (34 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), four TV spots (1 minute 50 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), U.S. theatrical trailer (1 minute 40 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), international theatrical trailer (1 minute 52 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), British theatrical trailer #1 (1 minute 54 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), British theatrical trailer #2 (2 minutes 13 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), German theatrical trailer (1 minute 49 seconds, Dolby Digital mono German, no subtitles), Italian theatrical trailer (3 minutes 22 seconds, Dolby Digital mono Italian, no subtitles), French theatrical trailer (1 minute 48 seconds, Dolby Digital mono French, no subtitles), an archival interview with composer Jay Chattaway titled Urban Western (25 minutes 8 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival featurette titled Blue Collar Death Wish (24 minutes 42 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival audio track with director William Lustig and producer Andrew Garroni, an audio commentary track with William Lustig and actors Robert Forster, Fred Williamson and Frank Pesce, and an audio commentary is with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson.

Included with this release is a Blu-ray that has the same content included on the UHD included as part of this combo release.

Other extras include a Lenticular 3D slipcover (First Pressing Only), reversible cover art, and an eighteen-page booklet with cast & crew info and an essay titled Doing Justice to Vigilante written by Michael Gingold.


After the success of his earlier film, Maniac, William Lustig would return to familiar ground with Vigilante. Both films deal with bleak subject matter that often verges into nihilism. whereas the Maniac narrative was told from the point of view of a deranged killer. Vigilante flips the protagonist around to become the everyday man who finally resorts to violence after being pushed over the edge.

Structure-wise, Vigilante is a more focused film than its predecessor. And while some viewers may be disappointed that the chaos which unfolds is generally reigned in, the result is a very satisfying mix of murder, mayhem, and revenge. From the opening monologue with Fred Williamson’s character right on through to its bittersweet finale, Vigilante does not let up for one moment.

Once again, William Lustig uses the streets of New York as the backdrop for this film. And he populates the film with an array of jaded characters who are riffed on with sadism. Many of these vigilantes, like their criminal counterparts, are not just satisfied with roughing up their victims. In many instances, they annihilate them with the utmost precision and delight.

When discussing Vigilante, one must not overlook its exceptional cast, which includes Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) as the film’s main protagonist, Richard Bright (The Godfather), Joe Spinell (Maniac), Carol Lynley (The Shuttered Room), Woody Strode (Once Upon a Time in the West) and Fred Williamson (The Inglorious Bastards) in his usual enforcer type role that he’s so great at portraying.

Other key collaborators include composer Jay Chattaway, a frequent collaborator of William Lustig’s. They would work together on a total of five films: Maniac, Vigilante, Maniac Cop, Relentless, and Maniac Cop 2. And the cinematographer on Vigilante was James Lemmo, in the first of his five collaborations with William Lustig. Some of his other notable credits as a cinematographer include The Driller Killer, Madman, and Ms. 45.

Vigilante makes its way to 4K UHD via a spectacular release from Blue Underground that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a wealth of insightful extras, highly recommended.

                                                             4K UHD screenshots.

Written by Michael Den Boer

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