Everything that is on the negative appears at full tilt on the new Blu-ray, and it reproduces the look and textures as captured by John Alcott. 4 Stars

Vice Squad, a 1982 film, directed by Gary Sherman, isn’t normally something that I’d suggest people purchase for viewing.

For me, it’s a reminder of what certain sections of Hollywood were like, back in 1981-82.

But it really hasn’t met the test of time.

But for true cinephiles, the importance is beyond cast or story, it’s all about the DP, and how this film, with many sequences apparently shot without the aid of lighting, or at least minimal lighting, were taken by someone already recognized for extraordinary achievments in his field.

Presumably, what has been released by Scream Factory, is a 4k scan of the OCN, which at times is extremely grainy, based upon the lack of light.

Everything that is on the negative appears at full tilt on the new Blu-ray, and it reproduces the look and textures as captured by John Alcott.

Was this a pick-up job between major shoots? Could it have been as a favor to an Avco Embassy exec? I’ve no idea.

But here we have the DP who had worked on 2001, and shot Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining for that gentleman from Brooklyn, living in the UK.

While I’m a fan of Season Hubley, this film is all about John Alcott.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

Colin Jacobson

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
9,909
Everything that is on the negative appears at full tilt on the new Blu-ray, and it reproduces the look and textures as captured by John Alcott.

Was this a pick-up job between major shoots? Could it have been as a favor to an Avco Embassy exec? I've no idea.
In the disc's commentary and interview, director Gary Sherman states that he worked with/was friends with Alcott going back years, so Alcott basically did the film as a favor for a pal...
 

Bob Cashill

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2001
Messages
3,572
Alcott shot TERROR TRAIN and THE BEASTMASTER around the same time. It's not like Kubrick kept him in work all the time (and his post-SHINING credits were pretty much at this level. Gone too soon, alas).
 

Colin Jacobson

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
9,909
Alcott shot TERROR TRAIN and THE BEASTMASTER around the same time. It's not like Kubrick kept him in work all the time (and his post-SHINING credits were pretty much at this level. Gone too soon, alas).
Gee, given the breakneck pace at which Kubrick pumped out movies in the 70s and 80s, why would Alcott need to work with anyone else? :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stephen_J_H

Worth

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
3,659
Real Name
Nick Dobbs
In the disc's commentary and interview, director Gary Sherman states that he worked with/was friends with Alcott going back years, so Alcott basically did the film as a favor for a pal...
He'd also take on work which let him experiment with new techniques - likely why he did this and Terror Train.
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
13,001
Real Name
Robert Harris
Yep and he wanted widescreen but hated anamorphic so he resurrected the ole SuperScope format for the modern day, and the Super 35 format was born. But RAH, I know you know that and you are more of an expert than I am. Lol
And precisely why Greystoke, which I saw in an early test screening, looked superb in 70mm.
 

Brian Husar

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 23, 2006
Messages
422
And precisely why Greystoke, which I saw in an early test screening, looked superb in 70mm.
Actually the 2 Super 35 blow ups to 70mm I remember seeing, looked a hell of alot better than the anamorphic ones. Backdraft and True Lies. Didn’t see Titanic because Chicago didn’t get the 70mm blow up.