Plot: What’s it about?
As people became more and more accustomed to violence in their lives, a desire arose for more violence to be present, but not in the usual sense. The public longed for organized violence, but not just fights or sports, these folks wanted to see blood and since the demand was there, The Big Hunt was created to satisfy that need. In this game of legalized murder, the contestants must survive ten rounds of all out chaos, where they must protect their own lives, while trying to kill others in crowd pleasing fashion. The rounds are divided up into two sets of five for each participant, five as the hunter and five as the hunted, to keep it all balanced. As these intense session happen, audiences watch via camera crews that document the action and of course, sponsors and product placements abound. In this session, two of the top players have been slotted against each other, in an effort to find out who the best really is, Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) or Caroline (Ursula Andress). As the cameras record the events, the two try to stay alive and also, attempt to balance the romance that has evolved between them…
I like movies were murder is a legalized sport, so of course, I was thrilled to see Anchor Bay release The 10th Victim on DVD. And unlike some studios who might not even give this flick a second look, Anchor Bay has issued a widescreen transfer (the first ever for the film) and tracked down the original Italian language track, very cool indeed. But more on the disc’s merits later on, as this is where I talk about the flick itself and in this case, what a flick it is! The 10th Victim (also known as The Tenth Victim) is often called a satire of the public’s love for violence, but I think it is too humorous for that, since a satire is usually subtle in tone. This movie uses a barrage of humor and in truth, works more like a spoof, although it is by no means along the lines of The Naked Gun or Scary Movie, to be certain. So expect some laughs with The 10th Victim, but don’t think this is a riot of comedy, as that simply isn’t the case. Ursula Andress leads the cast and is her usual self, which means she looks fantastic, but lacks a little in the performance. A piece of pop art history, The 10th Victim is a fun flick and if you’re at all interested, I recommend a rental to and if you like it, a purchase would be worthwhile, as it holds up well even after repeated viewing sessions.
She might not be the finest actress to ever grace the screen, but Ursula Andress always manages to command the screen, which is sometimes enough. In this film, she is decent enough overall and since the movie is so off kilter, her performance never seems inadequate. She is given some great lines & moments here and for the most part, she delivers on all counts, which is good news. I mean, a movie like this doesn’t ask for traditional performances really, so Andress is able to slide by at times, though I still maintain her work here is more than solid. You can also see Andress in such films as Slave of the Cannibal God, Scaramouche, Dr. No, Clash of the Titans, Tigers in Lipstick, and Fun in Acapulco. The cast also includes Marcello Mastroianni (Fellini’s Roma, Ghosts of Rome), Elsa Martinelli (Blood and Roses, Bad Girls Don’t Cry), Luce Bonifassy (Playtime), and Salvo Randone (Spirits of the Dead, The Lady of the Lake).
Video: How does it look?
The 10th Victim is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. I was surprised with how good this treatment is, but due to the film’s age and budget, some flaws do surface, although that is to be expected. I saw a little grain at times and some print issues, but nothing to be concerned about, not by any means. The image looks cleaner than I had figured on, while colors and flesh tones seem right on the money, no real complaints to be made here. The contrast is solid also, much richer and sharper than I would have counted on. In the end, this is a terrific looking transfer and while some flaws are present, fans will still be thrilled with the results.
Audio: How does it sound?
You can choose between the original Italian language track or an English dubbed option, both of which are mono format tracks. Of course, I recommend the Italian option, but I do have to say, the poor English track is hilarious and worth a listen, if even just once for fun’s sake. The insane musical score is the real highlight of the audio in The 10th Victim and it sounds good, though a tad dated here and there. No problems with the sound effects either, while dialogue remains clean and never harsh or distorted. This disc also includes optional English subtitles, in case you might need to switch those on at some point.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.