Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kommissar X: Joe Walker finally gets the love he deserves

I don’t usually write DVD reviews. This is mostly because the formats in which I watch my chosen obscurities -- VCDs, gray market VHS rips -- are typically too degraded to warrant mention. (The exception, of course, being when their quality is so harrowing that it presents an obstacle to my assessment of the film overall.) As a result, I’ve become resigned to the fact that watching the old movies I want to see will necessarily involve squinting at them through a tissue of noise and decay. It’s for this reason, then, that on those rare occasions when someone takes a favorite film that’s been poorly served in previous releases and gives it its due share of TLC, I want to give it prominent mention.

Such is the case with Koch Media’s German DVD release of the first Kommissar X film, Jagd auf Unbekannt, aka Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill. The disc is part of a planned box set that’s slated to feature six of the seven total Kommissar X titles (not included will be the perpetually MIA FBI: Operation Pakistan from 1971) and is being sold with a display box to be filled as the individual titles are released. As compared to the cropped and pocked versions previously available, the vivid color and wide screen presentation of this release are a wonder to behold. Yes, these films were low budget, but, as we can now see, they also looked fabulous.

Again, I’m not Consumer Reports, but it seems called for to present some screen shot comparisons between Koch’s version of Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill and the version released by Retro Media several years ago.


The Koch disc features both the German and English language versions of Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill, with the latter featuring a couple brief scenes cut from the English version that momentarily slip into German audio with English subs. The English version also comes with optional German subs, though no subs are available on the German version. Also included is an extra disc featuring a fan documentary chronicling a convention appearance that reunited an elderly Tony Kendall and Brad Harris with their apparently incorrigible Kommissar X director Gianfranco Parolini. Their discussion flits from German to English to Italian, with no subtitles to help us out (and with Brad Harris, quite impressively, proving to be the only one fluent in all three). Still, the love and good humor are palpable, and there are interview inserts with Harris, conducted in English, that pretty much give you the gist of what was said.

So, do I recommend people buy this? I do. If for no other reason than that I want Koch to have the financial incentive to release the remaining five discs so that I can buy those too. Look, I know I’m not Oprah, but, come on, people. Make this happen for me!


Anonymous said...

Come payday, this DVD will be mine!

Thanks for the great news, Todd!! It came at a the perfect time as I have been sitting around the this morning watching George Martin spaghetti I am in that Italian frame of mind!

Todd said...

You're welcome, Mike! Glad to know at least one other person is as geeked out about this as I am.

Mr. Cavin said... least two other people. This is like a birthday present. Plus, I'm in Germany right now! Better start checking out the video stores.

Todd said...

Sweet! Happy hunting.

Jay Shatzer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay Shatzer said...

Awesome! I've gotta place an order soon. Been looking forward to this Koch release for a while now. From the quality of your screenshots it looks to be worth the wait. Thanks for the insight!

Todd said...

You're welcome, Jay. Thanks for reading!