Select Page

VHS fave “ROBOT NINJA” slashes onto Blu-ray; complete specs and art

Friday, February 22, 2019 | Blu-ray/DVD, News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

Long out of print since its original 1989 VHS release, J.R. Bookwalter’s gory action/horror film ROBOT NINJA is returning in its first high-definition disc release. Read on for the full details and various art, plus a restoration trailer.

Bookwalter’s Tempe Digital will release ROBOT NINJA in a two-disc Ultimate Edition Blu-ray set, along with an MOD DVD edition. The film, in which a comic-book artist adopts the persona of his violent superhero character to take on a gang terrorizing his town, has been restored from a 2K scan of the original 16mm negative elements, and is accompanied by a wealth of extras:

Ultimate Edition:

Disc 1 (Blu-ray, BD-25)

  • 2K restored feature in 4:3 original aspect ratio (1.33:1, 79 mins.)
  • DTS HD-MA 5.1 Surround remix
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround remix
  • Audio commentary by writer/director J.R. Bookwalter, moderated by Matthew Dilts-Williams of Phantom Pain Films
  • Audio commentary by executive producer David DeCoteau and producer J.R. Bookwalter
  • Audio commentary by director J.R. Bookwalter, star James L. Edwards, associate producer Scott P. Plummer, co-creator David Lange and special makeup consultant David P. Barton
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround German dubbed mix
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Italian dubbed mix
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Castilian Spanish dubbed mix
  • “Rebuilding the Robot”: J.R. Bookwalter on the Restoration (21 mins.)
  • “Thank You Miss Barbeau”: Interview with Linnea Quigley (5 mins.)
  • “Contemplating Coleslaw”: Interview with Scott Spiegel (6 mins.)
  • “Dr. Goodknight’s Neighborhood”: Location tour with Benjamin Bookwalter (5 mins.)
  • THE ROBOT NINJA 2013 fan film with introduction by director Johnny Dickie (7 mins.)
  • Artwork and promotional gallery (5 mins.)
  • Behind-the-scenes gallery (6 mins.)
  • Production stills gallery (4 mins.)
  • Optional English or Spanish subtitles
  • Tempe Digital trailers

Disc 2 (Dual-Layer DVD-9)

  • 1989 VHS version in 4:3 original aspect ratio (1.33:1, 80 mins.)
  • Unreleased Dolby Digital 2.0 original stereo mix
  • Audio commentary by Doug Tilley and Moe Porne of The No-Budget Nightmares podcast
  • “Robot Ninja: Unmasked!” featurette (48 mins.)
  • Behind-the-scenes footage with audio commentary by director J.R. Bookwalter (30 mins.)
  • Rough cut outtakes (11 mins.)
  • THE ADVENTURES OF ROBOT NINJA TV Show promo (2 mins.)
  • Newscast outtakes (12 mins.)
  • Location preshoots (7 mins.)
  • Original 1989 VHS release trailer (3 mins.)
  • Optional English or Spanish subtitles
  • Tempe DVD trailers

Disc 2 DVD-ROM Extras

  • Original motion picture soundtrack with complete score composed and performed by J.R. Bookwalter plus songs by Foxx, Argus, Rodney Shields and J.R. Bookwalter (MP3, 320kbps)
  • Original treatment and three screenplay drafts (PDF)

Packaging

  • Collectible slipcover signed by director J.R. Bookwalter (first 1,000 units only)
  • Reversible wrap with newly commissioned artwork by David Lange and original 1989 Cinema Home Video VHS artwork
  • Eight-page color booklet with behind-the-scenes photos and liner notes by director J.R. Bookwalter (first 1,000 units only)

Details of the MOD DVD edition are:

  • 2K restored feature in 4:3 original aspect ratio (1.33:1, 79 mins.)
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround remix
  • Audio commentary by writer/director J.R. Bookwalter, moderated by Matthew Dilts-Williams of Phantom Pain Films
  • “Robot Ninja: Unmasked!” featurette (48 mins.)
  • “Rebuilding the Robot”: J.R. Bookwalter on the restoration (21 mins.)
  • Artwork and promotional gallery (5 mins.)
  • Original 1989 VHS release trailer (3 mins.)
  • Optional English or Spanish subtitles
  • Tempe Digital trailers

The Ultimate Edition will ship in late March, and orders can be placed exclusively at the Tempe on-line store until April 1; this version will come with a reversible 18×24-inch poster while supplies last. The MOD DVD will be available April 23 at Amazon.com and other retail sites. Tempe is also releasing the original soundtrack March 15 on digital formats and April 19 on CD, and the official comic-book adaptation and limited-edition VHS are available as well.

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.