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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Dario Argento
Italy 1977

Product Description
Suzy Bannion is an American ballet student, travelling to Germany to study at an exclusive dance academy in the Black Forest. After one of the students and her friend are hideously murdered in the first of Argento's breath-catching set-piece killings, Suzy discovers that the academy has a bizarre history and, as the body count rises, she gets involved in a hideous labyrinth of murder, black magic and madness. Utilising complex lighting systems, intense film processing techniques, wire-guided cameras and multi-layer music recording (highlighting a superb Goblin score), Argento paints a masterpiece of terror on a technically impeccable canvas.
 

Synopsis
Argento's masterpiece of horror, with its assault of garish colors, booming soundtrack and horrifically dreamlike set pieces, is the cinematic equivalent of an exceptionally scary fun house. It tells the story of Susan (Harper) a young, impressionable American who travels abroad in order to study at a prestigious European ballet academy. From the first day, however, she begins to realize that frightening things are afoot at the hallowed institution. Enduring a rain of maggots, poisoned food and other unpleasant occurrences, she discovers that the school is a secret convening place for an ages-old witches' coven. Cut to various lengths due to violent content, the film's original full running time is 100 minutes.

***

Suspiria is probably one of the most atmospheric horror movies I've ever seen. What makes it especially interesting is that it was shot on standard Eastman Kodak color film stock but was printed using the three-strip Technicolor process. This was achieved by using one of the last remaining machines of the kind out there. It really gives the movie a unique look and very vibrant colors.

This is the story of a young American girl, Suzy, who accepts an offer from a prestigious ballet school in Europe. As she arrives, she sees a girl fleeing. Later on, she finds out that this girl was in fact murdered shortly after that. After some more strange occurrences, Suzy begins to suspect that there is something more complex at work. The plot is basic and the acting (overdubbed voices, like most Italian films) is pretty bad, but the technical aspects of the film more than make up for it. The colorful cinematography, haunting music and unconventional camera angles all contribute to conveying the sense that you are in fact in someone's nightmare. A must-see for fans of the horror genre.

Eric Portelance

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 1st, 1977 (Italy)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

Comparison: 

Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Portelance for the DVD Review!

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 
DVD Box Cover

 

 

Anchor Bay also has a 3 Disc Limited Edition listed HERE:

          

 
Disc 1:
Feature Film
TV and Radio Spots
Daemonia Music Video
Poster and Stills Gallery
Disc 2:
Suspiria 25th Anniversary: an all new 52 minute documentary
Disc 3:
Original Goblin Soundtrack CD
Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 0 - NTSC

Nouveaux Pictures

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

King Records

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:38:21 1:38:30.237 1:38:51.692
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.78 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,777,694,545 bytes

Feature: 19,162,054,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,410,518,260 bytes

Feature: 24,093,966,336 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.78 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate UK

Blu-ray

Bitrate Japanese

Blu-ray

Audio English DTS ES 6.1, English Dolby Digital EX 5.1, English Dolby Surround 2.0, French Dolby Surround 2.0, Italian Dolby Surround 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio English 2190 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2190 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit) DTS Audio Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1345 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1345 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Subtitles None None Japanese, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailers
• TV Spot
• Radio Spots
• Talent Bios
• Poster And Still Gallery
• Daemonia Music Video

DVD Release Date: November 9th, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 26

Release Information:
Studio: Nouveaux Pictures

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,777,694,545 bytes

Feature: 19,162,054,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Fear at 400 Degrees: The Cine-Excess of Suspira (34:56)

This is Cine_Excess (9:48)
• Audio commentary by Argento experts Alan Jones and Kim Newman
• Suspira Perspectives (40:30)

Blu-ray Release Date: January 18th, 2010
Standard (thicker) UK  Blu-ray Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: King Records

 

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,410,518,260 bytes

Feature: 24,093,966,336 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.78 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:45)

Blu-ray Release Date: December 8th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: King Records - Region FREE Blu-ray December 2010': Well, this new Japanese Blu-ray of Argento's Suspiria seems to support that there is boosting in the Nouveaux Pictures UK releases (note brightness flaring in the second capture). I believe this region FREE Blu-ray looks much more natural and authentic than the other high-def release. It has a higher feature size and bitrate but it's big flaw is that it is interlaced (1080i). You can see it in the overhead 'dance studio' capture. This seemed to be more prevalent at the beginning 8-minutes which tended to look unstable but it settled down and on my system I couldn't distinguish the combing associated with the interlacing via my Plasma. It, actually, looked surprisingly good! The disc offers lossless English audio and Dolby Italian and Japanese tracks with optional Japanese subtitles and my Momitsu tells me this is, happily, region FREE. The English sounded solid without any notable mishaps and only minor separation and depth. There are no extras save a trailer.

So, aside from being bare bones and interlaced the King Records Blu-ray may suit some individuals who were sensitive to the color/contrast boosting of the UK BD OR who are not capable of playing region 'B' discs.

***

ADDITION: Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' Blu-ray January 2010': This single-layered transfer from Nouveaux Pictures looks better in many areas but overall is not stellar. Occasionally there are some over-bright or blown out whites. Detail and colors advance upon the Anchor Bay DVD and there is even more information in the frame on the top and bottom. For the most part it's a pretty good transfer with a smattering of consistent grain. Either contrast was boosted or it was inherent in the source used. It's a shame because the the detail is notable. For a film over 30-years old I suspect Argento fans will be impressed for the most part although I still feel it is too bright in many sequences.

Audio comes in the form of a lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2190 kbps that appears to be a significant advancement from previous DVD renderings. Separation is not abundant but there are some nice subtle touches to the mix that helped the film presentation. There are no subtitles on this Blu-ray and my Momitsu tells me this is region 'B'-locked.

Supplements are quite good on the Blu-ray taking a more academic look at the film and Argento that we usually see. We get a strong commentary from Argento expert Alan Jones and critic Kim Newman, over an hour's worth of new documentaries featuring contributions from Argento, Claudio Simonetti, Norman J. Warren, Newman and Dr. Patricia MacCormack along with extended interviews with Warren, Newman and MacCormack.

This is a film that impacts more with improved visual quality and this Blu-ray does just that. It's a title that I'd like to see re-visited by Blue Underground in North America - but I have no knowledge of this transpiring. For now this Nouveaux Pictures disc is it.

Gary W. Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: This is a pretty nice transfer from Anchor Bay. The colors are vivid and the image is quite sharp. The only problem I encountered was pixelation in one scene (see below) and a bit of aliasing in another. Nothing major, but I figure this is simply because the image was compressed too much, considering this disc has no less than 5 audio tracks (including DTS ES and DD EX). I did not watch the film on my sound system so I cannot vouch for the quality of the sound, but I'm assuming it must be pretty good. There is also a two-disc edition available from Anchor Bay which includes a documentary on the making of and interviews with the director, cinematographer and actors.

 - Eric Portelance

 


DVD Menus / Blu-ray Extras

 

Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT
 

 

 

King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


Screen Captures

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


  More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

NOTE: minor combing on King Records capture!

 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Nouveaux Pictures - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More King Records - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures



DVD Box Cover

Anchor Bay also has a 3 Disc Limited Edition listed HERE:

          

 
Disc 1:
Feature Film
TV and Radio Spots
Daemonia Music Video
Poster and Stills Gallery
Disc 2:
Suspiria 25th Anniversary: an all new 52 minute documentary
Disc 3:
Original Goblin Soundtrack CD
Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 0 - NTSC

Nouveaux Pictures

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

King Records

Region FREE - Blu-ray





 

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Gary Tooze

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