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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Zeta One aka The Love Factor [Blu-ray]

 

(Michael Cort, 1969)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Tigon

Video: Redemption

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:25:54.482

Disc Size: 19,265,841,572 bytes

Feature Size: 18,514,999,296 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.50 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 19th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 853 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 853 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Theatrical Trailer for Zeta One and The Girl on a Motorcycle

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In the tradition of ''Barbarella'', comes this sexy sci-fi cult classic from the late 60's! Following a game of strip poker, blonde bombshell Ann Olsen (Yutte Stensgaard) learns that Special Agent James Word (Robin Horden) is investigating Public Enemy No.1, Major Borden (James Robertson Justice). With the assistance of the nerdy Swyne (Charles Hawtrey), Borden is investigating a race of sexy, scantily clad super women, led by the shapely Zeta (Dawn Addams). It seems that attractive young women are being abducted from Earth and then brainwashed into serving Zeta, all wearing kinky, fetishistic outfits. Borden's plan is to track down Zeta and her seductive sirens and become their new ruler.

***

British babes are plentiful in this light British sci-fi film most likely shot in warmer climes, because the girls sure aren't wearing much clothing.

 

 

The Film:

Zeta One's opening credits are pretty incredible. Not only do they use that instantly recognizable Rollerball font, they've got all these dramatic-looking topless women posed in skimpy futuristic outfits while a freaked-out spacerock/psych-jazz tune by Johnny Hawksworth warbles away. Far out. The credits note that Zeta One is based on Zeta Magazine, one of erotica photographer Michael Glassman's many short-run books of the era. Zeta was a photo-essay mag that featured, as the opening credits do, scantily-clad spacegirls in Fumetti-type adventures. Zeta One is based on one such ribald tale. It was most likely also inspired by the Bond films, given its 'suave' secret agent, and Barbarella, another comic book-y space-chick come to life.

Excerpt from Movies About Girls located HERE

It's hard to imagine a 007 spoof about a race of topless alien women being dull, but ZETA ONE is an utter disaster from start to finish. Exhibiting a laundry list of red-flag indicators of a difficult production (obvious padding of the running time, a clumsy flashback structure valiantly attempting to explain the plot, the biggest-name actor completely disappearing from the film without explanation, and IMDb shows it's the director's first and last feature film), ZETA ONE begins with a laborious 20-minute prologue that turns out to be a wraparound segment. Suave secret agent James Word (charisma-vacuum Robin Hawdon) returns from his latest mission to find Ann (LUST FOR A VAMPIRE stunner Yutte Stensgaard), his boss W's secretary, in his mod bachelor pad.

Excerpt from Good, Efficient Butchery located HERE

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

Zeta One appears to have a decent transfer to Blu-ray from the Redemption arm of Kino. It is in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio and claims to be from an original 35mm negative. I  don't doubt it. There are a few speckles.  The image 1080P quality is a bit hazy, but this wouldn't surprise many that it is accurate it its theatrical roots (would this have played theatrically?) This is only single-layered with a reasonable bitrate. It has some thickness and some colors can look bright and impressive. There is no depth nor artefacts. You can only say so much about the Blu-ray visuals. There is no digital manipulation that I can detect and I'd say this is a solid replication of the film.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is in original 1.0 channel mono via a DTS-HD Master at 853 kbps. It is predictably flat but reasonably clear with some scattered dialogue that was, most probably, inherent in the production. The film exports few effects and nothing particularly aggressive. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only a theatrical trailer for Zeta One and another for The Girl on a Motorcycle.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Comparing Zeta One to Barbarella is doing the Vadim film a disservice. This is just a big bucket of crap with some, occasionally nasty, T+A thrown in.  I don't blame the Blu-ray which seems adequate - but I question putting a film like this to 1080P. The only positive I can think of is that Zeta One has some nostalgia with the goofy 70's colors (Yeah - I know it was made in 1969 - maybe it was a head of its time :), lava lamp effects and Charles Hawtrey's (Carry On fame) facial expressions. If you couldn't guess - it is really just some girls being, debatably, sexy with less-erotic nudity. I'd say 'pass'. 

Gary Tooze

March 13th, 2013

 


 

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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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