Studio: Vinegar Syndrome
Theatrical Release: July 1982
Blu Ray Release: October 7, 2014
Director: Edward D. Murphy
Review by James Klein
What some people call junk, others call it treasure. What some people put in their toilet, others put on their mantle. To me, Raw Force is amazing. I loved every second of this film. However, this may not be everybody’s cup of tea. The production value is minimal, the acting is poor, and the script is hilariously bad. Raw Force would make a Roger Corman film look like a Steven Spielberg production. It’s the kind of film that an 11 year old horny pre-teen would have written. Simply put, Raw Force is not for everyone. But the film is extremely entertaining, fast paced, and very funny. Oh did I mention that there is non stop full frontal female nudity?
Raw Force begins with a bunch of white slave traders (led by a guy who looks and sounds like Hitler) who travel to Warrior Island where they offer their slave women to a bunch of horny monks. The monks in return give the traders several baskets of fresh cut jade. But these monks aren’t as horny as one would think. They believe that young female flesh gives them the power to resurrect the dead.
Meanwhile, the Burbank Kung Fu Club is taking a cruise to see Warrior Island so that they can pay their respects to the memories of the martial artists who have lost their honor and are now buried on the island. The ship is run by Captain Harry Dodds (Cameron Mitchell who looks drunk most of the time) and co-ordinator Hazel Buck (Hope Holiday) who just happen to throw a wild party one night on the ship.
Now, let me stop here for a moment. The party sequence on the boat may be one of the most craziest, funniest and insanest sequences in movie history. If the film abandoned the plot and the rest of the movie was this party sequence, I would be fine with it. There is so much nudity, bad acting, awful 80’s haircuts, and dialogue that will make you wonder who the fuck wrote this. Why is there a family eating spaghetti in the middle of this very adult oriented party? Who is this guy everyone is singing happy birthday to? Why is the bartender smashing ice with his head and screaming while doing so? Why are the women constantly getting nude? None of it makes a lick of sense and ya know what, I’m totally fine with that. This sequence alone is worth purchasing.
While I hate to see a good party end, the slave traders invade the cruise ship and battle several of the crew and passengers in some rather strange and inconsistent fight sequences. What makes them so odd is that one fight sequence will be well choreographed while others are so poorly done, they end up being hilarious (my favorite is this huge fat guy who shows up out of nowhere and takes an axe to his back while screaming, “Ow!”) Forced to abandon ship, the remaining crew drift to Warrior Island where they not only battle the slave traders but also the cannibalistic ninja and samurai zombies.
Vinegar Syndrome’s blu ray looks pretty damn awesome. Raw Force is such an obscure cult film that one normally would expect a subpar presentation. But under the supervision of Vinegar Syndrome, the picture and sound really shine. Sure there is a bit of print damage and some grain but the colors look crisp and the picture is crystal clear. The 1.0 soundtrack sounds fine although I noticed a slight hiss from time to time. But overall, these are very minor complaints.
The special features are good but somewhat lacking as I wanted a longer making of documentary as this only runs less than 15 minutes. Just hearing some of the behind the scenes stories such as Jonathan Winters possibly being in a sequel or director Edward Murphy screening the film for Chuck Norris and then going out for beers after; these stories had me wishing there was an audio commentary track included on the disc. There is also a very short audio interview with the finishing editor, Jim Wynorski (best known for Chopping Mall and Not Of This Earth). Rounding out the special features is the rather long trailer.
Vinegar Syndrome is holding a special Black Friday sale this year where their DVD’s and blu ray’s are 20-50% off. Raw Force is the PERFECT gift for your friend or loved one. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Kudos, Vinegar! This is your finest moment and so far your best release yet.
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