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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Tower of Evil aka Horror on Snape Island [Blu-ray]

 

(Jim O'Connolly, 1972)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Grenadier Films

Video: Scorpion Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:13.324

Disc Size: 22,876,740,669 bytes

Feature Size: 15,757,357,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 6th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2039 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2039 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Katrina's Nightmare Theater (4:44)

'Interview with Horror Historian David Del Valle (13:14)

• Original trailers (2:15)

• Also Available from Scorpion (4:28)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From horror producer Richard Gordon (Inseminoid, First Man into Space, Fiend Without a Face, Horror Hospital) comes one of the most brutal and mysterious stories ever to be released on Blu-ray. Tower of Evil is a haunting tale set in & around a deserted lighthouse on fog-shrouded Snape Island.

The terror begins when a nude, crazed woman slaughters a sailor who visits the island. When she is taken back to civilization and an ancient relic is discovered, an expedition is mounted to solve the mystery of the island which leads to a series of psycho-sexual murders. Starring Jill Haworth (It!), Bryant Haliday (Devil Doll), Dennis Price (Theather of Blood), George Coulouris (Blood from the Mummy's Tomb) and Candice Glendenning (Satan's Slave) now witness the horror from a brand new HD master!

 

 

The Film:

This gory low-budget British outing involves a team of archaeologists landing on fog-shrouded Snape Island -- recently the site of a hideous double murder -- in search of the tomb of a Phoenician chief and subsequently falling victim to an unseen maniac. Accompanying the shore party is a private detective (Bryant Halliday), hired by the family of the young woman suspected of the crimes (Candace Glendenning), who is determined to get to the bottom of the mysterious murders. Though it is eventually determined that the real killer is still at large, the archaeologists stubbornly refuse to abort their dig...and summarily suffer the consequences. Released originally in 1972, this crass, exploitative potboiler (based on a story by horror author George Baxt) found its way to American theaters in 1981 as Beyond the Fog in an attempt to cash in on John Carpenter's 1980 film. Released later to video and cable as Tower of Evil.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Tower Of Evil (or Terror On Snape Island) doesn't have the most auspicious of starts, as we are treated to a shot of an obvious model lighthouse swathed in dry ice. But things get better very quickly. We then see two fishermen approaching the island in a boat called the Sea Ghost. What are they up to? We ask. Dunno - but dirty deeds seem afoot.

Once there they find a severed human hand, and a naked bloke lying face down in a pool of blood. The signs are not looking good, but neither discovery seems to shock them much. Did they know something was wrong on the island, or are they just crap actors?

Inside the tower, they find a naked woman, also dead, and accidentally knock her already-severed head down the stairs. Oops. In a nearby shed there's poor old Robin Askwith, impaled to the wall with a big spear. And in a cupboard there's a mad naked girl, who wastes no time stabbing the older of the two fishermen to death, before her kill-crazy rampage is brought to an end in the time-honoured British horror movie tradition of being twatted with a big stick.

Excerpt from Chris Wood at British Horror Films located HERE

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

Tower of Evil looks pretty solid on Blu-ray from Scorpion Entertainment.  It's a relatively modest, single-layered transfer but colors are bright - skin tones a shade warm. It is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Contrast is reasonable to healthy. There is no noise. There is a bit of texture and depth but detail is strong - notable in the fairly frequent close-ups. This Blu-ray offers a consistent presentation.  I found the 1080P visuals surprisingly adept. This Blu-ray probably looks like the film Tower of Evil and it advances beyond SD in several key areas - notably detail and colors.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 2039 kbps. Effects and screams etc. have some punch. There is a lot of mood in the film - kept atmospheric by the original score by Kenneth V. Jones (The Horse's Mouth) that adds some nice flavor. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Scorpion add a 5-minute stint of Katrina's Nightmare Theater and a 13-minute interview with Horror Historian David Del Valle. There are two original trailers and some adverts for other Scorpion discs.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The early 70's fashion and art direction in Tower of Evil were very appealing. I was also impressed with the plot - 'a group of experienced archeologists are searching for an old and mystic Phoenician treasure when they are surprised by a series of mysterious murders' - it has a lot of nostalgia-factor going for it. Certainly there are goofy parts, sometimes wonky effects, but it didn't deter my appreciation. The kitsch is quite strong and for that reason those keen on this - and the genre - may get quite a kick out of Tower of Evil. The Scorpion Blu-ray is quite strong with a minor effort put into the supplements. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

July 30th, 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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