Bloodfeast!: The Adventures of Sgt. Lunch is a zany zero-budget 1992 SOV comedy spoofing police procedurals of the 70s and 80s. When straight-laced Sgt. Lunch faces the ultimate killing machine; his reputation and relationship with his evil brother are questioned. A genuine guerilla effort from director Dave Palamaro, the feature is a mixtape of DIY gusto, oddball humor, and pure silliness. The Blu-ray from Saturn’s Core and OCN DIstribution preserves the film’s SOV A/V roots while piling on the bonus features making this For Fans Only.
“I like to consider myself a culinary epicure.”
Boutique Blu-ray collectors often fervently dissent when a label charges the same price for a minor SOV effort that they would for a fully fleshed-out feature oozing with notoriety or major genre vibes. This is the crux of film preservation. What makes one film more deserving of a Blu-ray release than another? Bloodfeast!: The Adventures of Sgt. Lunch runs a brief 63 minutes and has only seen a self-produced VHS release, which maybe five people have ever owned. Why give it the same attention (and price) as the cult classic Hell Comes to Frogtown?
This disc should be called the Dave Palamaro Cinematic Universe: Phase-1. While Sgt. Lunch is the main feature, the inclusion of Palamaro’s short films and adjacent features takes this release to another level. Tucked away in the special features are the building blocks of his characters and stories, which are all interconnected. In the short Leave That Thing Alone, a video store customer becomes disappointed when they can’t get a copy of Milton’s Laundry: Don’t Look in the Hamper!!! - Part 1 which references another Palamaro short film about a killer pile of laundry. Lumping together the collected early works of an SOV director to round out a single release is a solid idea that should appeal to those questioning the purchase of a minor SOV feature.
Let’s begin our dive into the PCU with Bloodfeast!: The Adventures of Sgt. Lunch. This goofy comedy begins with tall-drink-of-water Sgt. Al Lunch (Steve Station) in pursuit of a purse snatcher. His lanky build is topped by an undersized bucket hat, which gives the officer a cartoonish appeal as he runs after the crook. Straight-laced and by the book, actor Steve Station modeled him after Sgt. Friday from Dragnet. Back at the precinct, Lunch is celebrated for making his 300th arrest. Soon, he’ll give his life story to reporter Mary Lowdown from the Daily Tattletale after a hilarious bit of sexual misdirection involving a sandwich. He mentions his estranged brother, Feast, which inspires the reporter to look up the troubled brother in hopes of developing her story.
We cut to Feast (Station but in a curly blonde wig), who creates the ultimate killing machine to torment his brother. However, it's just a shirtless dude acting like Schwarzenegger from The Terminator. Feast’s machine goes on a killing spree around town. The newspaper calls the burly maniac “Annihilator.” Our intrepid hero goes against him in the street but gets knocked out. The celebrated Seargent’s credibility is questioned after the attack as Internal Affairs shows up. How can Lunch defeat this mechanical maniac, regain his status in the department, and stop his brother?
Bloodfeast!: The Adventures of Sgt. Lunch isn’t a labor of love. No, this was a labor of sheer fun by a group of friends out for a good time. Inspired by film noir and the spoof structure of The Naked Gun, Palamaro and frequent collaborator Dave Umstead took their idea and ran with it. In every scene, they aim to put the straight-laced officer through the cliched paces of defeating an arch-enemy but doing it as crazy as possible. Foot chases give way to questionable DIY stuntwork, but the cherry on top comes from Annihilator’s warpath. Bloody kills, severed arms, and gunshot wounds look surprisingly good when the faux Arnie is raining pain on innocent bystanders.
While stationed on a military base, the crew smartly uses available locations to access offices and apartments for shooting. My favorite is the “Phuk U Chinese Pub,” where Lunch meets his martial arts trainer, Chuck van Lee. The pub looks like a stoner’s dingy living room covered in James Dean posters, but to Palamaro and crew, it doesn’t matter. Across Bloodfeast!: The Adventures of Sgt. Lunch and the collected works from Palamaro on this disc, one ethos rings true: Shoot the scene, get the laughs.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Bloodfeast!: The Adventures of Sgt. Lunch arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Saturn’s Core and OCN Distribution. The All-Region disc is housed in a transparent keepcase with a reversible artwork sleeve. Loading the disc presents the Saturn’s Core logo before landing on the Main Menu screen, with scenes from the film playing adjacent to the typical navigation options.
A disclaimer appears at the start of the film indicating that this transfer is a brand new scan of the only remaining S-VHS master tape in existence. The HD image is supervised and approved by director Dave Palmero, with video distortion and damage inherent to the source. Overall, the master appears in satisfactory shape, though one instance of severe damage appears in the final act of the feature. Overall this presentation is on par with other SOV titles of its ilk.
Shot on S-VHS Bloodfeast!: The Adventures of Sgt. Lunch naturally arrives with its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Primary colors are discernible in costuming and set design; however, textures and detail are non-existent. Analog distortion is constant, so adjust your tracking!
For Bloodfeast!: The Adventures of Sgt. Lunch, our audio arrives through a satisfying DTS-HD MA 2.0 mix. Dialogue is mostly clear, though hard to understand when layered with rock synth beats and canned effects. Audio distortion occurs constantly, with in-camera mics picking up more than expected in scenes. Subtitles are available and recommended for most viewers new to SOV features.
Saturn’s Core and OCN Distribution satisfy SOV fans by loading this release with early works from Palamaro, which expands on the Sgt. Lunch universe. Start with the short film The Toxic Kid: Beach Party Blood Bath Part 2 before working through the extensive bonus content.
Bloodfeast!: The Adventures of Sgt. Lunch is a prime example of the joy SOV filmmaking brings to creators and audiences. Built around an absurd premise, Palamaro and his gang of weirdos never let their movie get in the way of a good time. Goofy and full of DIY ingenuity, it allows fans to explore the wellspring of small-scale SOV features. Here’s hoping that Al Lunch will ride again someday! Saturn’s Core and OCN Distribution bring the comedy to Blu-ray with an A/V package preserving its analog roots while adding a wealth of bonus features expanding on Palamaro’s filmography. For Fans Only.