Rustlers' Rhapsody Studio: Paramount Year: 1985 Rated: PG Length: 88 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 remix, English Dolby Surround English Subtitles, English Closed Captioned Special Features: None S.R.P.: $14.99 USD Release Date: May 11, 2004 Written and directed by Hugh Wilson (of Police Academy fame), Rustler’s Rhapsody is a cunningly funny spoof of the old Saturday morning Western Serials - that peculiar brand of low budget, low production value film that the studios stopped making in the 50’s as television took hold in America’s living rooms. The premise of this film, as the narrator points out, is to explore how a “B” movie Western might look if it were made today. Fast Drawin’, Fancy Dressin’, Geetar Playin’, Singing Cowboy and movie matinee idol Rex O’Herlihan (perfectly played by Tom Berenger) rides into town, dressed to the nines in white, and sitting atop his dancing horse Wildflower. His purpose: to defend the town from the Evil Rancher (Andy Griffith) and the Evil Railroad Tycoon (Fernando Rey) - of course. It seems that every town has these characters, and Rex goes from town to town, spreading the word of good and battling Bad Men wherever he goes. Plot? Well, I’ve pretty much summed it up. This movie is about flavor and texture. The plot is irrelevant, and would only serve to get in the way. Don’t expect the overt humor found in Police Academy. This film is more along the lines of The Princess Bride or Briscoe County, Jr., in the way it sells itself. The humor just is - it may not even be the focus of the scene, and every viewing will turn up another laugh. Most of the film isn’t hard-line, knee-slapping funny, either - it’s the kind of film that finds that smile and chuckle inside of you and draws them out. If you miss a joke, it isn’t hammered home. It’s just the way it is. The film also stars Marilu Henner, G.W. Bailey and Sela Ward. The transfer has an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is anamorphically enhanced. The picture has good contrast, with strong black levels and good shadow detail. Detail is acceptable, the image sharp with no overt signs of edge enhancement. Close scrutiny reveals a tiny bit of compression noise in some of the more active scenes. The colors are perfectly saturated and warm. Grain is variably present, but mild. This disc has an excellent stereo track, as well as an excellent 5.1 Dolby Digital remix. There is very good frequency response throughout. LFE is present, but not overactive. There is a wonderful use of directional effects across the front soundstage, and plenty of ambient noise from the rear channels. The musical numbers that kick the film off sound wonderful. This is a bare-bones release. There are no special features. With a suggested retail price of under $15 USD, you’ll likely find this title in your neighborhood bargain bin for around $10. At that price, this is a steal (but don’t steal - that would make you a Bad Person). I recommend this DVD for fans of the western genre, especially those familiar with the old serials.