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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Virgin Witch [Blu-ray]

 

(Ray Austin, 1972)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Tigon British Film Productions

Video: Redemption

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:28:54.485

Disc Size: 25,005,426,338 bytes

Feature Size: 20,715,177,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.10 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 13th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Photo Gallery

Trailer

• Redemption trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Capitalizing on the pop cultural fascination with the occult, while taking advantage of the era's relaxed censorship, Virgin Witch was one of the more notorious British horror films of the early seventies.

Ann Michelle (House of Whipcord) and Vicki Michelle (BBC's 'Allo 'Allo!) star as a pair of miniskirted birds who travel to a remote castle in order to land a contract in the modeling agency of the mysterious lesbian Sybil Waite (Patricia Haines). Only then do they realize that the agency is a means of procuring fresh victims for a witch's coven. Sybil's plan goes awry when she discovers that one of the virginal sisters is hardly an innocent victim - but is gifted with deadly supernatural powers.

 

 

The Film:

British potboiler about runaway sisters who hitchhike to London, meet the lesbian proprietress of a modeling agency and later become willing initiates in a coven of orgiastic witches. Director Ray Austin exploits everybody concerned, including the audience.

Excerpt from USCCB located HERE

Virgin Witch is held in quite high esteem in some circles (probably grubby ones in dirty macs with thinning hair and bad eyesight). It's probably got the highest tits-and-bums to running time ratio of any film on this site, and the bright lighting leaves very little of either Anne or Vicky Michelle's bodies unexplored, yet it's totally unerotic. It's certainly not a horror film - it's not even good porn. God only knows why anyone would want to watch it. I only watched it because I run this site, and I thought I ought to. How can you make a horror film with no scary bits, no blood, no plot, and very little acting?

Excerpt from British Horror Films located HERE

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

Virgin Witch appears somewhat soft and waxy on Blu-ray from Redemption Films (Kino). There is grain but it doesn't resemble a film taken from 35mm (as advertised - also stated as 'remastered' which, essentially, means nothing). Colors are bright on the single-layered 1080P transfer. It is in the accurate 1.66:1 aspect ratio and is very clean. Heck, for all I know this is the way it looked originally but I kept thinking of some digitization was evident. Daylight scenes are more impressive and the very dark sequences, late in the film, produce some noise. This Blu-ray probably does as good a job as this film is likely ever to get on digital. Hopefully the captures below give you an idea of the appearance.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

We have an unremarkable linear PCM 2.0 channel stereo track at 1536 kbps. There is an original score by Ted Dicks. Nothing is very notable and dialogue is sometimes scattered - but more a function of the production than the transfer. It is probably as good/bad as it was originally. There are no subtitles offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Supplements are pretty lean - a Gallery with photos and advertising, there is a trailer for the film and some Redemption trailers (Jean Rollin etc.) That is all.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This really only has the appeal of being 'so bad - it's good'. Virgin Witch is cheesy, exploitive and, in a word, 'sucks'. Completists for this genre may be the only audience worth indulging. The Blu-ray is imperfect but adequate to relate a watchable, bright presentation - too bad the film isn't of a likewise quality. 

Gary Tooze

March 7th, 2012


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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