Cut and Run

Cut and Run

Oh boy...for quite some time I had read about a rarely seen cult shocker from Ruggero Deodato called 'Cut and Run', so when I heard that Anchor Bay planned to give the film a fully uncut DVD release I (like many I would imagine) was quietly excited in anticipation of its release...but would my expectations be met? Let's see...

The film opens in great gung ho manner in the Amazon jungle where the hideout of some drug smugglers is attacked by everyone's favourite bald psycho Michael Berryman (of 'Hills Have Eyes' fame) and his entourage of local natives. They swiftly set about dispatching the smugglers with gory glee and then load their narcotic wares unto a waiting aeroplane commandeered by their leader the twisted evil Colonel Horne (played by Richard Lynch).

The film then cuts to the US where we see a young woman smuggle some drugs into the country hidden in a fake crying baby doll but she doesn't realise that she's been followed by a keen as heck investigative reporter (Lisa Blount) and her amiable sidekick cameraman. Once the girl arrives at the US dealers drug den Blount and her partner call the police then decide to crash the dealers home to get a hot scoop before the cops arrive, but on entering they find the dealers and the woman have been brutally mutilated and the only clue they find is a photograph of the girl (taken in the Amazon) where she is alongside the aforementioned evil Colonel and the reporters missing son!?

Needless to say, the TV News boss sends Blount and her sidekick off into the jungle to try track down the full story on the drug traders and with some hope find evidence of the missing son. Will they find what they're looking for or will they be walking into a jungle hell? To be honest, after 20 minutes or so you'll probably not care!

'Cut and Run' is another of those films that 'on paper' should be a genre gem but in fact in all honesty is a turd in disguise. Although the film kicks off with great gusto in the opening scene it swiftly nose dives into one of the most dreadfully acted ensemble pieces that you're ever likely to see and it is the god awful acting that I can't reinforce enough. What amazes me is that in his introduction to the film director Deodato proudly professes three things...a) this is not a spin off riding on the success of 'Cannibal Holocaust' b) the film stars quality American actors and c) this is not a low budget production. Ok then let's address these points...a) no matter what he says there can be no doubt that this is a lacklustre cash in for the US market on the far superior 'Holocaust's success b) the acting talents of the ensemble cast is wholly cringe inducing and not even worthy of daytime soap opera TV c)sure perhaps the film was not a low budget production but all the cash in the world can't save this dreadful turkey!

Even the normally impressive Claudio Simonetti delivers a mixed bag performance with the films soundtrack which although is one of the films saving graces at times the main theme sounds like a ropey rehash of the Miami Vice soundtrack catering for the 80's US market. There are though one or two other glimmers of hope in this dire production. As well as some of Simonetti's more creative musical moments (the tribal themes), the gore scenes are delightful too (if perhaps too few) but best of all is the showstopping performance by the Richard Lynch who steals the show hands down with an excellent delivery in his role as the psychotic madman Colonel Horne. It's just a shame that the rest of the cast couldn't even come anywhere near as close to his faultless delivery.

Now ok, the film stinks but that doesn't mean to say I grudged watching it - I was just disappointed by what I saw after so much expectation had been built around the fan community. And whether the film is your bag or not there is one thing no one can deny...and that is the fact that this disc from Anchor Bay is a stunning one!

The anarmorphic widescreen print is visual perfection with a gorgeous colourful sharp image that impresses no end. There's optional mono English and Italian audio tracks that sound delightful too and the only real complaint that many folk will have is that Anchor Bay claimed that when restoring the film in its fully uncut form there were scenes only available in Italian language (with no English audio existing) but as many will know there are indeed a few English language variations available released both in Europe and Asia. One would have to question whether or not Anchor Bay spent much time tracking down these English audio variations and even if they lifted the audio from a VHS tape I'm sure some tweaking in the mixing room would make even that option a far more acceptable one than not at all? Then again, a few brief minutes of Italian audio subtitled into English isn't gonna ruin your disbelief at this trashy piece of genre cinema anyway!

Also included on the disc is an entertaining short (16 minutes) featurette 'Uncut and Run' where various key folk involved in the production discuss the film (with kudos going to writer Dardano Sacchetti for his openness and honesty about it all). The films Theatrical trailer also is included and successfully makes the film appear a lot better than it really is! (And what about the discs cover image? Anchor Bay need a new design team urgently!)

I'm sure some folk out there will derive some sort of pleasure from this cash-in clunker - if 'Cannibal Holocaust' by way of 'Miami Vice' is your thing then come on in! The disc from Anchor Bay is simply stunning - just a shame about the film!

Review by Alan Simpson

Released by Anchor Bay USA
Not Rated - Region 1 (NTSC)
Running time - 90m
Ratio - Widescreen 1.85:1 (anarmorpic)
Audio - Dolby digital 2.0 (optional English & Italian)
Extras :
Featurette 'Uncut and Run', Theatrical trailer, Bio pages.