Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
By: Devon B. on August 30, 2012  | 
MGM (USA) | Region Free | 1.85:1, 1080p | English DTS-HD MA 1.0 | 107 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Steve Carver
Starring: Chuck Norris, David Carradine, Barbara Carrera, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Robert Beltran
Screenplay: B.J. Nelson
Country: USA
External Links
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While watching Lone Wolf McQuade, I was surprised when I flipped the Blu-ray case over and saw the film was rated PG. This movie has a lot of people getting shot, admittedly in the sanitised, bloodless style that middle America seems so pleased with, but it's still a bunch of people being killed. On top of that, there's a lot of swearing for a PG movie, it's just in Spanish. Either the MPAA weren't bilingual at the time, or they figured if it didn't offend the good, English only folk it wasn't offensive.

In the film, Norris plays a Texas Ranger, and he's a bit of a lone wolf. Named McQuade. In all honesty, Norris lives with an actual wolf, so he's really more of a small pack McQuade than a lone wolf McQuade. The Rangers are made out to be supra human, but Norris is a standout even amongst their hallowed ranks, so when a police squad bumbles a bust, he is able to singled-handedly dispatch justice to the potty-mouthed (in Spanish) outlaws. Despite his great arrest record, Norris catches heat for his rogue, small pack ways, and is saddled with a new partner to try to keep him in line and put him in a slightly larger pack. This couldn't have come at a worse time because a Carradine, thankfully not John, but David, is in the area and up to no good. Then Norris' daughter is nearly murdered by some thugs, so things get personal.

Small Pack McQuade is a very deliberately paced film, but I don't mean that it's slow. Not that it's wall to wall action and intrigue, but the action set-pieces are evenly distributed within the film, so it's never too long without a skirmish. It's almost like calculations were applied to the film's runtime to work out how many action scenes were required. I think this leaves the film feeling a little too measured, and makes it feel like it needed some tightening when it might just have needed some natural flow to the story.

The film is kind of a martial arts Western, with the gun play and hoo-ha mixed together well. The movie is painfully 80s in a good way, except for the music cues which are just painfully 80s. There're some funny little touches, like Carradine's rego, and some unintentionally funny touches caused by nonsense within the plot. But comedy and story aren't the reason people watch Chuck Norris movies, they watch them to see the man who's so tough he's inspired his own genre of jokes based on how tough he is, and he doesn't disappoint his fans here.

Norris never misses when shooting. I mean never. He fires off a machine gun at some people surrounding him and hits them all. Later there's a montage to show his excellent marksmanship, but if he's that accurate with a weapon not known for its aim, the viewer already knows he must be an amazing shot. It's not just shooting Norris excels at, the movie makes it clear he's the best at everything (except acting). The thing Norris is definitely the best at is growing hair, the loveable bear-man that we know and love. In fact, maybe this should be Lone Bear McQuade, which would be a cool name because then it also sounds like he's a gay man. The new jingoistic cover art seems to play up the homoerotic element, because that gun could easily be changed for a dildo, and I'm sure Norris' appearance was an influence on the bear culture, so why not acknowledge this? I mean, he's really, really hairy. He's like a lycanthrope stuck mid transition. oh my fucken God, this should be remade as Werewolf McQaude! I know there're too many remakes these days, but that's one well that could be revisited.

While I can dream of the werewolf film that was not to be, the film I have isn't bad by any means. It features a good amount of action, a massive dose of ego and not a single bloody squib.
The print sports some spots and specks, but has good detail and a healthy dose of grain present. The film does pop at times, and for what it is, I was well pleased with this transfer.except for the edge enhancement, of which there is a fair bit early on.
This is exactly what I want from a Blu-ray, the original audio in a lossless track, and the mix is clear and crisp. There're also a bunch of dubs, only one of which, the French, is listed on the cover. There're also German, Spanish and Italian tracks. The dubs all seemed of similar quality, but the English track was a bit brighter and louder than the dubs.
Extra Features
The trailer!
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Aside from the edge enhancement, this was exactly what I was hoping for when I saw Lone Wolf McQuade was making its high definition debut. The disc is bare bones, but I'm not too fussed about extras, and am just glad that a mid-price catalogue title has been given such decent treatment.

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