Director – Don Taylor (Damien: Omen II, Escape from the Planet of the Apes)
Starring – Kirk Douglas (Tales from the Crypt, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Martin Sheen (Firestarter, The Dead Zone), and Katharine Ross (Donnie Darko, ABC’s Afterschool Special)
Release Date – 1980
Rating – 4/5
UHD Release – 4.5/5
When I first started collecting DVDs seriously I found myself drawn to Blue Underground. They were the company that brought movies like Zombie, Two Evil Eyes, and Deathdream to my attention during my teenage years. As I got older I’ve watched this company grow and release some of the best releases I’ve seen. They were quick to jump over to blu while most companies were hesitant and now have made the plunge into UHD. When they announced the UHD release of The Final Countdown I found myself torn.
I love Blue Underground and most of their releases are fantastic films. However, The Final Countdown doesn’t look like a movie I would enjoy. Regardless, I love the company and let curiosity take over. I reached out to MVD and they were kind enough to send a review copy of the release my way. I’m glad they did because I absolutely loved this film. Thank you MVD and BU for sending this one over!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows the crew of the USS Nimitz who find themselves traveling through a weird storm while performing drills at sea. When the storm passes they find themselves isolated and unable to radio back to the mainland. To make matters even more strange, they start receiving strange signals reminiscent of those from the early 40s. Soon they realize that the storm had taken them back to the day before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor giving the crew the incredibly difficult choice of allowing history to run it’s course or intervening and saving all those American lives. **Spoiler Alert**
When I think of Blue Underground I usually think of movies like Maniac, Zombie, and Two Evil Eyes. These fun, late night horror staples that many of us can watch over and over without getting tired of. The Final Countdown does seem like an odd title for BU to release but I fucking loved it. It was a first time watch and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve seen a lot of historical war films but I don’t think I’ve seen one with a sci-fi spin like this one. It was a very entertaining film that I would recommend to any movie fan.
The acting in this one is amazing. This one features one hell of a cast. We have the legendary Kirk Douglas as the aging captain of the vessel trying to get a grip on everything going on while Martin Sheen delivers one of his better performances. The supporting cast is just as great and everyone brought something to the table. The characters are all enjoyable and memorable creating a great movie experience. They really don’t write characters in movies like this anymore.
The story for this one is a military drama at it’s base with a lot of character development with just a dash of sci-fi to mix it up. I really enjoyed it and I loved how a movie with this many characters didn’t fee like a mess. The story has a steady progression that uses it’s time wisely and doesn’t drag. The pacing is steady with no downtime. This is the kind of story you can watch several times and never tire of it.
Finally, the film has a few deaths scenes that are all gun wounds. The effects are basic but they work for the gag. The film also uses dated visual effects that didn’t age very well but they didn’t look that bad. Overall, The Final Countdown is one hell of a film and this release from BU is a must have for movie fans. It may not be a horror film but it’s still a phenomenal flick. Hell, it was even produced by Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman! Be sure to snag this release from Blue Underground. You will not regret it!
Ultra HD Blu-ray (2160p) and HD Blu-ray (1080p) Widescreen 2.40:1 feature presentations
Audio: Dolby Atmos (English); 5.1 DTS-HD (English); 2.0 DTS-HD (English, French)
Subtitles: English SDH, Francais, Espanol
Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Victor J. Kemper
Lloyd Kaufman Goes Hollywood – Interview with Associate Producer Lloyd Kaufman
Starring The Jolly Rogers – Interviews with The Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron
Poster & Still Galleries
BONUS! THE FINAL COUNTDOWN Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD by John Scott
BONUS! Collectible Booklet featuring The Zero Pilot Journal
BONUS! 3D Lenticular Slipcover (First Pressing Only)