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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Lips of Blood" or "Lèvres de sang" )

 

directed by Jean Rollin
France 1975

 

While at a party to promote a new perfume, Frederic (co-writer Jean-Loup Philippe, RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE ) recognizes the setting of one of the ad campaign photographs from a vague childhood memory involving a mysterious woman (Anne Brilland). His mother (Natalie Perry) tries to discourage his delving into the past but he is eventually lead by the ageless apparition of this woman to a crypt where he accidentally unleashes a quartet of vampire women from their tombs. As Frederic continues to pursue the mystery woman, his mother dispatches henchmen to deal with the vampire epidemic and goes to extraordinary lengths to keep the past a secret.

One of Rollin's least financially successful films (after THE IRON ROSE ), LIPS OF BLOOD is one of his most densely plotted vampire films. It is less dream-like than his others but more suspenseful and action-oriented. Despite the modern setting, it has its share of striking imagery as scantily-clad vampire women prowl the city (one segment where two nurses remove their face masks to reveal fangs may have inspired a notable unused sequence in HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II), Frederic follows his mystery woman (he sees her in a theater screening RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE though it advertises THE NUDE VAMPIRE outside), and his flashbacks lead him to a location full of crumbling ruins and Rollin's favorite shooting location: the beach at Dieppe.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 18 May 1975

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Comparison:

Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL vs. Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Encore Entertainment
Region 0 - PAL

Redemption USA

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:26:48 1:23:15 (4% PAL speedup) 1:27:15.803
Video

1.65:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.33 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,138,301,647 bytes

Feature: 23,761,316,160 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

 

Image Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Encore Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Redemption

Blu-ray

 

 

 

Audio French (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono)

French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bi
Subtitles English, none English, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.65:1

Edition Details:
• Still Gallery
• Director Filmography

DVD Release Date: 9 November 1999
Amaray

Chapters 14
 

Release Information:
Studio: Encore Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Jean Rollin (in English - 10:00)
• Disc Two
• This Beach That Follows Me featurette (in French with English subtitles - 24:39)
• Interview with Jean-Loup Philippe (in French with English subtitles - 16:01)
• Interview with Nathalie Perrey (in French with English subtitles - 12:23)
• Interview with Serge Rollin (in French with English subtitles - 13:14)
• Interview with Cathy Tricot (in French with English subtitles - 14:47)
• Photo gallery
• Disc Three
• Selected Scenes Commentary with Jean Rollin (in English - 32:55)
• Les Amours Jaunes short film (in French with English subtitles - 10:10)
• French theatrical trailer (2:19; 16:9)
• Demoniaques Trailer (2:57; 16:9)
• Requiem for a Vampire French Trailer (3:00; 4:3)
• 64 page booklet

 

DVD Release Date: 30 November 2005
Digipack in Sleeve

Chapters 8

Release Information:
Studio: Redemption

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,138,301,647 bytes

Feature: 23,761,316,160 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Introduction by Jean Rollin (2:40 in 1080P)

• Natalie Perrey Interview (9:45 in 1080P)
• Original Theatrical Trailers for 5 Rollin films in 1080P

• 20-page booklet 'The Cinema of Jean Rollin's
 

Blu-ray Release Date: January 24th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray (January 12'): The Blu-ray version of Lips of Blood (Lèvres de sang) seems to look a bit weak beside the DVDs. It may be marginally superior in terms of image quality but doesn't rise to the heights of the format. There is a softness that may be inherent in the production but the Encore DVD appears to have overcome that. It may come down to the source and with the redemption being the inferior print. The Redemption Blu-ray does not show the 'title' anywhere that I could find on the transfer, plus there are different speckles and marks. the dual-layered, 1080P visuals are darker but warmer skin tones. It has less artifacts than either of the DVD - although still exhibits noise. The overall improvement would be considered quite modest.

 

There is a linear PCM tracks in French with optional English subtitles. The audio is imperfect, but is clear enough to ascertain with no significant dropouts or pops. The disc is region FREE playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

We get a couple of extraa on the Blu-ray - all in 1080P - starting with a 3-minute introduction by Jean Rollin, followed by an interview with Natalie Perrey as well as French Theatrical Trailers for 5 Rollin films and this package includes a 20-page booklet 'The Cinema of Jean Rollin' with essay (Tim Lucas) and other information.

 

Obviously I am not overwhelmed by the image quality but admit that my presentation was a reasonably positive experience. The more Rollin films I view - the more I can appreciate his filmmaking style. I'm no expert on the genre but this seemed keeping in-line with the director's other films - showcasing a fractured, heavily artistic bent. His fans might only wish to consider if they can obtain this Blu-ray at a reasonable price.  

 - Gary W. Tooze

***

ON THE DVDs: While the wealth of extras (including the standard incredibly informative 64 page booklet) is worth the price, Encore's transfer is problematic in a few areas. Firstly, it has been cropped from 1.66:1 to 1.78:1 (Encore's RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE - was stretched from 1.66:1 to 1.78:1 while their THE LIVING DEAD GIRL's 1.78:1 transfer revealed more peripheral information than the 1.66:1 transfer from Image) which often crops off the top of heads (especially the taller Philippe). Secondly, while the action under the credits is present on the transfer the title overlays are missing (they were present on the Image transfer from which the title cap is sourced). Thirdly, the end credits on both transfers are extensively damaged. It should be noted that the selected scenes commentary on the third disc appear over the earlier 1.66:1 transfer containing the credits missing from the feature on the first disc. While other releases in the Encore series have included alternate and deleted scenes, LEVRES DE SANG's extras do not include the alternate hardcore footage (mostly involving the models at the photographer's studio) for the X-rated re-edit SUCE-MOI VAMPIRE released in France to recoup the money lost on the original film (Encore's release of NIGHT OF THE HUNTED includes hardcore inserts for that film as Easter Eggs in addition to other alternate footage). Some of the day for night exteriors have also been tinted blue with varying degrees of success (see capture 6 which is actually a more arresting image without the tint).

The second DVD features interviews with Philippe, Perry, the director's son Serge (who plays Frederic in the flashbacks), and Cathy Tricot (THE NUDE VAMPIRE - link) and the featurette "The Beach that Follows Me" about Rollin's favorite Dieppe shooting location. The short film "Les Amours Jaunes" is featured on the third disc (it is also an extra on the US DVD of THE NUDE VAMPIRE) along with trailers for the feature (absent from the Image DVD), DEMONIAQUES, and REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE along with an extensive 64 page booklet.

A new anamorphic US DVD has been announced by Redemption USA - HERE that will apparently contain some of the extras from the Encore set as well as the "Virgins and Vampires" documentary already included on their release of KILLING CAR. It will likely be a PAL-NTSC standards conversion.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


Menus
(
Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 
 

 

 

Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Subtitle sample

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Encore Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Redemption - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Encore

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Encore Entertainment
Region 0 - PAL

Redemption USA

Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


 





 

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Gary Tooze

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