• Omega Syndrome (Scorpion Releasing) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Scorpion Releasing
    Released on: January 7th, 2020.
    Director: Joseph Manduke
    Cast: Ken Wahl, George DiCenzo, Xander Berkeley, Nicole Eggert, Doug McClure, Colm Meaney
    Year: 1986
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    Omega Syndrome – Movie Review:

    Ken Wahl never really climbed into the upper echelon of eighties action icons but he did have a pretty fun run through the eighties, starring in B-action pictures like The Soldier and The Taking Of Beverly Hills and he played the lead on Wiseguy from 1987 through 1990 when it was cancelled. In this 1986 picture, directed by Joseph Manduke, Wahl’s character is Jack Corbett, is a former military man who now works as a hard-drinking reporter. His daughter, Jessie (Nicole Eggert), lives with her grandparents after her mother passed away, but Jack very much values their relationship even if he isn’t likely to win father of the year any time soon.

    When he takes Jessie out one weekend, they stop off at a store when a gang of bad guys – Neo-Nazis, actually - in a paneled station wagon with the ‘Omega’ sign emblazoned on the side pull up. We know these guys are bad because we saw them murder a couple in the opening scene – it seems that they’re led by a dangerous escaped convict. They rob the joint and take Jessie hostage on their way out. Jack goes to the cops but after meeting with Detective Milnor (Doug McClure), he figures the fuzz aren’t going to be much help – and he’s right. Running out of time, Jack hits up his old pal Philadelphia 'Phil' Horton (George DiCenzo), a weapons expert, and they head out into the streets, heavily armed, to try and track down Jessie’s captors.

    Of course, as they eventually bust enough heads and kick enough ass to actually get some info, the clock starts ticking and they find themselves in the inevitable race against time to get Jessie back before the bad guys do something even worse than they’ve already done. As this is going on, an Omega member named Yo-Yo (Xander Berkeley) convinces Sean (Colm Meaney) to speed up that bomb he needs so that he can hold the entire city of Los Angeles hostage.

    Omega Syndrome isn’t even close to the most original action movie of the eighties, in fact, as far as its story goes, it’s pretty much a ‘by the numbers’ affair. The script by John Sharkey populates its world with cliché situations and the types of characters that we’ve seen before, often played out by better actors than we get with this cast. That said, the movie isn’t bad. If you’ve got a soft spot for B-grade eighties action pictures, the film will scratch that itch. Yes, you know where it’s all headed and how it’s going to get there but the movie is a fun ride regardless. The bad guys are about as goofy as they come (they really do ride around in a paneled station wagon!) but they’re fun to watch and Ken Wahl makes for a pretty charismatic lead. He and DiCenzo have decent chemistry here and it’s fun to see them perform together. The movie also features Nicole Eggert before she’d go on to Baywatch, and a supporting performance from none other than Xander Berkely. Throw in an aging Doug McClure as a grumpy cop and, well, the cast shapes up better than you might expect it to, and hey, check it out, Colm Meaney shows up here too.

    This was made on a low budget so don’t expect much in the way of action spectacle, but there’s a few decent shoot-outs, some car chases and a reasonably solid assortment of chaotic moments scattered throughout the picture. Sets and locations are limited but effective. No one is reinventing the wheel here but it works!

    Omega Syndrome – Blu-ray Review:

    Omega Syndrome arrives on Blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing on a 25GB disc in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.78.1 widescreen. The feature takes up just under 23GBs of space on the disc. The transfer is quite good. Detail definitely surpasses what DVD would have been able to provide. Colors look nice and the image is stable, showing no noticeable print damage. There are also no problems to note with any compression issues, edge enhancement or noise reduction.

    Audio chores are handled by a 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 mix, in English, and it sounds fine. Subtitles are provided in English. No problems with the audio at all, the track is nice and clean with crisp dialogue and properly balanced levels.

    The only extra on the disc, aside from menus and chapter selection, is a trailer for the feature and bonus trailers for Stand Alone, Talking Walls, Covergirl, The Killing Time and Toy Soldiers.

    Omega Syndrome – The Final Word:

    Omega Syndrome is a fun watch and Scorpion’s Blu-ray release, while light on extras, offers this entertaining B-action in nice shape. Recommended!

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