• Shout At The Devil



    Released by: Shout! Factory/Timeless Media Group
    Released on: October 8th, 2013.
    Director: Peter Hunt
    Cast: Lee Marvin, Roger Moore, Barbara Parkins, Ian Holm
    Year: 1976
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Directed by Peter Hunt in 1976, Shout At The Devil is set in the German controlled part of East Africa just before the beginning of the First World War. Here we meet a drunken Irish tough guy named Colonel Flynn O'Flynn who, along with his right hand man Mohammed (Ian Holm), is doing his damnedest to pilfer as much ivory from the continent as possible in hopes of sneaking it past the German border guards and selling it on the European market at a tidy profit. In order to do this, some sneakiness will be required.

    Enter an Englishman named Sebastian Oldsmith (Roger Moore), who seems at first like an easy target. Flynn coerces Mohammed into letting himself into Sebastian’s room one night in order to steal his passport and his money, effectively stranding him there. Mohammed gets away with it and shortly after Oldsmith finds out that he’s been robbed, Flynn shows up like a knight in shining armor to help him out. Without a whole lot of choice, Oldsmith heads into Africa with Flynn and it’s here that one of the German’s in charge, Fleischer (Reinhard Koldehoff), becomes rightfully suspicious of them. When he catches them in the act, all bets are off and Flynn, Oldsmith and Mohammed find themselves not only in dangerous territory but being relentlessly pursued by Fleischer and his men.

    This is a bit of a mish-mash, mixing up elements of heist movies, chase movies, war movies and good old fashioned adventure films into one enjoyably goofy story. The film does feature some surprisingly graphic footage of elephants at the mercy of ivory hunters, this may put some off, but outside of that this is a movie about tough guys taking on tough guys in the name of fortune and glory. It isn’t a film particularly concerned with realism and Marvin seems, more often than not, to basically be playing himself here but he makes the part work. Who better to play a tough, grizzled, frequently intoxicated guy than he? This is the type of role he was tailor made for and often times type cast as.

    Moore is the polar opposite in many ways. He’s smart and charming and classy in the way that Roger Moore is pretty much always smart and charming and classy. Neither he nor Marvin is really breaking any new ground here, but both are well cast. Supporting work from Ian Holm, puzzlingly cast as a local, and Koldehoff as the main German in charge are solid enough but this movie was made for Marvin and Moore and so it will surprise no one to learn that they get most of the good bits.

    As the story plays out there are some goofy twists and turns, none of which really add a whole lot to the core of the plot (the exception being a bit where Moore’s character falls for Marvin’s hot daughter, played by Barbara Parkins – this does create the expected amount of tension between the two men, as you’d expect it would and leads to a pretty great fist fight between them), but the location photography is great and Hunt manages to stage a few impressive action set pieces. The finale is a good one, it’s action intensive and fairly suspenseful and it wraps up the storyline well and with a fair bit of style too. It’s not the most original film nor the most creative but it lets Marvin and Moore play Marvin and Moore to the hilt, and ultimately that’s a lot of fun to watch.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Shout At The Devil is framed at 1.85.1 widescreen and presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition. The image quality here is pretty nice. Colors are well reproduced and look quite natural while black levels stay strong and deep. There's no obvious noise reduction filtering to note, so skin looks like skin and not wax, and while a natural amount of film grain is present there isn't a whole lot in the way of actual print damage outside of a few specks here and there. This results in a clean, film like image that shows pretty solid detail and texture. There's a little bit of flicker in a few spots but outside of that, this is a nice, sharp image.

    The English language DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track is clean and clear. Range is limited by the original source material but there is some depth here and when the machine guns unload in the action scenes in the last half hour or so of the movie you'll definitely sit up and take notice, particularly in the final shoot out. There are no issues with any hiss or distortion and the dialogue is always easy to understand. The levels are properly balanced so the performers are never buried under the score or sound effects. The score sound quite good here and have some nice resonance in some of the more dramatic moments. Optional subtitles are provided in English only.

    Extras are limited to a still gallery, chapter stops and menus, though as this is a combo pack release a DVD version of the movie is also included.

    The Final Word:

    Shout At The Devil isn’t a masterpiece in action and suspense but it is an entertaining enough movie made even more enjoyable by some great work from Roger Moore and Lee Marvin. Peter Hunt keeps things moving at a reasonable pace and the photography is generally quite nice. The Blu-ray debut from Shout! Factory/Timeless media might be almost completely devoid of extras but it impresses in the audio and video department, making this one recommended for fans of the picture or its two leading men.

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