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Fox Lorber presents
The Ravagers (1965)

"Sister Lucilla, try to control yourself. And if you can't manage that, please, at least close your mouth."
- Mother Superior (Kristina Scott)

Review By: Daniel Hirshleifer   
Published: January 11, 2002

Stars: John Saxon, Fernando Poe, Jr., Bronwyn Fitzsimons, Robert Arevalo, Mike Parsons
Other Stars: Jose Dagumboy, Vic Diaz, Kristina Scott, Vic Silayan
Director: Eddie Romero

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence)
Run Time: 01h:19m:34s
Release Date: December 04, 2001
UPC: 720917529929
Genre: war

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
D FD-D- D-

DVD Review

I think there should be an adage: "For every good film released, twenty-five bad ones are released along with it." Lord knows, for every good war film ever released, there are scores upon scores of bad ones that get lost in the wasteland of late-night TV. Some of these films don't even make it to that ill-begotten realm, as is the case with The Ravagers. Made in 1965 and practically buried since its initial theatrical release, it's finally making its way to DVD. I think when bad obscure World War II films make it to DVD, you know a format has really made it.

The story concerns the remainders of a Japanese contingent on a Philippine island, and the Philippino revolutionaries who want them out. The Japanese take over a convent and make it their new headquarters, much to the chagrin of the nuns, who are hiding an American girl. Meanwhile, both the Japanese and the revolutionaries are looking for a massive treasure hidden on the island.

The plot of The Ravagers is really a paper thin excuse for several actions sequences that seem to happen for no other reason than the revolutionaries and Japanese are on the same island. There is a plot, and several scenes occur which seem to pertain to the plot, but they make little sense and are usually interrupted pretty quickly by a battle or fight of some kind. Not that those fights are necessarily a bad thing, as the acting is terrible through and through. At times it's laughably bad, but sometimes it gets to the groan-inducing point. It's the kind of acting that you see parodied so often when people make fun of bad kung fu movies.

That being said, some of the battle sequences are a lot of fun to watch. While they might not make much sense, sometimes you just want to watch people bash and shoot each other into oblivion for no obvious reasons, other than they're at war. Another interesting thing to note is that one of the characters looks like he ran off the set of Querelle to join this flick. In the end, I can't imagine anyone buying this, even though it has some schlock value and a couple of exciting moments.

Rating for Style: D
Rating for Substance: F


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The Ravagers looks like it's been ravaged (sorry, even I didn't think that was funny). It's too dark by half. There is one scene where the shot is so dark that all you can see are two pinpricks of light at the top of the frame. And as you see this shot, the music flares up, meaning something dramatic and important is happeningÉand you can't make heads or tails of it. It's either an artistic masterpiece or a bad transfer. The exterior scenes generally looked better than the interiors, although even those could get really muddy.

Image Transfer Grade: D-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The sound is quite awful. The worst is the dialogue, where there is a massive amount of hissing with each spoken word. It's even more noticeable because when there is no dialogue or score, the soundtrack is completely silent. And then someone opens their mouth and you hear an earful of hiss. The score gets better treatment, although when it really picks up it gets highly distorted.

Audio Transfer Grade: D-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Fighting Rats of Tobruk, The Queen of Sheba, The Barbarians, Submarine Attack (Torpedo Zone), The Raiders of Leyte Gulf, Mission to Death
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Production notesFilm Facts
  2. Weblink
Extras Review: Not much in the way of supplements, mostly some trailers and filmographies.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Not even the somewhat good battle scenes in The Ravagers can save it from bad acting and a thin plot. It is, however, prime Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder.


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