Wednesday, August 12, 2015

NOMADS (1986)

NOMADS (1986) 

Label: Scream Factory

Release Date: August 18th 2015
Region Code: A
Duration: 93 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA Mono with Optional english Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: John McTiernan 
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Josie Cotton, Adam Ant, Anna Maria Monticelli, Lesley-Anne Down, Mary Woronov
Tagline: There are angels who patrol Los Angeles. And then there are the Nomads.

Synopsis: They creep. They kill... and no one knows who they are or where they came from. But when these rootless, demonic spirits descend on a determined doctor, all hell breaks loose. Bitten by a dying madman named Jean Pommier (Brosnan), Dr. Eileen Flax (Down) becomes the vessel for his turbulent and insane thoughts. Thrust into his last days, she is shocked to discover the existence of mysterious and murderous demons on a quest for destruction... and begins her own quest to somehow stop them before she joins Pommier in his horrifying fate!

This is director John McTiernan's first film, starring future-Bond persona Pierce Brosnan as French sociologist Jean-Charles Pommier who at the start of the film dies shortly after being  admitted to an L.A. hospital,  but not before whispering something into the ear of Dr. Eileen Flax (Lesley-Anne Down), whatever it is he whispered in her ear left her not only bleeding but sends her spiraling down a fevered path of nightmarish visions as she relives the Frenchman's last week leading up to his death. 

The structure of this one is a bit odd, we have the doc trying to live her life as she is haunted by the French sociologists tormented final days,  as he begins to research a group of nomadic street punks who prowl Los Angeles. Unfortunately Brosnan is playing a Frenchie and his accent is a bit of a laugh, but once you get beyond that this is a pretty compelling watch, though that accent is a hurdle to overcome.

Among the nomadic street punks we find new wave rocker Adam Ant and b-movie legend Mary Woronov, and Woronov is very creepy, clad in tight-fitting leather and rocking that maniacal Cheshire grin she's known for she makes for a seductive but nightmarish figure, I was both turned on and turned off at the same time. 

As the movie plays out we follow the path of the Frenchie whom has become obsessed with the street punks, he begins to follow them around and photographically document their destructive ways. It is explained to a degree that the punkers are demonic spirits whom are attracted to death, and while its not exactly laid out in black and white, we discover that the Frenchie and his wife have recently moved into a home where a violent murder had taken place, and the demonic nomads are drawn to it and once the Frenchie begins to take notice of them his fate is sealed. 

McTiernan does a pretty superb job weaving the two story lines together in a way that sort of makes sense without actually going to the trouble of explaining what's happening and it totally worked for me. 

The visuals are haunting and creepy, with the doc threatening to lose her own sanity as she is haunted by the visions of the Frenchies final days, it may not be a classic of supernatural cinema but it's an and eerie and atmospheric relic from the 80s  

Auio/Video: The Blu-ray from Scream Factory looks good, but not great, the print used shows some dirt and debris so there doesn't appear to have been an restoration or clean-up applied  to it. The image is a bit on the softer side and fine detail and clarity are not up to par with contemporary 1080p presentations. With that said this is certainly watchable with a nice layer of film grain and the skin tones look natural. The English language DTS-HD MA Mono audio is solid and nicely balanced, not a stunner but the dialogue and effects are nicely balanced, and the Bill Conti collaboration with 80s guitar rocker ted Nugent is fun, if somewhat dated. 

Special features include brand new interviews with Actress Lesley-Ann Down and Composer Bill Conti totalling about 33 minutes with Down going into what it was like to make the movie and composer Conti speaking about McTiernan as a director and collaborating on the score with the pistol-packing Ted Nugent. There's also a radio spot, trailer and a still gallery featuring stills, posters and promotional materials. Not too shabby a collection of bonus content for a somewhat obscure movie, glad to see this one come to Blu-ray. 

Special  Features: 

- New Interviews With Actress Lesley-Ann Down (16 Mins) HD 
- New Interviews With Composer Bill Conti (17 Mins) HD 
- Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) HD 
- Radio Spot (1 Mins) HD
- Still Gallery (3 Mins) HD

Nomads (1986) is a strange and atmospheric trip of a movie, a bit of a head-scratcher at times but expertly crafted by McTiernan who would go onto helm Predator and Die Hard directly afterward, but nothing as strange and eerie as this one right here. 3/5