Who else would release a film like Bio-Dome to Blu-ray other than Olive Films? My relationship with Olive is a new one. I’ve purchased a few discs here and there — mostly their horror titles, like Night of the Demons 2 and Witchboard 2 — so I really didn’t know what to expect in terms of packaging, video quality, extras, and all of the other bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from our boutique label catalog title releases. Bio-Dome is a pretty vanilla release. It doesn’t have any fancy packaging, nor does it contain any bonus content, but I still feel like it’s worth the current $19.99 asking price, if for no other reason than to relive a movie from my youthful days that, up until today was a fond VHS memory. What you’re paying for is, not an obscure title, but a title that’s so silly, that I highly doubt we would have seen a Blu-ray release from MGM had it not been for Olive licensing it for their own release. Would I prefer there to be some behind-the-scenes footage, or a couple of retrospective interviews with the cast and crew? Of course I would, but that doesn’t devalue the fact that Bio-Dome has been released on Blu-ray. I repeat, Bio-Dome has been released on Blu-ray.
As I said, I haven’t seen this film since the VHS days, so naturally, I forgot about a lot of the people that made cameos, or had smaller roles in this film. Both parts of Tenacious D make a cameo appearance, and Rose McGowan has a minor role. Another thing I forgot was just how hot Joey Lauren Adams was at the time that this movie was made. There are a lot of gorgeous women in this movie, but she is the definite standout. I know some people are not a fan of hers, but I have always been fond of her, both from a professional standpoint, as well as the fact that I just find her amazingly attractive and talented. Stephen Baldwin has turned into somewhat of a right-wing nutter these days, but he still has several performances in movies of which I am a fan. This is one of them. I don’t think that anybody can sit with a straight face and tell you that Bio-Dome is a good movie, but it is entertaining enough, that even if the humor isn’t working for you, it gets so stupid a couple of times that you just can’t help but chuckle a little. Also,with great character actors such as William Atherton, and the late Henry Gibson, what’s not to enjoy? It’s a PG-13 stoner comedy, with very little reference to weed. It’s goofy, yet does a good job to represent all of that teen angst that most of us remember from the late Nineties.
In January of 1996 when this film was released, I was in my last year of high school, and already well on my way to becoming the angry, movie-obsessed man I am today. I recognized then that Bio-Dome was a ridiculously stupid movie, but there was something about it that sucked me in. I don’t know if it was the stellar soundtrack, which features a ton of good stuff, but most notably “We Care A Lot” by Faith No More, or if it was the gorgeous women, or maybe just the sarcastically nihilistic tone of the whole thing, but it had something that made it a more enjoyable experience than it should have been. And it’s because of that, that it’s being released in 2015, and I’m talking to you about it today. It is a film that defied the odds, and stood the test of time to the point that it is being preserved, and carried over into the new generation of high definition home video collecting.
I have no complaints about the video quality of Olive’s Blu-ray release of the film. For a fraction of a second, I saw what was a weird glitch where everything turned into a weird looking color, but it’s so brief that when I was scanning back through the film to maybe catch a screen grab, I couldn’t do it. I do have a minor gripe about the audio, in that what we are given is a DTS-HD 2.0 track, instead of 5.1. I never owned Bio-Dome on DVD, but I do know that the DVD that MGM released in 2002 had a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I’m not sure if there was a licensing issue, or if the the master copy of the 5.1 track was destroyed, but the only option you have with this Blu-ray is a DTS stereo track. And not to take anything away from that track, it sounds perfectly fine and there are no issues in that regard, it’s just that I knew a 5.1 track was previously available, that made me mention it in the first place. Bio-Dome isn’t exactly Blade, it’s not a film that you throw on when you have friends over that you’re hoping to impress with the sound of a boomerang zipping from corner to corner on your sound system. So the 2.0 is perfectly serviceable.
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself what owning Bio-Dome on Blu-ray is worth to you. If $19.99 is too high of a price in your opinion, set a price tracker on a site like Blu-ray.com and tell it what you’re willing to pay. Personally, I think that’s fair to ask, even without any sort of bonus content or a 5.1 track. I’m not entirely sure how often I’m going to rewatch Bio-Dome, but the fact that I know I can now is worth under 20 bucks to me, and I know it will be to some of you as well. If you are a fan of Bio-Dome, then I am recommending this Blu-ray to you, because this is probably the best home video release it’s going to see moving forward.