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    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Seven



    Released by: Kino Lorber Studio Classics
    Released on: May 8th, 2018.
    Director: Andy Sidaris
    Cast: William Smith, Barbara Leigh, Reggie Nalder, Ed Parker, Susan Kiger, Christopher Joy, Guich Koock
    Year: 1979
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    The Movie:
    Drew Savano (William Smith) is the best of the best. He's nothing but trouble and kills anyone who crosses him, or so we're told by the government agents that hire him to put together a team of seven deadly operatives to stop a criminal killing spree taking place in Hawaii. See, two gunmen (one of whom is a young Martin Kove) and a guy on a skateboard are taking out those who would dare oppose The Kahuna (Lenny McDowell)! The Kahuna has guys like The Hermit (Reggie Nalder) and Keoki McDowell (Seth Sakai) working for him, and these guys are every bit as dangerous as their boss and they mean to destroy the Hawaiian economy so they can swoop in and take over.

    But Drew, he's not only the consummate ladies' man, he's also really good at putting together teams. He knows people like foxy femme fatale Alexa (Playboy Playmate Barbara Leigh), a tough guy known only as Cowboy (Guich Koock), a lounge singer/brawler named T.K. (Christopher Joy), a Brainiac with a gun that can hit a target from eight miles away named The Professor (Richard LePore), and a beautiful blonde named Jenny (another Playmate, Susan Kiger) and Ed Parker (played by…. Ed Parker), who is a drag car racer who can 'run faster and jump higher' than anyone else). Together, this assemblage of assassins is to make it look like The Kahuna and his criminal empire never existed! Take them out, once and for all, no matter the cost.

    It's hard to resist the allure of a movie that features a shaggy-blonde, crossbow wielding skateboarder doing tricks and flips before taking out his targets. Andy Sidaris, may he rest in peace, had a gift, and that gift was creating movies like this, movies where characters like that skateboard guy exist and fit in. It's almost as if all of his movies take place in the same universe, a space where all of the women are as hot as they are horny and all of the men are as tough as nails. It might all be adolescent male fantasy come to life, but damn it all if it isn't a really fun place to visit. Stuff blows up. Helicopters and Corvettes are the best way to get around. Everyone wears wicked cool clothes (Smith spends a lot of time strutting about in tight, white disco pants). The good guys have a non-stop supply of clever one-liners at their disposal. The beaches are white and clean, surrounded by beautiful Hawaiian scenery. Yeah, there's a lot to like about Sidarisville, it's a pretty great spot to hang out in.

    The performances are fun. William Smith, who had been working in film and television since he was a kid, is great in the lead. He's tough, he's cool and he's a natural leader. Supporting work from Guich Koock and Susan Kiger is also pretty entertaining and you've got to love Reggie Nalder as the horny weird dubbed The Hermit. Barbara Leigh doesn't have much range here but she looks great and suits the role well. She also gets to pilot a helicopter, so bonus points for that. Martin Kove is pretty cool as the hitman while Lenny McDowell is just plain goofy, but in all the right ways, as the evil mastermind behind all of this.

    Seven was the director's second feature film. It was made in 1979 and followed 1973's Stacey (hopefully we can get a Blu-ray release of that one soon too) and it is a bit more grounded than some of the films he'd make in the eighties starting with Malibu Express and peaking with Hard Ticket To Hawaii. But you can see in this picture the seeds being sewn for the 'guns, girls and g-strings' formula that he was starting to perfect and that is still so closely associated with his name even now, more than a decade after his passing. The movie could have probably shaved off ten minutes or so to move at a batter pace but for the most part, it's never more than a few minutes before someone gets killed or someone gets naked. Sidaris knew what his audience wanted and knew how to give it to them.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Seven makes its Blu-ray debut from Kino Lorber's Studio Classics line in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.78.1 widescreen on a 25GB disc. While this is clearly better than what DVD would have been able to provide (had the movie actually ever had a DVD release, which it did not!), it does look like it might have come from an older master. The image shows okay detail, but never really seems reference quality. Colors look quite good, however, and black levels are fine. The image is free of noise reduction and shows a fair amount of film grain, but so too does it show minor print damage throughout in the form of small scratches and specks. Not a horrible transfer, but not an amazing one either.

    The English language DTS-HD Mono track is more or less problem free, even if the levels are a little bit low (once you turn up your receiver a bit that problem is resolved). Things are a little on the flat side and there is some occasional minor background hiss but once the volume is adjusted dialogue is clear enough. The score, which frequently channels a tropical vibe, sounds pretty decent here and the gun shots and explosions have the appropriate amount of punch behind them. There are no subtitles of any kind provided, unfortunately.

    There are a few extras on the disc starting with a commentary track from critics Nathanial Thompson, Steve Mitchell and Howard Berger. These three do a solid job of detailing the history of the film and the people that made it, discussing Sidaris' career overall as well as getting into the specifics of his work on Seven. They also talk up the locations and of course, the eccentric supporting cast as well as Smith's involvement. It's an interesting and entertaining that never comes off as too highbrow for the material but that takes itself seriously enough to work. These guys are clearly having a good time with this one.

    Kino has also supplied an exclusive interview with Arlene Sidaris, the late director's wife and often times his producer as well. She speaks for roughly twelve-minutes about how she first met Andy Sidaris, noting that he was rude to her, and how they then later hit it off and became romantically involved. From there she tells how she came to be the producer for many of his films, what it was like working on Seven, which she notes was distributed by Roger Corman, Andy's penchant for casting playmates, what it was like working with William Smith and quite a bit more. It's a pretty great piece, Ms. Sidaris is a good storyteller and has led an interesting life! Some archival photos are used throughout the piece as well.

    Aside from that we get a trailer for the feature, bonus trailers for a few other Kino Lorber properties, menus and chapter selection. Kino has also supplied some nice reversible cover art for this release, which is always a nice touch.

    The Final Word:

    Seven is a blast. A ridiculously entertaining B-grade action film with a fun cast, crazy characters, memorable set pieces and beautiful location photography. Kino's presentation won't win any awards for A/V quality but it presents the film in decent shape and with a few fun extras too. Here's hoping there are more Sidaris films in the pipeline from the label. Highly recommended!

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







































    • tek8080
      #1
      tek8080 commented
      Editing a comment
      I bought this just before the Kino sale ended. Should be arriving Monday. Thanks for the review. Now I'm really looking forward to this one.

    • Ian Jane
      #2
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      Ian Jane commented
      Editing a comment
      It's a LOT of fun. I hope Kino gives us more Sidaris sooner rather than later.

    • tek8080
      #3
      tek8080 commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Ian Jane
      It's a LOT of fun. I hope Kino gives us more Sidaris sooner rather than later.
      This was even better than expected. Super fun movie. Count me in for more Sidaris too. I hope people pick this up so there's a greater chance of that.
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