(aka "The Curse of the Living Dead" or "Operazione paura" or "Operation Fear" or "Die toten Augen des Dr. Dracula" )

 

directed by Mario Bava
Italy 1966

 

This oppressive and visually overwhelming exercise in the conjuring of atmosphere allowed Mario Bava to crank the gothic stylistic tendencies of Black Sunday into overdrive, finally permitting him to churn out scene after scene of hallucinatory intensity with only the barest threads of a plot to hold it all together. The avenging demonic forces of his past films have been distilled here into the single, chilling image of a ghostly young girl, rolling a sinister pale ball down hallways and street corners as she drives those around her to certain death. Rarely has a more haunting or unforgettable specter graced the horror cinema, and even had he never made another film after this, Bava would have already proven himself as a master filmmaker.

Excerpt from Mondo Digital's review found HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 8 July 1966

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews


Recommended Books on Italian and Giallo Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

DVD Comparison:

Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for all the Screen Caps!

(Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

  

 

  

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Laser Paradise
Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:23:21 1:23:27 1:19:54 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.52 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.45 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.12 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay

 

Bitrate:

 

VCI

 

Bitrate:

 

Laser Paradise

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 English Dolby Digital 2.0

German MPEG 2.0

Subtitles English, None None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• International Trailer
• TV Spots
• Mario Bava Bio
• Trailers for other Mario Bava Films

DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
Slimcase in a boxset

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33

Edition Details:
• 3 Trailers to other movies
• Filmography and Biography of Mario Bava

DVD Release Date: October 24, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Laser Paradise

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85

Edition Details:

 

DVD Release Date: 16. April 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 13

 

 

 

 

Comments ADDITION: Anchor Bay - April 07':

Anchor Bay release is a vast improvement over previous public domain and VCI releases. The quality is similar to German disc, but Anchor Bay includes English audio and original Italian soundtrack with English subtitles. Unfortunately, Tim Lucas commentary is not included on this disc (it's owned by Dark Sky Films which cancelled their release at the last minute).

 - Gregory Meshman

***

VCI disc is out of print now. There are several public domain releases of this film, but the VCI disc is said to be the best quality. It was transferred from 16mm print, so it doesn't show the whole frame. There're no extras on the disc, so there's no reason to keep this mediocre release. Mario Bava biographer Tim Lucas recorded a commentary for this film to be released by Image Entertainment, but that release never happened. Hopefully, some other studio does this film some justice. German release has excellent colors, but alas it's only in German with no subtitles. There was an earlier German release from Anolis Entertainment under the title Die toten Augen des Dr. Dracula. That disc also includes a 20-minute interview with Erika Blanc in German only, but the picture quality is the same as the disc reviewed here.

 - Gregory Meshman

 

 





DVD Menus

 

Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

 



(VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)
NTSC capture was minimized from the original size to show the proportion to the PAL release

 

 


(Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Anchor Bay

Sound:

Anchor Bay

Extras: Anchor Bay
Menu: Anchor Bay

 

DVD Box Covers

  

 

  

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Laser Paradise
Region 0 - PAL

 




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