|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Island of Terror aka 'Night of the Silicates' [Blu-ray]
(Terence Fisher, 1966)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Planet Studios
Video: Odeon Entertainment / Shout! Factory
Region: FREE / Region 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:27:11.041 / 1:27:02.467
Disc Size: 16,070,250,330 bytes / 23,971,064,715 bytes
Feature Size: 14,899,230,720 bytes / 22,211, 180,544 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps / 28.62 Mbps
Chapters: 13 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case (both)
Release date: October 27th, 2014 / June 20th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1/ 1.78
Resolution:1080P / 24 fps / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video (both)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1636 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz /
1636 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps /
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1766 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1766 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
• Image Gallery (1:18)
• Trailer (2:54)
• 16-page liner notes booklet with essay and photos
NEW audio commentary with film historian Dr. Robert J.
Kiss and blogger/actor Rick Pruitt
Description: When the inhabitants of Petrie`s island succumb to a mysterious disease, doctors Brian Stanley (Peter Cushing) and David West (Edward Judd) are asked to investigate. Puncture marks on the corpses reveal the horrifying truth: the islanders and their animals are being killed not by a disease, but by a strange type of silicate organism that sucks the bone from their bodies. As the death toll rises the seemingly indestructible creatures multiply at an alarming rate. Stanley and west lead the desperate islanders in a fight for survival as the unstoppable silicates threaten to engulf the island, and then the world...
On a tiny island off the coast of Ireland, a new breed of
terror is unleashed. In his quest to find a cure for cancer,
a research scientist conducts an experiment involving
mutated cells. But this attempt to benefit humanity becomes
a nightmare that threatens the entire human race.
At a cancer research lab off the coast of Ireland, a group of scientists dies under mysterious circumstances. Before anyone notices their demise, the human and bovine inhabitants of the island's lone, tiny village begin to turn up dead -- with their bodies the consistency of tapioca pudding. Renowned bone doctors Brian Stanley (Peter Cushing) and David West (Edward Judd) are dispatched from the mainland to solve this medical mystery. West's rich-girl paramour, Toni Merrill (Carole Gray), bribes her way into the expedition by providing air transport. When daddy needs his plane back, the group becomes trapped on the isolated island just as the true extent of the science-run-amok menace becomes apparent. One of three films Hammer horror vet Terence Fisher lensed for small British outfit Planet Studios, Island of Terror was followed by Island of the Burning Doomed (Night of the Big Heat).Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
That's the premise of Island Of Terror - a great little sci fi
horror in the best tradition of "science runs amok on a small British
island" flicks (see also
The Deadly Bees,
Night Of The Big Heat, etc). In fact, I'm going to go out on a
limb here and state for the record that Island Of Terror is one of the
best of this mini-genre, if not the best. It's got everything - nasty
effects, Peter Cushing, a fast-moving plot, and the greatest radioactive
cow massacre you've ever not seen.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Island of Terror gets a modest transfer to Blu-ray from Odeon Entertainment in the UK. It is single-layered with a supportive bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It has been restored by Pinewood Studios and is quite clean and consistent throughout. It can look a shade thick, green and dull but is generally acceptable without a preponderance of depth. The visuals are very watchable but far from dynamic. Although not technically robust it looked reasonable in-motion on my system.
NOTE: Both Blu-rays include the shot of Peter Cushing's hand being severed with an axe as well as blood squirting out cut from previous UK discs.
The Shout! Factory is advertised as a "NEW High-Definition Transfer of the film taken from the Interpositive". It is from the US print as evidenced by the US credits (the minutia of the differences are expertly identified in the commentary by film historian Dr. Robert J. Kiss.) The Shout! Factory is 1.78:1 and opened up with the image showing, notably, more on the right edge and less on the top of the frame. I know it wasn't shot in, bastardized, 1.78:1 but composition looks better to me. There is an inordinate amount of head space in Odeon's 1.66:1 (which we presume to be the theatrically correct AR.) The Shout! Factory image quality is a huge difference - from a, presumed, vastly, superior source. Colors are much warmer and detail tightens significantly. It's dual-layered with a much higher bitrate. The direct comparison show the greenish hue of the UK disc ('cept for the Silicates) and the US looks a bit blue, but vastly in advance in terms of detail, color, contrast, depth and crispness. The Odeon is like video beside the Shout! Factory.
Phil tells us in email: "Despite imdb.com and others
"fall-back" citing of 1.66 aspect ratio in Europe, this
tends to be incorrect for most films in the 1960s. "Island
of Terror" was more likely composed for 1.75, and, as such,
the 1.78 aspect ratio on the new Blu-ray would be more
theatrically accurate than the 1.66. This myth of most films
in England being 1.66 in the 1960s seems to be one of those
"legend becomes fact so print the legend" things.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Subtitle Sample Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Audio comes in a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps. The Alien sounds are quite unusual (intentionally) and carry some creepy weight in lossless. The repetitive main theme sounds clean and crisp. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable on Blu-ray players worldwide.
Shout! Factory go DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1636 kbps (24-bit) in the original English. The technically superior transfer accentuates the strident and, often alarming, score by Malcolm Lockyer (Night of the Big Heat, Bang Bang, You're Dead, Ten Little Indians) and adds some further tension and atmosphere. Shout! Factory add optional subtitles (see sample above) and their Blu-ray disc is coded region 'A'.
Not much - we get an image gallery slideshow, a trailer and the package actually contains a nice 16-page liner notes booklet with essay and photos.
I enjoyed what I heard of the new audio commentary with film historian Dr. Robert J. Kiss (and blogger/actor Rick Pruitt). Plenty of good detail referencing films of the performers, discussion of Hammer and so much more. There is also a theatrical trailer and a stills gallery.
Odeon - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
This is an obvious winner for Shout! Factory (awful cover though!) It's superior in every category over the Odeon - video, audio and extras including the commentary. I've rewatched Island of Terror a 1/2 dozen times and now we have this dramatically improved Blu-ray. I continue to adore this sci-fi, creature-feature gem from the UK. The Shout! Factory is strongly recommended!
November 14th, 2014
June 8th, 2017
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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