„God please answer me, why are the innocent dead and the guilty alive?“ – Fans of the 80ies action movie genre may know that very well: Dolph Lundgren as „The Punisher“. But it is still not that easy with this flick. While the movie always was heavy cut in Germany -except of some shitty bootlegs- the US market got the r-rated version cut by some short frames here and there. Just some Asian Laserdiscs and the VHS tape from the Netherlands were the only chance to get the unrated version on the screen. And yes, myself still own the Dutch tape. As the message went around that they are releasing a hi-def transfer of Mark Goldblatt’s Punisher chance was, that they hopefully got the unrated reels. But also nowadays, the unrated scenes seem to be lost and the latest US or UK blu-rays are still the r-rated cut.
Now Koch Media from Germany followed another track and released the Punisher as a 3 disc Mediabook with a recut of the unrated version. This way you now hold the r-rated hi-def picture with some lower quality inserted unrated scenes in your hands. Together it is the most complete version at best picture quality you are able to get on the globe. Well, 3 discs, containing the r-rated full hd transfer and the unrated cut on blu-ray. Both also on DVD for people not having a BD player @ home.
As a special gift you also will find the workprint of The Punisher on the bonus DVD. The picture is the best you can get at the moment. But don’t expect too much. Different soundtrack and at LD picture quality level with a branding. Keep repeating: It is a workprint, it is a workprint, it is a workprint …
Picture quality of the full hd transfer is at medium to high level depending on the scenes you are watching. You may notice, that it is not a multi million dollar production like Avatar but as I said, the Punisher never looked as good as he no does on this disc. You may know Koch Media for their excellent releases, so they definitely don’t cut the line with this one. I also found an interesting screenshot compare done by „DVD Schweizer“ comparing the old German Starlight DVD release with the Koch blu-ray:
You may notice „some“ differences 😉
Sound is Dolby Digital 2.0 with the German and English audio track featuring German subs only. Sound quality is okay respecting the age of the material. The mediabook itself contains a nice booklet with interesting pictures.
Finally we now have a full loaded package of the original Punisher on the desk. Thanks to Koch for me the best one worldwide. Blu-ray is code B.
Keep in mind: „If you are guilty, you will be punished!“