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directed by Terence Fisher
UK 1959

 

In the 1830s, a cult whose members worship Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction, is abducting and killing tourists who come to Bombay in an effort to destroy the East Indian Company and its influence in their native land. Capt. Christopher Connaught-Smith (Allan Cuthbertson) is put in charge of neutralizing the murderers, but his cultural ignorance renders him ineffective. Capt. Harry Lewis (Guy Rolfe), who has worked in India for years, then takes over the case as it spirals out of control.

***

The Stranglers of Bombay (1960) - One of Hammer and Terence Fisher's most notorious and Sadean horror movies, about the thuggee atrocities in India in the 1820s. Guy Rolfe battles against a fatal sect of Kali worshippers whose mascot is a sexy teenager called Karim (Devereux). As men have their tongues pulled out or are castrated, Karim drools and wriggles so much that the film became a cult sensation on the continent and was cut in England. Actually, it isn't at all bad, even on a straight adventure level, and the Karim figure remains one of the purest incarnations of evil in all of Fisher's work. Be prepared for a few laughs, though, as rural Bucks is substituted for the sweltering plains of India.."

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 4th, 1959

Reviews                                                                        More Reviews                                                              DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Sony (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

Presently only available as part of Indicator's Hammer Vol 3 - Blood And Terror - Limited Edition Blu Ray Set:

    

 

Distribution

Sony Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:19:42

UK: 1:20:17.771

US: 1:19:52.245

Integral: 1:20:21.441

Video

1.82.3 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.32 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,695,339,108 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

UK Theatrical:

Feature: 19,645,656,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.67 Mbps

 

US Theatrical:

Feature: 19,548,918,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.68 Mbps

 

Integral:

Feature: 19,660,881,600 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.67 Mbps

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

Bitrate

Bitrate UK Theatrical Blu-ray

Bitrate US Theatrical Blu-ray

Bitrate Integral Blu-ray

Audio English (original) , DUB: French

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1070 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1070 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

 Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (CC), French, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.66, 2.35 

Edition Details:

• Commentaries on all 4 films

• Cartoon - The Merry Mutineers

• Chapter One of 1953 serial - the Great Adventures of Captain Kidd

• Two Reel Comedy - Hot Paprika

• trailers


DVD Release Date: June 10th, 2008

Keep case
Chapters:
12 each X 4 = 48

Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,695,339,108 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

UK Theatrical:

Feature: 19,645,656,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.67 Mbps

 

US Theatrical:

Feature: 19,548,918,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.68 Mbps

 

Integral:

Feature: 19,660,881,600 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.67 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Three presentations of The Stranglers of Bombay: the original UK and US theatrical versions; and as a newly-created ‘integral’ version compiling all existing footage
• About the Versions (06:31)
• Audio commentary with screenwriter David Z Goodman
• "Ritual Murder: Inside 'The Stranglers of Bombay' (One of 4 new, title-specific documentaries, written and directed by Hammer expert Marcus Hearn, narrated by Claire Louise Amias and featuring film historians Alan Barnes and Jonathan Rigby) (16:44)
• Hammer’s Women (2018): new profile of actor Jan Holden (05:29)
• 'The Stranglers of Bombay' and the Censor (2018): ex-BBFC examiner Richard Falcon on the film’s history with the Board (26:53)
• Musical Orientalism (2018): a new appreciation of James Bernard’s The Stranglers of Bombay score by David Huckvale, author of Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde ( https://amzn.to/2NHWeIS ) (16:56)
• The Stranglers of Bombay trailer commentary (2013): a short critical appreciation by Brian Trenchard-Smith (03:48)
• Original theatrical trailer (01:59)
• Image galleries: promotional photography and publicity material
• Limited edition exclusive 40-page booklets for each film, with new essays by Kim Newman, Neil Mitchell, James Oliver and Samm Deighan, archival cast and crew interviews, original pressbook extracts, contemporary critical reviews, and film credits
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• World premieres on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition Box Set of 6,000 numbered units


Blu-ray
Release Date: July 30th, 2018
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: (July 2018) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray: Hammer Studios The Stranglers of Bombay arrives on Blu-ray from Indicator with the option of three presentations - the UK theatrical cut, the US theatrical cut, or the "integral version". Due to censorship issues with the BBFC in the UK, and the US Production Code Administration in the US, the film was cut. The interesting thing is that the film was cut in 2 different ways for different reasons. The "integral cut" is a newly-created version compiling all existing footage. These versions seem to be branched. The 1080P is very impressive - extremely sharp detail for most shots, with the rare blurry shot (most likely due to film stock). Contrast is strong - bright and crisp frequently showing depth in the blacks. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate - blowing the old DVD out of the water (see captures below). This Blu-ray offers a consistent and impressive presentation.

The audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master authentically mono at 1071 kbps (24-bit). There are multiple instances of aggressive drumming and there is a certain bombastic score by frequent Hammer composer, James Bernard (The Devil Rides Out, The Plague of the Zombies, Dracula Prince of Darkness, These Are the Damned, Across the Bridge, The Curse of Frankenstein). This rackets up the suspense and keeps the film exciting. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles - see sample - and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE
Blu-ray - playable world-wide.

Indicator have given us three presentations of The Stranglers of Bombay: the original UK and US theatrical versions; and as a newly-created ‘integral’ version compiling all existing footage. There is a helpful 6.5 minute extra titled "About the Versions" that explains the choices. They also have added an informative audio commentary with screenwriter David Z Goodman. Though a little quiet at moments, this track is a welcome addition to the set. It should be noted that this commentary is only available for the US Theatrical version. Like the other discs in this Hammer Vol. 3 set, there is a title-specific documentary. The 17-minute doc here is called "Ritual Murder: Inside 'The Stranglers of Bombay'" which delves into how this unique film came to be. The documentary is narrated by Claire Louise Amias and features film historians Alan Barnes and Jonathan Rigby. Next up is the 5.5 minute "Hammer's Women: Jan Holden" which is a new profile by Colette Balmain on the life and work of actress Holden. Next up is the fascinating 27-minute extra, "'The Stranglers of Bombay' and the Censor". This is an invaluable interview with ex-BBFC examiner Richard Falcon exploring the different censorship issues regarding the film. Next up is the 17-minute "Musical Orientalism" which is a new appreciation of James Bernard’s The Stranglers of Bombay score by David Huckvale, author of Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde. The film's theatrical trailer is available here, with the option of watching with a commentary with director Brian Trenchard-Smith (thanks to Trailers from Hell). Also here is an image gallery. Each film in this set has a 40-page booklet featuring various essays, archival cast and crew interviews, original pressbook extracts, contemporary critical reviews, and film credits.

The Stranglers of Bombay is a peculiar relic from another era. What can now be seen as an exotifying exploitation film, is not without its merits. The picture is able to create a strange atmosphere with a limited budget and few sets. As with the other Hammer films in this set, the film is given a lovely treatment with a slew of extras, and various versions of the film. More of Indicator's desirable work - Hammer film fans should be very pleased. This strange film is now on
Blu-ray and, like the entire Hammer Volume Three: Blood & Terror package, is VERY strongly recommended!  

  - Colin Zavitz

 


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Box Cover

 

Presently only available as part of Indicator's Hammer Vol 3 - Blood And Terror - Limited Edition Blu Ray Set:

    

 

Distribution

Sony Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 




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