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Gothic Fantastico: Four Italian Tales of Terror [4 X Blu-ray]
 

The Blancheville Monster (1963)      Lady Morgan's Vengeance (1965)

The Third Eye (1966)      The Witch (1966)

 

English language titles

 

While Mario Bava remains the best-known purveyor of Italian Gothic horror, many other filmmakers tried their hand at the form throughout the 1960s. Gothic Fantastico presents four titles from this classic period, all of which demonstrate Italy’s ability to expand genre beyond the classic literary monsters that dominated elsewhere.

Gaslighting abounds in Massimo Pupillo’s Lady Morgan’s Vengeance – a tale of romance and mystery sprinkled with sadism and the supernatural – as newlywed Sir Harold Morgan tries to destroy his bride with help from his sinister maid. Meanwhile, the perverse influence of Poe is used to great effect in Alberto De Martino’s The Blancheville Monster – a tale of family curses and madmen in the attic, as Emilie de Blancheville returns home to her brother Roderic and finds her own family out for her blood. Mino Guerinni’s The Third Eye features an early role for Italian cult icon Franco Nero and a plot that borrows elements from Hitchcock, layered with a whiff of necrophilia. Finally, Damiano Damiani’s The Witch takes a more avant-garde approach, when a young historian is lured to work for an ageing woman, only to be held captive when he becomes obsessed with her beautiful daughter.

 

Madness, obsession and messed up families are the order of the day in these four lesser-known monochrome gems from Italy’s peak Gothic period.

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 6th, 1963 - September 16th, 1966

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime

The Blancheville Monster (1963): 1:29:09.376

 Lady Morgan's Vengeance (1965): 1:26:00.780

The Third Eye (1966): 1:27:07.096

The Witch (1966): 1:49:22.430

Video

The Blancheville Monster (1963):

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,945,088,147 bytes

Feature: 26,694,108,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 Lady Morgan's Vengeance (1965):

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,378,822,132 bytes

Feature: 26,671,983,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.81 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

The Third Eye (1966):

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,899,385,422 bytes

Feature: 27,961,129,728 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.83 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

The Witch (1966)

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,564,375,152 bytes

Feature: 35,943,614,592 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.79 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate The Blancheville Monster (1963) Blu-ray:

Bitrate  Lady Morgan's Vengeance (1965) Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Third Eye (1966): Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Witch (1966) Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DUBs:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English (translations), English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

Edition Details:

DISC 1: LADY MORGAN’S VENGEANCE

New commentary by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
New video introduction by Mark Thompson Ashworth (4:38)
New video essay by author and producer Kat Ellinger (21:29)
New video interview with actress Erika Blanc (24:05)
Newly edited video interview with actor Paul Muller (20:03)
Newly edited audio interview with director Massimo Pupillo (20:16)
The complete original cineromanzo, published in Suspense in April 1971 (0:59)
Trailer (2:24)

DISC 2: THE BLANCHEVILLE MONSTER

New commentary by filmmaker and film historian Paul Anthony Nelson
New video introduction by Italian film devotee Mark Thompson Ashworth (6:50)
New video essay by writer and pop culture historian Keith Allison (20:55)
New video interview with author and filmmaker Antonio Tentori (13:55)
Opening credits for the US release of the film (3:11)
Trailer (4:16)
Image Gallery

DISC 3: THE THIRD EYE

New commentary by author and critic Rachael Nisbet
New video introduction by Mark Thompson Ashworth (6:15)
New video essay by author and filmmaker Lindsay Hallam (12:01)
Newly edited video interview with actress Erika Blanc (15:40)
Image Gallery

DISC 4: THE WITCH

New commentary by author and producer Kat Ellinger
New video introduction by Italian film devotee Mark Thompson Ashworth (3:46)
New video essay by author and academic Miranda Corcoran (24:25)
New video interview with author and filmmaker Antonio Tentori (18:38)
Image Gallery

Fold-out double-sided poster
Limited edition 80-page book featuring new writing by Roberto Curti, Rob Talbot, Jerome Reuter, Rod Barnett and Kimberly Lindbergs


Blu-ray Release Date: October 17th, 2022

Custom Blu-ray Case (see below)

Chapters 12 / 13 / 13 / 13

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (September 2022): Arrow have transferred four films from "Italy’s peak Gothic period" in their Gothic Fantastico: Four Italian Tales of Terror to four dual-layered Blu-rays. They are cited as being from a "New 2K restorations from the original negatives". The films are The Blancheville Monster (aka "Horror") from 1963,  Lady Morgan's Vengeance made in 1965, The Third Eye and The Witch both from 1966. All transfers have high bitrates and all four films are black and white. Surprisingly, the oldest film, The Blancheville Monster, looks the best  with pleasing contrast and frequent depth. The 1080P has no problem with the darker sequences. Each of the films exhibit varying degrees of grain texture. Only The Witch  (aka La strega in amore) seems to have some inordinate softness at times. I think purchasers will enjoy the HD video presentations that are generally clean and consistent. You can choose the original Italian and English front and end titles on The Blancheville Monster, The Third Eye and The Witch. There may naturally be a variation in quality for the opening and closing credits. 

NOTE: We have added 184 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Arrow use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original Italian languages with optional English DUBs. The fours films of the Gothic Fantastico set have different effects - from rain, lightening and screams to strangling(s), a whipping and an ominous train. It's all flat with a modicum of depth. More impactful is the mood-enhancing music. The score for The Blancheville Monster was by Carlo Franci (noted for music made for the Italian peplum craze of the 1960s) and Giuseppe Piccillo who went on to become choral director of the Orchestra e Coro Sinfonica di Roma della RAI. For Lady Morgan's Vengeance the score was by Piero Umiliani (The Fourth Victim, Roy Colt and Winchester Jack, Baba Yaga, and Bava's Five Dolls for an August Moon among others.) For The Third Eye the score was by Francesco De Masi (Kill Them All and Come Back Alone, Sartana's Here... Trade Your Pistol For a Coffin, The Murder Clinic, Private Vices, Public Virtues, The Hanging Woman, The New York Ripper) and in the last film, The Witch aka "La strega in amore" the score was Argentinean Luis Bacalov (Django, The Seduction, Il Postino, A Bullet for the General, Shoot First, Die Later, Django Unchained, City of Women) - sometimes utilizing jazz and vocals in a Morricone-esque way. These - often dramatic and unrestrained - add notably to the mystery and horror angles. Arrow offer optional English translated subtitles - from the Italian, and English (SDH) for the DUBs. NOTE: There is no English DUB for Lady Morgan’s Vengeance, and hence, only translated subtitles. The four discs are all Region FREE Blu-rays.

The Arrow Blu-ray offers plenty of new extras starting with 4-6 minute video introductions to each film by Italian film devotee Mark Thompson Ashworth. He shares some keen knowledge of the films, genre, their history etc. and it enhanced my appreciation. There are commentaries for all four films. For Lady Morgan's Vengeance we get and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (author of The Giallo Canvas: Art, Excess and Horror Cinema.) She discusses the cast, cinematographer Oberdan Troiani, director Massimo Pupillo (sometimes credited as 'Max Hunter'), censorship and has some solid analysis of the film. There are a few gaps but I enjoyed it and thought it had value. Also on the Lady Morgan's Vengeance disc is a new 22-minute video essay by author and producer Kat Ellinger entitled "The Grudge: Italian Gothic, Japanese Folk Horror and the Wronged Woman", plus a new 24-minute video interview with actress Erika Blanc - who is in this (as Lillian) as well as 'Laura / Daniela' in The Third Eye. We also get a newly edited video interview with actor Paul Muller (She Killed In Ecstasy, Vampyros Lesbos, Lady Frankenstein.) Sadly he passed in 2016 at 93-years of age. On this disc are also a 25-minute audio interview with director Massimo Pupillo, the complete original cineromanzo, published in Suspense magazine in April 1971 and, lastly a trailer and image gallery for Lady Morgan's Vengeance.

On The Blancheville Monster Blu-ray is a new commentary by filmmaker and film historian Paul Anthony Nelson. He has some fun with the film seeing Sam Raimi's 1981 The Evil Dead similarities in the opening scene. He has a lot to share with connections to Edgar Allen Poe and specifics on the production, cast etc.. There is a new 20-minute video essay by writer and pop culture historian Keith Allison entitled "Are You Sure It Wasn't Just Your Imagination?" where he talks about the successful suspense, atmosphere, visuals and strangeness of the film. There is also a new 1/4 hour video interview with author and filmmaker Antonio Tentori entitled "Welcome to the Manor". Lastly, are the opening credits for the US release of the film, a trailer and an image gallery.

On The Third Eye Blu-ray is a commentary by author and critic Rachael Nisbet who specializes in Italian genre cinema. She discusses the film as fairly obscure but an intriguing gothic thriller and sheds some light on the less-written about production with a young Franco Nero (credited as "Frank Nero".)I thought her comments on the unhealthy relationship of the mother/son and other observations were quite valuable. Also on the BD disc are a video essay by author and filmmaker Lindsay Hallam entitled "Nostalgia Becomes Necrophilia". There is another interview with 80-years young Erika Blanc, as she makes recollections on the filming for 1/4 hour. Lastly is an image gallery.

Supplements for The Witch Blu-ray include another new commentary by author and producer Kat Ellinger. She describes this as one of the most exciting restorations of 2022. She discusses experimentation in the Italian Gothic genre. Kat talks about the immoral and sexually manipulative female characters and her usual astute analysis including plants, cats and more. It's well worth the listen. There is also a new 25-minute video essay by author and academic Miranda Corcoran entitled Loving The Devil; Ageing and Sexuality in La strega in amore". She expands and examines the film's themes comparing to the stereotypes history has developed for witches that have become commonplace. Include is a 19-minute video interview with writer and filmmaker Antonio Tentori (author of Italian Giallo Movies). It is in Italian with optional English subtitles. Lastly that disc has an image gallery.

The package offers a fold-out double-sided poster and a limited edition 80-page book featuring new writing by Roberto Curti, Rob Talbot, Jerome Reuter, Rod Barnett and Kimberly Lindbergs.         

Well, I enjoyed the heck out of Arrow's Gothic Fantastico: Four Italian Tales of Terror Blu-ray boxset. It offers family curses, rainstorms in dark castles, madness, haunting shadows, ghostly revenge, taxidermy of a human corpse, a serial murderer, love obsessions, an immortality seeking, vain, witch -  and more. All in delicious monochrome. The youthful version of the witch, Rosanna Schiaffino (Ro.Go.Pa.G.), is... hypnotic. I enjoyed every film here. It's a highly desirable genre that I hope we see more restorations and Blu-ray releases. Hopefully a Vol. 2 from Arrow will be forthcoming - also jammed with commentaries, booklet, video essays and other supplements as this is. Wow. Very strongly recommended.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

The Blancheville Monster (1963):

 

 Lady Morgan's Vengeance (1965)

The Third Eye (1966)

The Witch (1966)


 

(aka "Horror" or "Horror: The Blancheville Monster" or "The Blancheville Monster")

The beautiful young daughter of a crazed count fears that she will fall victim to the family curse - to be sacrificed to fulfill an ancient family legend.

 


Samples of English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks and English (SDH) subtitles for the English DUBs

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 

 


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

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


(aka "La vendetta di Lady Morgan" or "Lady Morgan's Vengeance")

 

A young woman is killed by her treacherous husband and returns as a vengeful ghost.

Samples of English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 

 


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

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

(aka "Il terzo occhio" or "The Third Eye")

 

A young count who lives with his dominant and jealous mother, begins in a downward spiral into madness after his fiancée dies in an accident - or it wasn't an accident?

Samples of English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks and English (SDH) subtitles for the English DUBs

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 

 


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

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Examples of NSFW (Not Safe For Work) CAPTURES  (Mouse Over to see- CLICK to Enlarge)

 

 


 

(aka "La strega in amore" or "Strange Obsession" or "The Witch" or "Aura" or "The Witch in Love")

A young historian is brought to a magnificent palatial estate to assemble the largely erotic memoirs of a deceased general. There he falls in love with Aura, a beautiful witch. Supernatural horror and danger soon follow.

 


Samples of English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks and English (SDH) subtitles for the English DUBs

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 

 


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

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

The Blancheville Monster (1963):

 

 

 Lady Morgan's Vengeance (1965)

 

The Third Eye (1966)

The Witch (1966)

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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