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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Last Days of Man on Earth")

 

Directed by Robert Fuest
UK 1973

 

Jon Finch heads an impressive cast as the flamboyant anti-hero in this dystopian, darkly humorous sci-fi thriller from cult director Robert Fuest. The Final Programme is based on Michael Moorcock's acclaimed 1968 novel of the same name and has been newly restored.


In a far-off future, mankind is in a state of decay. But a group of scientists believe they have found the means to move humanity on to its next level in the creation of an ideal, self-replicating - and thus immortal - human being. Jerry Cornelius, Nobel Prize-winning physicist and playboy adventurer, is vital to the project's success: his recently deceased father devised the formula of this 'final programme'. However, the formula is captured on a microfilm hidden in the vaults of the family's mansion, and jealously guarded by Jerry's drug-addicted, psychopathic brother, Frank...

***

After the death of his Nobel Prize-winning father, billionaire physicist Jerry Cornelius becomes embroiled in the search for the mysterious "Final Programme", developed by his father. The programme, a design for a perfect, self-replicating human being, is contained on microfilm. A group of scientists, led by the formidable Miss Brunner (who consumes her lovers), has sought Cornelius's help in obtaining it. After a chase across a war-torn Europe on the verge of anarchy, Brunner and Cornelius obtain the microfilm from Jerry's loathsome brother Frank. They proceed to an abandoned underground Nazi fortress in the Arctic to run the programme, with Jerry and Miss Brunner as the subjects.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 7th, 1973

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Studiocanal (Cult Classics) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Or available on DVD:

Already released on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory in 2020:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Studiocanal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:29:36.666         
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,918,403,734 bytes

Feature: 26,975,963,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

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

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

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,918,403,734 bytes

Feature: 26,975,963,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Interview with Jenny Runacre (11:05)
NEW Kim Newman on A Feast of Fuest  (14:03)
Italian title sequence (2:16)
Trailers (7:57)


Blu-ray Release Date: February 20th, 2023

Standard Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Studiocanal Blu-ray (March 2023): Studiocanal have transferred Robert Fuest's The Final Programme to Blu-ray under their 'Cult Classics' sub-label. Shout! Factory released this on Blu-ray HERE in 2020 - but we do not have a copy to compare. This is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and seems quite strong with true colors and stunning sets. It is in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and depth is apparent with some consistent textures. A fine HD presentation.

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Studiocanal use a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original English language. The Final Programme has some sci-fi zappy effects that are probably intentionally a bit cheesy. The score was by Paul Beaver and Bernard Krause (The Magnetic Monster) with a moody jazzy feel opposing Moorcock envisioning the space-rock band Hawkwind providing the music for the entire. The track is clean and fairly flat. Studiocanal offer optional English subtitles (SDH) on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The Studiocanal Blu-ray offers a new 11-minute interview with Jenny Runacre (Cassavetes' Husbands) discussing the production and the fact that it was not well received - 'peculiar distribution'. There is a new 1/4 hour piece with Kim Newman on Fuest and The Final Programme entitled a Feast of Fuest. Kim traces the career of the director, production designer and writer including work on The Avengers TV series and his desire to infuse art into his films. Lastly, are a brief Italian title sequence and a handful of trailers. The Shout! Factory Blu-ray offered an audio commentary with director Robert Fuest and actress Jenny Runacre (hosted by Jonathan Sothcott.) The Studiocanal Blu-ray package appears to have three photos and a poster. I was only sent the screener disc.  

The Final Programme was the first of Michael Moorcock's 'Jerry Cornelius' series of novels and stories and the only book by the author to have been made into a film although he did write the screenplay for The Land That Time Forgot. The director, Robert Fuest (Dr. Phibes Rises Again, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, And Soon the Darkness) was noted for his stylish genre work of the 1970s - The Final Programme being one of them. He was noted for his unique set designs  - usually done with a low budget. The Final Programme has a counter-culture vibe and is visual science-fiction in the vein of Clockwork Orange or Zardoz. It has some unexpanded comments about the future thrown which can range from amusing to thought-provoking. It is quite unconventional which may deter some viewers. The Studiocanal Blu-ray is of strong a/v quality and has two revealing extra features all housed in a nice package. It may be worth taking a chance on or at least nabbing the DVD. To each his own.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Examples of NSFW (Not Safe For Work) visuals (Mouse Over - click to enlarge)

 

 


 

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

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Or available on DVD:

Already released on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory in 2020:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Studiocanal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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