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  • Widescreen 2.40:1
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
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    Krakatoa - East of Java
    Simitar/Force Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 106 mins . PG . NTSC


    Disaster movies come and go and the past decade has seen Hollywood produce some big-budget blockbusters and flops. Too often the movie is based around the special effects, ignoring the possibility of a thrilling or suspenseful plot for the wow factor that is only ever truly experienced upon the first viewing.

    Krakatoa – East of Java is often considered one of the earliest disaster movies. Based around a volcano, a group of treasure hunters led by Captain Chris Hanson search the waters of Indonesia to find a sunken ship that could possibly hold some of the best pearls ever found. Trouble ensues when the crew have to transport 30 criminals to a nearby prison island. In doing so, they come across the pearl ship near the erupting Krakatoa. It’s a race against time to get out of there with their lives intact and maybe a little more.

    Three decades ago, the focus wasn’t on the special effects and Krakatoa certainly aims to put some story where its mouth is. The likes of Brian Keith playing a hardened diver with lung problems now seems the typical stereotype but back then it would have invoked a sense of courage in the audience. A supporting cast including the likes of Diane Baker helps the movie travel along with a decent pace, and the Oscar-nominated special effects are an exceptional looking bonus for their time.


    Just how bad can video look? If there ever was a collection of candidates, this is one of them. Incorrectly labelled as a 1.85:1 ratio image, the actual ratio is somewhere in the vicinity of 2.40:1, non-anamorphic. The image seems to have come off a release print with scratches and nicks constantly appearing throughout. The image is very soft with no real detail present at all, and being an NTSC transfer the resolution suffers even further. The probability of it being from a laserdisc source seems high.

    The two channel stereo soundtrack also suffers a lack of detail with very flat sounding fidelity. There is a lot of crackling and hissing present throughout. Even being of 1969 vintage, the extensiveness of the video problems and the audio could be forgiven, but other movies decades older put it to shame. Maybe we’re asking for too much, but we know it can be done; even an ever-so-slight improvement.

    There are no extras to be found on the disc, but if you consider some poorly-designed menus with no real layout and flow control an extra then this is loaded. Definitely only for the die hard fans of the movie, and there is obviously not going to be any real effort or money put into producing something decent.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Just how bad can video look?"
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Playstation 2
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS777 THX Select
    • Speakers:
          VAF Signature I-91
    • Centre Speaker:
          VAF Signature I-91
    • Surrounds:
          VAF Signature I-91
    • Subwoofer:
          VAF LFE-07
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
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