I suppose I feel that there are movie that do what Zero Boys does better. I’m looking at Class of 1984 and Clockwork Orange. Movies that try to test the boundaries of youth culture combined with general violent irreverence. I am a huge fan of Island of Death from Nico Mastorakis. I do not think this one goes quite as far nor do I think that it should get the great for “anticipating the torture porn horrors of Hostel and Saw”. I think there are plenty of movies from the 70’s that adequately do that, but I wouldn’t quality Zero Boys as one of them. Zero Boys feels more closely akin to films like The Warriors or Bronx Warriors in style and story, basically using the gang and turf wars of the 70’s and early 80’s as a jumping off point for a kill by number spectacle. In Arrow’s marketing material the draw the connection to Friday the 13th, this I agree with wholeheartedly.
Perhaps I just don’t get the movie. It’s possible I need to go back at it in another year or so. What I will tell you is that there are plenty of ways in which to appreciate this release and get a better understanding for the creation and scope of the story. It has a Chris Alexander moderated commentary featuring Maroney which is perfect. Alexander is always good at the commentaries and introductions. This is no exception and it’s great that Maroney is the focus of the commentary. She’s a genre icon. There are several interviews; one with the director, one with Maroney and one with star Nicole Rio. The making of interview with Mastorakis in tandem with the booklet that comes with the release should provide more depth to the release. New artwork from Graham Humphreys is always appreciated and had me psyched for a movie with which I was not familiar.
I’ll give this one another watch in a few months to give it time to digest. I hate to provide criticism solely based on comparison to other films with which I identify better. That seems hardly fair to a movie with which I have nostalgic connection and does not contain much of what I enjoy in my decadent youth pictures.
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DAWN OF A NEW BREED OF HEROES From cult director Nico Mastorakis, the man behind such eclectic offerings as the controversial Island of Death and the Oliver Reed-starring actioner Hired to Kill, comes The Zero Boys - the genre-bending '80s classic with gruesome sequences that anticipate the torture porn horrors of Hostel and Saw. For a group of young friends, a weekend of survival games in the wilderness turns into a genuine battle of life and death when one of their number turns up dead. Finding themselves hunted by a bloodthirsty band of maniacs intent on slaughtering them one-by-one, the self-styled "Zero Boys" must now play their war games for real. Starring Kelli Maroney (Night of the Comet, Chopping Mall) and featuring an early score from the legendary Hans Zimmer (Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy), The Zero Boys mixes action, survival and all-out slasher movie elements in a thrilling horror yarn that falls somewhere between Friday the 13th and Deliverance.
Brand new 2K restoration of the film, approved by writer-director Nico Mastorakis
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original Stereo audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio Commentary with star Kelli Maroney, moderated by Shock Till You Drop's Chris Alexander
Nico Mastorakis on... Nico Mastorakis - brand new interview with Mastorakis on the making of The Zero Boys
Brand new interview with star Kelli Maroney
Brand new interview with star Nicole Rio
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Fully-illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver