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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Creepers" )

 

directed by Dario Argento
Italy 1985

After a pre-credits murder of a Danish tourist (Fiore Argento) who has missed her bus and wandered over to an ominous chalet inhabited by a chained unseen presence, we meet our heroine Jennifer (Jennifer Connelly) who has been enrolled at an exclusive Swiss all-girls school while her actor father works overseas. On the first night, her unfortunate habit of sleepwalking puts her in the position of witnessing the violent murder of one of the schoolgirls. When Jennifer's own roommate disappears, a firefly leads her to a maggot-infested glove that possibly belongs to the killer. Although no one at the school believes Jennifer, local entomologist John McGregor (Donald Pleasance) identifies Jennifer's psychic affinity with insects as an advantage in tracking down the killer. After calling down a horde of flies on the school after being teased by the other students, Jennifer follows the tour route of the missing girl in the pre-credits sequence assisted by a variety of fly that feeds solely off of human corpses - whose maggots were in the killer's glove - to the now abandoned chalet. When McGregor is murdered, it is up to McGregor's vengeful chimp assistant and millions of Jennifer's insect friends to save her from the killer.

Though not Argento's best film, it is certainly his most enjoyable as the director crams so many odd touches into the 110 minute running time (a lot of which was trimmed for the 84 minute US version). There are razor-wielding chimps, kilos of coffee-grounds standing in for flies (a clever antiquated optical trick), pits full of maggots, skulls, and body parts, a monster child, Iron Maiden's recurrent "Flash of the Blade", Daria Nicolodi's frazzled teacher, striking Dalila Di Lazzaro's stern headmistress who believes in the diabolical "Lord of the Flies", and an ethereal Jennifer Connelly (14 at the time) running around the Swiss mountains chasing insects and being chased by a spear-wielding assassin. Romano Albani's blue-tinted cinematography - augmented by the macrophotography supervised by Luigi Cozzi - makes extensive and satisfying early use of Steadicam photography (by Italy's premiere operator Nicola Pecorini) and ex-Goblin members Claudio Simonetti and Fabio Pignatelli contribute individual tracks (and collaborate on one) along with tracks from Simon Boswell, Iron Maiden, and Motorhead on the film's loud Dolby Stereo mix. Effects man Sergio Stivaletti also provides his first animatronics work for Argento (subsequently he worked on DEMONS, DEMONS 2, OPERA, and MOTHER OF TEARS as well as digital visual effects work on STENDHAL SYNDROME, SLEEPLESS, and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 2 August 1985

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DVD Comparison:

Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL vs. Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL vs. Arrow Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

1) Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

4) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Medusa Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
01 Distribution
Region 2 - PAL
Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
The 16X9 Anchor Bay is also available in the Dario Argento Box Set with Tenebre / Phenomena / Trauma / The Card Player and Do You Like Hitchcock?

                

Runtime 149:32 1:51:08 (4% PAL speedup) 1:49:44 1:51:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:55:29.964 (does NOT include Sergio Stivaletti intro)
Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.83 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.67:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.89 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.62:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.85 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.76 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 44,714,742,766 bytes

Feature: 32,714,366,976 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 31.95 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

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

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

Medusa Home Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

01 Distribution

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1); English (Dolby Digital 2.0 surround); French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono) Italian Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

English (Dolby Digital 5.1); English (Dolby Digital 2.0 surround); French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo)

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles None English, Italian, none none none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary By director Dario Argento, special FX Make-up artist Sergio Stivaletti, composer C
• A Dark Fairly Tale Featurette - 16X 9 (17:17)
• Luigi Cozzi and the art of Macrophotography - 16X9 (4:38)
• Director Dario Argento interview [interviewed by Joe Franklin] (9:03; 4x3)
• Claudio Simonetti Music Video [Jennifer] (4:11; 4x3 letterbox)
• Bill Wyman Music Video [Valley] (4:00; 4x3 letterbox)
• Filmographies

DVD Release Date: May 27th, 2008
Keep case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Medusa Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.67:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:39)
• Cast and Crew List

DVD Release Date: 1 February 2004
Amaray

Chapters 20
 

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.62:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Dario Argento, FX artist Sergio Stivaletti, composer Claudio Simonetti
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 2:35)
• Behind the Scenes Segment (4:3; 4:41)
• Claudio Simonetti Music Video [Jennifer] (4:3; 4:11)
• Bill Wyman Music Video [Valley] (4:3; 4:00)
• Director Dario Argento interview [interviewed by Joe Franklin] (4:3; 9:03)
• Biographies
• Filmographies

 

DVD Release Date: March 16, 1999
Amaray

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: 01 Distribution

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• none

 

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow Films

 

Disc Size: 44,714,742,766 bytes

Feature: 32,714,366,976 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 31.95 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

 

Edition Details:
• Dario Argento's Monkey Business; The Making of Phenomena (52:11 in 1080P)
• Music for Maggots:
Claudio Simonetti Remembers Phenomena (6:33 in 1080P)

• Creeper and Creatures: Sergio Stivaletti LIVE Q & A Session (18:54 in 1080P)

Blu-ray Release Date: March 7th, 2011
Chapters 16

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Arrow Video - Region FREE Blu-ray - March 2011': I'd say this is a pretty significant improvement in the video quality as compared to the previous DVDs. This Arrow Blu-ray appears to be the only digital representation that is both the longer cut and in theatrical running time (no PAL speedup). The screen captures should bear out a crisper image, accurate colors and it showcases some depth as well. I'm no expert on the film but this is displays a dramatic superiority over the flatter, and often boosted, SD visuals. It is dual-layered with a strong bitrate.

Audio stays faithfully 2.0 channel stereo but offers both English or Italian tracks in linear PCM (lossless) renderings. The films score has always been dominant but now adds some impressive buoyancy and heavier depth. Some may need to damper their volume levels in certain scenes. Arrow have seen fit to add subtitle options both for the English and Italian tracks as a choice and I have determined that the disc is region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

No commentary as found on the Anchor Bay but we get a full Dario Argento's Monkey Business: The Making of Phenomena documentary-style featurette running over 50-minutes in 1080P plus Claudio Simonetti Remembering Phenomena for 6.5 minutes in 'Music for Maggots' and lastly, a LIVE Q & A Session with Sergio Stivaletti entitled Creeper and Creatures for shy of 20-minutes.

I think this is a strong release - supplying a solid presentation - some new extras and the fact that it is region FREE should please many Argento fans around the globe. Recommended!   

 - Gary Tooze

***

ADDITION: 01 Distribution - February 2010: Like the previous Medusa DVD, the 01 Distribution release represents the longer, rougher Italian cut of the film in a similar looking master but the new disc is non-anamorphic and lacking extras. The superior Medusa disc had a 16:9 transfer, English and Italian subtitles and a 5.1 upmix in addition to the 2.0 stereo mix. Like the Medusa disc, the 01 disc also has warmer than intended color timing. The new Anchor Bay transfer looks almost identical to their previous release with the correct blue tinting (absent on the Italian disc) but looks sharper and clearer with anamorphic enhancement (even though the bitrate has been slightly reduced from the older transfer - likely for the addition of the new 17m documentary "A Dark Fairy Tale"). Both Anchor Bay disc present the 110 minute export version of the film (New Line cut the film down to 84 minutes for its US theatrical release). The English 2.0 mix on the earlier Anchor Bay disc is not the film's original Dolby mix but a downmix of the 5.1 upmix (it would appear the same mixes are carried over to the new disc including the French mono track). The Italian cut runs longer in PAL than the export version because it is an earlier cut of the film (the export version is his approved cut).

***

ON THE OTHER Anchor Bay and Medusa discs: The new Anchor Bay transfer looks almost identical to their previous release with the correct blue tinting (absent on the Italian disc) but looks sharper and clearer with anamorphic enhancement (even though the bitrate has been slightly reduced from the older transfer - likely for the addition of the new 17m documentary "A Dark Fairy Tale"). Both Anchor Bay disc present the 110 minute export version of the film (New Line cut the film down to 84 minutes for its US theatrical release).

The English 2.0 mix on the earlier Anchor Bay disc is not the film's original Dolby mix but a downmix of the 5.1 upmix (it would appear the same mixes are carried over to the new disc including the French mono track). The Italian cut runs longer in PAL than the export version because it is an earlier cut of the film (the export version is his approved cut). The Medusa in an anamorphic transfer with Italian audio only and English subtitles (the integral version was released with English audio and Italian snippets on German DVD by Raptor). That transfer lacks the intended blue tone in favor of a warmer look.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
 

1) Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT

 

 

 

   

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

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

 

Blu-ray Subtitle Sample

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

4) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

4) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

4) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

4) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

4) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

4) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

More Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Sound:

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Medusa Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
01 Distribution
Region 2 - PAL
Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
 

 




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