Found River of Death in 3 disc 12 movie DVD set at Best Buy
Saw this "12 Action Adventure Movies" set at Best Buy that lists the names: Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson, Bruce Lee, Michael Dudikoff. Noticed the poster art for American Ninja 2 and 3 among the titles shown on the cover art. Turned the box over, and was excited to see 1989's River of Death among the titles. A company called TGG Direct got the DVD distribution rights to a few other classic Cannon titles as well.
Here's the 12 movies in the set:
American Ninja 2: The Confrontation
American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt
River of Death
10 to Midnight
Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects
The 36 Crazy Fists
The Crippled Masters
Champ vs. Champ
Fist of Fear, Touch of Death
Anyway, this is pretty much the first time River of Death has been officially released on DVD in the US. There was a rare River of Death DVD from the "Digital Gold Collection" that I got from ebay years ago. Claimed to be digitally remastered, but the picture looked far from it. Colors were washed out, I'm sure there are VHS copies that look better. Let's put it this way, they used an image of Michael Dudikoff from Platoon Leader on their River of Death DVD cover. But now, I'm happy to report that the copy of River of Death on this 12 movie set looks and sounds much better. It's not great, seems to be some compression issues, they crammed 3 movies on this particular disc, and the only menu you get is the option to play American Ninja 2, 3, or River of Death. But still, it's a 1.85 widescreen version of River of Death that looks pretty decent considering the whole set was only $4.99. Incredible deal!
To me, Dudikoff was at his coolest when he became an action star under contract for Cannon back in the 80's. River of Death was one of the last of those theatrical films before Cannon went bankrupt. Wish it had a bigger and better climax at the "Lost City", but I really enjoyed Dudikoff playing an Indiana Jones-type adventurer. And it's got a great supporting cast that includes Donald Pleasance, Robert Vaughn, L.Q. Jones, and Herbert Lom. Directed by Steve Carver, and contains a very unique, atmospheric score by Sasha Matson.
River of Death trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUMsi37T5SE
Main title and opening credits music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6352AfVOPl4
BTW, the versions of American Ninja 2 and 3 on here say they're 16x9 1.85 Letterbox. Unfortunately, it looks like the picture from the old full screen MGM Double Feature release seems to be a bit clearer than it it is here. Still hoping American Ninja 1 and 2 get a blu-ray release.