A few words about…™ Vice Squad – in Blu-ray

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

12 Comments

  1. Robert Harris

    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…

  2. 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).

  3. Bob Cashill

    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? 😀

  4. Colin Jacobson

    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.

  5. Colin Jacobson

    Kubrick directed "Tarzan"??? :eek::eek::eek:

    Actually. Stanley Kubrick and David Lean directed nearly everything that was filmed on the other side of the pond; even without being on the actual set.;)

  6. PMF

    Actually. Stanley Kubrick and David Lean directed nearly everything that was filmed on the other side of the pond;
    even without being on the actual set.;)

    There’s an entire chapter in Kevin Brownlow’s wonderful book on Lean, that delves into the moon landing, being shot at Shepperton.

  7. Colin Jacobson

    Kubrick directed "Tarzan"??? :eek::eek::eek:

    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

  8. Brian Husar

    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.

  9. Robert Harris

    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.

  10. Robert Harris

    And precisely why Greystoke, which I saw in an early test screening, looked superb in 70mm.

    I'm curious as to why this would be the case, since with Super 35, less negative area is utilised, which would make grain appear larger, wouldn't it?

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