• Dangerously Close

    Released By: Olive Films
    Released On: February 17th, 2015.
    Director: Albert Pyun
    Cast: John Stockwell, J. Eddie Peck, Carey Lowell, Bradford Bancroft
    Year: 1986

    The Film:

    Vista Verde is your typical west-coast, American town; there are the haves, the have-nots, the geeks, the jocks, the punks, the stoners, the rockers....well, you get the picture. Danny is one of the have-nots, living with his single father and working part-time cleaning the pools of the wealthy elite, about as close as he's going to get to that side of the tracks. Making the best of his situation, Danny seems content hanging with his punk rocker friend Krooger, and picking up extracurricular credit as editor of the school newspaper.

    But all is not well at Vista Verde high school. It seems that gangs, drugs, and vandalism are becoming an issue, much to the chagrin of one teacher. In response, he forms "The Sentinels", a group of student enforcers responsible for cleaning up the school. Not content to organize painting parties to cover up offensive graffiti littering the school walls, The Sentinels begin a campaign of harassment to drive the undesirables out of the school. As rumours of their tactics circulate amongst the student population, The Sentinels decide to fight back against their reputation as modern-day fascists by using the school newspaper.

    It's almost a dream come true for Danny, who is taken under the wing of Sentinel leader Randy (John Stockwell) and invited over for dinner to hear his side of the story. Randy shows Danny all of his cool rich-kid stuff, like his M-16, gets him into an exclusive nightclub even though he's underage, and hints at the possibility of getting Danny invited to the "Hunt Down" a Sentinels-run survival game. While it seems like Danny may finally be getting into the big-time, he's forced into an awkward position when his punk rock friend Krooger is labelled as an undesirable. And when a body turns up in the lake, Danny gets a warning from an unlikely friend that Krooger may be next, turning the newspaper editor into an investigative journalist. As he gets close...some might say Dangerously Close...Danny finds that there may be more to The Sentinels than simple harassment, and that he may be the next casualty.

    Dangerously Close is, simply put, an amazing train wreck of a film. It wears its politics on its sleeve like Red Dawn, loudly and obviously. It is hugely unbelievable. The characters are one-sided and lack any depth. There is nothing to look into, no alternate meaning, no interpretation. The direction, the editing, every aspect of the film is loud and abrasive. True to its 80's roots, it rocks bright colours, a bouncy new wave soundtrack, strange audio overdubs and bizarre inserts. The plot is ridiculous, despite the similar vigilante activities going on at the time in Texas...the outcome is even more ridiculous, and there isn't one moment in the film where anyone can connect with anything that's going on in a personal way. The ending contains a paintball gun SHOOTOUT. The paintball guns sound like real guns. Somebody is injured when a paintball hits them in the foot. A masked teenager snipes a car tire with an M16 from a tree. It is amazing that a film like this could ever be made.

    And this is why people the world over are thankful for Cannon Films. Everything that is wrong with Dangerously Close is what makes it so great, what makes so many films that Cannon put out so great. It's not going to win awards for realism, for gritty portrayals of teen life, for anything. It has a great cast, it has not aged well, it carries the same dated trademarks as so many other films of its ilk. It's directed by the same guy who brought you Cyborg, some Kickboxer sequels, and Brain Smasher...A Love Story. In short, it's absolutely ridiculous. And entertaining as hell.


    Olive kicks out another awesome release of a film that you never though would make it to blu-ray, in a 1.85:1 transfer. Despite its low budget and the fact that it's almost thirty years old, Dangerously Close looks good. The picture does display a little dirt and print damage here and there, but otherwise, detail is good.

    The DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 track sounds okay for the most part, but does become problematic here and there. Possibly a product of the budget, the dialogue sounds heavily compressed during some scenes, while other parts have an uncomfortable grating effect, a result of some nasty frequencies that appear to be a product of the source. While it's definitely noticeable when it does happen, it's not frequent or anything that ruins the film.

    Unfortunately, the only extra available is a trailer for the film, which is actually one of the most amazing trailers ever.

    The Final Word:

    What more can I say? If you love those crazy 80's action flicks that most of us grew up with, you'll love Dangerously Close.

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

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Quote Originally Posted by King-Wasp View Post
      Ordered! Your review was the push I was looking for.