Imprint 300: RAVAGERS (1979) – review

March was a genre-heavy month for Imprint Films, which offered something for everyone, and was capped with the label’s milestone 300th Limited Edition release, Ravagers – a post-apocalyptic journey set 12 years in the future from the film’s theatrical release, and available now on Blu-ray for the first time ever.

Richard Harris stars as an unlikely nomadic drifter, Falk, wandering the deserted cities, desperate for food and supplies. When he incurs the wrath of a violent gang known as ‘Ravagers’, Falk flees across the lawless land, following rumours of a place called Genesis where salvation may lie.

Shot in Alabama, the rusted remains of industry and the state’s unique wilderness do help in presenting a world scarred by global conflict, but with a budget of just $4 million and a script containing only recycled ideas, Ravagers is basic and vague and struggles to stand out in any meaningful way. However, the film becomes more entertaining as more characters are introduced such as Art Carney as the eccentric ‘Sergeant’ and Ernest Borgnine as the intimidating community leader, Rann, who bring a level of amusing absurdity to the plot.

Cormac McCarthy depicts a post-apocalyptic world without a biosphere in his brilliant but relentlessly depressing 2006 novel, The Road, which was later turned into a feature film. While I doubt McCarthy drew inspiration from Ravagers, there are several similarities in regard to how both worlds operate. “Dead” oceans and lack of vegetation deliver a fascinatingly bleak idea that implies impending doom for life that remains. Unlike the leads in The Road, our hero here draws hope from signs that there may be a way to start over and sustain life anew; he emphatically encourages the search, as opposed to maintaining isolated communities, with limited resources.

Performances from the assorted cast are all serviceable. Although Harris appears fully committed to playing Falk, Art Carney looks like he just rocked up on set because he got wind of a movie being made without him. Borgnine as always, is menacingly friendly, the late Anthony James as the nameless ‘Ravagers’ leader is your classic one-dimensional villain, and Harris’s real-life wife, Ann Turkel stands out as Falk’s love interest, Faina.


While this Blu-ray debut is unfortunately bare bones, it’s by far the loudest Imprint has released to date, with an LPCM 2.0 Mono track that makes the optional English HOH Subtitles seem almost redundant. The 2.35:1 image is very sharp and there’s an exceptional of level clarity, even during darker scenes. Imprint did not disclose any information on the HD master that was used, but given the quality, I’d say it’s a recent scan of the film.

I think it’s justifiable to call Ravagers a “bad movie”, but I enjoyed it overall and can see myself easily watching it again, in guilting pleasure fashion. It made me nostalgic for all those times as a child catching the tail-end of a nameless B-movie, late at night on my old 34cm television.

(1979, director: Richard Compton)



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direct blu-ray screen captures


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