Deadbeat At Dawn (1988) (Blu-ray Review)

Deadbeat At Dawn (1988) (Blu-ray Review)
DIRECTED BY: Jim Van Bebber
STARRING: Paul Harper, Jim Van Bebber, Megan Murphy

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After one too many encounters with The Spiders (a rival gang), The Ravens’ leader’s girlfriend tells him to quit the gang or it’s Splitsville. He does so, but the leader of The Spiders is hellbent on revenge and arranges the murder of the girlfriend. That ticks off the boyfriend, who wreaks havoc with the two gangs, who have joined forces in order to pull off a security truck heist.

If you are a fan of badass cinema, then you need to hurry and see Jim Van Bebber’s cult classic, Deadbeat at Dawn. What we get is the story of a very badass character (Jim Van Bebber himself) who decides to quit his gang only to see all hell break loose. There is nunchucks, throats being ripped out, and some of the most memorable quotes and characters you’ll ever see on film. I’m not saying this movie has dialogue on a Pulp Fiction level, but I am saying after you hear it you’ll be quoting it for days after. If there was a film I’d call my kind of movie it would be this movie. This is a film that comes across as raw and dirty as such films like Combat Shock. But this is a movie that does top films like Combat Shock in just about every area you’d imagine. I know people always talk about action characters like Snake from Escape from New York, but if you see Goose from Deadbeat at Dawn I don’t think you’d have any trouble putting them in the same conversations. I can’t say that this movie is a perfect movie, but it is a great movie overall (And to ME it is a 5 at least). We get characters we care about and a plot that is simple and very effective. If you’ve not seen this film yet you need to do so ASAP.

And this Arrow Video release would be the version of it to see. I’ve been watching this movie for years now and I can honestly say it has never looked better than it looks here. Adding to that is the extras. Many of the short films from Van Bebber than was originally on the Dark Sky DVD is here, as well as music videos. You also get a full-length retrospective documentary on Jim and the history of Deadbeat at Dawn. Jim really is an interesting fellow and he made a great movie. This is the perfect release to get in order to see all of those things for yourself.


– Brand new free-wheeling audio commentary with Jim VanBebber (’Goose’, The Ravens’ Gang Leader), actor Paul Harper (’Danny Carmodi’, The Spyders’ Gang Leader) and guest Cody Lee Hardin, moderated by filmmaker Victor Bonacore (Diary of a Deadbeat: The Story
– Jim VanBebber, Deadbeat Forever! – a brand new retrospective documentary on VanBebber and the Deadbeat legacy by Filmmaker Victor Bonacore, featuring first-time interviews, super-rare footage, VanBebber’s college films and much, much more!
– Archival 1986 behind-the-scenes documentary – Nate Pennington’s VHS documentary on a failed Deadbeat shoot
– Outtakes, newly transferred in HD
– Four newly-restored VanBebber short films – Into the Black (1983, 34 mins), My Sweet Satan (1993, 19 mins), Roadkill: The Last Days of John Martin (1994, 14 mins) and Gator Green (2013, 16 mins)
– Jim VanBebber Music Video Collection, featuring never-before-seen Director’s Cuts
– Chunkblower – promotional trailer for an unfinished Gary Blair Smith-produced gore-soaked feature film
– Extensive Image Gallery – Never-Before-Seen Stills!
– Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain