Kim has been sent away from school already several times since he can’t manage his special powers. The last possibility for him is the Volcano High, a famous school that is known throughout the world as being one of the best in martial arts and magic and there’s only one rule: only the very best students are appreciated. Within the walls of this school however, there’s a battle for a secret holy manuscipt as the legend states that he who has the manuscript will get incredible powers and will be able to rule the world. In the school there are several clubs like the weigth lifters, the kendo club and the rugby players. Each of these clubs tries to be the strongest but when the vice principle poisons his boss, he makes a deal with the weigth lifters to take control over the school.
Kim sees all this but although his help is requested by the different other clubs, he refuses to do something until a bunch of new teachers arrive. They take complete control over everything, under the protection of the vice principle, and want to impose new laws. Even the weigth lifters under the guidance of Jang Ryang have to bend for the new enforcers as they have special powers. It seems like the only one who has enough force to battle the teachers is Kim, but then he’ll first have to get his powers under control.
Sound and Vision:
The image is very strange at first as the contrast is turned up completely so you’ll immediately notice that colors are almost absent. Except for some minor taints of red and green, the only color that “shines” is the yellow hair of the main character. For the rest, you’ll only see black, white and shades of grey and if you look carefully you might see some other colors. Of course, this was done deliberately by the director as he wanted to create a manga-effect, much like we’ve seen earlier in Avalon (see our dvd review). Much like in that film, there’s quite some grain present in certain scenes but again it seems deliberate. For the rest I can only say that the image is very sharp, contains enough detail (although the depth tends to go away sometimes due to the contrast) and doesn’t contain compression errors, aliasing or any other disturbing artefacts.
The soundtrack – and I only checked out the DTS version – is sublime with very aggressive stearing of all channels including the subwoofer. Effects will almost constantly be flying around your ears and if they aren’t, the music surely will. I would give this a perfect score if it weren’t that sometimes the dialogues tend to be too silent compared to the rest.
A Korean movie and not even a special edition but A-Film does bring us some good stuff as extra on this dvd. We start off with a “Making Of” (in 6 parts) which covers most of the production after which you can check out interviews with the director, screenwriter and two actors from the main cast. Then there’s another feature that goes a little deeper into the special effects and we end off with a videoclip, the original trailer and some more trailers from other movies aswell. Good stuff !
Volcano High will definitely appeal to lovers of the Manga-genre. The acting is very much like in cartoons and the action is overwhelming and was obviously inspired by The Matrix. The storyline is decent but after the movie you’ll remain with lots of questions unanswered, much like you have with Manga-hit Akira. A-Film has delivered a technically great dvd added with some interesting extras.
If you don’t like movies where people speak anything else than English or you’re not into fight-scenes, then don’t take a look at this one. If you’re Manga-lover or into an action movie that doesn’t come from the States, then you should definitely get this one