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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Night Tide [Blu-ray]
(Curtis Harrington, 1961)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)
Video: Kino Lorber / Indicator
Region: FREE (both) (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:25:48.351 / 1:26:02.240
Disc Size: 37,478,854,234 bytes / 31,040,828,781 bytes
Feature Size: 25,176,669,888 bytes / 24,909,534,144 bytes
Video Bitrate: 33.81 Mbps / 34.66 Mbps
Chapters: 10 / 10
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Custom case
Release date: October 15th, 2013 / January 27th, 2020
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
• Commentary from Director Curtis Harrington and Actor Dennis
DISC ONE: NIGHT TIDE
Description: On leave in a shore side town, Johnny (Dennis Hopper) becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and he learns that she plays a mermaid in the local carnival. After strange occurrences, Johnny begins to believe that she may actually be a real mermaid that habitually kills during the cycle of the full moon.
Writer/director Curtis Harrington does an admirable job working around the severe budget limitations of the 1963 psychological chiller Night Tide. Sailor Johnny (Dennis Hopper) falls in love with carnival-girl Mora (Linda Lawson), despite warnings that Mora is a "jinx" who has brought about the deaths of two previous suitors. Mora performs a mermaid act at the carnival, but to her it's no act: she believes herself the descendant of an underwater race that must kill by the light of the full moon to survive. One evening, Mora tries to kill Johnny, prompting his quick exit. He returns some time later to discover, all too late, that the film's real villain is the jealous carney owner (Gavin Muir.)
The title comes from Poe, the highly discernible influences come from Sternberg and Kenneth Anger (with both of whom Harrington had previously crossed paths) and the budget unfortunately came from Roger Corman's pennypinching Filmgroup company. Hopper is a sailor drifting around a misty seafront funfair. He meets and falls for a girl who believes she's one of the Sea People, awaiting the call of the night tide to rejoin her own, and meanwhile deadly to those who love her. All this entails much slow and dreamy wandering about, punctuated by a couple of dream sequences, in the most startling of which the Sea Lady metamorphoses into an octopus while Dennis is making love to her. It's quite sympathetic in its dogged artiness, though a misleading prelude to Harrington's subsequent unremarkable career.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Much to the delight of 'clandestine horror' film fans, Curtis Harrington's Night Tide has made it to Blu-ray from Kino's 'Classic' label. The image has inconsistencies that we can put down to its budgetary limitations and source (albeit restored). This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate and I expect this is as good as the film has ever looked on digital. There is some tightness and depth - and it may lean to being crushed but not enough to complain. This is from a 2007 restoration and has a few speckles and light, surface scratches. Overall, it improves as the film runs along and the 1080P ends up providing a pleasing presentation. This Blu-ray does a reasonable job and provides a decent HD viewing.
The 2020 Indicator BD is described as "Presented by Nicolas Winding Refn in a new 4K restoration". It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and advances handily beyond the 2013 Kino 2006 restoration transfer. My buddy and loyal DVDBeaver-ite, Peter Conheim put heart and soul into this restoration. It looks magnificent with fine grain, stunning contrast and frequent depth. The Indicator shows a notable amount more in the bottom ands right side of the frame and a shade less on the top. This looks gorgeous in-motion - brighter, sharper etc.. This is worthy of a double-dip solely based on the video... but there is more.
tells us "I could add only this: the sound on this
release does, indeed, derive from the same source as the
previous restoration, the optical soundtrack negative. It
was not particularly well printed, to begin with, but we
removed a fair amount of noise, and generally reshaped and
improved the track when we remastered it at Red Channels
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Subtitle Sample - Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
More Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures
(CLICK to ENLARGE)
Predictably the audio has issues related to the original production and budget limitations. Audio It is transferred via a linear PCM, in 2.0 channel mono, at 1536 kbps. It most likely does the best with what is available and can sound tinny and echo'ey at times (especially the background Fair noises) but this adds to the nostalgia more than disrupts the flow. Like the video, this is probably as good as it will get. There are no demonstrative effects and depth, via the lossless, remains unremarkable. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
I'm sure Peter had some important input on the audio - like the Kino - a linear PCM (16-bit) transfer is utilized. It seems to export the original mono qualities to a higher degree - flatter, less tinny without of the echo of the Kino - and also clear audible dialogue. I found this noticeable in the, occasionally boisterous, score by David Raksin (Forever Amber,The Bad and the Beautiful, The Day After, Separate Tables, Laura, Bigger Than Life, The Big Combo) that helps propel the mystery of the film. Indicator add optional English (SDH) subtitles for both the feature and the shorts of the second Blu-ray. It is Region FREE - playable worldwide.
Included is a commentary from director Curtis Harrington and star Dennis Hopper. Both are deceased and this discussion took place a few years hence. It's quite light - lots of reminiscences and a few laughs. Also added as a supplement is an extended 2-part interview with Harrington by David Del Valle from his Sinister Image series. It runs shy of 50-minutes and is more fruitful discussion expanding upon techniques, themes, budget etc. Lastly is an original theatrical trailer for Night Tide and two other Kino Blu-ray films.
Indicator repeat the 1998 Harrington and Hopper
commentary and 1987's hour-long Sinister Image: Curtis Harrington
with two episodes from David Del Valle's series devoted to cult
cinematic figures in conversation, featuring a career-spanning interview
with the director. It appears to be 10-minutes longer than the one on
the Kino. Indicator add the 2018-produced, 25-minute, Harrington on
Harrington a wide-ranging archival interview with the filmmaker. Also
included on the feature disc is a new audio commentary with writer and
film programmer Tony Rayns from 2020. Tony Rayns immediately informs us
that this would not be his usual commentary with analysis etc. as
Night Tide is not that type of film. Regardless, he provides
incredibly in-depth details, ex. that Floyd Crosby (musician David
Crosby's father) shot some of the sequences (uncredited.) He talks about
the genesis of the film and Harrington's career with comparisons to
Kenneth Anger, Peter Lorre potentially acting in Night Tide, its
thematic links to Cat People, odd jobs with Roger Corman and much
more. There is also a trailer and still gallery of publicity and
promotional material on the first
Kino - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray One
Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray Two
Obviously, Indicator has done what they do - take a Blu-ray package to its zenith of quality and supplements. Congrats to my friend Peter for his work in this transfer - this should be one of the notable packages of the 2020 year (yes, we are looking there already!) This is a total keeper and Rayns new commentary, all the shorts plus the improved 4K-restored video transfer and audio make it a must-own, imo. Our highest recommendation!
October 29th, 2014
January 3rd, 2020
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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