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(aka "L'orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock" or "Raptus" or "The Terror of Dr. Hichcock" or

"The Horrible Dr. Hichcock" or "Raptus: The Secret of Dr Hichcock" or "The Horrible Secret of Dr. Hichcock")

 

Directed by Riccardo Freda (as Robert Hampton)
Italy 1962

 

One day the necrophiliac tendencies of Dr Hichcock (Robert Flemyng, The Quiller Memorandum) go too far and his wife dies from an overdose. Bereft, the doctor leaves his house but returns years later with a new wife, Cynthia (Barbara Steele, Black Sunday). The house they return to is eerie and Cynthia hears strange things, meanwhile, she doesn’t realize Dr Hichcock intends to use her body to re-animate his dead wife's corpse. Released at the height of the Italian horror boom that was produced in the wake of the influence of Hammer’s era-defining horror productions, director Riccardo Freda (The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire) and screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi (The Whip and the Body) create a dark and wicked gothic horror that brings in sly allusions to the work of Alfred Hitchcock while the period detail of Victorian London provides a lush backdrop.

***

The year is 1885, and necrophiliac Dr. Hichcock likes to drug his wife for sexual funeral games. One day he accidentally administers an overdose and kills her. Several years later he remarries, with the intention of using the blood of his new bride to bring his first wife's rotting corpse back to life.

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 1962 (Rapallo Film Festival)

Reviews                                                  More Reviews                                                DVD Reviews

 

Review: Radiance - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Radiance Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime

Export + Italian: 1:27:29.035

North American Cut: 1:16:22.619

Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc One Size: 39,249,181,312 bytes

Feature (Export + Italian): 26,211,422,976 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.80 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Re-ordered North American Cut:

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,853,834,967 bytes

Feature: 21,820,253,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.85 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Export + Italian Blu-ray:

Bitrate Re-ordered North American Cut Blu-ray:

Audio

Export + Italian:

DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1282 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1282 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1335 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1335 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Re-ordered North American:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1408 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1408 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English (for Italian), English (SDH) for DUB, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Radiance

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by critics Kat Ellinger and Annie Rose Malamet
• Audio commentary by Tim Lucas
• New interview with screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi (2023) (34:12)
• Visual essay on Bluebeard in gothic film by Miranda Corcoran (2023) (28:16)
• An interview with Madeleine Le Despencer on necrophilia and taboo gothic (2023) (18:11)
• Trailer (2:46)
• Gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring designs based on original posters
Limited edition booklet featuring new writing by critics and experts including Chris Fujiwara on the film; an archival piece by Alan Y. Upchurch, Tim Lucas and Luigi Boscaino on the making of the film featuring interviews with Freda, Steele, Flemyng and others; a comparison of the different versions by Tim Lucas; and a critical overview by Cullen Gallagher


Blu-ray Release Date: October 23rd, 2023

Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12 / 10

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Radiance Blu-ray (October 2023): Radiance have transferred Riccardo Freda's The Horrible Dr. Hichcock to Blu-ray. It is cited  incorrectly on Amazon and this is more accurate: from a "New 2023 2K restoration of the film from the original negative presented in three versions across two Blu-rays: Disc 1: the 87-minute export version The Terror of Dr Hichcock and the English dub of the complete 87-minute Italian cut Raptus: The Secret of Dr. Hichcock with extras; Disc 2 has, exclusive to the limited edition, the re-ordered 76-minute North American version The Horror of Dr Hichcock".

We reviewed the 2016 Olive Blu-ray of the re-ordered 76-minute North American version of The Horror of Dr Hichcock, HERE. The Olive 1080P image quality/audio and extras are quite inferior (cropped, 1.78:1 AR, much softer, no grain, bare-bones etc.) compared to this new Radiance 2023 2K restoration where all three 1080P presentations look almost exactly the same (same source - max'ed out bitrate). In fact the 'export version' and the 'Italian cut' are both on the first Blu-ray disc and are seamlessly-branched with inserts for the credits, titles etc - and they run the exact same length (1:27:29.) The HD presentation(s) are a notable step above the old Olive transfer with tighter sharpness, consistent texture, more balanced colors, no scratch damage and the quality is near flawless for the format. A fabulous upgrade to see genre-icon-queen Barbara Steele looking more hypnotic than ever with three versions of the film.

NOTE: We have added 48 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their first Blu-ray, Radiance give the option for the export version and Italian cut of DTS-HD Master dual-mono tracks (24-bit) in the original Italian or an English DUB. The North American version on Blu-ray 2 has only the English DUB (also DTS-HD Master dual-mono.) NOTE: Each cast member spoke his or her own language when filming. The Horrible Dr. Hichcock has aggressive moments, blood-curdling screams that come through with effective depth and a dramatic and haunting score by Roman Vlad (Beauty of the Devil, Caltiki, Jules Dassin's The Law,)  sounding clean with reasonably consistent dialogue in the lossless transfer. Radiance offer optional English (Translated from Italian) of English (SDH) subtitles,  for the DUB, on their Region 'B' Blu-rays.

The Radiance Blu-ray offers two new commentaries. The first is by by critics Kat Ellinger - author of Daughters of Darkness (Devils Advocates) - and Annie Rose Malamet (Girls, Guts & Giallo) and they discuss the Alfred Hitchcock resemblances (Rebecca, Vertigo) except the perversity is cranked up significantly, Freud, male anxieties, Italian Gothic etc..  The second is by our favorite, Tim Lucas (The Book of Renfield: A Gospel of Dracula.) He discusses the Anglophone aliases in the credits, the English DUB (and specifics about them in this film), as a marketing ploy - representing a British film which would attract more viewers. This includes Freda being credited as Robert Hampton, set designer Franco Fumagalli became Frank Smokecocks, actress Harriet Medin under her maiden name - Harriet White, actor Silvano Tranquilli as Montgomery Glenn, actress Maria Teresa Vianello as Teresa Fitzgerald etc. Tim talks about the various versions, re-edits and alt-titles, shots eliminated in "Horrible...", intense reds and blues intentionally used in the film (possible Bava input?), how AIP turned it down because of the necrophilia content, cost-effective filmmaking examples, excessive "fainting", novelization differences, etc. It's filled with vital tidbits and stories of the production. He gives his opinion that  Barbara Steele never looked better onscreen. Another great job by Tim. There are more extras on the first Blu-ray; In a newly filmed 35-minute interview, produced exclusively for Radiance in September 2022, prolific Italian screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi (Torso, The Grand Duel, My Name is Nobody, Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory) discusses his work on The Horror of Dr Hichcock (credited as Julyan Perry), and experiences with the cast and crew. We also get a new 28-minute visual essay by Gothic scholar Miranda Corcoran (author of Haunted States: An American Gothic Guidebook) who explores the Horrible Dr. Hichcock within the context of Gothic melodrama and the 40s “Woman’s Film”. It is another exclusive by Radiance Films - produced in in August 2023. Included is an 18-minute interview with visual artist and scholar Madeleine Le Despencer (Blog) who delves deeply into the world of 'Necrophilia and Gothic Taboo'. The package is offered in Radiance's full-height 'scanavo' labeling with removable UK OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings (see sample at bottom.) The package has a reversible sleeve featuring designs based on original posters an a limited edition booklet (5,000 copies) featuring new writing by critics and experts including Chris Fujiwara on the film; an archival piece by Alan Y. Upchurch, Tim Lucas and Luigi Boscaino on the making of the film featuring interviews with Freda, Steele, Flemyng and others; a comparison of the different versions, by Tim Lucas; and a critical overview by Cullen Gallagher.

Riccardo Freda's The Horrible Dr. Hichcock has, fan-favorite, Barbara Steele who took 10 days off the set of Federico Fellini's 8½ to perform her role of Cynthia Hichcock. The Horrible Dr. Hichcock has a heavy subtext of sex and death done in a hauntingly wonderful Victorian backdrop. There are obvious links to Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca and Vertigo and fans may appreciate this evocation. There are scenes of gravediggers, a doppelgänger cat, sexual attraction involving corpses, foreshadowing nightmares, and a brief scene where Dr. Hichcock's face is deformed - swelling unnaturally. I was sold at 'Barbara Steele' and can now throw out my 2016 Olive Blu-ray with only the shorter North American version. The Radiance Blu-ray is a complete package - 3 versions, 2 commentaries, interviews, visual essay, booklet etc. Gothic film devotees cannot be without this one. Absolutely recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

Blu-ray 1

 

Blu-ray 2


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

 

1) Olive Films (2016) Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP LEFT

2) Radiance (North American version) Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP RIGHT

3) Radiance (Italian cut translation) Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM LEFT

4) Radiance (Export Version) Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM RIGHT

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 

 


 

1) Olive Films (2016) Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Radiance AIP (North American version) Region 'B' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Radiance (Export Version) Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


More Radiance Blu-ray Captures
 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

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

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Radiance Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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