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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by David Hemmings
Australia 1981

 

When an airliner crashes in a small village, all three hundred passengers are killed. The only survivor is the pilot Keller (Robert Powell, JESUS OF NAZARETH) who has no memory of what happened. Psychic Hobbs (Jenny Agutter, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON) eventually approaches him and tells him that the spirits of the dead want him to discover who or what was responsible for the crash; and they'd better hurry since - JU-ON-like - various people connected to the crash (however tangential) are being stalked and killed by those disturbed spirits in the form of a little girl (Brigette Webster) and her creepy doll.

Based on a novel by James Herbert, the script for THE SURVIVOR was already developed when purchased by producer Anthony Ginnane as a directorial vehicle for actor David Hemmings (who had starred in the Ginanne-produced horror films THIRST and HARLEQUIN/DARK FORCES). After a thrilling plane crash, the film drags throughout the middle - which includes some supernatural stalk-and-kill setpieces that are underwhelming despite atmospheric locations and MAD MAX composer Brian May's hybrid orchestral/electronic score - as the film bides it time before bringing Keller and Hobbs together (at which point the film picks up again). Herbert's novel was creepy, but it disappointingly waited until the last chapter to even introduce its villain (the film's script - in addition to changing the sex of psychic Hobbs - fixes this but still requires the unveiled party to rattle off an unsatisfactory motive). The Panavision cinematography of John Seale (DEAD POETS SOCIETY) is the most beautiful of Ginnane's scope horror productions from that time (which included the aforementioned Hemmings films as well as STRANGE BEHAVIOR and the dreary SNAPSHOT).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 9 July 1981 (Australia)

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DVD Comparison:

BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

BritFilms

Region 0 - PAL

Scorpion Releasing
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:35:03 (4% PAL speedup) 1:38:09
Video

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.16 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:

 

BritFilms

 

Bitrate:

 

Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: BritFilms

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:42)
• About BritFilms
• Weblink

DVD Release Date: 26 January 2009
Amaray

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
• Playable with optional KATARINA'S NIGHTMARE THEATER introduction and post-script
• Audio Commentary with producer Anthony Ginnane, moderated by Katarina Leigh Waters
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:54)
• Trailers for MORTUARY, THE RETURN, DEATH SHIP, DOUBLE EXPOSURE, SATAN'S SLAVE, TERROR, DON'T ANSWER
• THE PHONE, THE DEVIL WITHIN HER, and FINAL EXAM
• KATARINA'S NIGHTMARE THEATER promo reel

 

DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2012
Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

Scorpion's dual-layer, progressive, anamorphic transfer is considerably more colorful than the UK transfer (which opens with a Warner Bros. logo) and reveals more picture information on the left, top, and bottom of the frame. The Scorpion version also features music over the closing credits (the UK disc goes silent during this sequence). The film was released twice before in the US in non-anamorphic letterbox transfers. Exclusive to the Scorpion disc is a new commentary track with producer Anthony Ginnane (conducted by hostess Katarina Leigh Waters). Ginnane reveals that the plane crash sequence was the most expensive film shoot at the time in Australia, and that supporting actors Peter Sumner and prominently-billed Angela Punch-McGregor lost significant screentime in an effort to improve the pacing. The trailer is the same on both discs.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 


Screen Captures

(BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(BritFilms - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katarina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Scorpion

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Scorpion
Menu: BritFilms

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

BritFilms

Region 0 - PAL

Scorpion Releasing
Region 0 - NTSC

 




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