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Danger 5
Reviewed by
Andrew Proverbs
on
Danger 5 DVD Review. Pour two fingers of Thunderbirds into a glass. Add a dash of Charlie’s Angels, and another of vintage 007. Sprinkle with flakes of Japan’s Ultraman and serve with a massive side order of cheese. The perfect retro pulp comedy.
Rating:
4.0

Feature 8.0
Video 6.0
Audio 5.0
Special Features 8.0
Total 8.0

Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 150 Minutes
Reviewer: Andrew Proverbs
Classification: MA15+

8.0


Danger 5

In one episode of Danger 5, you’ll see a Nazi Triceratops with machineguns strapped to its horns. I was sorely tempted to end my review right there, figuring half the people reading would have already made up their mind to buy the DVD, and the other half would have drifted over to Facebook to look at pictures of kittens peeking out of cupboards. 

But on the off chance anyone has made it this far, allow me to elucidate: Danger 5 comes from indie filmmakers Dario Russo and David Ashby, best known for creating the YouTube sensation Italian Spiderman. Like that earlier series, Danger 5 is made to look and sound like a low-budget serial from the 1960’s. A lot of the same techniques have been carried over from Italian Spiderman, but now everything is on a bigger scale. The script has received more attention, the sets are more detailed and the project looks more professional as a whole. 

The titular quintet are a group of soldiers, each hailing from a different allied territory, united in their mission to stop the Nazi onslaught, turn the tide of battle, and (of course) kill Hitler. 

The series is divided into 6 25-minute episodes, each the subject of a single ‘mission.’ All are delightfully cheesy, ranging from a plan to stop Nazi Dinosaurs from ravaging Europe, to an espionage mission into the ‘Golden murder palace,’ a casino which Hitler is using as a front to create the ultimate weapon. 

More often than not, the comedy stems from the completely ridiculous. In one moment, model blimps on strings are carrying away a plastic Eiffel tower. In the next, a character is battling a man in a (deliberately unconvincing) shark suit. There are cigarette-smoking dogs, men with dinosaurian heads, manga-inspired Japanese super-soldiers and sexy female Nazis everywhere you look. 

The look and feel of the series is absolutely spot-on. The miniature sets are rich in detail, and finished off with some brilliant lighting effects. Colours are dull and sometimes grainy, reflecting the quality of a 1960s film. The sound is noticeably muffled and the audio-sync is ever-so-slightly off, adding to the overall effect. 

The writing for each of the characters is unique and colourful. David Ashby plays Jackson, your typical gung-ho American who comes out with quotes like ’…find Hitler and blow his face off his head-bone.’ Natasa Ristic’s Ilsa is a dour alcoholic who shows us she has no standards whatsoever, by hooking up with Nazi weight-lifters, fellow team members and even Erwin Rommel over the course of the series. 

While the pacing is generally good, there is the odd flat spot in this series where you feel the story hasn’t quite got the legs to last 25 minutes.     

Special Features: 

  • The Diamond Girls, parts 1-5: This 5 part series was previously released online, and acts as a teaser to the main feature. 

  • ?Teasers: Some snippets from the more action-packed moments of the show. 

  • ?Trailer: A promo video narrated by the eagle-headed Colonel of Danger 5. 

It would have been great if the DVD contained a ‘making of’ special, to explain the creation of the hilarious sets, costumes and models. A gag reel would have provided extra value as well. 

Closing comments: 

Pour two fingers of Thunderbirds into a glass. Add a dash of Charlies Angels, and another of vintage 007. Sprinkle with flakes of Japan’s Ultraman and serve with a massive side order of cheese. The perfect retro pulp comedy.






 
 



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