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Silent Trigger (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack)

    Ian Jane

  • Silent Trigger (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack)

    Released by: Subkultur Entertainment
    Released on: November 28th, 2014.
    Director: Russel Mulcahy
    Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Gina Bellan, Conrad Dunn, Christopher Heyerdahl
    Year: 1996
    Purchase From Diabolik DVD

    The Movie:

    Director Russel Mulcahy's Silent Trigger begins with a tense scene in which a shooter (Dolph Lundgren) and his spotter (Gina Bellan), are to assassinate a politician from their perch atop a tower. Waxman hesitates as the target holds up a child and this causes the powers that be to question his loyalty. Clegg is ordered to take him out but she too hesitates and before you know it an army of machine gun toting thugs are chasing them across an unnamed part of Eastern Europe.

    This all happened in the past. In the present, the spotter makes her way into a partially constructed tower to 'work on the computers.' After fending off the unwanted advances of a dirtbag security guard named O'Hara (Christopher Heyerdahl), much to the amusement of his co-worker (Conrad Dunn), she finds she's not alone up there in the penthouse. Her reunion with the shooter will take some interesting twists and turns as they try to figure out who they can trust.

    A nice mix of suspense and action where both plot lines twist and turn throughout the duration of the film, Silent Trigger is slick and exciting. Lundgren is well cast here in a role that plays to his strengths. He doesn't always have a great amount of range so making him play the strong silent type as he does in this picture makes perfect sense. He also handles himself very well in the action scenes, highlighted by an absolutely brutal brawl with O'Hara. Lundgren and Bellan manage to create an interesting dynamic together in the film and there's no shortage of sexual tension during the scenes that take place in the penthouse. She's a very attractive woman but in addition to being easy on the eyes has the right sort of tough screen presence to pull off her role in this film.

    Conrad Dunn is interesting as the 'new guy' at the security guard desk but it's Heyerdahl who really steals the show as O'Hara. If he's not trying to rape Bellan's character he's cracking open beers, snorting lines or cocaine or making wisecracks at the new recruit. He plays the part perfectly and really gives his all - this makes for a wonderfully horrible white trash character that makes an interesting sparring partner for our two leads. He's also the only source of any sort of comedy in the movie, though it is comedy of a particularly dark bent.

    Australian born Mulcahy, no stranger to action or suspense movies having previously directed Highlander, The Shadow and Razorback, does fine work here. The movie goes at a good pace and doesn't overstay its welcome while the cinematography is interesting in how it creates a contrast. The scenes that take place in the early part of the story are largely shot outdoors or in a war zone while the scenes that take place during the reunion are take place inside a dimly light industrial building ripe with shadows and stairwells and dripping water, all lit by the night sky by massive windows. The script from Sergio Altieri occasionally drifts into clichés when our two leads start talking but otherwise keeps things well grounded.

    As far as the action sequences are concerned, aside from a few bits showcasing some horribly dated CGI work, they're really well done. The violence here hits hard and when the guns go off, things get very bloody very quickly. Lots of great squib work and pyrotechnics compliment some great fight choreography and solid stunts in big ways. Silent Trigger may not be the movie Dolph is best known for but it's one of his better pictures, an action movie done right.


    Silent Trigger makes its Blu-ray debut from Subkulture in a strong AVC encoded 1080p high definition widescreen transfer. There's some minor speckling here and there but no serious print damage, and while some shots look a bit grainier than others that's never really a problem. There's zero evidence of any digital filtering, so common problems like edge enhancement and noise reduction never factor into the equation. Detail is considerably improved over the previous Sony DVD release and colors are more natural looking and better defined. Add to that nice shadow detail and very solid black levels and this transfer comes out looking very good.

    DTS-HD Master Audio options are provided in English and German in both 2.0 and 5.1 flavors with subtitles provided in German and in English (the film was shot in English). Clarity on the English 5.1 track is rock solid, with nicely balanced levels and strong bass - your subwoofer will really feel it when that helicopter shows up in the opening sequence and pretty much anytime a gun goes off. Dialogue stays clean, clear and very easy to understand and the film's genuinely evocative soundtrack is spread around nicely. No problems with any hiss or any distortion.

    The main extra on the disc is a twenty-minute interview, in English with optional German subtitles, with writer Sergio Altieri. He speaks about shooting the film in Montreal, the performances from the cast and some of the original ideas he had for the story that changed and/or evolved along the way.

    Aside from that we get two trailers for the feature, a still gallery, a Dolph Lundgren filmography (with some nice bonus trailers scattered throughout), menus and chapter selection. As this is a combo pack release you also get a DVD version of the movie with the same extras. Both discs are put inside a slick digipack package alongside a booklet of liner notes (in German only). Menus and chapter selection are also included. Note that if you have a Blu-ray Drive on your PC you can put the disc in and access the liner notes via an English language PDF where you'll find an insanely detailed essay by Jérémie Damoiseau that covers pretty much every aspect of the history of this movie.

    The Final Word:

    Silent Trigger is a sorely underrated film in the filmographies of both its director and its leading man. It's tight and suspenseful, well made and it features not only some impressive action set pieces but some top notch performances too. Though the film hasn't been given anything more than a barebones DVD release domestically, this Blu-ray release from Germany's Subkultur is definitely worth importing if you're a fan of the film. You get some fun extras and a really nice HD upgrade as well.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    • Alison Jane
      Alison Jane
      Girl Boss Jane
      Alison Jane commented
      Editing a comment
      A year or two ago when I was watching all of Dolph's stuff for the first time, this one stood out amongst a lot of the same old same old. I enjoyed it and am happy it made it to Blu-ray!

    • Paul L
      Paul L
      Scholar of Sleaze
      Paul L commented
      Editing a comment
      Not one of Dolph's absolute best, imo, but I'm very happy to own it on BD after all the shonky DVD transfers of this film.And Gina Bellman... hubba, hubba I always thought she was lovely.

    • Nabonga
      Senior Member
      Nabonga commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Paul L
      Not one of Dolph's absolute best, imo, but I'm very happy to own it on BD after all the shonky DVD transfers of this film.And Gina Bellman... hubba, hubba I always thought she was lovely.
      I totes concur about Gina. Amazing woman.
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