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Eclectic DVD presents
Tunnel Vision (1976)

"Be very, very quiet, because our ITC lie detector will pick up any sounds that do not emanate directly from the anus."
- Warren Welt (Sam Riddle)

Review By: Brian Calhoun   
Published: April 18, 2002

Stars: Philip Proctor, Howard Hesseman, Dan Barrows
Other Stars: Chevy Chase, John Candy, Al Franken, Joe Flaherty
Director: Neal Israel

Manufacturer: PDM
MPAA Rating: R for language, adult themes, nudity
Run Time: 01h:07m:45s
Release Date: December 04, 2001
UPC: 022891106906
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

As I prepared to watch Tunnel Vision, I got a taste of its crude and incomprehensible humor even before I inserted the disc into the player. Written on the face of the DVD is "laugh or get off the pot", one of the film's many absurd tag lines. Finding this alteration of a popular catch phrase to be neither humorous nor sensible, I realized I was going to be in for a bumpy ride. Trying to remain optimistic, I reminded myself that the film is only 68 minutes long; however bad it is, I can certainly hold out that long. Twenty minutes into Tunnel Vision, I was begging for a power surge, the disc to start skipping, or anything that could have prevented me from enduring this excruciating experience one second longer. I cannot begin to assert how many times I wanted to "get off the pot."

This train wreck begins with a courtroom scene, where the fictional creator of TV's Tunnel Vision is on trial for broadcasting questionable and objectionable material. After his initial words of wisdom regarding the state of the nation, the film continues to bombard us with what Tunnel Vision really is, nothing but a series of ludicrous commercials, skits, and news broadcasts attempting to lampoon real-life network television. Most of these bits are dreadfully offensive, many of them do not make any sense, and none of them are funny. The attempts at humor include a proctology advertisement complete with men's bare butts sticking in the camera, an announcement for "stalking wild faggots", and a man who begs his audience to give him a "golden shower." At the bottom of the barrel, is a game show that consists of a host badgering his guests with questions about their dark pasts, including the rape of young girls and physical abuse of babies.

The Tunnel Vision DVD is pitifully being promoted as the roots of comedic talent such as Chevy Chase and John Candy. Will this inspire people to buy it? Sadly, I suppose so. More discerning viewers, please beware. I sat through this nightmare with a frown on my face and my forehead scrunched in appalled bewilderment. There are moments where the film takes time out to pause for station identification, exclaiming "Tunnel Vision, the no bulls*** network!" Quite the contrary, Tunnel Vision is full of it.

Rating for Style: F
Rating for Substance: F


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The aspect ratio appears to be even tighter than 1.33:1, as there are vertical black bars on each side of the frame. This may have been a conscious decision by the cinematographer to create an image that looks like tunnel vision. Regardless, the image quality is awful. The numerous imperfections are too many to list, but in a nutshell, the picture is excessively grainy, distorted, and dirty. It looks as if the source material had been sitting in a landfill since 1976 and simply slapped onto a DVD without any restoration effort.

Image Transfer Grade: D


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: My receiver displays this track as 2.0 Dolby Surround, yet it is unquestionably mono. The audio is plagued with excessive distortion. So much, that I was in fear it might somehow damage my center speaker. About the only positive comment I can make about the soundtrack is that I could understand the dialogue, even if its tonal quality was the audio equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.

Audio Transfer Grade: D+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 1 cues
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Radio Spots
  2. Photo Gallery
Extras Review: Whoever put together this odd package of extras obviously loved the film's theme song. I counted as many as four different ways it can be accessed from the special features section.

The first special feature is a photo gallery. Here, the viewer can look at still frames from the film while listening to the maddening theme song. There is no way to manually advance or fast forward through these still images (Hint: hit the stop button).

Next are five radio spots. These short audio advertisements are feeble attempts to promote the film on local radio stations in 1976.

By selecting Play Theme Song, the viewer can listen to the complete and unedited version of the Tunnel Vision theme song. I think I would rather ride "It's A Small World" at Disneyland for 24 hours straight than listen to this theme song again.

Next, is the theatrical trailer. Watching this 2 minute 30 second trailer had me screaming and convulsing with flashbacks from my horrible experience of watching the film.

My favorite special feature has to be Play Credits. Selecting this icon simply plays the last chapter of the movie, just in case the viewer cannot figure out how to access it the logical way. This is not only another way of listening to the lame theme song, but also a shameless attempt at getting the viewer to think "Wow! Look at all these special features!"

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

I honestly cannot think of one reason to recommend this debacle. From the tasteless film, to the horrendous audio and video quality, all the way to the comical "dollar video store" packaging, everything about this release is a failure.


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