I have seen two groups of people on the internet as of late. Those of you that are thrilled to own a good looking version of Exterminators Of The Year 3000, and those of you who want to nitpick the Hell out of it. For those of you that are happy that you have the opportunity to view the release, looking the best it has ever looked, with an audio commentary for Robert Iannucci I’m with you. I’m glad to enjoy this film it all it’s post apocalyptic glory. This release sets up beautifully the release of the Collector’s Edition of Mad Max by Scream Factory later this year and should be embraced as Scream’s attempt to preserve movies in a better format and at a higher quality than previously released. Now for those of you that want to meander through this release, screen shotting, pot shotting and criticizing or taking issue with the transfer or restoration perhaps we must remember why we watch movies, how we enjoy them and what movie you’re actually watching here. (It’s been a long time since I’ve had a soap box post/review).
Is the Scream Factory restoration of Exterminators Of The Year 3000 flawless? No. It is not the perfect restoration. It has some minor flaws. Flaws that are precluded by the flaws in the initial production of the movie. There are shots out of focus. Shots in low light. Yes, Guiliano Carnimeo gave us The Case of the Bloody Iris, a piece of important Giallo that is visually stunning and can be considered one of that subgenre’s greatest works, but he also gave us Rat Man. Exterminators Of The Year 3000 comes about toward the end of Carnimeo’s career in 1983. Yes he would do Rat Man and Computron 22 in 1988, but this is about it for him. We’re not talkinga bout a movie that came about during the late 60’s and early 70’s when Carniemeo’s work was at its peak. You can follow the trends of Italian cinema in general as paralleling the career or Carnimeo (and so many like him). The budgets became sparse in Italy save for a few filmmakers during the early 80’s, the desire to have subtitled or even dubbed work greatly diminished in terms of a mass market appeal and the budding direct to video market and rental trend began to work against filmmakers from a profit and quality stand point. I am not trying to besmirch the good name of Guiliano Carnimeo, but this film needs to be put into context from a production standpoint, importance perspective and historical position. You can expect a high quality transfer. You can expect a reasonable restoration of a film, but I am of the camp that we are lucky to have this movie, looking this good and available to so many.
This is not a limited release. It is a full scale release but a larger distro company making available the release to a large audience. I’m simply glad to see an Italian fantasy picture get so much press and discussion. Of course some more prominent Italian films have received better treatment recently, but even those transfers and restorations seem to offend a certain entitled crowd (I’m not naming names of distro companies or films because we’re here to discuss how it pertains to Exterminators and not rehash transfer comparison photos. Guys, watch movies; not pixels. Watch stories about the year 3000 when water is scarce and is the focal point of aggression and war (you know… like all the other movies that seem to focus on that same angle). Watch movies for movies and appreciate what you have here: a good looking film that is damn fun to watch and creates a world that fits in with the subgenre so perfectly.
Let’s get one thing straight. I enjoy a beautiful resto job with no DNR (or not-noticeable DNR I should say) as much as the next collector. I pick up releases and pay way too much for them to have nice copies of my favorite films, but we have to look at the facts here. You get a nice package and good transfer (with which I found no notable flaws that precluded my enjoyment of the picture), an extra or two only (because it’s damn important to remember that this is still a product, for sale that has to turn a profit and may not even do that given the limited scope of the audience), and it’s widely available. The cover art looks good. I’m happy with the release as a fan of home media and as an Italian fantasy fan (though I tend toward the horror side as many of you may know).
Just remember that this movie was supposed to be a double feature with Cruel Jaws. A. At least you got this one on Blu. Poor Cruel Jaws is suffering at the mercy of an old copyright dispute that, while legitimate, is heartbreaking for fans of the Italians. I've heard more people trying to release that sucker legitimately over the years only to find themselves in the depths of potential litigation. Just tell Universal to let it go (and play them that goddamn Frozen song too). B. If this had been a double feature (like Blacula and SBS or one of the horror comedy double features recently) most folks would understand how the release isn't a powerpacked collector's edition. Its release had more too it. It was supposed to get married! Left at the alter!
One last note: The quality comparison photo is the selfie or dick pic of the collector world. Just ruminate on that for awhile.
You can pick up Exterminators Of The Year 3000 now! Enjoy it. Savor it. Put it in your library and watch movies, not pixels.
From Scream Factory:
In a post-apocalyptic future where the earth is a desert and water is the most precious substance of all, a band of survivors must turn to a mysterious stranger to battle a ruthless gang of motorcycle psychos for control of the wasteland and the water. A glorious crash of guns, nuclear fallout, and synthesizers make this a must-see for anyone who’s been longing for the day in which they can finally get beyond Thunderdome.
Audio Commentary With Actor Robert Iannucci
Interview With Actor Robert Iannucci
Note: Yes the tone of this review and commentary is negative, but we gotta change things around here in this community. Just last year ya'll were fondling your VHS tapes forgetting how many different distro cuts their could be of any one movie. Now you're willing to light up a good release for something your auto tracking couldn't even get rid of. Be generous with your spirit when it comes to the genres you love.