❉ Kino Lorber’s new Special Edition Blu-ray is the stuff that dreams are made of if you’re a fan of this cult classic.
Gotcha! was an obsession for many viewers back in the day, especially males, as it presented one of the ultimate wish-fulfillment fantasies: You’re a college student who goes overseas only to get involved with international espionage, with a gorgeous femme fatale tracking your moves and who is definitely in the mood to sleep with you. And then, on top of it, it’s just a constant pisser all throughout, as it tied in America’s burgeoning obsession with paint-ball guns and battles during the opening act of the narrative, presenting students “assassinating” each other on campus, in broad daylight, with realistic-looking firearms. Try getting this one made today – fat chance!
Anthony Edwards (Top Gun, Miracle Mile, E.R.) was beyond cool for starring in Gotcha!, and it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyways – Linda Fiorentino (The Last Seduction) was premium-delicious 1985 eye-candy here, and she does some very sexy side-action nudity that immediately vaulted her into top position as an early cinematic crush. Similar to her chemistry with Matthew Modine in Harold Becker’s fantastic wrestling drama Vision Quest, she steams it up here with Edwards, and the two of them clearly had a lot of fun with their roles.
Gotcha! is wildly irresponsible in retrospect, and would make for a great double bill with the equally insane Cloak & Dagger – what a time for this sort of entertainment – stretch that PG/PG-13 to the limits! Cleverly helmed by Ordinary People editor-turned-director Jeff Kanew (Revenge of the Nerds, Eddie Macon’s Run, Troop Beverly Hills, Tough Guys, V.I. Warshawski ), he clearly understood what he had on his hands with this tonally wild material. Screenwriter Dan Gordon’s other credits include Tank, Wyatt Earp, Passenger 57, Surf Ninjas, The Hurricane, and Rambo: The Last Blood – eclectic resume to say the least!
Edwards is Jonathan Moore, a looking-for-love UCLA veterinary student and the reigning champion at “Gotcha,” a school-based paintball game. While on vacation in West Germany he’s seduced by an older woman named Sasha (Fiorentino), who turns out to have a complicated backstory. And then when Moore returns home to L.A., there’s a strange canister of film on his persons, and a team of KGB agents hot on his trail. Suddenly, the harmless game he’s been playing on campus has become real, with potentially deadly consequences. It’s also really funny, too.
Bill Conti (Rocky, The Right Stuff, For Your Eyes Only) provided the peppy and playful and mysterious-when-called-for musical score, and ace lenser King Baggot (The Last Starfighter, Tough Guys, Vice Versa) made excellent use of architecturally interesting locations during shooting; the Euro-flair to the mid-section of this movie brings a nice level of intrigue to the proceedings. The on-screen dart-gun assassination “game” would inspire countless real-life imitations all over America, one of which was very popular at my high school in Connecticut, and which I participated in, much to the annoyance of my parents.
Kino Lorber’s new Special Edition Blu-ray is the stuff that dreams are made of if you’re a fan of this cult classic. The picture quality is fantastic, giving this 80’s gem the digital restoration that it’s deserved for many years, with strong colors, deep blacks, and in general, just sharp visual detail in all areas. Special features include some trailers, and two informative commentary tracks, one from anecdote-filled Kanew, and the other from fast-talking journalist/author Bryan Reesman.
❉ NEW Audio Commentary by Director Jeff Kanew
❉ NEW Audio Commentary by Entertainment Journalist and Author Bryan Reesman
❉ Theatrical Trailer
❉ Dual-Layered BD50 Disc
❉ Optional English Subtitles
❉ ‘Gotcha!’ (1985) Starring Linda Fiorentino, Anthony Edwards & Alex Rocco. Directed by Jeff Kanew. Running time 101 min. Rated PG-13. Blu-ray released by Kino Lorber, September 29, 2020. Dual-Layered, single disc Blu-ray. Region A (locked). Aspect ratio: 1.84:1 (Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1). Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Subtitles: English SDH. RRP $24.95. CLICK HERE TO BUY!
❉ Nick Clement is a journalist for Variety Magazine and motion picture screenplay consultant, as well as a critic for websites We Are Cult and Back to the Movies. He wrote the introduction to the book Double Features: Big Ideas in Film, which was published by The Great Books Foundation, and is currently working on a book about the life and work of filmmaker Tony Scott. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.