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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Spirit is Willing [Blu-ray]


(William Castle, 1967)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films



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

Runtime: 1:40:37.656

Disc Size: 18,273,728,315 bytes

Feature Size: 18,143,686,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 26th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 875 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 875 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)






• None





Description: Legendary cult-filmmaker, William Castle (Strait-Jacket) directs this spooky horror comedy. A couple (Sid Caesar and Vera Miles) and their adolescent son (Barry Gordon) move into a quiet New England summer cottage. Soon after their arrival, a series of strange and increasingly destructive occurrences begin to happen, the perpetrators are a trio of angry ghosts who want the cabin all for themselves. The stellar cast includes John McGiver, Mary Wickes, Jesse White, Harvey Lembeck, Jay C. Flippen and The Addams Family star, John Astin.



The Film:

New England, 1898. Sea captain Ebenezer Twitchell is persuaded to marry the homely Felicity by her wealthy father on the promise of inheriting his estate. After the marriage, Ebenezer is tempted by the pretty young servant girl Jenny Pruitt. When she catches them together, Felicity kills them both with a meat cleaver, not before Ebenezer manages to kill her too. In the present day, assistant editor Ben Powell finds the Twitchell house going cheaply and rents it, moving in along with his wife Kate and precocious teenage son Steve. It is not long before the ghosts of Ebenezer, Felicity and Jenny emerge and begin causing mischief.

Excerpt from SF, Horror and Fantasy Film Review review located HERE

In this spooky comedy, a couple and their adolescent son move into a quiet New England summer cottage. Soon their arrival, a series of strange and increasingly destructive occurrences begin to happen. Not believing in poltergeists, the puzzled parents immediately suspect their son. The real perpetrators are a trio of angry ghosts who want the cabin all to themselves. When the mortal family refuses to move, the ghostly trio (two women and a man) sink two boats belonging to the couples' wealthy uncle. Once again the poor boy is blamed and this nearly drives him insane for he can see the ghosts. More trouble follows when one of the lady spirits falls in love with the handsome uncle.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Another modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and contrast looks a shade thin - but this is probably more the condition of the source. I don't know that dual-layering would benefit the visuals extensively. As seen in the past the black levels do seem to improve after the first 5-10 minutes and the density of the print recovers. Colors are tight and it looks solid if fairly unremarkable.















Audio :

There is no depth or range to speak of but it seems a faithful transfer without flaws. Nothing in the film advances appreciation of notability of the track.  There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their releases.



I usually like William Castle efforts but I wasn't into this comedy much. I can't blame the Blu-ray - The Spirit is Willing has some charm (Vera Miles and Sid Caesar) but not enough to merit worthiness to an HD transfer. I don't know too many who would disagree. Only those serious about the genre should consider. 

Gary Tooze

June 20th, 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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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