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Charlie Steel DVD Review

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“Charlie Steel” lacks suspense.

“Charlie Steel” is another title in IndiePix’s Retro Afrika South African cinema line. This particular film is a 1984 crime-drama involving the daughter (Dudu) of a man/friend (Pete) of the titular Private Detective being kidnapped and held for ransom by a group led by a gangster named Sonny. Pete contacts Charlie for help and Pete decides to infiltrate the group. Almost instantly his identity is revealed. Will Charlie be able to save himself and Dudu or are they doomed?

While the independent film spirit is fully alive in “Charlie Steel,” the movie itself is a bit of a rough watch. The story is light on dialogue, there’s oddly zero urgency to the perilous situation, the acting is poor (not even the title role played by Sol Rachilo is engaging), the action is sluggish at best, and there seems to be very little editing as virtually every scene is drawn out to the max.

On the plus side, director Bevis Parsons (who also scripted the film) does show some skill here with a more varied shot selection compared to the other Retro Afrika titles I have reviewed. There’s also more location shooting which was appreciated from a visual standpoint as well.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Fullscreen. How does it look? While the print has definitely been cleaned up, the colors are faded and there is some noticeable damage here and there.

Audio Track: English Stereo. How does it sound? The music and dialogue (which is accompanied by English subtitles) sound adequate enough. No more, no less.

Extras include a screening link for “Entre Nos” and a trailer for “Charlie Steel.”

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February 24, 2019 - Posted by | DVD review | , , ,

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