During the Civil War, a Union soldier (Adrian Pasdar, Near Dark, Carlito’s Way, Top Gun) is recruited to investigate a series of crucifixions by a renegade band of Confederate Soldiers. He enlists the help of his old mentor (Corbin Bernsen, TV’s LA Law, Hellos Again, Major League) and a mute runaway slave girl (Cynda Williams, One False Move, Mo’ Betta Blues), the only witness to the renegade band’s attacks. With the addition of some trigger happy Yankees, the brigade is now complete. Unfortunately, they soon realize they are not hunting ordinary Confederates. Life and death is on the line, but when the enemy may not even be alive, it becomes a gruesome tale of horror like no other. Co-starring Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, The Rift, Jeepers Creepers 2), Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane, The Cassandra Crossing), Matt LeBlanc (TV’s Friends, Lost in Space), David Arquette (Scream Series, Never Been Kissed, Eight Legged Freaks), Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade, A Simple Plan, Bandits) and directed by George Hickenlooper (Hearts of Darkness).
For thoughts on The Killing Box, please check out our discussion on The Video Attic:
The Killing Box comes to Blu-Ray with a digital AVC encoded 1080p transfer derived from a 2020 high definition master that gets the job done but could be improved. This transfer retains the natural look of the presentation which provides a fair level of detail in brighter environments. This film has a very soft look which allows many objects to lose their crisp borders, especially in the dark. Black levels are a bit milky and lacking in depth. Subtle facial features are noticeable in closeup such as the makeup effects of the undead.
Clarity and detail ebbs and flows with skin tones that look natural, perhaps slightly on the sickly side of the spectrum. Colors appear to be capably saturated with some of the brighter hues in the locations leaping off the screen. Instances of print damage are a bit troublesome with some larger blemishes than we prefer in spots. This new presentation from Scorpion Releasing could use another refresh, but there is enough here to provide a fine viewing experience.
The Blu-Ray disc comes with a lossless DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track that holds up a bit better than the video side of things. You never get a sense that this one is suffering significantly from age-related anomalies such as distortion, drop-outs or the like. Dialogue is clear and does not get lost among the competing sounds. Environmental elements such as battle sounds are rendered cleanly alongside everything else. The music used in the feature provides an appropriate atmosphere for this story that maintains good fidelity. There are no moments where it overshadows competing sounds, instead allowing elements to work together in harmony. Scorpion Releasing has given this film as strong of a presentation as the elements will allow. This release includes English SDH subtitles.
- Trailers: The two-minute trailer for The Killing Box is provided here. There are also trailers provided for Cold Heaven, Night Visitor, Last Rites, 3:15, The Greek Tycoon and King Of The Mountain.
The Killing Box is a great premise in search of a good movie. There are some very intriguing elements that are not explored to their full potential, and the filmmaking makes this feature feel more at home on the small screen rather than anything truly cinematic. There are some good performances scattered throughout, but given the level of talent on hand, there should be more to impress. Scorpion Releasing and Ronin Flix have released a new Blu-Ray with a good A/V presentation but not too much in terms of special features. This one is mostly worth seeking out if you are a super fan of the ensemble.
The Killing Box is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Scorpion Releasing and Ronin Flix have supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.