• The Killing Time (Scorpion Releasing) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Scorpion Releasing
    Released on: February 11th, 2020.
    Director: Rick King
    Cast: Beau Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Wayne Rogers, Joe Don Baker, Camelia Kath, Janet Carroll, Michael Madsen
    Year: 1987
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    The Killing Time – Movie Review:

    When this film by Rick King opens, a nameless drifter (Kiefer Sutherland) kills a man named Brian Mars outside of a small California town and assumes his identity, heading into the town to take on a new job as a deputy working under Sheriff Carl Cunningham (Joe Don Baker). Around the time that ‘Brian’ shows up, Carl is getting ready to retire and hand over control of the department to Sam Wayburn (Beau Bridges).

    Sam’s biggest problem seems to be the need to do away with the local pot farmer, Stu (Michael Madsen), but he’s got other things on his mind, like his former flame Laura (Camelia Kath). Unfortunately for Sam, she’s moved on and tied the knot with wealthy asshole Jake Winslow (Wayne Rogers). While Jake’s goal to make a real estate deal big enough to turn the town into a major resort might seem like a decent idea to some, the fact of the matter is that he’s abusive to his wife and Laura needs help dealing with this. When she tries to take him out herself and fails, she falls in with Sam again and he decides to take matters into his own hands. His plan? To use ‘Brian’s’ sidearm to take Jake out, letting the new recruit take the fall for the killing. Unfortunately for Sam and Laura, ‘Brian’ is no fool and quickly figures out what they’re up to.

    A reasonably well-paced, noir-inspired thriller, The Killing Time is a bit on the predictable side but made interesting by a really strong cast. Kiefer Sutherland, only twenty when he made this movie, is very well cast in his role, crafting and interesting, suspicious and occasionally genuinely intimidating character to play. Supporting work from Joe Don Baker and Michael Madsen is appreciate, they’re both pretty good here, while Beau Bridges and Camelia Kath turn in very good work here as well, Kath in particular (who was married to Sutherland at one point) turns in solid work as the de facto femme fatale in the film.

    The script gets a bit messy in spots and the direction is decent if not quite as stylish as you might hope it to be at times. Production values are more than adequate, with good locations used and a fine score helping to add tension to the proceedings. This never quite takes off the way that it could and should have but the acting is strong enough throughout that the picture will be able to keep most viewers engaged without any problems.

    The Killing Time – Blu-ray Review:

    The Killing Time is brought to Blu-ray in a 1.78.1 widescreen transfer taking up just over 22GBS of space on the 25GB disc and taken from a ‘new 2019 master’ and it looks a bit on the soft side. There’s still a lot more appreciable fine detail and texture here than there would be on a DVD release but don’t expect a reference quality image. Colors look good here however, and the image is clean, showing only the occasional white speck now and then, with a natural amount of film grain present throughout. There are no problems here with any noise reduction or edge enhancement and the disc is free of obvious compression artifacts.

    English language audio is provided in 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 with optional English subtitles and it sounds really good. Dialogue is always easy to understand and perfectly clear. The levels are nicely balanced and there are no noticeable issues at all with any hiss or distortion. No complaints here.

    Extra are limited to a trailer for the feature, trailers for a few other Scorpion Releasing properties, menus and chapter selection.

    The Killing Time – The Final Word:

    The Killing Time is a decent enough thriller made more interesting by a strong cast. Scorpion’s Blu-ray looks okay, if never amazing, but the audio is strong even if the disc is light on extras. Not an essential release, but not a waste of time or money either. How’s that for a like warm recommendation?

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