Dudes - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Dudes

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    Movie: :3.5stars:
    Video: :3.5stars:
    Audio: :3.5stars:
    Extras: :4stars:
    Final Score: :3.5stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    Wow. I honestly never thought I would see the day that Dudes ever came out on home video again. A whacked out indie film from 1987, it was one of those bizarre niche films that just never gained public attraction, and the VHS back in 1989 was about the only time that the film would see the list of day. The big, massive, DVD era saw fit to pass over the movie for distribution, leaving the fans disappointed that they would ever see the movie again besides a late night cable TV marathon. Now, 28 years after the VHS hit Blockbuster shelves, Shout Factory has resurrected the cult classic and given it new life with a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack that comes with a TON of extras, and belongs to their “Shout Select” line.

    Dudes is what happens when you try and blend 4 different genres together with not a care in the world. Directed by Wayne’s World creator, Penelope Spheeris, the movie blends together a punk rock road trip, with a revenge story, a western, AND a ghost story in big giant blender of fun. New York punk rockers Grant (Jon Cryer), Biscuit (Daniel Roebuck) and Milo (Flea, the bassist from Red Hot Chili Peppers) are getting sick of their meager existence in the city of big lights. Deciding to take a road trip out to Californian, the trio of friends get in over their head when they get bushwhacked by a gang of racist, redneck outlaws who just want to cause trouble. While Grant and Biscuit are able to get away, Milo catches a bullet to the brain.

    Livid at their friend’s death, Grant and Biscuit vow to hunt down the gang that killed their best friend, and set out on an epic adventure in the south west for justice. Along the way they run into beautiful Jessie (Catherine Mary Stewart), a truck driver with a sympathetic bone who gives the boys some help in their quest. A stunt man, bull fighting, Elvis impersonator named Daredelvis (Pete Wilcox), an ancient cowboy ghost who seems to be steering them in the right direction, and a whoooooooooooole heap of trouble in their search for justice.
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    Dudes is a ridiculous story, and its one that just revels in its own ridiculousness. The movie has the camaraderie of Waynes World, the lunacy of Buckaroo Banzai, and the fun of both rolled into one. The movie doesn’t make a whole lot of effort at creating a film that will appeal to your average blockbuster audience, but is pure indie action/comedy to the core. The 4 differing genres that it exploits and blends together in the big directorial mixer SOMEHOW actually work together. Punk rockers with a punk rock score traipse their way through the modern west, gain an Indian spirit guide possessing one of them, and ropes in old fashioned six shooters and the fun of a road trip all in one 90 minute feature film. Honestly, I have no idea WHY it works. The actual machinations and inner workings of the movie elude me, but Dudes is a crazy fun time that just doesn’t take itself too seriously.

    Jon Cryer is a BABY in this film, clocking in at just over 22 years of age (he looks like he’s 16 I swear) and he takes the lead of Grant with admirable alacrity. The stunningly beautiful Catherine Mary Stewart doesn’t get as much time on screen as I would have liked, but her adorable personality and vivacious spirit add a charm and sweetness to the film that mellows out the harsh punk vibe. Lee Ving (Streets of Fire, Clue) hams it up as the evil villain Missoula, and Daniel Roebuck finishes out the main cast as the lovable, but goofy Biscuit (he gets his name from munching on dog biscuits). While this isn’t a giant blockbuster, or even a legendary classic, Dudes a cult genre film that is a rare treat if you’re looking for something different.




    Rating:

    Rated R by the MPAA



    Video: :3.5stars:
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    Obscure as it is, Dudes actually looks rather good on Blu-ray. The film doesn’t appear to have been given a new 2K or 4K remaster or restoration (and there has been no announcement of one) but the old 1987 film doesn’t look bad at all. Clarity is usually pretty sharp and the dusty and grungy look of the punk rock western shows more than enough detail though the nice layer of 80s grain. Colors are good, with nice saturation for primary colors, with a sandy grading that keeps it looking dusty and slightly dirty. I’d ALMOST rate it a 4/5 for video quality had it not been for some random speckles, dirt and other minor print damage knocking it down to a 3.5/5. A very solid presentation for a forgotten film that looks better than I ever imagined it would considering it hasn’t been on home video since VHS days.





    Audio: :3.5stars:
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    The DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo track also fares about as well as the video encode. Dudes was a low budget action comedy back in the 80s, and it doesn’t appear to have had a stellar recording to go off of. Vocals are satisfactory and clear of most problems, but it can be a bit harsh and echoey at times. Especially when people are yelling. The punk rock and rockabilly score actually sound the most impressive, filling out the two front channels with raucous music, and the scratchy and mildly harsh tone to vocals actually fit the rawness of the musical style enough so that it isn’t distracting. LFE is minimal, and naturally surrounds don’t get a whole lot of work, but it’s a solid sounding track that works for the low budget indie flick.




    Extras: :4stars:
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    • Jon Cryer interviewed by Penelope Spheeris
    • Flea Interviewed by Penelope Spheeris
    • Catherine Mary Stewart Interview
    • Daniel Roebuck interviewed by Penelope Spheeris
    • J. Randall Johnson and Miguel Tejada-Flores Interview
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Vintage Featurette – Making of Dudes
    • Photo Gallery







    Final Score: :3.5stars:


    Dudes is one of the kookiest and most insane adventures to come out of the 80s. Jon Cryer, Mohawks, gun fights, Native American ghost stories, and rednecks all rolled into one crazy road trip. I’m honestly shocked to see the film ever hit ANY form of home media since it was released on VHS. Being the first time it has been released in over 20+ years, Shout Factory has given it the deluxe treatment in terms of packaging. A nice new cover, a Blu-ray AND a DVD (for the first time), and a whole ton of extras that are above and beyond what the film was ever expected to have. Audio and video don’t appear to have had any restoration or remastering done, but they are more than serviceable for the job. Dudes IS a bit of an acquired taste, but it’s a fun little action comedy that succeeds by not trying to be anything more than it is. Fun watch.




    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Jon Cryer, Daniel Roebuck, Flea
    Directed by: Penelope Spheeris
    Written by: Randall Jahnson
    Aspect Ratio
    : 1.78:1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 2.0
    Studio: Shout Factory
    Rated: R
    Runtime: 90 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: October 10th, 2017







    Recommendation: Fun Watch

     
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  2. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    I have zero recollection of this flick... and I'm not sure if I could sit through this genre. Maybe Saturday afternoon half awake / half nap material?
     
  3. tripplej

    tripplej Senior AV Addict

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    Thanks for the review. Will check this out once available on amazon prime or netflix.
     
  4. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    haha, it was a strange bird even back in 1987. One of those films that just slid under the radar back then even though it was done by Penelope Spheeris
     
  5. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Penelope....??....who?

    ;-)

    Black Sheep... wasn't that Chris Farley film? Some karate involved?
     
  6. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    lol, yup, back when Chris Farley and David Spade were king of the 90s
     
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