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The Evil of Frankenstein [Blu-ray]
(Freddie Francis, 1964)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Hammer Film Productions
Video:Final Cut Entertainment / Universal (part of the Hammer Horror 8 Film Collection Blu-ray set)
Region: FREE / Region FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:26:40.195 / 1:26:40.236
Disc Size: 31,223,730,423 bytes / 47,330,885,817 bytes (shares the disc with Nightmare)
Feature Size: 21,991,182,336 bytes / 23,152,588,800 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps / 31.99 Mbps
Chapters: 12 / 18
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Custom Digipak
Release date: August 26th, 2013 / September 13th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1772 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1772 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), Spanish, French, None
•The Making of The Evil of Frankenstein (28:27)
•A Moment With Caron Gardner (2:17)
• Stills Gallery (4:56)
• Trailer (2:28)
Description: Hardly the best of Hammer Studios' Frankenstein epics, The Evil of Frankenstein is too much the mixture as before to be truly memorable. Back in business once more is Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing), who finds his fabled monster (Kiwi Kingston) frozen in a block of ice. Once the creature is thawed out, the Baron, worried that the big lug might develop a mind of his own, engages the services of a hypnotist (Peter Woodthorpe). Instead of keeping the monster docile, the hypnotist decides to use old "Frankie" for his own evil designs, and we're off and running again. At 84 minutes, Evil of Frankenstein was too short for a two-hour network TV slot, so Universal (the film's American distributor) tacked on 13 minutes of pointless additional footage, featuring timorous villagers Steven Geray, Maria Palmer and William Phipps. The film was followed by a vastly superior sequel, Frankenstein Created Woman.
The Evil Of Frankenstein again features the always-professional
Peter Cushing as the eponymous aristocratic scientist.
Francis never had the same flair for the genre as Fisher, but he did bring a more robust style of visual storytelling to bear. Fisher’s films tended to favor a more austere approach, working miracles within an often static frame, while Francis favored more over the top visual motifs. His lack of affection for the genre notwithstanding, he was still sufficiently motivated to deliver a good film at this stage in his career, and he approached this particular assignment with a desire to pay homage to the expressionist stylings of the original James Whale Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). As such, he insisted upon a more elaborate “mad lab” set, replete with copious machinery generating electrical sparks, which stood in contrast with the more pared down and realistic approach of Fisher in the first two films. Francis also indulges himself in the film’s major tour de force sequence, a lengthy, dialogue-free flashback scene which allows the director to convey a lot of background in purely visual terms. The end result may not be so inventive and thought provoking as the Fisher films which flank it, but it’s stylish, well paced and very entertaining.Excerpt from AVManiacs located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Firstly, this came out in the US, on SD, in the excellent Hammer Horror Series from Universal, back in 2005. The Evil of Frankenstein gets a reasonably strong transfer to Blu-ray from Final Cut in the UK. It is dual-layered with a high bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It has some inconsistency but the visuals are generally quite pleasing with a few exceptional scenes showing great clarity and depth. Colors have some impressive brightness without extending beyond normalcy. There is no noise in the darker sequences. The 1080P supports decent contrast adding some minor depth in the 1.85:1 frame. It's quite clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are no unforgivable flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray gave me a pleasurable 1080P presentation, certainly a leap ahead of my old DVD, and I was appreciative.
The initial complaints of this 2016 Hammer Horror 8-Film
set is that
The Phantom Of The Opera,
The Brides Of Dracula,
The Curse Of The Werewolf,
Night Creatures (aka Captain Clegg)
are all presented at the aspect ratio of 2.0:1, when they
should be, as they were theatrically, in 1.66:1 to 1.85:1
(depending on the film). This boxset is presented as
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Subtitle Sample Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray
More Final Cut - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures
Final Cut Entertainment utilize a linear PCM mono track at 2304 kbps. It is clear, flat but has a some surprising depth. Don Banks (Rasputin - The Mad Monk, Captain Clegg - aka Night Creatures, The Mummy's Shroud, The Reptile), score adds to the deserted-castle + extravagant-laboratory atmosphere and benefits from the lossless transfer sounding decently crisp. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Universal use a DTS-HD Master in 24-bit. My ears couldn't detect much of a difference, if any, in the sound exported by the two Blu-rays. There are optional English (see sample), Spanish or French subtitles offered and the Universal Blu-ray disc is, also, Region FREE.
The Making of The Evil of Frankenstein runs about 1/2 hour and is narrated by Edward De Souza and features interviews with Wayne Kinsey, Caron Gardner, Hugh Harlow, Pauline Harlow, Peter Cushing, Don Mingaye. There is a extra 2-minutes with Caron Gardner, a, fairly extensive, stills gallery and a trailer. The package is Dual-Format with a DVD of the feature (and extras) included.
No extras that I have found on the Universal Blu-ray Boxset.
Final Cut - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray
I love the build-up of this Hammer gem. The Final Cut's supplements are appreciated and it is region FREE. But, on the other hand, the price of the Universal Box is excellent at about $7.50 per film at the writing of this review. It's hard to say no to this Blu-ray set as there is still immense value here.
April 21st, 2014
September 28th, 2016
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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