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Siege Blu-ray Review

“Siege” is an unsettling thriller.

Directed and co-written by Paul Donovan alongside co-writer Maura O’Connell, 1983’s “Siege” (also known as “Self Defense”) is a Canadian thriller that uses the real life 1981 Halifax police strike as the backdrop. The story revolves around a vigilante hate group calling themselves New Order. They burst into a gay bar and start intimidating patrons and the owner. When the owner dies by accident, the group’s leader Cabe is called in to deal with the situation. He murders everyone so that there are no witnesses, but 1 bar patron manages to escape. The patron hides out in an apartment building which soon finds itself under siege from New Order.

Clearly inspired by the likes of “Assault On Precinct 13” and other grindhouse fare, the little seen “Siege” is a gritty, intense Canuxploitation thriller that sadly still feels relevant in this day and age with its depictions of hate groups, homophobia, gun violence, and lawlessness. I won’t spoil the ending but that too is eerily timely. As a thriller, the movie is supremely effective. Director Paul Donovan wastes absolutely no time whatsoever in the tight 84 minute runtime. I wish more movies were as fast paced, focused, and filler free as “Siege” to be honest.

As riveting as “Siege” is on screen, I will say the acting isn’t the best. Aside from Doug Lennox as the creepy Cabe, there’s a lot of poor acting on display. Sure, you have some cult movie vets like Keith Knight, Jack Blum and Dennis O’Connor, but everyone’s pretty rough around the edges. Luckily, it doesn’t detract from the movie since the material is so effective on its own.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? Scanned in 2K from the original negative, this print is shockingly crisp (especially for an 80’s movie).

Audio Track: Mono. How does it sound? A satisfactory Mono track. 

* “Siege” trailer
* The 93 minute extended cut.
* Commentary by writer and co-director Paul Donovan and filmmaker Jason Eisener.

July 25, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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