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Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell [Blu-ray]
(Terence Fisher, 1973)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Hammer Film Productions
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 32,564,031,640 bytes
Feature Size: 23,832,348,672 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 18th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution:1080i / 25 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
• Commentary by Marcus Hearn with Madeline Smith + Shane Briant
•Making of... (24:52)
• Terence Fischer Featurette (12:56)
Description: The finale to Hammer's Frankenstein cycle features a young Doctor who is interned in the asylum where Baron Frankenstein supposedly perished after being found experimenting on stolen corpses. In the asylum he meets the mysterious Doctor Victor (Peter Cushing), and gradually comes to realize that Frankenstein is alive and well and continuing his work.
The sixth entry in Hammer Films' Frankenstein series, this film finds Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) in charge of a lunatic asylum. When young doctor Simon Helder (Shane Bryant) is institutionalized for attempting to create synthetic life, Frankenstein is delighted: now he'll have an assistant for his own diabolical experiments. This time out, the monster is played by David Prowse, who later went on to international fame as Darth Vader in Star Wars (though of course Vader's voice was provided by James Earl Jones). A new wrinkle to the old story is the Monster's cannibalistic tendencies, allowing for a number of gruesome, gore-encrusted horror highlights.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
After creating the first full color Frankenstein back in 1957, the
Hammer Horror Studios found themselves at the end of their series with
the seventh and last of their series of these films, the 1974 release Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. Director Terence Fisher was
their in the beginning and also helmed this farewell installment. This
one begins with another “highly experimental” doctor (Shane Bryant,
making the rounds in the genre in feature films and on TV in the Dan
Curtis Portrait of Dorian Gray) who lands up at a prison asylum.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Firstly, this is the Australian Blu-ray version and we hope to compare it to the UK edition when it is released. Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell gets a 1080i transfer to Blu-ray from Shock. This seems supported by the shorter running time (25 fps as opposed to 24 fps). It is dual-layered with a high bitrate and looked okay on my 60" system. It has some inconsistency but overall provided a decent HD presentation. Generally the visuals are pleasing with a few exceptional scenes showing great clarity and depth. Colors perk-up but I am ken to see the Icon release out of the UK. Contrast appears adept adding some minor depth in the 1.66:1 frame. I wasn't disappointed in the appearance despite being interlaced.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Shock utilize a linear PCM mono track at 1536 kbps. It is clear, flat but has a bit of punch. India-born James Bernard (Plague of the Zombies, Dracula Prince of Darkness, These Are the Damned, Across the Bridge, The Curse of Frankenstein) score adds to the creepy atmosphere and benefits from the lossless transfer. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide. We should note that we don't yet know whether the UK Blu-ray will be region 'B' or region 'A'.
Pretty good extras too - a commentary by Marcus Hearn with, stars from the film, Madeline Smith + Shane Briant who add nice flavor. It was decent to add some appreciation. There is a 25-minute Making of... and a glossed-over but informative 13-minute piece on director Terence Fischer. There is also a DVD of the feature included. I understand the upcoming UK Blu-ray duplicates these supplements.
April 21st, 2014
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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