Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Blacula - The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

 

(Blacula - William Crain, 1972) (Scream Blacula Scream - Bob Kelljan, 1973)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)

Video: Eureka Classics

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:33:10.251 /  1:36:07.762

Disc Size: 49,441,380,090 bytes

Blacula Size: 22,204,904,832 bytes

Scream Blacula, Scream Size: 23,682,878,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.00 Mbps / 29.03 Mbps

Chapters: 16 / 16

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: October 27th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Trailers for both films (1:53 + 1:58)

Kim Newman on Blacula (24:19)
A 32-page booklet with new writing by Josiah Howard, reprints of original Blacula ephemera and rare archival imagery

DVDs of both films

 

Bitrate:

Blacula - TOP

Scream Blacula Scream BOTTOM

 

 

 

Description: Urban action and fatal attraction give rise to a groove from beyond the grave in this funkadelic, fangadelic Soul Cinema sensation! The eternally cool William Marshall puts a fresh spin on the age-old legend of the vampire, condemned to wander the earth with an insatiable lust for blood. Featuring Blacula and Scream, Blacula, Scream

In 1780, African Prince Mamuwalde (Marshall) pays a visit to Count Dracula in Transylvania, seeking his support in ending the slave trade. Instead, the evil count curses his noble guest and transforms him into a vampire! Released from his coffin nearly two centuries later by a pair of luckless decorators, Mamuwalde emerges as Blacula, one cool, dressed to kill, dude strollin the streets of L.A. on a nightly quest for human blood and fine women!

 


In Scream, Blacula, Scream Blacula lives, and only the legendary Pam Grier (Jackie Brown) has the power to deep-six his reign of terror. William Marshall returns as the noble African prince turned bloodthirsty fiend in this hair-raising sequel to the terrifying hit Blacula! This time, it s voodoo power versus vampire fury when Willis (Richard Lawson), the son of the late high priestess, seeks revenge on the cultists who have chosen his foster sister Lisa (Grier) as their new leader. Hoping to curse Lisa, Willis unwittingly resurrects Blacula's earthly remains and lets loose the Prince of Darkness and his freaked-out army of the undead!

 

 

The Film:

Blacula:

Advertised as the 100th production of American International studios, Blacula stars actor/singer William Marshall in the title role. An 18th century African prince, Blacula is transmogrified into a vampire while visiting Transylvania. Two centuries later, he rises from his coffin to wreak havoc in the Watts district of Los Angeles. Blacula's particular target is Tina (Vonetta McGee), whom he thinks is the reincarnation of his long-ago lady love. Thalmus Rasulala assumes the "Van Helsing" role as the vampire hunter who can't convince the authorities to cooperate. Yes, that is the same William Marshall who later played "The King of Cartoons" on TV's Pee-wee's Playhouse. A sequel, Scream, Blacula, Scream!, appeared not long after.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Scream Blacula Scream:

The director, Bob Kelljan, has at least the shadow of an idea—that the vampire's curse really is a curse, all pain and no pleasure, and is as miserable for the vampire as for his victim. In William Marshall (Mamuwalde) and Pam Grier (Lisa) he has two good performers—powerful, ironic, potentially rather complicated. But he hasn't enough for them to do. It is as if the movie had completed filming without their ever having developed the shooting script.

But I'll bet there will be another chance for Blacula. I get that feeling from a movie that determines the only cure for vampires to be a wooden stake through the heart—and then leaves its principal antagonist suffering from nothing more than a very pesky chest pain.

Excerpt from the NYtImes located HERE

 

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

The Complete Blacula Collection includes two films, Blacula and Scream Blacula Scream, sharing one dual-layered Bu-ray from the Eureka Classics label in the UK.  The image quality shows a fine layer of grain and detail frequently exceeded my expectations. The bitrates are fairly high for the 2 X 1.5 hour features and the visuals are neither glossy nor pristinely crisp but shows some occasional depth and I would guess the 1.85:1 aspect ratio 1080P transfer is a strong replication of the theatrical appearance some 40+years hence looking pleasingly clean without digital manipulations and only minor noise/thickness in the darker scenes. I suspect that this Blu-ray transfer makes these films look about as good as they can for your home theater viewing pleasure.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scream Blacula Scream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Both transfers utilize a linear PCM stereo track which sounds solid with some impressive depth and higher end in the musical numbers. From All Music: "One of the most intriguing developments of '90s retro pop culture was the renewed appreciation of '70s funk, particularly as derived from the numerous "blaxploitation" films of the period. One of the most notorious of those films, BLACULA was the tale of a black vampire who terrorized his victims to an outrageously funky score. This reissue of the 1972 film's soundtrack, composed and conducted by Gene Page, makes a case for itself as one of the great neglected pieces of funk history. Certainly Page's mix of funky instrumentals, complete with wah-wah guitar and horn stabs, and soulful vocal tunes, was inspired by its more mainstream contemporaries, but it bears a decidedly unique character. You don't have to be a kitsch hound to fall prey to BLACULA's seductive charms." There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

Digitally, we get a wonderful, 25-minute, discussion by Kim Newman on both the films and the Blaxploitation in general. I really enjoyed learning more about the genre - its roots, actors, evolution and specifics about the Blacula productions. There are also trailers for both films but the dual-layered package has 2 DVDs (both films - separate transfers) and a 32-page booklet with new writing by Josiah Howard, reprints of original Blacula ephemera and rare archival imagery.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I think putting some of the Blaxploitation genre to Blu-ray is a fabulous idea! I couldn't wait to watch both Blacula films, bakc-to-back, as soon as this screener disc arrived. They have an odd nostalgic appeal, and link to soul music, that I don't seem to tire of. While we aren't talking grade 'A' cinema - both films are very watchable.  I was very pleased with this and the Kim Newman video piece is so educational and made me want to re-watch these and other Blaxploitation efforts like Shaft, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, Coffy, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold etc. Who doesn't want more Pam Grier in 1080P? This Eureka Classics package is certainly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 14th, 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 3500 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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

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
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

       HIGH DEFINITION DVD STORE     ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS

 

 




 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!