I cannot, for the life of me, remember why or how I saw this on VHS when it was released but then as now, when Walter Hill makes a film, it is often met with delirious abandon. EXTREME PREJUDICE is as mid-90s action as it gets. Revelling in the cine literacy of the New American wave. Nick Nolte is Jack Benteen (Nick Nolte) a Texas Ranger that likes to get his man and kick some arse. He is supported by an over eager Rip Torn as Sheriff Hank Pearson. These two are the classic good cop, bad cop act that see Nolte play as Waynesque cowboy and Torn play as more principled Stewart like statesman. Benteen childhood buddy, Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe) is now a drug runner and a ruthless one at that. Both love the same girl, goes for living in such a small town I guess and said lady, Sarita Cisneros (Maria Conchita Alonso) is not to keen to see this cat and mouse end. This is the 90s edge to a 50s drama. Now the obvious missed elements and extrapolations aside, this is a classic Western. Until that is an 80s action by product is thrown into the mix. A gang of ex military, CIA sponsored mercenaries, have been given a job.

The five U.S. Army sergeants are to steal something from a bank but must make it look like a regular hold up. They are led by Major Paul Hackett (Michael Ironside), and have Clancy Brown among others in the unit, playing as a Sergeant Larry McRose. This is the sprinkle that the films intended director and writer, John Milius said made it ‘a rightwing Costa-Gavras film. It takes place in Texas and involves the Texas Rangers as well.’ And all things considered, he is right. But what Hill has done is make the film something else. It should really be seen as a WILD BUNCH homage. Written like one, edited like one and shot like one. Hill liked Peckinpah and riffed a lot on his work, with slow motion especially. The blood splatter and Car crashes are also there for his homage, but then Hill uses flourishes of modern day. Delivering a solid action vehicle, that might not stand up to much scrutiny in a film studies class but delivers for a Friday night.
So to the disc. There is no one thing that is wrong with it. The transfer is 1080p and standard. The exclusive set of art cards are very nice and the poster is a bit small but of good quality. The extras are all from people in the film and with stuff to add that makes for some addition to the whole. The Audio Commentary, which is the high light, does more for Hill and his work, than the film. It also outlines the films rather disjointed history and 15 year creation process but it is all Ok. Not going to blow up the bank…. Maybe just rob it a little…


* Audio Commentary with Film Historians C. Courtney Joyner and Henry Parke

* Isolated Score Selections with Audio Interview from Music Historian John Takis

* The Major’s Agenda – An Interview with Actor Michael Ironside

* The War Within – An Interview with Actor Clancy Brown

* Capturing The Chaos – An Interview with Director Of Photography Matthew F. Leonetti

* Original Trailers, Vintage EPK & Stills Gallery

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