Long awaited, J.R. Bookwalter’s sophomore exploitation feature Robot Ninja has finally come to Blu-ray, three years after his Ultimate Edition of The Dead Next Door. That jam-packed, lovingly restored release was one of the standout home video releases of 2016, so it’s with no small anticipation that we awaited his follow-up.
Once again Bookwalter, who impressively restores and releases these films more or less by himself, has delivered a similarly incredible physical package. In some ways it’s not quite as deluxe this time, but still provides an incredibly hefty and feature-packed product. The originally planned soundtrack CD was scrapped, but the tunes are still included in mp3 format. Similarly, a planned 16:9 edition (the film is natively 4:3) ultimately wouldn’t fit on the discs, but was still produced and can be purchased as a VOD exclusive.
The reversible wrap features both new artwork and the older poster design seen on the DVD and VHS releases. While supplies last, the Blu-ray also comes with a slip (o-card) with yet another alternative cover, autographed by Bookwalter.
The 2-disc edition includes a Blu-ray disc with the remastered film and HD extras, and a DVD with the 1989 version of the movie and the balance of bonus materials in SD as well, as DVD-ROM content (mp3 soundtrack and PDFs of screenplay materials). It’s worth reiterating that the Blu-ray and DVD are not simply copies of each other, but wholly different, complementary components each featuring unique materials.
The 8-page booklet is another first-run exclusive, and like the slipcover is limited to the first 1000 units. I consider it a critical part of the package, as it includes Bookwalter’s written history of the film and its restoration, technical details on the restoration itself, and the track listing for the soundtrack.
Moving beyond the Blu-ray itself, additional available supplemental materials include a reversible poster and comic book — the poster is a free pack-in while supplies last, while the comic book is available as an add-on package tier.
INCLUDES SLIPCOVER AUTOGRAPHED BY DIRECTOR J.R. BOOKWALTER AND FREE 18″ X 24″ REVERSIBLE POSTER WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!
Disc 1 (Blu-ray, BD-25)
- 2K Restored Feature in 4:3 Original Aspect Ratio (1.33:1, 79 mins.)
- DTS HD-MA 5.1 Surround Remix
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Remix
- Audio Commentary with writer/director J.R. Bookwalter, moderated by Matthew Dilts-Williams of Phantom Pain Films
- Audio Commentary with executive producer David DeCoteau & producer J.R. Bookwalter
- Audio Commentary with director J.R. Bookwalter, star James L. Edwards, associate producer Scott P. Plummer, co-creator David Lange, and special makeup consultant David P. Barton
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround German Dubbed Mix
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Italian Dubbed Mix
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Castilian Spanish Dubbed Mix
- Rebuilding the Robot: J.R. Bookwalter on the Restoration (21 mins.)
- Thank You Miss Barbeau: Interview with Linnea Quigley (5 mins.)
- Contemplating Coleslaw: Interview with Scott Spiegel (6 mins.)
- Dr. Goodknight’s Neighborhood: Location Tour with Benjamin Bookwalter (5 mins.)
- “The Robot Ninja” 2013 Fan Film with introduction by director Johnny Dickie (7 mins.)
- Artwork & Promotional Gallery (5 mins.)
- Behind The Scenes Gallery (6 mins.)
- Production Stills Gallery (4 mins.)
- Optional English or Spanish Subtitles
- Tempe Digital Trailers
Disc 2 (Dual-Layer DVD-9)
- 1989 VHS Version in 4:3 Original Aspect Ratio (1.33:1, 80 mins.)
- Unreleased Dolby Digital 2.0 Original Stereo Mix
- Audio Commentary with Doug Tilley and Moe Porne of The No-Budget Nightmares Podcast
- Robot Ninja: Unmasked! featurette (48 mins.)
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage with audio commentary by director J.R. Bookwalter (30 mins.)
- Rough Cut Outtakes (11 mins.)
- “The Adventures of Robot Ninja” TV Show Promo (2 mins.)
- Newscast Outtakes (12 mins.)
- Location Preshoots (7 mins.)
- Original 1989 VHS Release Trailer (3 mins.)
- Optional English or Spanish Subtitles
- Tempe DVD Trailers
Disc 2 DVD-ROM Extras
- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack with Complete Score Composed & Performed by J.R. Bookwalter plus songs by Foxx, Argus, Rodney Shields, and J.R. Bookwalter (MP3, 320kbps)
- Original Treatment and Three Screenplay Drafts (PDF)
- Collectible slipcover signed by director J.R. Bookwalter (first 1,000 units only)
- Reversible wrap with newly-commissioned artwork by David Lange and original 1989 Cinema Home Video VHS artwork
- Eight-page color booklet with behind-the-scenes photos and liner notes by director J.R. Bookwalter (first 1,000 units only)
1989 • Color • 79 mins. plus bonus features • Horror / Action
Not Rated • Region-Free • Released by Tempe Digital
Cat. No. TD-1205 • Street Date: April, 2019
Buy it exclusively at Makeflix.com
All package photography was taken by the reviewer.