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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Daughters of Dracula" or "Blood Hunger" or "Las hijas de Drácula")

 

directed by Jose Ramon Larraz
UK 1974

 

Motorist Ted (Murray Brown) picks up cloaked hitchhiker Fran (Marianne Morris) who takes him back to her decaying mansion - Hammer's Oakley Court - for some wine, some sex, and a little blood drinking. Little does he know that Fran and fellow blood-drinker Miriam (Anulka) have a habit of luring men back to the mansion and tear them to pieces with knives and teeth (their mutilated bodies are subsequently discovered at car crash sites with empty bottles of Carpathian wine; though no one seems to question why the drunken drivers are naked). To Miriam's annoyance and jealousy, Fran is content to sleep with and slowly drain Ted who seeks the help of nearby campers Harriet (Sally Faukner) and John (Brian Deacon) when he becomes too weak but the vampires have already formed an attachment to Harriet who has been witnessing their comings (with a string of motorists are never seen leaving) and goings (running through the woods to the cemetery before the dawn). A low-budget British production, VAMPYRES mixes the earthy eroticism of Larraz's other British and Spanish productions with the chilly, misty atmosphere of the British countryside. The thin plot leaves room not only for some sweaty sex scenes (some of them spattered with liters of blood) as well as some stylish and chilling sequences (such as the caravaning couple catching a glimpse of the two hitchhiking vamps on the side of the road at dusk and Fran "marking" Harriet). Even if the resolution seems thrown together, VAMPYRES as a whole is one of the memorable accomplishments of the more permissive seventies British exploitation cinema.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 1975 (USA)

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Comparison

Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 1 - NTSC

Blue Underground

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:27:27 1:27:36.251
Video

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.40 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 20,883,975,514 bytes

Feature Size: 19,471,104,000 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.98 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

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

Bitrate

DVD

Bitrate

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1897 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 1897 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital EX Audio English 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Original Mono - Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB

Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles None English, French, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by director Jose Ramon Larraz and producer Brian Smedley-Aston
• Return of the Vampyres - interviews with Anulka and Marianne Morris (16:9; 13:39)
• US Trailer (16:9; 3:06)
• International Trailer (16:9; 2:31)
• Lost Caravan Sequence - Stills of lost footage
• Poster & Still Gallery
• Jose Ramon Larraz Biography
• DVD-ROM: PDF file of Tim Greaves' book VAMPYRES: A GUIDE TO THE ULTIMATE IN EROTIC HORROR CINEMA

DVD Release Date: 27 May 2003
Amaray

Chapters 21

Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

 

Disc Size: 20,883,975,514 bytes

Feature Size: 19,471,104,000 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.98 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by director Jose Ramon Larraz and producer Brian Smedley-Aston
• Return of the Vampyres - interviews with Anulka and Marianne Morris (16:9; 13:39)
• US Trailer (16:9; 3:06)
• International Trailer (16:9; 2:31)

Blu-ray Release Date:
March 30th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 21

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Blue Underground - Region FREE Blu-ray - March 2010 - Things certainly tighten up but perhaps not as dramatically as we have seen in the past but grain seems to gain the most benefit with the structure more readily visible and intact. Detail and color improves to a lesser degree. Like the DVD it is a single-layered treatment but the bitrate approaches 5 times that of the SD rendering.

Probably more prominent an improvement is the audio and Blue Underground offers a substantial upgrade with a lossless DTS-HD Master 7.1 at a respectable 1897 kbps. It's a bump but a decent one and a 5.1 is another choice as is the original mono available as an option. Sound for the film was never produced at premium levels and this is probably about as good as it will ever get. There are now subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

We lose a couple of minor extras from the 2003 DVD but the commentary and Return of the Vampyres 14-minute featurette with interviews with Anulka and Marianne Morris is still here... although nothing new.

Strangely, this seems a higher price point than usually offered by Blue Underground but the film has its niche following. The Blu-ray is certainly the way to go to see and hear it in it's best home theater representation...   

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: Blue Underground's DVD features a progressive, anamorphic, single-layered presentation (hopefully Larraz's other 70's British pictures will look this good) of the uncut version. Although heavily cut in the UK, VAMPYRES arrived in the US relatively uncut (most of the opening titles were moved to the end of the film, the credits rescored with electronic music, and the ending scene slightly edited) theatrically and on cassette from Magnum Entertainment who cashed in on THE LOST BOYS with the tagline "They're Lost Girls." Anchor Bay's original DVD release of the film restored the original credits and music but lost a minute of footage from a gory scene late in the film.

Blue Underground's reissue restored this footage while porting over the commentary and adding interviews with the "vampyres" themselves (who learn here for the first time that their performances were redubbed) and some other extras including production stills from a deleted sequence as well as a PDF of Tim Greaves book on the making of the film. The commentary with Larraz and Smedley-Aston is quite entertaining with Larraz noticing bits that are cut from his "edited for the Vatican" cassette copy, the inspirations behind certain shots (like the girl Larraz remembers who slept with her eyes open), and his meeting with the censors.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT
 

 
 

 


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Subtitle sample - Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


  Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray captures

 


DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 1 - NTSC

Blue Underground

Region FREE - Blu-ray




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