Windrider Blu Ray Review (MVD Rewind Collection)
Windrider (aKa Wind Rider & Making Waves) is a 1986 romantic comedy film directed by Vincent Monton (Fatal Bond, Point of No Return, & The Hit). This was Vincent Monton’s directorial debut, he is mainly known for being a cinematographer. He’s worked on such films as Road Games, Thirst, Long Weekend, Heatwave, Innocent Prey, & many other productions.This was Nicole Kidman’s first adult role. This was the first film made about wind surfing. Stewart ‘P.C.’ Simpson (played by: Tom Burlinson from The Man from Snowy River, Flesh + Blood, The Time Guardian, & Fragments of Terror) lives two completely different lives. One of them is working at a corporate office for his father Stewart Simpson Sr. (played by: Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell from Murder She Said, Murder at the Gallop, Murder Most Foul, & Breaker Morant) at Simpson Engineering. The other is living his dream & being a professional wind surfer. He thinks his father is disappointed in him & feels that he is wasting his potential by being distracted by his hobby. Miss Dodge (played by: Jill Perryman from …Maybe This Time, Homicide, & Clowning Around) always keep him in line & makes sure he focuses on his work when he’s there. One morning, P.C. pulls off the impossible when practicing & notices Jade (played by: Nicole Kidman from Days of Thunder, Batman Forever, The Others, Eyes Wide Shut, & Dogville) as his only witness. None of his friends believe him so he is determined to find this mysterious woman. Soon after, a music video comes on & that same stranger is the lead singer of the band. P.C tracks down Jade & the unexpected happens between both of them. They start to fall for each other in no time. After a close call with a shark & getting embarrassed by being saved by his rival Coyote (played by: Kim Bullad) P.C. steps away from the game. He starts to drift away from his relationship with Jade & gets way behind on his work. After being down in the dumps, he gets pushed in the right direction & realizes all his mistakes. He seeks redemption & makes changes in his life. More determined than ever, he goes against Coyote in a competition to finally prove who’s the best in their sport!!!!
Windrider is a truly different experience when it comes to the romantic & 80s teen comedies. I haven’t seen too many features about surfing so that somewhat new to me also. You have to appreciate the balls this production had for being a late 80s teen flick. Those were very popular at the time but they were super tame when it came to ratings & material that pushed the limits. This feature had a decent amount of foul language & it wasn’t shy to be sexy at all. As a matter of fact, this was the first time that Nicole Kidman got nude in a movie. She looked amazing in this so that’s a easy selling point for this. Most American audiences wouldn’t be familiar with them but this production had a strong supporting cast. It had a cool atmosphere for both the surfing & rock worlds in this. My favorite scene was when the shark attacked the lead character. The shark looked great & it’s a shame it didn’t get used more in this film. It don’t happen too much but Windrider really surprised me & went way above my expectations for it!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation on this blu ray disc! The 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is definitely a big improvement over the previous DVD release. Don’t go into this expecting something that’s reference quality or anything like that, it still has print damage every once in awhile but it’s nothing major. It kinda feels like something you would see at the drive in so it actually fits the feature & adds to the nostalgia. It looks very solid for it’s age especially the water scenes, this is the best that this film has ever looked on home video! The English: LPCM 2.0 track really shines when it comes to the soundtrack for the production. Considering one of the main characters is in a band, music is a huge part of Windrider. That main song gets stuck in your head real easy & if you are a 80s fans you will appreciate the entire score for this.
Let’s discuss the special features from MVD Rewind! Audio Commentary with director Vince Monton & writer Everett De Roche moderated by Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!, Machete Maidens Unleashed!, & Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films documentary filmmaker Mark Hartley. They talk about the film having similarities to Risky Business. They explain why the name was changed from Making Waves to Windrider. They talk about how it should have two versions released. One for the teens it was aimed for & the Rated R cut for everyone else. They mention that’s why it probably didn’t do that great at the box office. They chat about Tom Burlinson doing most of his own stunts in this. They bring up that it originally had a completely different cast. They joke about it being the first wind surfer film & possibly the only one ever made. Nicole Kidman forced them to remove various nude scenes from this feature years later when she became a big star.
A hilarious conversation after this is started, they point out all the nude scenes she’s done since this production. They discuss the cast, crew, & locations of Windrider. It’s a great track that’s full of plenty of information & facts about this. After that you get multiple promotional material for the production which include the 1 minute “Music Promo” which features Nicole Kidman, the almost 2 minute “Young Days Music Promo Video” that features various clips from the film, the almost 3 minute “Windsurfing Promo” that has footage of people enjoying the sport that’s the main focus on this flick, a little over a minute “Photo Gallery”, a “Theatrical Trailer” for this plus various other MVD Rewind Collection trailers. It also comes with a collectible mini poster & an awesome retro slipcover. This is definitely a very unique romantic comedy & it was actually way better than expected! Recommended for Tom Burlinson, Nicole Kidman, Australian cinema, & surfing fans. It’s available everywhere right now, check it out!!!!