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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Les lèvres rouges" or "Le Rouge aux lèvres" or "Children of the Night")

 

directed by Harry Kumel
Belgium 1971

 

International screen icon Delphine Seyrig stars as Elizabeth Bathory, an ageless Countess with a beautiful young 'companion' (Goth goddess Andrea Rau) and a legendary legacy of perversion. But when the two women seduce a troubled newlywed couple (Quebecoise beauty Danielle Ouimet and John Karlen), they unleash a frenzy of sudden violence and depraved desire that shocked both art house audiences and grindhouse crowds worldwide. Co-written and directed by Harry Kumel, DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS remains one of the most exquisitely mesmerizing adult horror films ever made.

***

In The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick makes a small visual homage to Last Year at Marienbad, (1961) when he references the garden maze that Jack is about to go into in search of his son. It's fitting that Kubrick should be thinking of Last Year at Marienbad, since that classic film by Alain Resnais deals with ghostly memories trapped in a large, luxury hotel. Belgian director Harry Kumel actually does Kubrick's homage one better in his acclaimed art-house, lesbian-vampire film Daughters of Darkness (1971) - he actually got Marienbad's lead, Delphine Seyrig, to once again play a major role that competes for attention with an enigmatic and cavernous hotel. It's a heck of a battle because Seyrig puts on a mesmerizing show that has often been compared to an over-the-top Marlene Dietrich impersonation, and the imposing hotel locations include the Grand Hotel des Thermes in Ostend and the Hotel Astoria in Brussels.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 22 October 1971 (USA)

Reviews                                                                 More Reviews                                                   DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Blue Underground (2003 Blue Underground Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Blue Underground (2006 2-disc Special Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Optimum - Region 2 - PAL vs.  Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas and for the DVD Screen Caps!

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BONUS CAPTURES:

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 0  - NTSC

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Blue Underground
Region 0 - NTSC
Optimum
Region 2 - PAL
Blue Underground
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:39:45 1:39:42 1:39:57 1:35:51 (4% PAL speedup) 1:39:59.994 1:40:07.376
Video 1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.37 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.67:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.38 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 34,211,628,525 bytes

Feature Size: 26,445,981,696 bytes

Average Bitrate: 31.09 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

1.66:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 95,625,510,633 bytes

Feature: 72,231,764,352 bytes
Video Bitrate: 76.49 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay

Bitrate:

Blue Underground (2003 Blue Underground Edition)

Bitrate:

Blue Underground (2006 2-disc Special Edition)

Bitrate:

Optimum

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
DTS-HD Master Audio English 816 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 816 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps /
16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 816 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 816 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps /
16-bit)
Dolby TrueHD/Atmos Audio English 3934 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 3294 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -31dB)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3057 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3057 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 817 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 817 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1048 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1048 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -31dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -31dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -20dB
Subtitles None None None None English, French, Spanish English for French, None English, French, Spanish English for French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment


Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• All Regions
• Color, Widescreen
• Commentary by actor John Karlen and journalist David Del Valle
• Widescreen letterbox format

 

DVD Release Date: August 25, 1998
Keep Case

Chapters 13 listed, 33 in actuality

Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with co-writer/director Harry Kumel
• Audio Commentary with star John Karlen and journalist David Del Valle
• Daughter of Darkness: interview with star Andrea Rau (16:9; 7:58)
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:09)
• 4x 30-second Radio Spots
• Poster and Still Gallery

DVD Release Date: 27 May 2003
Amaray

Chapters 25
 

Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.67:1

Edition Details:
• DISC 1:
• Audio Commentary with co-writer/director Harry Kumel
• Audio Commentary with star John Karlen and journalist David Del Valle
• Locations of Darkness: interviews with Harry Kumel and cowriter/producer Pierre Dreuet (16:9; 21:36)
• Playing the Victim: interview with star Danielle Ouimet (16:9; 15:28)
• Daughter of Darkness: interview with star Andrea Rau (16:9; 7:59)
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:09)
• 4x 30-second Radio Spots
• Poster and Still Gallery
• DISC 2:
• THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE (16:9; 1:40:54 - English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
• Theatrical Trailer: Double Billed with I DISMEMBER MAMA

 

DVD Release Date: 31 October 2006
Amaray

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66

Edition Details:

• None
 

DVD Release Date: August 30th, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

 

Disc Size: 34,211,628,525 bytes

Feature Size: 26,445,981,696 bytes

Average Bitrate: 31.09 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with co-writer/director Harry Kumel
• Audio Commentary with star John Karlen and journalist David Del Valle
• Daughter of Darkness: interview with star Andrea Rau (16:9; 7:59 - 480i)

Locations of Darkness: Interviews with C-Writer/Director Harry Kummel and Producer Pierre Drouot (21:37 - 480i)

Playing the Victim: Interview with Danielle Ouimet (15:29 - 480i)
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:09 - 1080P)
• 4x 30-second Radio Spots
• The Blood Spattered Bride (1:40:56 - MPEG2 , 480i)

Blu-ray Release Date: March 1st, 2011
Amaray

Chapters 25

 

Release Information:
Studio:
Blue Undergdound

 

1.66:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 95,625,510,633 bytes

Feature: 72,231,764,352 bytes
Video Bitrate: 76.49 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:


4K Ultra HD and included Blu-ray:
 

DISC ONE: 4K Ultra HD
•Audio Commentary #1 with Co-Writer/DirectorHarry Kümel
Audio Commentary #2 with Star John Karlen and Journalist David Del Valle
Audio Commentary #3 with Kat Ellinger, Author of Devil s Advocates: Daughters of Darkness
Locations of Darkness - Interviews with Co-Writer/Director Harry Kümel and Co-Writer/Co-Producer Pierre Drouot
Playing the Victim - Interview with Star Danielle Ouimet
Daughter of Darkness - Interview with Star Andrea Rau
Theatrical Trailers
U.S. Trailer (02:11)
International Trailer (03:56)
French Trailer (01:43)
Radio Spots
Radio Spot #1 (00:30)
Radio Spot #2 (00:30)
Radio Spot #3 (00:30)
Radio Spot #4 (00:30)
Alternate U.S. Main Titles (01:56)
Poster & Still Gallery
DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by François de Roubaix
Collectible Booklet with new essay by Michael Gingold
3D Lenticular Slipcover (First Pressing Only)

4K Ultra HD Release Date:
October 27th, 2020
Custom 4K Ultra HD Case (see below)

Chapters 24

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Blue Underground 4K UHD (March 2021): Blue Underground has presented the definitive release of Harry Kümel's "Daughters of Darkness'' on a 4K UHD (with an added Blu-ray and CD Soundtrack) scanned in 4K 16-bit from its long-lost original 35mm camera negative, with HDR or Dolby Vision if your setup allows it. The image on display is nothing short of breathtaking, with the 4K UHD disc showcasing a reference-quality image with an abundance of discernible details in each and every frame. The bitrate averages in the mid 70's, carrying a rich and robust contrast that, along with the 4K UHD's (and HDR/Dolby Vision TV's) capable luminance, projects a wide spectrum of color. The 1.6:1 framing (listed as 1.66:1) gives each shot a much more symmetrical framing, thanks to utilizing the original 35mm camera negative. This release should serve as a model as to how to release an older film in 4K. Stunning.

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 36 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: Tremors (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vigilante (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cinema Paradiso (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Bourne Legacy (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Full Metal Jacket (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Psycho (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Birds(software uniformly simulated HDR), Rear Window (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vertigo (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsining (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

There are four audio options here, with the main attraction being a 7.1 English Dolby TrueHD/Atmos track (much like Dolby Vision, Atmos tracks only work if you have the appropriate setup). The Atmos track does quite a bit (with a film that was originally released in monophonic sound) without resorting to any assaulltive gimmickry. The channel separation is rather subdued yet completely effective. That said, purists will probably opt for the English or French mono track (both also available here in DTS-HD Master audio, with the remaining track being the 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio track). There are optional English SDH, French, Spanish, and English (for French Audio) subtitle tracks on this Region 'Free'
4K UHD from Blue Underground.

While this
4K UHD release contains many of the previous iterations' bonus features, there is the notable addition of an audio commentary from author Kat Ellinger. Blue Underground are wise to include Ellinger's commentary, not just because Kat literally wrote the book on the film, but because her research and knowledge of the film makes for one of the finest commentaries I've heard in a long time. The track is a must-listen, with the author covering a wide array of topics. Not one to merely relay factoids of the film, Ellinger's impassioned commentary serves as a veritable cinema class on "Daughters of Darkness", providing a critical reading of the film as well as delving into the history of the vampire film. The film holds a unique status among a slew of 70's lesbian vampire pictures, and the commentary also includes some insider's insights (Ellinger has interviewed many people involved with the making of "Daughters..." over the years and has distilled those discussions into valuable anecdotes). I was fascinated by Ellinger's tracing of the 1960's (and earlier) cinematic vampire (with the focus on the sexually dominant leading male role, with the occasional passive or 'cursed' females) to the more liberated 1970's vampire picture. Ellinger also covers the Elizabeth Bathory myth as well as the Gothic and European Fantastique. Also news to me is the fact that Delphine Seyrig's inspired performance comes from Marlene Dietrich's "Shanghai Express". Highly recommended as this is arguably one of the best tracks of 2020. Another must-mention is that Blue Underground's new 4K UHD set also includes a bonus CD featuring the original motion picture soundtrack by François de Roubaix. This release also includes a slew of previously released extras, from the other 2 commentaries (with co-writer/director Harry Kümel, and actor John Karlen and journalist David Del Valle) to interviews. Also here are trailers for the film (including the U.S. release, international "Promise of Red Lips" and French "Les Levres Rouges" trailer), alternate U.S. main title sequence, poster & still gallery, collectible booklet with new essay by Michael Gingold, and more (see above for the impressive list).

Forgive me if my effusive praise seems at all hyperbolic. This
4K UHD (with an added Blu-ray and CD Soundtrack) release is pure perfection. From the pristine transfer full of vivid nightmarish imagery to Kat Ellinger's phenomenal commentary track (and how bout that Atmos track), other companies take note; this is how you do it. Can't recommend this enough.

Colin Zavitz

***

ADDITION: Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - February 2011: Comments coming soon! Blue Underground have done a great job again. The dual-layered transfer improves over all the SD editions and the color scheme seems accurate - as supported by the strong 2010 Optimum SD transfer. Better detail, more grain, less noise, some depth - all the appreciated 1080P attributes are here.

There are lossless mono tracks in either English or French that both sound clean and consistent. There are optional subtitles and we have been informed that it is Region FREE.

Supplements go the extra mile offering everything from the Blue Underground 2006 Special Edition 2-disc with the two commentaries (co-writer/director Harry Kumel and a second with John Karlen + journalist David Del Valle), the interviews with Andrea Rau, Danielle Ouimet, Kummel and producer Pierre Drouot plus on the lone Blu-ray disc we get the 1 hour 40-minute The Blood Spattered Bride in 480i. This is an easy recommendation for fans of this unique, and very adult, horror film.

***

ADDITION: Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - December 2010: Adding the, recently released, Optimum to this comparison seems kind of moot as Blue Underground will be releasing a Blu-ray in February 2011 HERE. Actually though, so far I like the single-layered Optimum image quality. Artifacts seem the most limited and colors are rich without boosting. It may also be the most detailed. Audio is standard (fine) - there are no subtitles nor extras. Let's see what the forthcoming Blu-ray is like - I've always had a soft spot for this film...

  - Gary Tooze

***

Anchor Bay released the first DVD of DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS in 1998 utilizing the Roan laserdisc master. An anamorphic widescreen version from Blue Underground followed in 2003 but was of poor quality. In 2006, Blue Underground reissued the film newly mastered in high definition in a 2-disc set paired with THE BLOOD-SPATTERED BRIDE (a direct port of the Anchor Bay edition). The 2006 version features the John Karlen audio commentary track from the LD and original DVD as well as the second Harry Kumel track added to the 2003 edition. Besides the new transfer, the 2006 edition adds an interview with Danielle Ouimet and a visit to the locations with the director and producer. This new version was reissued in 2008 as a single disc edition - with all of the extras minus THE BLOOD-SPATTERED BRIDE - HERE.

Eric Cotenas

***

The new Blue Underground DVD has some excellent Extras, but the image quality is still quite poor regardless of it being anamorphic. It seems to have a greenish tinge to it and it not quite as sharp as the Anchor Bay version which has a little too much red in the skin tones. The Blue Underground DVD is also darker than the Anchor Bay version.

Unless you are a huge fan of the film, you may wish to stick with your old Anchor Bay version which has a commentary (duplicated as one of two on the Blue Underground ).

- Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

1) Blue Underground (2006 2-disc Special Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY  and 4K UHD CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Samples

 

1) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Blue Underground (2003 Blue Underground Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Blue Underground (2006 2-disc Special Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM



1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Blue Underground (2003 Blue Underground Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Blue Underground (2006 2-disc Special Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Blue Underground (2003 Blue Underground Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Blue Underground (2006 2-disc Special Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Blue Underground (2003 Blue Underground Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Blue Underground (2006 2-disc Special Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Blue Underground (2003 Blue Underground Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Blue Underground (2006 2-disc Special Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 

More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

4K UHD

Sound:

4K UHD

Extras: 4K UHD
 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BONUS CAPTURES:

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 0  - NTSC

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Blue Underground
Region 0 - NTSC
Optimum
Region 2 - PAL
Blue Underground
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD

 




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