HEAD HUNTER (1989) Blu-ray
Director: Francis Schaeffer
Code Red Releasing

From deepest Africa to the dark corners of Miami’s Little Havana, Code Red releases HEAD HUNTER and its killer demon onto Blu-ray!

Miami police detectives Pete Giuliani (Wayne Crawford, BARRACUDA, THE EVIL BELOW) and Katherine Hall (Kay Lenz, PRISONERS OF THE LOST UNIVERSE, HOUSE) are tasked to investigate a series of decapitation murders within the Nigerian population of Little Havana while each of their personal lives are in turmoil. Pete gets thrown out of his home because his wife (June Chadwick, FORBIDDEN WORLD, V) has taken up with a woman so he’s forced to sleep in Katherine’s home on the sofa and tries to avoid being the “odd man out” when Katherine’s police boyfriend shows up on occasion. As the decapitation murders pile up—including a JAWS-inspired attack in a lake during a church baptism ceremony—the detectives conclude that something supernatural is at work but their police chief won’t buy it. The police duo discover that a mass immigration of Nigerian villagers to Miami followed a ritual designed to unleash an evil demon and the decapitation style of killing affirm Pete and Katherine’s suspicions. After numerous leads go nowhere, Pete’s wife calls him to make up and reconcile but when he arrives at the house, he discovers that both she and her lover are dead and the demon has taken her form. Pete takes off in his car, grabs a chainsaw from a nearby hardware store (hope he got gas for it!) and races to Katherine’s house in fear the demon is now impersonating her boyfriend and is after her head.

Production-wise, the "Head Hunter" barely makes an appearance in the film until the final few minutes, looking like a steroid-pumped-up creature wielding a scythe. Fake heads fly with sparks and fire during the murders and oddly, during the final battle with our heroes, scenes of THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON playing on Katherine’s TV are interposed throughout. Filmed in the “Miami Vice” era, director Schaeffer avoids the neon pastels of Sonny Crockett and makes good with the gritty side of Miami’s urban neighborhoods, but it is a time-capsule look at a Miami that will never be seen again.

Code Red presents HEAD HUNTER in 1080p HD as a 2K scan of the original interpositive in an anamorphic widescreen format (1.78:1). The picture quality is exceptionally clear and crisp. Audio is only mono with wide variations in volume depending on what is happening on the screen. While rated “R,” HEAD HUNTER would pass easily as a PG-13 film as there is no nudity, sex or graphic violence despite many opportunities to do so which makes it a very restrained horror film, but if there any devout fans of the film, they should be left happy by this presentation. There are no subtitle options on the disc, and extras are trailers for other titles available from Code Red. (Jim Flack)