08th Apr2020

‘She’ Blu-ray Review (Kino Lorber)

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Sandahl Bergman, Gordon Mitchell, David Goss, Quin Kessler, Elena Wiedermann, Harrison Muller | Written and Directed by Avi Nesher


Written and directed by Avi Nesher (Doppelganger), She is loosely, and I do mean loosely, based on the novel by H. Rider Haggard. Fresh off her appearance in films like Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja, Sandahl Bergman stars as the titular the beautiful warrior-queen who rules by the sword in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Women battle, men are used for ritual sex and sacrifice, but the arrival of three strangers plunges She into a nightmare quest for survival.

Together, She and her ill-matched companions cross the Forest of Yellow Death to encounter a tribe of innocents by day and man-eating werewolves by night, and an invisible sailor who literally multiplies when attacked. They make a last stand on Blood Bridge against The Norks, a master warrior tribe that lives only by war and pillage.

I’m not going to lie, as a teenager I absolutely adored this 80s iteration of She. As bonkers as any Italian post-apocalyptic movie you’ve ever seen, inspired by the likes of the aforementioned Conan, with all its sword and sorcery revelry AND feeling, at times, like the nightmare landscape of Beneath the Planet of the Apes, complete with a wild and wooly selection of mutants and monsters – She is like a fever-dream writ big on the screen.

Bizarre set-pieces in which She and “friends” battle enemies, weird characters who come and go with no introduction; it’s like watching some surreal stream-of-concious unfurl. I loved the oddball nature of the films when I was younger, which meant I had some trepidation revisiting the film on the brand-new new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

Turns out I need not have worried. I still love it! In fact in a world of increasingly diluted genre cinema, something as out-there as She is a welcome breath of fresh air! And Kino Lorber’s Blu-ray does wonders for the film too. Now it has been a while since I last watched She, my original UK VHS pretty much worn out by now from years of over-watching. So to see the film via a superb 1080p print on this Blu-ray felt like rediscovering the film all over again. Seriously.

For a film that’s almost three-decades old, and a low-budget – some might say forgotten – film to look this good is simply astonishing. The colours are vivid, the picture is crisp and thankfully hasn’t been DNR’d to death, there’s still plenty of film grain present (in the best way of course). I’ll say it again, it’s remarkable how GOOD this film looks on Blu-ray!

The only thing that lets this “Special Edition” presentation of the film (because that’s what Kino Lorber bill it as) down are the extras. A bunch of trailers for KL’s other Blu-ray releases make up most of the extras; however we do get an interview with writer/director Avi Nesher that, whilst running less than 15 minutes, makes for compelling viewing, offering an insight into Nesher’s thought process and the making of the film. Shame he refused to make a sequel though…

She is out now on [Region A] Blu-Ray from Kino Lorber.


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