Blu-ray Review: DOCTOR DETROIT

DOCTOR DETROITwas directed by Michael Pressman from a screenplay by Carl Gottlieb, Robert Boris and Bruce Jay Friedman and stars Dan Aykroyd, Donna Dixon, Fran Drescher, Glenne Headly, Lynn Whitfield, Lydia Lei, T. K. Carter, Kate Murtagh and Howard Hesseman.

He’s making the world safe…for insanity. Clifford Skridlow’s newest profession is the oldest profession in Doctor Detroit, a chaotic comedy starring the one and only Dan Aykroyd. When fast-talking pimp Smooth Walker (Howard Hesseman) finds himself in hot water with Chicago crime boss Mom (Kate Murtagh), he claims that there’s a new player in the game: Doctor Detroit, a cat who’s badder than bad … and completely fictitious. In need of a patsy until the heat dies down, Smooth hits paydirt with mild-mannered professor Clifford Skridlow (Aykroyd) — and promptly skips town, leaving his bevy of sexy “employees” in Clifford’s hapless hands. Charmed by the ladies and spurred by his dedication to chivalry, Clifford agrees to become their protector and ally, transforming himself from a power-walking professor to a heroic hustler … and throwing down the gauntlet to save his college from financial ruin and the four damsels from the wrath of Mom!

This 1983 cult comedy follows Clifford Skridlow, a college professor who unknowingly gets sucked into the oldest profession in the world by Smooth Walker who goes into hiding. Clifford accidentally becomes this manufactured character that sort of becomes a suprising warrior for the cause. So what’s the cause, you ask? There’s also the ruthless crime boss Mom who was already after Smooth and when she hears about Doctor Detroit, she declares war on him but the accidental hero is ready for her – kind of.

The two end up going at it back and forth several times while Clifford struggles to keep his two identities separate from one another. He also has something important going on in his personal life that could ultimately affect his job. In the end, Clifford and Mom go at it one final time and not only does he save his four damsel in distresses but he finds a way to help save his college from financial ruin. And while all of this craziness is going on the legendary James Brown is performing in the background.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use as the front cover. The disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Doctor Detroit is one of those 80’s pop comedies that didn’t really make a big splash when it first hit theaters back in 1983 but it has definitely found a loyal cult following over the years. This was also Dan Aykroyd’s attempt at headlining a movie but unfortunately he’s always been better at supporting roles. As far as the story goes, I thought the concept was pretty interesting because it places this uptight college professor in an entirely new element where he becomes this charismatic pimp who battles it out with his sleazy competition. The cast is fantastic because not only do we have Aykroyd in the lead but he’s complimented by two legends, Kate Murtagh and Howard Hesseman. There’s also the very young Donna Dixon, Fran Drescher and Glenne Headly who would all go on to bigger and better things in their careers. All in all, I would say that Doctor Detroit has earned its cult status over the years even though not everyone is going to get this goofy style of comedy. Doctor Detroit is the latest cult classic to join Shout! Factory’s impressive Shout Select series when it debuts on Blu-ray on April 24th.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 90 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include some new audio commentary, a new interview with the director, a vintage press kit featurette, images, two trailers, two TV spots and some radio spots.

  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Michael Pressman and Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball
  • NEW Interview With Director Michael Pressman (24:35)
  • “Radio Free Detroit” – Inside the Doctor Detroit Audio Press Kit, Featuring Rare and Vintage Interviews (24:29)
  • Photo Gallery (08:18)
  • Theatrical Trailers (03:49)
  • TV Spots (01:01)
  • Radio Spots (04:14)


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