Boss Blu Ray Review (Kit Parker Films)
Boss (aKa Boss Nigger & The Black Bounty Killer) is a 1975 Western film directed by Jack Arnold (It Came from Outer Space, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, & Tarantula). It’s the first film where star Fred Williamson was also credited as co-producer & writer. It was distributed by Dimension Pictures. A loose sequel to this titled “Adiós Amigo” was made in 1975. After finding a wagon under attack by criminals, two black bounty hunters Boss (played by: Fred Williamson from MASH, Hammer, Black Caesar, Hell Up in Harlem, & The Inglorious Bastards) & Amos (played by: D’Urville Martin from Dolemite, Rosemary’s Baby, Five on the Black Hand Side, & The Final Comedown) save Clara Mae (played by: Carmen Hayward from The Great American Girl Robbery, Perfume, & Yo Alien). After inspecting the dead bodies, they find several rewards on them. One of them has a letter from the mayor of the nearby town San Miguel inviting him to become sheriff on the recommendation of fugitive Jed Clayton (played by: William Smith from Any Which Way You Can, Red Dawn, American Me, The Frisco Kid, & Maniac Cop).
They decide to go to San Miguel & meet Mayor Griffin (played by: R. G. Armstrong from Dick Tracy, Children of the Corn, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Predator, & The Car). After being treated poorly by the town, Boss decides to make himself the new sheriff without their approval. He has interaction with Miss Pruit (played by: Barbara Leigh from Terminal Island, Seven, & Pretty Maids All in a Row) that starts off bad but ends up connecting with the local school teacher. He is forced to hold down the law to some of the most respected members of town & this causes problems with the community. Jed Clayton & his gang keep taking whatever they want from San MiguelSan Miguel, everyone lets them bully them around until now! Boss goes against the ruthless group of bandits & ends up kidnapped. Amos & the rest of the town must come together to help him. This leads to a deadly final confrontation between San Miguel & greedy killers looking to take over everything!!!!
Boss is a great hybrid of two of my favorite genres, the western & blaxploitation. Fred Williamson takes command of the screen & gives one of his best performances as Boss. The supporting cast was very good in this & it boosted the overall quality of the production. The chemistry between Williamson & Martin is great here. Jack Arnold did a top notch job with the direction with this, he was a television & studio veteran so his experience really elevated Boss past by your typical western or blaxploitation at the time. The cinematography by Robert Caramico (Orgy of the Dead, Octaman, Blackenstein, Eaten Alive, & Dallas) made this stand out more especially considering it’s low budget. Leon Moore’s score fit the vibe of the production perfect & it was an important addition to this. It’s loaded with bullets, action, & a buffet of violence to entertain any cinema fan. It also had some hilarious moments thrown in with all the chaos. The comedy added a nice balance to everything. This was a sensitive issue at the time & they pushed their limits with this. I wish they made more features like this in the 70s & 80s, this low budget effort was so much fun & the replay value is strong. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for western, blaxploitation, Fred Williamson, & Jack Arnold fans!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Kit Parker Films! This 1080p (2.35:1) transfer is the best that Boss has ever looked on home video & it’s had a decent amount of releases over the years. It’s a major improvement from the previous VCI DVD release. The cinematography & atmosphere makes this low budget production look better than some of similar projects at the same time with more money invested into them. When the talent is there & it’s used right, you can almost do anything. The English: LPCM 2.0 track is very clean when comes to the dialogue & the score sounds awesome in my home set up! That’s the true highlight here with this audio. It also includes English SDH subtitles. Both picture & sound were huge upgrades compared to the past, this is the definitive version of this film.
Let’s discuss the special features on this release! The original “Theatrical Trailer” for the film. “A Boss Memory” is an almost 8 minute interview with producer Myrl Schreibman. He talks about how the project got started. He chats about working with Jack Arnold & Fred Williamson. He says he learned a lot from this that he used later on. He brings up his experience on the feature plus he tells a few stories from it. He mentions The Boss character & the sequel to this at the end. “Jack Arnold Tribute by Myrl Schreibman” is an almost 4 minute interview with Boss producer & Arnold associate. He talks about him as a person. He brings up some of his work. He says he was mainly known for his science fiction efforts. He mentions how he fought studios to make sure his creative vision was fully met. He talks about him discovering Peter Sellers. He says his influence is obvious over all kinds of modern films including inspiring Steven Spielberg. “A Conversation With Fred Williamson” is a little over 27 minute with the lead actor, writer, & producer of Boss conducted by Joel Blumberg. He talks about his college career a little bit. He chats about his transition from football to movies. He brings up some of his earlier projects. He talks about starting his own company, making his own films, & having his own set of rules. He chats about starting a new movement in cinema. He says he made more money doing TV early on than his entire career in sports. He bring s his NFL experience & career. He tells the story of how he got the nickname “The Hammer”. He says he only did Monday Night Football to get a movie deal with the network. He mentions his upcoming projects. It’s awesome to see this film get a proper release. It comes with a DVD copy & a reversible original artwork with the uncensored title. It’s available everywhere right now, check it out!!!!