• Loveless, The



    Released by: Blue Underground
    Released on: 11/16/2004
    Director: Kathryn Bigelow, Monty Montgomery
    Cast: Willem Dafoe, Robert Gordon, Marin Kanter
    Year: 1982
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    The Movie:

    Willem Dafoe’s feature debut finds him playing a leather clad motorcycle punk named Vance, who sets off from New York City to meet up with some prison buddies in a small town somewhere in the deep south. Once they hook up, they’re going to haul ass down to Daytona to ‘watch’em howl’ but one of the bikers breaks the chain on his hog and the gang ends up stuck in the podunk little town until they can get it fixed.

    While they’re biding their time until the repairs can be made at a local garage, Vance flirts with a waitress who turns out to be a stripper, copulates with an underage girl who drives a Corvette only to get busted by her pervert father, and drives around on his bike a lot. Unfortunately for Vance and his crew, the locals, well the male locals specifically, don’t take much of a liking to their kind and they see them as lowlifes, scumbags, and even ‘commies.’

    Full of instantly quotable dialogue (“We’re going nowhere…. fast!), The Loveless is a slow, dreamy film that bears little resemblance to co-director Kathryn Bigelow’s best known film, Near Dark (save for some brief similarities in the ending). It owes more to the juvenile delinquent/motorcycle gangs of the fifties, the decade in which the film is set, than any modern horror film. Teaming up with Bigelow

    Dafoe and rockabilly artist Robert Gordon (who also provides a few musical numbers on the films soundtrack) are great as the two main biker boys, supplying their parts with equal amounts of menace and cool. The constantly slicked back hair and the penchant for leather is quite over the top and cliché but fits the characters somehow, as they seem far more interested in engines and wheels than the local female populace who seem to be fascinated by the bad boy images they carry.

    For all its technical proficiency (the film looks great), oddball characters and strange androgenous moments (when Vance is on top of the girl in the bedroom the two look almost indistinguishable), The Loveless does suffer slightly in the pacing department. The movie takes a good twenty minutes before it really gets going and even then it still creeps along. Ultimately though, the cool factor makes it worth checking out and it’s an interesting film despite its shortcomings.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen image looks quite sharp. Though there is some print damage and some grain present throughout the film, the image remains strong and detailed. Colors look very nice and there aren’t any problems with mpeg compression. Flesh tones look natural and colors don’t bleed into each other at all. Overall, this is a very nice transfer.

    Blue Underground gives The Loveless a brand new Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Mix and also presents the original Dolby Digital Mono mix on the DVD as well. The 5.1 mix fills in the background with the film’s score and provides some nice directional action during a couple of scenes but is pretty laid back for the most part. The mono is, well, mono and it sounds just fine. Neither track has any hiss present and both sound clean and clear.

    Willem Dafoe, Kathryn Bigelow and Monty Montgomery we recorded for a brand new full length audio commentary track that covers quite a bit of background information on the soundtrack as well as a lot of scene specific information. Blue Underground’s David Gregory moderates it and keeps it moving at a decent pace and while there isn’t a whole lot of groundbreaking information in it, it does give a pretty decent ‘overall’ look at the making of the movie and it’s cast and crew.

    Rounding out the extra features are a massive still gallery and the film’s original theatrical trailer.

    The Final Word:

    The Loveless is a slow, slice of life film that works based more on the ‘cool’ factor and atmosphere more than anything else. Blue Underground does their usual fine job with the DVD release.