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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Airwolf: The Movie


Starring: Jan-Michael Vincent, Ernest Borgnine and Alex Cord
Fabulous Films
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 28 February 2011

When the, new experimental, Airwolf helicopter, is stolen by its megalomaniac inventor, Dr. Charles Henry Moffet (David Hemmings) the Company turns to ex test pilot Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent) to retrieve the machine. With the help of his trusty sidekick, Dominic Santini (Ernest Borgnine) he travels to Libya, where Moffet is using the Helicopter's power to prop up the Gadhafi regime...

Airwolf: The Movie is a film cobbled together from the show's pilot. Its distinguishing elements from the televised version is that this version retains a lot more of the violence, sex and profanity which had been removed. The film has been released on both DVD and Blu-ray, although the contents of both are exactly identical. The show was created by Donald P. Bellisario, who both wrote and directed this movie.

This uncensored version will be a delight for Airwolf fans as well as fans of eighties techno porn. Although, a little slow in pace, compared to a modern action thriller, the piece works fairly well as a movie, albeit a made for television version. It is suitably cheesy, which is a reflection of when it was made, rather than any inherent fault of either the script or acting.

It has been reworked to remove some of the continuity with the series which followed the pilot, so is not exactly the same as the pilot which was released in the box set. Highlighting the increase in sex and profanity had an unexpected laugh out loud moment for me at the start of the story, where for the life of me it looks like the lizard is humping the helicopters wheel - not the sort of smut I was hoping for.

What I didn’t understand was the rationale for producing both a DVD version as well as a Blu-ray, as the two discs contain exactly the same thing, the film and a picture gallery. I can’t even see that the Blu-ray was of any appreciably better picture or audio quality. The print is unrestored, with obvious print dirt, especially at the beginning. Both discs are presented in the original 4:3 aspect ratio with only a DD 2.0 audio track.

So it’s one for the fans really, it was made for television so cannot compete with comparable films of the time. My best advice is that should you want to add this to your collection buy the cheaper DVD version as you’re getting nothing extra by buying the more expensive Blu-ray.


Charles Packer

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