S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Frankenstein Created Woman [Blu-ray]
(Terence Fisher, 1967)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Millennium Entertainment
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,840,914,982 bytes
Feature Size: 14,689,179,648 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.91 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 28th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
• Commentary featuring Derek Fowlds, Robert Morris and Jonathan Rigby
• Frankenstein Created Woman trailer (2:28)
•World of Hammer Episode with Roy Skeggs - The Curse of Frankenstein (25:56)
• World of Hammer Episode -Peter Cushing (24:54)
•New Documentary - Hammer Glamour (44:05)
•Animated Stills Gallery (7:06)
• Envelope with 5 'Exclusive" Collector Cards
Description: Hammer Studios followed up Evil of Frankenstein with this entertaining sequel, again starring Peter Cushing as the quintessential mad scientist obsessed with the reanimation of dead bodies and the creation of superhuman creatures. His latest project involves transferring the mind of a wrongly-executed man into the body of his lover (former Playboy centerfold Susan Denberg), whose own suicide left her horribly disfigured. After restoring her beauty, the Doctor performs the mind-transference, which comes off without a hitch... until the lust for revenge against his executioners begins to surface. He/she then pursues this vendetta by seducing and murdering those who wronged him. Hammer stalwart Terence Fisher directs this quirky entry with his usual flair -- aided considerably by a decent budget -- and spices things up with a fair share of titillation (courtesy of Ms. Denberg).
A dead and frozen Baron Frankenstein is re-animated by his colleague Dr. Hertz proving to him that the soul does not leave the body on the instant of death. His lab assistant, young Hans, is found guilty of murdering the local pub owner with whom he had an argument where he foolishly swore to kill the man and Frankenstein acquires his body immediately after the execution. Hans had been quite friendly with the dead man's daughter Christina who returns just in time to see him guillotined. Distraught, she commits suicide and is brought back to life by the good Doctor but with Hans' brain replacing her own. As memories return to her - Hans' memories in fact - she sets out to pursue and kill those responsible for having sent him to his death. ...Frankenstein Created Woman (1967).Excerpt from Amazon located HERE
A bit of history is in order here. Hammer Films was founded in 1932 and
spent its first few decades doing the same thing as other British film
concerns--that is, struggling to find an audience. Their farce comedies
and crime thrillers were competently made, even fitfully brilliant, but
remained stubbornly local. Then, in the mid-1950s, the studio's
management noted that a few of their science fiction offerings were
performing better at the box office than anything they'd done
before--and had even started to crack the elusive American market.
Hoping to chase that success, the studio produced a pair of horror films
adapted loosely from the stories of Frankenstein and Dracula. These were
not like the gothic horror films that Universal Studios had made their
bread and butter. Instead, The Curse of Frankenstein and Horror of
Dracula (1958) were ripe with sexuality and Technicolor gore. They were
instant sensations, earning back more than thirty times what they cost
to make, and establishing "Hammer Horror" as an
internationally-recognized brand name for a special kind of screen
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Frankenstein Created Woman is a lesser, if still highly interesting, late 60's Hammer Studios feature that is surfacing on Blu-ray. This transfer is not a good representation of the HD format's capabilities but there are a few positives. It is single-layered but 1080P and the visuals are fairly consistent although there are speckles. It has been moved from the original 1.66:1 to 1.78 aspect ratio but I wouldn't say composition suffers terribly. Colors seem a shade dampened but retain a rich quality. Black levels seem solid enough and detail is modest. This Blu-ray does a fair job with the print which seems in acceptable condition - it could have benefitted with a good cleaning though. There is no real depth - appearing mostly flat and I don't see excessive digital manipulation. The outdoor sequences look the most impressive. Overall, it seems ahead of SD - but not by a significant amount Home Theatre devotees of the new format might be anticipating.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
No boost going on here - only a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 channel track as Millennium does not taking advantage of incorporating a lossless audio track. The score is by James Bernard (Dracula Prince of Darkness, These Are the Damned, Across the Bridge) and is one of the high points creating some desirable Hammer-esque atmosphere. There are, optional, Universal-like English subtitles positioned underneath the character speaking.My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
There are some very worthwhile extras - a commentary featuring knowledgeable Hammer experts Derek Fowlds, Robert Morris and Jonathan Rigby who cover extensive details of the studio and this particular production as well as Cushing and the other performers. We also get two 25-minute World of Hammer Episodes with Roy Skeggs - one entitles The Curse of Frankenstein and another solely on Peter Cushing. Some may be keen on the new documentary Hammer Glamour which runs just shy of 45-minutes. I assume it is relating to the book of the same name (HERE) and the video has five of Hammer's females stars - Valerie Leon, Caroline Munroe, Martine Beswicke, Vera Day and Madeline Smith reflecting back on working in the genre. They offer some interesting stories. There is also a trailer, an animated stills gallery and the package contains an envelope with 5 'Exclusive" Collector Cards.
January 18th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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