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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Captain Clegg aka Night Creatures [Blu-ray]


(Peter Graham Scott, 1962)



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: 'B' / Region FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:18:48.720 (4% PAL Speedup) / 1:22:10.133

Disc Size: 22,931,666,486 bytes / 45,084,587,688 bytes (shares with Phantom of the Opera - 1962)

Feature Size: 16,572,026,880 bytes / 22,034,644,992 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.98 Mbps / 31.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 18

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Custom Digibook inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: June 23rd, 2014 /  September 13th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.0:1

Resolution: 1080i / 25 fps / 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1851 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1851 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English, none

English (SDH), Spanish, French, None



• The Making of Captain Clegg--Narrated by John Carson with contribution from historian Wayne Kinsey (30:42)
The Mossman Legacy--George Mossman's Carriage Collection--Introduced and hosted by historian Wayne Kinsey (6:36)
Stills Gallery (2:42)





Final Cut - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM




Description: Captain Collier (Patrick Allen) and his band of sailors show up to an English coastal town to investigate reports of “Marsh Phantoms” who ride by night spreading terror to the town. The Captain suspects that the local reverend (Peter Cushing) might be hiding something. Are the phantoms genuine or a cover for illegal smuggling activities?

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

Final Cut - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM



The Film:

Despite the American title of this movie (NIGHT CREATURES) and a subplot concerning ghosts on horseback, this isn't really a horror movie, nor does it act like one; it's more of a period crime melodrama (the original title, CAPTAIN CLEGG, is much more accurate). This may be one of the reasons that this remains one of the more obscure Hammer thrillers, but those who choose to seek it out may well enjoy it. The story is solid and entertaining, and the performances are strong throughout, particularly from Peter Cushing, Oliver Reed, and Michael Ripper (who nearly steals the whole movie as the local undertaker).

Excerpt from Sci-fi-film located HERE

Adapted from the Russell Thorndike novel, Dr Syn, Hammer’s Captain Clegg, was a somewhat horrific pirate adventure about smuggling in the Romney Marshes by celebrated pirate Captain Clegg and his men. The story has been filmed twice previously, in 1937 by Gaumont-British, starring George Arliss and Margaret Lockwood, and was released in the same year as this version by Walt Disney with Patrick McGoohan in the title role.

Excerpt from Brit Movie located HERE

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

Captain Clegg (or Night Creatures) was part of Universal's Hammer Horror Series DVD set. It gets a 1080i transfer (50hrz - PAL) to Blu-ray from Final Cut Entertainment in the UK. It is single-layered with a supportive bitrate for the 1-hour, 18-minute, feature. It seems reasonably consistent. Generally the visuals are pleasing with a few impressive close-ups. Colors have some richness and there is no noise or artifacts that I could see. This Blu-ray gave me a decent presentation in the lesser-seen 2.0:1 aspect ratio (original 1.85:1?). Regardless, the 1080i video quality was only acceptable - nothing dynamic although very watchable.


The initial complaints of this 2016 Hammer Horror 8-Film Collection Blu-ray set is that The Phantom Of The Opera, The Brides Of Dracula, The Curse Of The Werewolf, and 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 follows:

Blu-ray Disc 1 - "The Brides Of Dracula" & "The Curse Of The Werewolf"
Blu-ray Disc 2 - "Night Creatures" & "The Phantom Of The Opera"
Blu-ray Disc 3 - "Paranoiac" & "The Kiss Of The Vampire"
Blu-ray Disc 4 - "Nightmare" & "The Evil Of Frankenstein"

So far, the image quality look to be from the similar source as the European transfers in terms of color, detail, grain, brightness etc. And three of those are in 2.0:1 as well (Final Cut - UK's
The Phantom Of The Opera, The Brides Of Dracula and Night Creatures (aka Captain Clegg)


The image for this HD transfer is very similar in appearance but the Final Cut is in PAL timing. This may be an issue for those sensitive to the 4% speedup. The new Universal transfer uses the 'Night Creatures' title. Colors are a shade bolder and richer and it has a significantly stronger bitrate (approaching 50% higher!) and I found it looked smoother and superior in-motion.



Final Cut - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM



Final Cut - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM



Final Cut - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM



Final Cut - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM












Audio :

Final Cut utilize a linear PCM mono track at 1536 kbps. It is clear, flat but has a bit of punch.  The score adds to the period horror and benefits from the lossless transfer. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Universal advance with their audio transfer as well - a DTS-HD Master in 24-bit (as opposed to 16) and Don Banks (Rasputin the Mad Monk, The Evil of Frankenstein, The Mummy's Shroud) score adds a deeper, more resonant, richness to the period atmosphere accenting the adventure aspects of the film. There are optional English (see sample), Spanish or French subtitles offered and the Blu-ray disc is Region FREE.


Extras :

Final Cut include two new featurettes. Running 1/2 hour The Making of Captain Clegg is narrated by John Carson with contribution from historian Wayne Kinsey and deals with specifics of the production - before and during shooting. The Mossman Legacy--George Mossman's Carriage Collection is 7-minutes and is introduced and hosted by historian Wayne Kinsey. There is also a stills gallery.


No extras that I have found on the Universal Blu-ray Boxset.


Final Cut - Region FREE - Blu-ray



Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray



Captain Clegg is a good Hammer production. I was in the perfect mood after Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter. I was wondering why it all seemed familiar - then I remembered watching the DVD of Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. The film has wonderful sets and costumes and interesting character development. There is suspense, action, sexy Yvonne Romain, plus Hammer stalwarts Cushing and a young Oliver Reed. The Final Cut Blu-ray provides a decent, if not progressive, a/v presentation and includes supplements. Fans of the Studio's work will likely want to indulge. This is a good Hammer period adventure piece - a shade short - lighter on the horror - but still very worthwhile. Recommended!


The Final Cut's value lies in the extras as the Universal provides a better, and more accurate, a/v presentation. Purists may snub their collective noses at the AR but this is the best the film has looked on digital to date. 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. Stay tuned for further comparisons... 

Gary Tooze

July 14th, 2014

September 25th 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.

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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
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Gary W. Tooze






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