|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Tower of Evil aka Horror on Snape Island [Blu-ray]
(Jim O'Connolly, 1972)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Grenadier Films
Video: Scorpion Entertainment / Odeon Entertainment
Region: 'A' / Region 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:30:13.324 / 1:30:00.958
Disc Size: 22,876,740,669 bytes / 24,953,084,949 bytes
Feature Size: 15,757,357,056 bytes / 16,627,568,640 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps / 19.99 Mbps
Chapters: 8 / 9
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Black Blu-ray case
Release date: August 6th, 2013 / November 2nd, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps/ 24 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps /
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
•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)
• Audio Commentary with Richard Gordon and Tom Weaver
• Inside the Tower - Jonathan Rigby discusses Tower of Evil (24:56)
• Gallery Images (courtesy of Stephen Jones) (1:36)
• Screaming Your Head Off - Seretta Wilson talks about Tower of Evil (11:51)
• Trailer - Horror of Snape Island (1:52)
• Horror Trailers (9:29)
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
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
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.
Odeon's Region 'B' has a similarly competent 1080P transfer to the Scorpion - same bitrate - colors look compatible. Solid. No complaints.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Scorpion Entertainment Blu-ray Captures
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.
Linear PCM for the Odeon - again, very little difference - perhaps a crisper high-end, but most will find any disparity negligible although the Odeon is 16-bit where the Scorpion is, technically superior, at 24-bit and a bit richer/deeper. No subtitles and the disc is region 'B'-locked.
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.
Odeon vault ahead with the supplements - starting with an audio commentary with producer Richard Gordon and host Tom Weaver keeping pace by posing questions. Lots on the production end - not particularly riveting but contains some relevant information. I enjoyed the 25-minute Inside the Tower featurette with Jonathan Rigby discussing Tower of Evil. There is a gallery of images (lobby cards etc.) in a slideshow fashion and a 12-minute piece entitled Screaming Your Head Off with actress Seretta Wilson (Mae Harvey in the film) talking about her experiences as a young actress in Tower of Evil. There is a trailer for the alt-title; Horror of Snape Island and about 10-minutes of similar horror film trailers. Good show!
Scorpion Entertainment - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Odeon Entertainment - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
With very similar a/v (perhaps a slight edge to the Odeon), the UK disc gets the nod with the more complete supplements, including the commentary, plus Rigby and Seretta Wilson video pieces. I continue to like this film - it's on my 'keeper' shelf. The intangibles and Brit atmosphere add value to this reviewer. Great job Odeon - this is the real-deal. Recommended!
July 30th, 2013
October 20th, 2015
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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