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Monday, June 21, 2021

Spare Parts (2020) (Blu-ray Review)


The Film
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements


All-girl punk band Ms. 45 are kidnapped, drugged, and get their arms sawn off and replaced with crude weapons, then are forced by cruel wannabe God The Emperor to battle in a makeshift arena setup in an out of the way junkyard in this camp, gore-filled grindhouse horror out of Canada,

Spare Parts (2020)This Canadian grindhouse horror from director Andrew Thomas Hunt (Sweet Karma), Spare Parts, follows all-girl punk band Ms. 45 who find themselves at a dive bar in the middle of nowhere on their tour where their instigation of a barroom brawl gets the attention of a deranged local man who calls himself The Emperor (Julian Richings). The Emperor rules over a pseudo-Roman gladiator ring in the middle of a castaway junkyard where crowds of people worship him as their ruler. He has the women of Ms. 45 kidnapped, drugged, and their arms sawed off and replaced with crude weapons, forcing them to fight in the arena. Commence the camp, the gore, and the failure to make a coherent plotline.

But this sort of film is not about plotlines. It’s about the gore, the inventive kills, the ridiculous villains, and the fan service. There are more than enough sexy, leather-clad women with brutal weapons to titillate the more prurient sense and, you want inventive kills? How about a guy getting his face ripped off by the spokes of a motorcycle? The insanity only escalates as the film approaches its dénouement but then ends weirdly, but not unexpectedly. Genre fans will delight in the kinetic energy and raw gore.

The Video

Spare Parts arrives in a 2.35:1 AVC 1080p encodement on Blu-ray. The low budget grindhouse horror film doesn’t quite ‘pop’ with the purposely grimy and mostly low-light scenes that dop reveal a bit of noise in the filming. That said, there’s more than enough detail in this release while shadows can look a bit flat.

The Audio

To my amazement, RLJE pulls lossy DTS-HD High Resolution out of the hat for the 5.1 mix on this Blu-ray release of Spare Parts. While this high bitrate lossy format is not quite as low quality as the mid bitrate Dolby Digital+, it doesn’t reach the quality levels of lossless DTS-HD Master Audio (or Dolby TrueHD). The mix itself is not too bad given the material. There is come balance of effects through the surrounds and a bit of extension into the low range, but I don’t think anyone will confuse this for big budget sound design.

The Supplements

There are a few ‘making of’ featurettes, some virtual interviews and a funny commentary that is obviously also virtual.

  • Interview with the Cast (1080p; 00:11:31)
  • Behind the Scenes of Spare Parts (1080p; 00:12:06)
  • Spare Parts: In the Shop (1080i; 00:05:08)
  • CineFest Sudbury Q&A (1080i; 00:16:03)
  • Fight Training Videos (1080p; 00:12:07)
  • Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery (1080p)
  • Commentary with Director and Cast

The Final Assessment

Over the top grindhouse horror arrives on Blu-ray with quality that is satisfying for a film like this. Recommended for genre fans.

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Spare Parts is out on Blu-ray & DVD June 1, 2021 from RLJE

  • Studios & Distributors: 9 Light Entertainment | Raven Banner Entertainment | RLJE
  • Director: Andrew Thomas Hunt
  • Written By: David Murdoch | Svet Rouskov
  • Run Time: 91 Mins.
  • Street Date: 1 June 2021
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Audio Format: English DTS-HD HR 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH | Spanish

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