If one doesn’t tire of serial killer stories, COLUMBIA TRISTAR’s release of “NIGHTSTALKER”, may prove worthwhile. Based on the true story of Richard Ramirez, known in the media as the “NIGHTSTALKER”, it focuses on his killing spree during the summer of 1985. It also tries to tell the story of a pretty, young copy, played by Roselyn Sanchez, trying to catch him. While it has some truly effective moments, it doesn’t ever feel like it’s worried about staying too close to the specific facts of the case. The real Ramirez was indiscriminate in his killings, often coming upon older people during his brutal break-ins and slayings. In this film, the victims tend to be young and pretty.
COLUMBIA TRISTAR has presented this release with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. The image is decent, though flawed in spots. There is a lot more grain than is typical on most superior COLUMBIA TRISTAR releases. Still, contrast is in good shape. There are plenty of dark scenes, and blacks and grays are discernible. Fleshtones appear natural.
COLUMBIA TRISTAR has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Again, it’s flawed but aggressive. There is some minor distortion in a few scenes, but there are numerous directional effects throughout the film, and they help in creating an eerie atmosphere at just the right moments.
COLUMBIA TRISTAR provides a running commentary for this release. Writer/director Chris Fisher and the editor and Director of Photography contribute some tales of what happened behind the scenes in production. It’s generally dry and not recommended. There are two deleted scenes, rightfully cut, and trailers.