The Odd Angry Shot (1979) Blu-ray Review: The Occasionally Aggressive Movie

Further proof Australia may, in fact, actually exist.
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While the various horrors in Southesast Asia were rarely ever touched upon by any significantly major movie studios during the Vietnam War itself - with many a World War II or Korean War flick made in order to passively "commentate" on the ongoing battles between countries - it wasn't until it was all said and done with that anyone really started to make movies about it. And make movies, they did. In the late '70s alone, moviegoers witnessed powerful tales of madness such as Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter - both of which were created by American filmmakers who were still raging over the heated controversy that still surrounds the war to this day. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, a couple of Aussies decided to tell their side of the story.

Yes, those of you who went to school in the United States, that's right: Oz was also involved in the Vietnam War. It may also interest you to know that - in addition to being the home of the Wonderful Wizard - Australia does, in fact, exist - and is not some magical land of fiction like, say, Wyoming.

Granted, according to Tom Jeffrey's 1979 film, The Odd Angry Shot, the contributions to the Vietnam War effort courtesy Australia's finest soldiers were limited to little more than being stationed in Asia, drinking Foster's, wearing horrific shades of anachronistic pink with their combat fatigues, drinking more Foster's, playing cards, pitting arachnids against scorpions, smoking, drinking (Foster's again), joking about (with both the Yankee troops and each other), and - perhaps the biggest dilemma of all - dealing with athlete's foot. Oh, and yes, they take The Odd Angry Shot against the bad guys. But not often.

As a war film, this one leaves a bit to be desired. But of course, that's OK. Frankly, it's nice to see something different for a change from a war film subgenre that has been oversaturated with bloodshed. It has its moments of drama, yes (and a nifty nightmare sequence) - but, for the most part, The Odd Angry Shot is something of a weird, passive movie. And again, that's perfectly fine. The fact that this one features Australia's inimitable Graham Kennedy and Bryan Brown makes it that much more enjoyable.

Providing you aren't looking for combat, that is.

After barely making its money back at the imaginary box office of Oz, The Odd Angry Shot quickly turned into a legend itself - leaving Synapse Films to ride a magical hot-air balloon across the Yellow Brick Road in order to bring us this one. And, when you consider this movie hails from a non-existent place - and, therefore, does not technically exist itself - the result is quite astounding. With the exception of the fact that the cast is so youthful, slim, or - at best - alive (to say nothing of the dated fashions and hairstyles) The Odd Angry Shot looks like it could have been shot (no pun intended) yesterday. The colors are as bright and beautiful as can be, while the detail is as fine as that aforementioned article of pink clothing.

The main feature is presented in a 1080p/AVC transfer and in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, while the accompanying DTS-HD MA English 2.0 Mono soundtrack delivers ever bad joke and beer top popping with crystal clarity. Sadly, English subtitles are not included, so I had no idea what these mythical munchkin folk were really saying - seeing as how they speak in some weird gibberish talk. Special features for this one include an audio commentary by producer/director Tom Jeffrey, who is joined by producer Sue Milliken and actor Graeme Blundell; a featurette entitled "Stunts Down Under"; and the original (Australian) theatrical trailer. The All-Region Blu-ray release also comes with reversible cover art (though, for the record, both covers make the film look like a hardcore action flick).

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