Plot: What’s it about?
When someone as dangerous as Makato (Sonny Chiba) escapes from prison, you know the heat is on and the cops will be on his tail like there’s no tomorrow. But when he hooks up with his sexier and almost as dangerous main squeeze Sybil (Brigitte Nielsen), the police forces will have to work double tough to keep up with them. Makato is a lethal hitman who knows his business, while Sybil is no slouch with a piece either, as the cops soon discover. As the police chase them down, the two criminal love birds make plans to murder the agents that put him in prison, which is bad news for everyone except them. So special agents Eddie (Robert Davi) and Vinnie (Steven Bauer) take on the case and no matter what it takes, they’re bound and determined to put these two away, once and for all.
When you combine the talents of Brigitte Nielsen and Sonny Chiba, it has to be a good movie, right? In the end, that assumption is wrong and even though the cast is hilarious and some decent action sequences emerge, this one is a real bomb. But then again, I think that’s what we all expected and as such, no one can complain that much. This film, also called Codename: Silencer in other editions, is a grade B action vehicle that never gets off the ground, even with the legendary Sonny Chiba on deck. This seems to have been made on a very slim budget, so don’t expect high wire thrill stunts or flashy visuals either. But in truth, whenever I run into this one on television, I usually end up watching it, so I suppose it has a charm for us that love bad movies. If you’re interested, this disc is worth a rental to see the cast in action, but I don’t think a purchase is needed here.
As I mentioned above, this film has a pretty cool cast and even though not all are good actors, all end up being fun to watch. It is always nice to see Sonny Chiba (The Storm Riders, The Street Fighter) in action and after watching this movie, it seems to be no coincidence he never become a screen sensation on our shores. Chiba is a very gifted performer and one I like a lot, but he has the single worst film selection skills, or so it seems. I think this is the lowest of his work, but he has some other stinkers also, along with his superior works. He did manage to bounce back after this, but I think he would still wish to rethink his involvement with Body Count. The rest of the cast includes Brigitte Nielsen (Rocky IV, Beverly Hills Cop II), Cindy Ambuehl (Dark Breed, Meet Wally Sparks), Steven Bauer (Primal Fear, Scarface), Robert Davi (Showgirls, Licence To Kill), and Jan-Michael Vincent (Ice Cream Man, Tv’s Airwolf).
Video: How does it look?
Body Count is presented in a full frame transfer, which seems to be an open matte of the original aspect ratio. I can’t be sure, as I don’t know the original aspect ratio, but I can tell you that the image looks better than it does on television. The colors look stable and flesh tones are normal, but the hues lack the refinement I would have liked. I saw no flaws with the contrast, which seems solid and without serious errors. I did see some compression errors, but nothing to be too worried about, although the image is not as detailed as it should be. This should have been widescreen, but if you suffer through the television edition, this will be a welcome, if slight improvement.
Audio: How does it sound?
A basic stereo track is used, which handles the audio as well as the television broadcasts do. The gunshots and other sound effects lack the punch they need, but as far as stereo goes, they come off well enough. The music is really loud though, which can cause some ear aches and element imbalances at times. The vocals are clean and crisp, no real issues to discuss on this front. A pretty simple and basic effort here, but it equals any existing mixes for the film, so at least we can take comfort in that.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials.