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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Door to Silence" or "Le Porte del Silenzio" or "Door Into Silence")

 

directed by Lucio Fulci
Italy 1991

 

Real estate agent Melvin Devereaux (John Savage, THE DEER HUNTER) takes a business trip after his father's funeral. When he discovers the turn-off to the highway blocked, he decides to take the backroads. After an encounter with a mysterious young woman (Sandi Schultz, STAGEFRIGHT) who seems to know him, Melvin starts having strange visions from his childhood as well as a series of strange and violent encounters involving a hearse driver (Richard Castleman) - whose vehicle houses a coffin that appears to have Melvin's name on it - a comely hitchhiker (Jennifer Loeb), his palm-reading aunt (Mary Coulson, BEYOND DARKNESS), sinister Southern law enforcement, and strange backwater locals. If you haven't figured out where the protracted scenario is taking you, you must have fallen asleep... The only collaboration between Lucio Fulci and director/producer/cinematographer Joe D'Amato (aka Aristide Massacessi) of the BLACK EMANUELLE series, who had been producing features shot in both Italy and the East coast of the United States from the mid-eighties to the nineties (before moving onto a prolific latter day career directing 35mm hardcore features until his death), DOOR INTO SILENCE is not one of the better efforts of either genre craftsman (the photography is mostly flat and the diffusing scrim in front of the lens is prominently visible in several shots). The main problem is not the predictability of the shopworn scenario; rather, it is the lengths to which the writing goes to try to make it less obvious. Based on a short story by Fulci, the vignette is a padded out roadtrip, but the journey is scarcely more interesting than the obvious destination. The final image isn't really that much of a stunning revelation, nor is it particularly funny. One assumes that Fulci was completely uninterested in the project despite the fact that it was based on one of his published short stories (which is rumored to have been augmented by D'Amato). Savage looks bloated and sickly here (in startling contrast to how he looked before and how he looks more recently) but takes his role seriously and holds audience attention. Schultz, who married Savage two years later, isn't given much to do but be ambiguous (most of the more overtly sinister behavior is handled by Castleman and a number of backwater locals). Franco Piana's largely brassy jazz score doesn't really fit the Louisiana setting and seems more appropriate to a breezy seventies thriller (the brief score was issued in its entirety on the Fulci compilation CD LUCIO FULCI'S HORROR & THRILLER from Beat Records).

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: December 1991 (Italy)

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DVD Comparison:

Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Severin Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Raro Video
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:27:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:26:54 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Open Matte format
Average Bitrate: 6.3 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.26:1 Open Matte format
Average Bitrate: 6.39 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

Severin Films

 

Bitrate:

 

Raro Video

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Severin Films

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: 14 July 2009
Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Raro Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.26:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Antonio Tentori and Fabio Giovannini (Italian only)

 

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 10

 

Comments

Severin's barebones DVD is not consistent with their better quality releases. The standards conversion is regrettable but the Raro DVD doesn't look that hot either (the encoding for both is at the mercy of the heavily soft-filtered exteriors and somewhat murky interiors; it is not one of the better looking Fulci or Filmirage productions, which usually look relatively slick for their budgets).

The Italian DVD features the English track as well as the Italian dub track. It also features an audio commentary, but it is not English-friendly. The Raro transfer is darker and softer with a greenish tinge on some shots, but other shots like the the last capture look more naturalistic. It is doubtful that a better edition will be made available so either one should suffice depending on where you live. The English credits on the Severin disc credit direction to H. Simon Kittay (English prints of Filmirage's GHOSTHOUSE and HITCHER IN THE DARK credit director Umberto Lenzi as Humphrey Herbert), while the Italian credits correctly cite Lucio Fulci. An English-friendly Japanese DVD is now long out of print.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(
Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 
 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Severin Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Raro Video - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Severin

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Raro
Menu: Draw

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Severin Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Raro Video
Region 2 - PAL

 




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