Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Alligator: Korean DVD review

Just a helpful tip for anyone looking it up: the Korean DVD of Alligator (written by John Sayles, starring Robert Forster as a cop hunting an oversized alligator in the Chicago sewer system) is actually much cooler than it appears from the item listings on eBay. The sellers there, following the box for the DVD, list the aspect ratio as fullscreen (4:3 or 1:33 or whatever), but in fact, this is because the default setting for the film is stretched (not panned and scanned); if you adjust your TV to widescreen format, you get a proper widescreen presentation. The colours aren't great - bluish and muted, with a b-grade image, typical of a somewhat unsung 1980's b-movie - but if you have fondness for the film (which well should, since Alligator is an even better Jaws knockoff than Joe Dante's Piranha, also written by Sayles, and has surprisingly good alligator effects) it's well worth picking up, 'specially since the Region 1 DVD is OOP and generally a lot pricier than the Korean version.

By the way, generally speaking Korean DVDs are one of the best ways to get budget presentations of classics, cult movies, and arthouse films that tend to be pricy or long unavailable over here. They don't appear to be obvious bootlegs, of the sort that used to come out of China, and generally (the occasional odd glitch in the English on the box art) are pretty nicely presented, if somewhat bare-bones. The only caveat: anything with sexual content or male genitalia may be censored! I had a Korean Cannibal Holocaust for awhile (which I've since sold, since it's a disgusting piece of shit non-film, in my opinion) that had optical fogging on the genitals but all the gore intact... 

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