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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Peter Sykes
UK 1976

 

Occult novelist John Verney (Widmark) is on a book-signing tour in London when he’s approached by friend Henry Beddows (Elliott), who asks him to look after Henry’s daughter Catherine (Kinski). Catherine, raised (almost since birth) in a remote convent in Bavaria, has been under the careful tutelage of the mysterious Father Michael Rayner (Lee). As events unfold, Rayner is revealed to be an excommunicated priest heading a cult of satanic worshipers following the demon Astaroth. This cult, with Verney's unintentional help, plans to use Catherine’s body to unleash an avatar of Astaroth onto the Earth.

To the Devil a Daughter is intriguing in that none of its characters are bastions of morality. Verney, himself exhibits questionable morals that make him nearly a secondary monster. He is portrayed as a man so obsessed with finding another story to write and making some money that he’s willing to put his friends in danger.

 Excerpt from Classic-Horror located HERE

***

Based on a Dennis Wheatley novel, this is a sort of partner to The Devil Rides Out and is one of Hammer's stronger stories, with some genuinely scary moments. Lee is on top form as the wild-eyed, cold-hearted villain, approaching black magic with a steely rationality that almost makes it seem like science. Opposing him, Widmark is witty and laconic, his temper slow to rise, and their different approaches to key problems make this a more complex tale than it first seems. Verney's approach to his vulnerable charge is paternal, but he still finds her sexually alluring, just as he finds himself fascinated by the very practices he has committed himself to thwarting, leading to a morally complex conclusion. Scenes of Satanic child abuse are particularly creepy given the teenage Nastassja Kinski's curiously distanced performance as the nun, with her sudden bursts of passion making a considerable impact and creating an effective impression that there are two personalities inhabiting her delicate frame.

 Excerpt from EyeForFilm located HERE

Posters etc.

Theatrical Release: March 4th, 1976

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Review: Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Studio Canal
Region
'B' Blu-ray

Runtime

1:32:59.782

Video

Disc Size: 28,900,984,660 bytes

Feature Size: 24,441,664,896 bytes

Average Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate:

 

Studio Canal Blu-ray

 

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1353 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1353 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

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

 

Disc Size: 28,900,984,660 bytes

Feature Size: 24,441,664,896 bytes

Average Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Dark Arts: Inside To the Devil a Daughter (18:56)
• Trailer (2:10)

Blu-ray  Release Date: January 29th, 2018
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters: 12

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Studio Canal Blu-ray - March 18': Studio Canal's transfer of Hammer Studio's 'devil worshiping' foray To the Devil a Daughter looks strong - an undamaged source, a competent dual-layered HD rendering with a high bitrate shows pleasing grain and a solid, consistent image in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Colors aren't overly exuberant and detail is notable in the film's many close-ups - the 1080P presentation seems very authentic to its theatrical roots. 

DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel (24-bit) lossless audio in the original English language with some effective aggressive in a few sequences exporting impacting depth but it's the score by Paul Glass (Bunny Lake is Missing, Overlord, Lady in a Cage) that is remarkable - a very UN-Hammer-like effort using experimental chords with ordinary instruments and voices in a very non-traditional way. It sounds piercing at times and accurate in the lossless transfer. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles - see sample - and the Blu-ray disc is Region 'B' - locked.

Extras include a trailer and the 19-minute 'Dark Arts: Inside To the Devil a Daughter' with Jonathan Rigby (author of English Gothic), Alan Barnes (author of The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films), Kevin Lyons (Documentation Editor at the BFI) and John J. Johnston discussing the film, writer Wheatley's strong dislike of the film, it's box-office success, how it, surprisingly, passed BBFC ratings and much more. It's very good - shot by Marcus Hearn - and generally describes the film as Hammer's move within the similar occult films of the times - despite diverging from the traditional Hammer style and format of the past.

Studio Canal have given us intensely creepy and subversive Satan-worshiping film from Hammer a solid Blu-ray package. To the Devil a Daughter's value is in its separation from Hammer's roots and it one disturbing horror. To those you may enjoy and the studio completists we strongly recommend! 

 - Gary Tooze

Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


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

 

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 



 

 
Box Covers

 

Distribution

Studio Canal
Region
'B' Blu-ray

 




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