Blu-Ray Review: Ozone (1995)

July 11, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

There’s a new drug on the mean streets called Ozone, and it has the nasty habit of making those that take it explode… and those are the lucky ones!

Enter: Detective Eddie Boone (James Black), who finds himself injected with Ozone while on a bust that also results in his partner, Mike (Tom Hoover) being maimed and abducted by a gang of Ozone “zombies”. Now Boone must search for his partner while suffering nightmarish Ozone hallucinations, and contending with the monstrous mutant addicts that stand in his way!

Shot on Super VHS-C, for next to no cash, Ozone is punk rock fright flick filmmaking at it’s best! Director/Co-writer J.R. Bookwalter (along with Co-writer David A. Wagner) creates a truly unique vision of endless mutations, body-melts, Cenobite-style punks, and gallons of grizzly gore (most realized via excellent practical effects work, though some early CG “morphs” are utilized as well) that parade around a world just a few minutes ahead of our own.

A ton of credit must also be given to the rock solid acting chops of leading man James Black who brings a grounded sense of believability to the surreal proceedings that swirl and bubble around him.

In the end though it’s the D.I.Y. aesthetic, sheer balls, and scads of heart on display that make Ozone the horror biz winner that it is… plus one scene features a parody of Achy-Breaky Heart because “fuck yeah”, that’s why!

Now if the feature film was the only thing available on this Blu-ray release from Tempe Entertainment, I’d easily tell you cats n’ creeps to pick this up… but it isn’t, by a long shot!

First up on the bonus features beastly bonanza are three audio commentaries, one new and two archival, featuring Bookwalter (with the brand-new conversation featuring Tempe historian Ross Snyder, and the 2003 archival chat featuring star Black). While there is some repeated information, each one of these is an entertaining listen with all of the nuts n’ bolts of how Ozone came to be with plenty of anecdotes along the way.

Following that we get thirty minutes of bloopers and outtakes, a production & artwork gallery, a promotional images gallery, a duo of archival news stories featuring Bookwalter from 1993, a thirty minute long archival “making-of” piece, an archival piece on James Black, a look at the filming locations from 2003, behind-the-scenes footage (with optional commentary from Bookwalter), a collection of early test footage created before Bookwalter was attached to the project, and the film’s trailer (along with those of other Tempe releases including a little number called Robot Ninja which I absolutely have to get my sweaty lil’ talons on post-haste).

And that’s just Disc One…

Disc two brings us the original 1994 VHS print of Ozone, which can be viewed normally or with production audio, isolated score, or audio commentary (provided by Doug tilley and Moe Porne of the No-Budget Nightmares podcast who provide a fans view of the film with plenty of laughs).

Also included are scenes from the Spanish dub of the film, an archival B’s Nest segment (Tempe’s answer to the then popular Full Moon Videozone included on Charles Band’s films in the early ’90’s), the film’s original trailer from 1993, as well as one from Japan from 1995, and one for the film’s re-release from the aforementioned Full Moon Features (under the title Street Zombies) in 2003 (as well as trailers for additional Tempe releases with The Sandman and Zombie Cop being the standouts).

Bottom line, this is the ultimate release of Ozone; a psychotronic legend that has earned a place on the shelf of any horror hound that likes ’em raw n’ gooey!



To order a copy of Ozone, you can head right here!



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