Released by: Blue Underground
Released on: June 30th, 2015.
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Cast: Henry Silva, Timothy Brent, Mark Gregory, Valeria D'Obici, Paolo Malco
Year: 1983 Purchase From Amazon
Trash is back! Mark Gregory rides again in this sequel to 1990: The Bronx Warriors. When the movie begins, Henry Clark (Ennio Girolami), the leader of the GC Corporation, wants to return The Bronx from its ‘no man’s land’ status to a part of New York City proper. In fact, he basically wants to bulldoze it and start over, rebuilding it into a veritable paradise on Earth. In order to do that, however, he’s going to have to get rid of the people who currently call it home… people like Trash and his biker gang buddies.
While Clark, on the surface at least, offers to relocate anyone who needs it to the lovely state of New Mexico, what he’s really done here is hire a mercenary named Floyd Wrangler (Henry Silva) to lead a deadly squadron of hired killers to head into the boogie down borough and kill anyone who won’t get out of the way, and maybe even a few who will. Trash isn’t going to stand for that – NO WAY! Helping the cause is a guy named Dablone (Antonio Sabato), he’s turned the underground parts of The Bronx into a bit of a safe haven for those trying to get away from Wrangler and his goons. They’re going to hang out underground and wait... patiently… for the right time to strike!
When Wrangler’s crew takes out Trash’s mom and dad, he decides that this time, it’s personal. He reunites the gangs to rally against Wrangler while, a few miles south, a reporter named Moon Grey (Valeria D'Obici) is digging up dirt on Clark and his corporate stooges. Soon enough, she’s teaming up with Trash and Dablone to work alongside a guy named Strike (Giancarlo Prete) kidnap Clark and force the GC Corporation and Wrangler get out of The Bronx while they still can.
Action packed and plenty dumb, Escape From The Bronx loses a Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson but gains a Henry Silva so for some of us, that’s a win (in a perfect movie we’d have had both of them). Never mind that this one recycles a lot of stuff leftover from 1990: The Bronx Warriors, because this movie gives you Silva running around like a crazed madman trying to kill a guy who looks like he walked out of a Manowar video. Have you ever seen a Manowar video? If not, you should. Silva is a blast to watch here. He’s only got one setting, and that’s full on angry guy mode. He yells at everyone all the time and his eyes periodically look like they’re going to pop out of his head. You wouldn’t want to mess with him, unless you were Mark Gregory, in which case you would. Our oily, musclebound hunk of a hero doesn’t really do any better in the acting department here than he did in the first picture but he handles himself well enough and he looks the part. Watch out for Antonio Sabato though, because when you least expect it he’ll steal a scene from you. Unless you’re Silva. Nobody steals a scene from Silva.
Castellari makes sure that this one runs fast and hard. It’s a ridiculously violent film, the sort of movie where you can shoot a helicopter out of the sky with a hand gun and where people get shot and/or impaled quite graphically on camera every few minutes. This sequel ups the ante in that regard over the first film, so watch out. Lots of flamethrowers in this one too. Flamethrowers are pretty awesome. Blue Underground presents this one properly framed from start to finish and completely uncut. See it now or regret it later – this is the best of the trilogy by quite a margin (and that’s saying something considering how much fun The New Barbarians and 1990: The Bronx Warriors are!).
Blue Underground presents Escape From The Bronx on Blu-ray in AVC encoded 1080p high definition widescreen framed at 2.35.1. Detail is much stronger than it’s been on past DVD releases and colors look excellent across the board. The disc is only a 25GB platter but it’s free of obvious compression artifacts. The picture is pretty clean, reasonably well detailed and features fairly good texture as well but some scanner noise and sometimes grain looks odd but again, despite this we get a pretty decent upgrade over past DVD releases.
The sole audio option for the disc is a DTS-HD Mono track with optional subtitles provided in English, French and Spanish. The audio here is solid enough. Gun shots have good power behind them as do the revving of the motorcycle engines. Dialogue stays plenty easy to follow throughout.
The extras for this release start off with an audio commentary that once again pairs Castellari with his son Andrea Castellari and moderator David Gregory. It’s a lively, active talk (in English) that goes into some details about the shooting locations, once again working with Mark Gregory but also with Henry Silva, some of the effects and stunts featured in the movie and more.
The disc also includes a pair of featurettes, the first of which is Enzo G. Castellari And Fabrizio De Angelis in Conversation Part 3 (the first two parts are on The New Barbarians and 1990: The Bronx Warriors). This runs just over thirteen minutes and it sees the two men continue their chat. Here they talk about the success of the film and what led to it existing in the first place as well as the casting and the budget. The second featurette is The Hunt For Trash: An Interview with Bronx Warriors Superfan Lance Manley. I this thirteen minute segment Manley talks about his efforts to document the work of the elusive Mark Gregory (he’s more or less disappeared since his brief stint in the Italian film industry) and about his work putting together a website dedicated to the actor and his work.
Rounding out the extras are two trailers for the feature and trailers for The New Barbarians and 1990: The Bronx Warriors, a still gallery, menus and chapter selection. As this is a combo pack release, inside the case alongside the Blu-ray disc is a DVD version of the movie with the same supplements included.
The Final Word:
Blue Underground’s Blu-ray debut for Escape From The Bronx may not offer the world’s greatest transfer but it certainly improves on previous DVD releases quite a bit and on top of that it offers up some genuinely awesome supplements. The movie itself remains a really fun watch – a bit of a trash action classic, really, showing Silva in fine form alongside some great set pieces, mad stunts and deliriously wacky characters.
Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!