Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Man's Best Friend (Shout! Factory) Blu-ray Review

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Man's Best Friend (Shout! Factory) Blu-ray Review



    Released by: Shout! Factory
    Released on: April 9th, 2019.
    Director: John Lafia
    Cast: Ally Sheedy, Lance Henriksen, Robert Constanzo, Fredric Lehne, William Sanderson
    Year: 1994
    Purchase From Amazon

    Man's Best Friend - Movie Review:

    A weird mix of the nineties technophobic thriller genre and a good old fashioned killer animal movie, John Lafia's 1994 picture Man's Best Friend introduces us to the EMAX Research Center. Here, scientists do experiments on animals for various reasons, something that doesn't sit well with a certain segment of the population. Part of that population is Lori Tanner (Ally Sheedy) and her pal Annie (Trula M. Marcus), so they decide to sneak in one night with a camera and document the atrocities they expect to encounter. As they make their way in and document the presence of everything from birds to bears, they come across a large dog named Max who they decide to free.

    That night, Max goes home with Lori much to the completely understandable dismay of her husband, Perry (Fredric Lehne). His suspicions rise when he realizes that the dog is watching them get it on through the keyhole of their bedroom door! Regardless, Lori insists that the dog stay and Perry relents. What neither of them realizes, but will soon find out, is that Max was the test subject of some serious genetic tweaks courtesy of scientist Dr. Jarret (Lance Henriksen) and, since those experiments were carried out on him, he's basically the canine equivalent of The Six Million Dollar Man (for those too young to have been familiarized with the exploits of one Steve Austin, that dated reference basically means the dog is really fast and really strong). When Jarret finds out his uber-dog is missing, he sets out to find it, while Max, now free of the confines of the lab, basically goes on the expected killing spree.

    A fun cast highlight this picture. Ally Sheedy is her typically likeable self, and she looks genuinely cute here with her pixie cut hair style. She and Trula M. Marcus make a good team and she has enough chemistry with Fredric Lehne that we can buy them as a couple. While Sheedy and Lance Henriksen don't share a lot of screen time together, they're fun to watch when they do. Even without Sheedy around for many of his scenes, the ever-reliable Henriksen is a kick in his role. He's perfectly cast here as the tough, surly scientist and he makes the most of his role.

    Lafia and company aren't reinventing the wheel here, but they deliver solid entertainment and a few good laughs along the way. There are some impressive kills scenes here and good effects work too, the animatronic dog effects conjured up for a few key scenes are very well done. The film is paced well, it moves quickly and is quite efficient, and the production values are decent from start to finish. If this isn't the world's most original film, it doesn't matter - Man's Best Friend is well done and it makes for a good time at the movies.

    Man's Best Friend - Blu-ray Review:

    Man's Best Friend comes to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory in a 1.85.1 widescreen transfer in AVC encoded 1080p high definition on a 50GB disc in a very solid presentation taken from a 'new 2k scan of original film elements.'. There's a bit of minor print damage early in the film but nothing to complain about after that. Detail definitely surpasses what DVD provided and skin tones look fine. Black levels are good and color reproduction is very nice. The transfer is free of noticeable compression problems, edge enhancement or noise reduction issues, retaining a natural amount of noticeable film grain.

    The film is given DTS-HD tracks on 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound with optional subtitles offered in English only. The 5.1 mix is a thinner than the stereo track but it spreads out the score and the effects rather well while keeping most of the dialogue right up front. Neither track has any noticeable hiss or distortion and there's reasonable depth throughout.

    The main extra on the disc is a commentary track with director John Lafia which, unfortunately, suffers from some rather massive gaps of silence. When he's on, he's interesting enough and speaks with fondness about working on the picture. He occasionally shares some amusing anecdotes about the cast and crew he was involved with and tells some behind the scenes stories. This one might have been better with a moderator on board to keep him engaged in the talk.

    Aside from that we get a trailer for the feature, a teaser spot, a TV spot, menus and chapter selection.

    Man's Best Friend - The Final Word:

    Man's Best Friend is a bit derivative, sure, but that never diminishes its entertainment value. Some impressive effects set pieces and kills scenes help this stand out and the cast are fun to watch. Shout! Factory's Blu-ray release is light on extras but it does look and sound quite nice. Recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized Man's Best Friend screen caps!





























    Posting comments is disabled.

Latest Articles

Collapse

  • The Munsters (Universal Studios) Blu-ray Review
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane


    Released by: Universal Studios
    Released on: September 27th, 2022.
    Director: Rob Zombie
    Cast: Jeff Daniel Phillips, Sheri Moon Zombie, Cassandra Peterson, Richard Brake
    Year: 2022
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Munsters – Movie Review:

    Written and directed by Rob Zombie, the 2022 incarnation of The Munsters was the subject of almost instant internet scorn the moment the trailer was released online a few months back. Now that the movie
    ...
    09-26-2022, 11:50 AM
  • The Cramps: Live At The Napa State Mental Hospital (MVD) DVD Review
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane


    Released by: MVD
    Released on: February 10th, 2004.
    Director: Joe Rees
    Cast: The Cramps
    Year: 1978
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Cramps: Live At The Napa State Mental Hospital – Movie Reviews:

    You’d be hard pressed to think of a band better suited to give a free show at a mental hospital in 1978 than The Cramps.

    The band formed in an NYC apartment in 1976, shortly after lead vocalist Lux Interior picked up a hitchhiking
    ...
    09-23-2022, 04:28 PM
  • The Black Fables / Dark Swamp (Darkside Releasing) Blu-ray Review
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane


    Released by: Darkside Releasing
    Released on: September 27th, 2022.
    Director: Rodrigo Aragão, Petter Baiestorf, Joel Caetano, José Mojica Marins / Rodrigo Aragão
    Cast: José Mojica Marins, Walderrama Dos Santos, Kika Oliveira, André Lobo
    Year: 2015/2008
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Black Fables/Dark Swamp – Movie Review:

    Darkside Releasing offers up a double dose of reasonably modern horror pictures from the Brazilian indie horror scene
    ...
    09-23-2022, 12:59 PM
  • Dead North (Saturn’s Core) Blu-ray Review
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane


    Released by: Saturn’s Core
    Released on: September 27th, 2022.
    Director: Gary Whitson, Sal Longo
    Cast: Clancy McCauley, Aven Warren, Terri Lewandowski, Tom Beschler
    Year: 1991
    Purchase From Amazon

    Dead North – Movie Review:

    Co-directed by Gary Whitson and Sal Longo for their own W.A.V.E. Productions in 1991, Dead North takes place, as all good W.A.V.E. Productions do, in the suburbs of the great state of New Jersey. Here we meet
    ...
    09-23-2022, 12:53 PM
  • Evil Dead Trap 2: Hideki (Unearthed Films) Blu-ray Review
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane


    Released by: Unearthed Films
    Released on: September 27th, 2022.
    Director: Isou Hashimoto
    Cast: Youko Nakagima, Rie Kondou, Shirou Sano
    Year: 1991
    Purchase From Amazon

    Evil Dead Trap 2: Hideki – Movie Review:

    This 1991 sequel (really in name only) to the first Evil Dead Trap film from 1988 will appeal to those who enjoyed the truly weird cinema that the Japanese do so well. High on atmosphere, less so on logic, it’s a nicely
    ...
    09-22-2022, 12:23 PM
  • Hong Kong Godfather (Funimation) DVD Review
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane


    Released by: Funimation
    Released on: April 27th, 2010.
    Director: 'Johnny' Wang Lung-wei
    Cast: Shek Kin, Leung Kar-yan, Norman Chu, Pomson Shi
    Year: 1991
    Purchase From Amazon

    Hong Kong Godfather – Movie Reviews:

    Directed by 'Johnny' Wang Lung-wei, Hong Kong Godfather has been available on DVD as a poor quality (and edited) bootleg from Bonzai Media but receives its first official DVD release in a nicely restored uncut transfer
    ...
    09-22-2022, 12:19 PM
Working...
X