Blu-ray Review: Trespass (Collector’s Edition)

A pal of mine visited the set of Supernova in the late ’90s. He came back to tell us of the science fiction film that starred James Spader. He was thrilled to see Walter Hill directing. He talked about how Walter sat in front of video monitors with hat down and speaking with his Texas accent and attitude into a microphone to cast and crew. And for the longest time, I thought of Hill as some dude who rode from the wild frontier into Hollywood to make manly men films such as 48 Hours, The Warriors, Streets of Fire and The Longriders. But later I found out Hill was born in Long Beach, California. But that fact didn’t take away the fact that his best work was about tough guys being tough. Whenever a female character was involved, she mostly came off as a tough woman being manly or lacking in personality. You didn’t go to a Walter Hill film to see loving couples being mushy or sophisticated. Trespass is a perfect Walter Hill film because there’s no romance or ladies. It’s all about guys doing their best to be bad asses in front of other guys.

Vince (Twister‘s Bill Paxton) and Don (Iron Man 3‘s William Sadler) are Arkansas fireman fighting a major blaze when they try to save an old man from being lit up. As the flames engulf the room, the man hands them a map and confesses to taking part in the stealing of priceless artifacts stolen from a church. He hand them a map of a building in East St. Louis where they hid the loot and meets his maker. As the blaze gets under control, Vince and Don contemplate whether the map is real and worth pursuing. The duo eventually hop in a truck and head North to the big city for a quick treasure hunt. While it seems easy to dig around an abandoned factory building, what they don’t understand that they’re on gang turf. And not just any gang controls this property. King James (Ice-T) runs the crew with Savon (Ice Cube) as his main enforcer. They aren’t happy to learn that two white guy from the South are messing in their building. Things turn nasty fast leading to Vince and Don taking Lucky (De’voreaux White) hostage. This is a good move since Lucky is not a foot soldier that the King will sacrifice in a gambit. There’s plenty of bullets flying between the firefighters and the gangbangers in the abandoned space. The friendship between Vince and Don gets tested to the extreme as the treasure proves real and there’s not easy exit for the duo.

Trespass is a pure Walter Hill film with the characters completely overwhelmed by greed and survival mode. There’s no romance to cut the tension. This is a man’s film filled with men. There isn’t a single woman in the cast which is pretty astonishing in a Hollywood studio film where normally some executive wants a small part for their current mistress. I can’t even think of a gay oriented film that didn’t have an actress or two. There’s not a hint that any of the guy characters are dating. Paxton and Sadler or Ice-T and Ice Cube aren’t in the closet. They’re all about being at the shooting gallery. This is pure testosterone which is probably why it didn’t make too much of a haul in the box office. The producer blames the release being so close the L.A. Riots. But during Christmas of 1992, people still enjoyed the concept of the Date movie. What woman is going to sit through 101 minutes of guys shooting at each other without at least one of them being a lover and a fighter? How did Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) write a script and not even contemplate giving Paxton a wife? Ultimately it’s a Walter Hill film where you don’t have to contemplate the substance of his female characters. This is a fun film that lets you know who would win in a fight between Bill Paxton and Ice Cube back when he was a badass and not star of Are We There Yet?

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer looks sharp even when the source the videocamera used by King James’ crew. The audio is DTS-HD Master 2.0. The bullets zing around the screen hitting brick and metal constantly. The mix is fine so the rap soundtrack doesn’t step on the gunplay. There’s also PCM Uncompressed Stereo track. The movie is subtitled in English.

Fool’s Gold (12:31) is an Interview With Actor William Sadler about his time on the film. He got onto the show via auditioning for Tales From the Crypt. Hill told him this was a retelling of Treasure of Sierra Madre. He talks about how him and Bill Paxton were both trying to find the stereotype of the character that never wants to really fight.

Born Losers (13:14) sits down with co-Writer Bob Gale to find out how him and Robert Zemeckis wrote the script in the mid-70s after film school. They were inspired by an article about a violent part of the South Bronx where the cops feared for their lives. After bouncing around for almost 20 years, the script found a home when New Jack City became a hit.

Wrongful Entry (13:49) allows producer Neil Canton to explain how it went from a spec script to a finished film. He discusses how both Ice Cube and Ice-T signed up because they wanted to work with the director of The Warriors.

Gang Violation (6:09) The Stunts Of Trespass are reviewed by Allan Graf who also shot second unit. He breaks down the spectacular skylight fall.

Trigger Happy (6:27) allows up to meet the true co-stars of the film, the Weapons Of Trespass. Mike Tristano talks of the various guns and rifles flaunted on the screen.

Behind The Scenes Of Trespass (4:06) is a vintage featurette. It sells the movie as a music video. Ice-T gives a sense of what the film is about. He knows how to sell it.

“Trespass” Music Video (3:24) has Ice-T and Ice Cube taking out intruders in their musical gangsta gear. There was probably too much gunfire for it to be a hit on MTV.

Deleted Scenes (4:48) are brief moments snipped including Paxton and Sadler discussing if they should go look for the gold. Ice-T plots out of how to take them out.

Theatrical Trailer (1:59) reminds us that there will be gunplay.

Shout! Factory presents Trespass: Collector’s Edition. Directed by: Walter Hill. Screenplay by: Bob Gale & Robert Zemeckis. Starring: Bill Paxton, Ice-T, William Sadler & Ice Cube. Running Time: 101 minutes. Rated: R. Released: June 27, 2017.

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