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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Evil Heritage" )

 

directed by Norman J. Warren
UK 1976

 

As her twentieth birthday approaches, Catherine Yorke (Candace Glendenning, TOWER OF EVIL) experiences ominous premonitions that nevertheless compel her to agree to travel with her parents (James Bree [ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE] and Celia Hewitt [THE SHUTTERED ROOM]) to the remote countryside to meet her father's long-lost brother Alexander (Michael Gough, HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM). As soon as they reach the grounds of Yorke estate, her father suffers a migraine and crashes into a tree. Catherine gets out to get help only to witness the car explode, killing both of her parents. Alexander takes her in and allows her to stay with him for as long as she needs to recover. Amidst disturbing hallucinations involving witch burnings, torture, and black masses, Catherine falls in love with her cousin Stephen (Martin Potter, FELLINI SATYRICON) who likes to mutilate women on the side. Alexander's jealous secretary Frances (Barbara Kellerman, THE MONSTER CLUB) clues Catherine in to her family's evil heritage: she's the direct look-alike descendant of witch Camilla Yorke, and her uncle and cousin have very special plans for her on her twentieth birthday.

There's nothing particularly original about SATAN'S SLAVE. Producer/cinematographer Les Young and his wife Moira checked the trades and found that the only profitable options for a low-budget film were either a horror film or a sex film. Together with Warren, they hashed out a four-character plot and writer/actor David McGillivray (who scripted some of the more pointed Pete Walker horror films) banged out a script in nine days. The audience is way ahead of Catherine - she spends a lot of time telling the other characters about her visions and being talked into believing they are the result of her shock and grief - but Warren and McGillivray toss in plenty of crowd-pleasing exploitable content (usually involving the combination of blood and bare breasts, a big no-no with the BBFC who had to hack it up just to get an "X" certificate rating). John Scott's score builds upon a simple clarinet melody and into the more experimental for the scenes of psychic and corporeal violence, while Les Young's Techniscope cinematography combines 60's/70's psychedelic distorted wide angles and superimpositions with the burnished woods and mossy greens of more traditional English gothic horror. Production designer Hayden Pearce found the fully-furnished Tudor manor house (which also popped up again as the main location in Warren's follow-up TERROR) and the occult paraphernalia (including Gough's glowing-eyed Satanic goat mask). Pearce also designed the distinctive title sequence. The film also features Michael Craze (who appeared in Warren's short FRAGNMENT and also in TERROR) and Gloria Walker (who met her make-up effects artist husband Nick Maley [THE KEEP] on this film and they would later collaborate with Warren on INSEMINOID and Tobe Hooper on LIFEFORCE). Associate producer Moira Young had to double as the topless initiate in the opening black mass sequence when the cast actress was arrested (for unspecified reasons).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 1979 (USA)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Scorpion Releasing
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:24:03 (4% PAL speedup) 1:29:39
Video

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.11 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.34:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.24 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater)

 

Audio English DTS 5.1; English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles English HoH, none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with director Norman Warren and writer David McGillivray
• Devilish Music: interview with composer John Scott (16:9; 13:05)
• Deleted and Alternate Scenes:
• - Tea Party (16:9; 2:56)
• - Dream Sequence (16:9; 2:06)
• All You Need Is Blood: The Making of SATAN'S SLAVE featurette (4:3; 13:12)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:03)
• BONUS DISC (disc 5):
• Norman Warren Autobiography (16:9; 27:22)
• Cast & Crew Biographies
• Photo Gallery
• Creating Satan: SATAN'S SLAVE featuette (16:9; 30:14)
• Featurettes for PREY, TERROR, and INSEMINOID
• FRAGMENT short film (16:9; 10:04)

DVD Release Date: 22 November 2004
Coffin Box

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.34:1

Edition Details:
• Playable with optional KATARINA'S NIGHTMARE THEATER introduction and post-script
• All You Need is Blood: The Making of SATAN'S SLAVE (4:3; 13:11)
• Devilish Music: interview with composer John Scott (16:9; 12:31)
• Creating Satan: SATAN'S SLAVE featuette (16:9; 29:47)
• Deleted and Alternate Scenes:
• - Tea Party (16:9; 2:56)
• - Dream Sequence (16:9; 2:06)
• U.K. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:03)
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 3:12)
• FRAGMENT short film (16:9; 10:03)
• Trailers for TERROR and DEATH SHIP
• KATARINA'S NIGHTMARE THEATER clip reel

 

DVD Release Date: March 20th, 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Scorpion's progressive, dual-layer anamorphic transfer features more information on the sides of the frame and consistently superior colors (lacking the slight greenish tinge of the UK transfer). Although the cover touts it as being uncut, it is uncut in that it is the film's export version featuring a more explicit version of the bedroom scene early in the film (Warren disliked this version which was present in his surviving source print, so he elected to replace it with his preferred softer version [the export scene was intended as an extra in the UK set, but the BBFC objected]). As such, the Anchor Bay transfer (which is longer and more explicit than the British cinema "X" certificate theatrical cut) is still of value for being the director's preferred version (even though viewers will no doubt prefer the export version).

SATAN'S SLAVE was never released on legitimate VHS in the states, but Crown obviously prepared a 1" master for sale since a cropped uncut version showed up on DVD from Rhino as part of their HORRIBLE HORRORS set (which featured all pre-remastered prints of Crown titles). BCI released a widescreen DVD (paired with Warren's TERROR, which they already paired with LAND OF THE MINOTAUR on another disc [Scorpion has since released a superior double billing as THE DEVIL'S MEN/TERROR), but BCI's new anamorphic transfer was incomplete (reportedly reflecting the heavily-scissored British cinema cut).

Scorpion's extras have been largely ported over from the Anchor Bay set, including the deleted scenes (in b&w workprint film [the magnetic tracks had disintegrated so they are silent]) with commentary from Warren, the vintage "All You Need is Blood" behind the scenes shoot, the contemporary "Creating Satan" documentary (which features input from Warren, actor Martin Potter, producer/cinematographer Les Young, producer Moira Young, art director Hayden Pearce, and screenwriter David McGilivray), and an interview with composer John Scott. Besides the ported UK trailer, Scorpion has added a US trailer (it features the UK Brent-Walker distributor subtitle under the title card but it is followed by an MPAA R-rating card). Warren's short film FRAGMENT (which features Michael Craze from this film and TERROR and Simon Brent from Warren's LOVING FEELING) is also included as an extra. The short was also ported from the Anchor Bay set (BFI has since remastered the short in 1080P for inclusion in their Blu/DVD combo release of Warren's rare film HER PRIVATE HELL).

Missing from the Scorpion release is the audio commentary with Warren and McGillivray, which could not be included because it would not have synched up with the export version (this was also the case with Scorpion's longer transfer of TERROR). It may also have been produced by Anchor Bay while the other extras were produced by Warren himself. It is an entertaining and informative listen, but it is only available on the OOP Anchor Bay set (which also contains Warren's TERROR, PREY, and INSEMINOID); however, the three documentaries ported over to the Scorpion set are fairly comprehensive.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (The Norman Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Scorpion

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Anchor Bay (for commentary)
Menu: Anchor Bay

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Scorpion Releasing
Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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