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The Pete Walker Collection II (5-Disc Blu-ray Set)

 

The Big Switch (1968)                                     Man of Violence (1971)                             The Flesh and Blood Show (1972)


Frightmare (1974)                           House of Mortal Sin (1976)                      Home Before Midnight (1979)

 

This second anthology of films by Pete Walker reels the provocative director at his most diabolical. Whether skewering highbrow drama (The Flesh and Blood Show), established religion (House of Mortal Sin), or legal hypocrisy (Home Before Midnight) Walker laces his films with a wicked sense of humor and healthy dollops of sex and violence. One perfect example is the legendary shocker Frightmare, which stars aging British actress Sheila Keith as a fortune-teller-slash-cannibal in the English countryside. Also featured in this collection are two of Walker's early works: Man of Violence (aka Moon) and The Big Switch, which clearly foreshadow the taste for the perverse (and the flair for cynical humor) that would later become his hallmarks.

 

Posters

 Review: Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Redemption
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray

 

DVDBeaver has reviewed/compared the 5 discs individually of the Redemption Pete Walker Collection, Volume 2; Man of Violence (aka 'Moon') with The Big Switch as an extra HERE compared to the 2009 BFI Blu-ray release, The Flesh and Blood Show (1972), Frightmare (1974) House of Mortal Sin (1976) and Home Before Midnight (1979). Below are portions of those complete reviews. The bonus Blu-ray disc with Man of Violence (aka 'Moon') and The Big Switch that includes the new 15-minute interview with Pete Walker by Elijah Drenner produced by Kino is not sold separately at this time and is only available in the boxset.

 

Man of Violence aka Moon [Blu-ray]

 

(Pete Walker, 1971)

 

Offered as a Dual Format Edition October 24th, 2011

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Pete Walker Film Productions

Video: BFI Video vs. Redemption (USA)

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! / Region 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: Moon - 1:48:37.598 / 1:49:07.541 Big Switch - 1:07:58.032 / 1:08:44.120

Disc Size: 45,852,206,472 bytes / 47,596,254,968 bytes

Feature Size: 26,505,370,368 bytes / 26,271,530,688 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps / 28.33 Mbps

Chapters: 21 / 11

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Double case with 4 discs

Release date: August 24th, 2009 / April 21st, 2015

 

Video (same for both):

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

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

Subtitles:

English, none

None

 

Extras:

The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker) (1968, 75 mins): Pete Walker's pulp thriller which includes a climactic shoot-out in the snow on Brighton's now destroyed West Pier
Original trailers for Man of Violence and The Big Switch in HD!
Alternative 'Moon' title-card
Extensive illustrated booklet featuring newly commissioned contributors from Pete Walker, novelist Cathi Unsworth, producer and critic David McGillivray, and film historian Julian Petley
 

The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker) (1968, 1:08:44.120): Pete Walker's pulp thriller which includes a climactic shoot-out in the snow on Brighton's now destroyed West Pier

Interview with Pete Walker by Elijah Drenner (14:58)

 

Bitrate:

1) BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Description: In a world of gangs and villains, one man - Moon - will stop at nothing to get the girl and take the spoils. Pete Walker's affectionate low-budget homage to the gangster thriller is packed with sights and sounds from a Britain about to swing out of the Sixties and into a somewhat less optimistic decade. It offers not only rare glimpses of a world gone by, but also some unexpected twists on generic convention. The cast includes Hammer girls Luan Peters (Lust for a Vampire, Twins of Evil) and Virginia Wetherell (Doctor Jekyll & Sister Hyde, Demons of the Mind).

Presented here in a stunning new High Definition transfer from the original negative, this release also includes Pete Walker's earlier thriller The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker).

 

 

The Film:

Moon (Michael Latimer) is the mercenary hired to steal 90 million dollars in gold from an Arab country decimated by political chaos. Sex, violence and mayhem accompany the group of double-crossing heavies who covet the purloined loot. Burgess (George Belbin) is the crook who poses as a cop, and Nixon (Derek Aylward) is the criminal who poses as a policeman. A bevy of females willingly submit to seduction, and a sadistic homosexual murderer trails Moon and his malevolent gang for the gold in this uneven crime drama. ~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide.

 


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

We have another exciting BFI 'Flipside' package. Both Man of Violence and The Big Switch were transferred in High Definition from their original 35mm combined negatives. The, longer, export version of The Big Switch was transferred from separate picture and sound negatives. Both look wonderful and I suppose credit goes to the healthy sources and the HD-DVNR and MTI restoration systems utilized in the transfer. Man of Violence, a 38-year old film, looks virtually brand new. Colors are very bright - skin tones seem slightly red at times. Detail is astounding. If there is a flaw it might be that grain has taken a backseat and the image is probably a shade more glossy than it was when originally shown. The MPEG-4 encode for 1080P exports tight and clean visuals which are clear of any damage or speckles and it even exhibits some desirable depth of field. I was incredibly impressed with the appearance and hopefully the screen captures below will bear that out to some degree. This image is so perfect it really transports you back to the early 70's.

 

To clarify, the Redemption (US) Blu-ray is not sole separately at this time but is part of the Pete Walker Collection Volume 2 (Reviewed HERE) as a bonus disc. It also has The Big Switch as well as the main feature 'Man of Violence' (aka Full Moon). Even though the Redemption states that this is digitally remastered by the BFI, and they have similar technical stats, - the image quality is quite different. I don't know which is more theatrically accurate - I think they both look quite strong. The US transfer has warmer skin tones, is darker overall and the UK release has richer, deeper colors, cooler skin tones and is brighter.     

 

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

 

1) BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

Audio :

Pure original audio with a linear PCM 2.0 channel mono track at 2304 kbps. It does a superlative job of exporting the film's dialogue and campy, repetitive, music (it's still in my head). There really isn't any need for heavy separations and the economic 2.0 channel is more than up to the test of replicating a clean, crisp sound experience. I noted no flaws - dropouts or hiss. There are optional subtitles in English and, like the other Flipside releases, my Momitsu has identified this as being region FREE!

 

Audio is exactly the same as far as I can determine - technically and by my ear. The Redemption is region 'A'-locked and does not offer optional English subtitles. 

 

 

Extras :

The main supplements is another HD-transferred Walker feature entitled The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker) from 1968. It's another pulpy thriller which is advertised as 'including a climactic shoot-out in the snow on Brighton's now destroyed West Pier!' You can watch this via a 'domestic' (1:07:58) version or the nine-minute longer, and slightly raunchier, 'export' version (1:16:42). It might be closer to a Drive-In flic from the early 70's not quite reaching the status of 'Grindhouse'. We also get original trailers for Man of Violence and The Big Switch in HD, plus an alternative 'Moon' title-card. Included is another extensive illustrated booklet (26 pages) featuring newly commissioned contributors from Pete Walker, novelist Cathi Unsworth, producer and critic David McGillivray, and film historian Julian Petley. This is all perfectly in keeping with the kitsch of the Flipside label cinema.

 

As we stated the Redemption also includes Walker's The Big Switch in 1080P. It adds a further extra in a new 15-minute interview with Pete Walker by Elijah Drenner produced by Kino. Of course, the US package is filled with extras and the 4 other Pete Walker flics - The Flesh and Blood Show (1972), Frightmare (1974) House of Mortal Sin (1976) and Home Before Midnight (1979).  

 

BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I don't know if I followed all of Man of Violence with perfect understanding but in that sense it may be more akin to Seijun Suzuki with plenty of its own style - and unapologetic about filling all salient points of the story with cohesion. I believe this was Walker's last effort of this genre before moving onto horror - where he would eventually make more of a name for himself. Luan Peters is hot as a pistol in her bikini and many sexy outfits and some of her scenes give the exploitive quality that many love to leer and snicker at. On Blu-ray this is another amazing package (I promise to never tire of these!) and one I can't see it ever looking or sounding any better. Luckily, I love the cheese and The Big Switch fits the mold even more perfectly in helping define this cinema that is more respectful in nostalgia than it ever was in it's prime. This is VERY cool, but it's appeal may be limited - I'll bet the BFI releases though are certainly establishing its growth.

 

Not much to add - the Redemption Blu-ray disc is a valuable bonus extra in the Pete Walker Collection Volume 2. The price offers some good value, and these two films are an essential part of the director's oeuvre.  

Gary Tooze

August 18th, 2009

April 7th, 2015

Offered as a Dual Format Edition October 24th, 2011


 

 

The Flesh and Blood Show [Blu-ray]

 

(Pete Walker, 1972)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Peter Walker (Heritage) Ltd.

Video: Redemption / Kino

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:36:19.106

Disc Size: 38,786,499,458 bytes

Feature Size: 27,015,768,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.93 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 18th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

"Flesh and Blood Censorship" - Interview with Pete Walker (12:13)

• Anaglyph 3-D sequence (10:14)

• Stereoscopic 3-D sequence (10:14)

• Pete Walker Trailers - The Flesh and Blood Show (3:44), Die Screaming, Marianne, Frightmare, House of Whipcord, The Comeback

 

Bitrate:

 

Description: A group of trendy young actors and actresses assemble at a run-down theatre at the end of a pier in an out-of-season British coastal resort. Hired by the mysterious Theatre Group 40 to put together the improvisation revue, The Flesh and Blood Show, the actors are soon at the mercy of a madman who begins working his way through their number. The story takes its cue from Agatha Christie's venerable Ten Little Indians - a group of strangers are invited to a remote locale, where they fall prey to an unseen assassin. While Walker's subsequent horror pictures tended to phase out the carnal aspect, his background in sexploitation is abundantly evident here - softcore groping and plentiful nudity dominate the first half of the picture, and there is plenty of mayhem.

 

 

The Film:

This sick little horror film from British gore/exploitation director Pete Walker finds a group of actors summoned by an anonymous producer to take part in a gruesome Grand Guignol play being staged at an isolated resort, only to find that their characters' elaborately staged theatrical deaths are designed to do them in for real. It is revealed that their unseen benefactor is a former stage performer, driven psychotic after catching another actor in bed with his wife, who now seeks symbolic retribution against all actors for their immoral behavior. Though not quite as sleazy as some of Walker's later work, this is still fairly gruesome stuff. The same theme gets vastly superior treatment in the following year's Theatre of Blood, featuring a tour-de-force performance from Vincent Price.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

The Flesh and Blood Show was Pete Walker’s second venture into genre material. For this reason, the film is not as sophisticated as some of his later ones – certainly, Walker learned quickly, making his best film House of Whipcord only two years later. Here he contrives a clumsy whodunnit centred around the group of people rehearsing in a theatre. On a directorial level, the film has a competence but Walker fails to generate much in the way of tension. Certainly, on the flesh angle, Walker gets his female cast frequently undressed but the blood angle is relatively tame – the number of murders we see is few and Walker has not yet developed the sadism that would permeate his later films.

Excerpt from Moria located HERE

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

 

Firstly, this Redemption Blu-ray package offers the end sequence in 3-D but the segment can be seen in 2-D (black and white - see sample below). When viewed on a compatible 3-D monitor and 3-D Blu-ray player set-up, the 10-minute sequence near the conclusion will play as 3-D, but when this disc is viewed on a regular 2-D monitor and 2-D Blu-ray player, the 3-D segment will play as black-and-white -- the "Play Movie" option defaults solely to the 2-D version -- there is nothing wrong with your disc, the specialized encoding merely prevents the 3-D sequence being incorrectly displayed on a 2-D system.

 

Pete Walker's The Flesh and Blood Show has arrived on Blu-ray from Kino's Redemption label.  Unfortunately, the image, as on the old DVD, is fairly inconsistent. This is more a function of the source.  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 softness here and there but also a few scenes that look significantly sharper. There is a section, shot outside, with damage marks and excessive speckles (see sample at bottom). This has some grain textures and is in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Colors are mostly flat - a few times appearing richer. Skin tones look true. There are plenty of very dark scenes but no intrusive noise. Generally, a less than stellar image, but this Blu-ray transfer is not at fault.

 

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

 

 

 

 

3D Sequence as seen in 2D

 

 

Damage

 

 

Audio :

The linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps does a competent job of exporting the film's modest sound requirements although, like the video, there are some weak patches. The high end is scratchy but probably more a function of the 40-year old production's audio limitations. The score is by Cyril Ornadel (Die Screaming, Marianne) but I found it fairly forgettable. The audio here is subject to the weakness of the production and this is probably as good as it will get. There is some depth via the lossless. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

"Flesh and Blood Censorship" is a new 12-minute interview with Pete Walker produced by Elijah Drenner. He discusses the censorship of the film and more. Interesting to fans of the 3D process, Redemption include the film's 10-minute sequence using the anaglyph (red/blue) method. The package does not include the glasses required to view it. Also included is a modified sequence for stereoscopic playback on 3-D TVs. A 3-D player and glasses are required. Lastly are a group of five Pete Walker Trailers - The Flesh and Blood Show (3:44), Die Screaming, Marianne, Frightmare, House of Whipcord, The Comeback.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I think this would have been quite highly regarded if it had a larger budget and was, hence, more polished.  This style of 70's Brit horror is quite adept - it's just quite rough around the edges - which for some - can be appealing in itself. Despite weaknesses in the source I don't point fingers at the Redemption Blu-ray. The 3-D effects looks largely unimpressive. I still put Die Screaming, Marianne and Frightmare ahead of this, but it still had some 'Walker' charisma. This presentation is imperfect but I doubt the director's niche fans will be bothered. We recommend to those keen on the genre.

 

Frightmare aka Cover Up [Blu-ray]

 

(Pete Walker, 1974)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Peter Walker (Heritage) Ltd.

Video: Redemption / Kino

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:26:44.282

Disc Size: 34,971,599,598 bytes

Feature Size: 25,530,625,344 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.93 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 18th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Pete Walker and cinematographer Peter Jessop

• For the Sake of Cannibalism (11:56)

• Sheila Keith Profile (13:53)

• Pete Walker Trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

Description: Just released from an insane asylum, an elderly British couple (Davies and Keith) retire to a remote farmhouse, where Keith immediately resumes her cannibalistic activities, while Davies covers up for her. In addition to knocking off the psychiatrist sent to check up on them, Keith even enlists her adult daughter (Butcher) in the service of her perversion. Easily the best of notorious British gore director Walker's efforts (and that's including the sadistic House of Whipcord, 1974), this film is stylishly directed and contains several good performances, most notably that of Keith.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

 

 

The Film:

Frightmare (1974) - With Frightmare following on House of Whipcord, David McGillivray's scriptwriting is undoubtedly having a marked effect on Walker's exploitation pictures. Where he used to settle for routine plots, his films now teem with demonic life, plus vicious and genuinely disturbing shock effects. Frightmare is about a psychopathic mum (Keith) who has the nasty habit of going at her victims with an electric drill before devouring them raw. It is far better written and acted than you might expect, and Walker's direction is on another level altogether from Cool It Carol! or The Flesh and Blood Show. The problem is that there is absolutely no exposition or analysis, no flexibility about the theme; still contained within a basic formula, it tends to leave a highly unpleasant aftertaste.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Sheila Keith, eh? Quite how director Pete Walker decided that such a sweet-looking mumsy type could play the variety of nutters she does in his films is anyone's guess. I'll just put it down to the man's genius.

In Frightmare she's a deranged cannibal granny, who spends much of her time luring people into her home to have their fortunes read. Of course, reading these poor unfortunates' fortunes doesn't take very long at all when "You will be brutally killed and eaten within the next ten minutes" is a dead cert.

Sheila has been released from psychiatric care after being "cured", her unfortunate (and sane) husband being so much in love with her that he had himself committed too to remain close.

Excerpt from British Horror Films located HERE

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

Much to the delight of his fans, Pete Walker's Frightmare has made it to Blu-ray from Kino's Redemption label.  The image takes a wide step beyond the flat, artifact-ridden, and questionable colors of the old DVD package reviewed HERE (and compared, a few captures, below).  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 a tightness and depth - skin tones may be a tad warm at times but I'm not complaining. The SD was in an odd ratio and this 1.78:1 shows more information in the frame - mostly on either top or bottom of the frame. Colors seem more authentic to my eye and there was no noise to speak of. Pretty solid. This Blu-ray probably looks like the film Frightmare and it advances beyond the last DVD editions in several key areas - notably detail and colors.

 

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

 

Shriek Show (Media Blasters) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Shriek Show (Media Blasters) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Shriek Show (Media Blasters) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Redemption - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps does a competent job of exporting the film's modest sound requirements. There is a bit of weakness in the high end but I can only anticipate that this is a function of the 40-year old production's audio limitations. The music is quite excellent by none-other than Stanley Myers - who, besides doing a couple of other Pete Walker films - has Cimino's The Deer Hunter on his resume, and Nicolas Roeg's amusing Insignificance. Bravo! The audio here is subject to the weakness of the production and this is probably as good as it will get. There are some effects with depth via the lossless. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Included is the same commentary by Pete Walker and cinematographer Peter Jessop from the previous DVD. I didn't indulge a second time - but I recall it being fairly interesting - especially to those keen on the director's work. There are two new video releases; Elijah Drenner's 2014 For the Sake of Cannibalism runs a dozen minutes chatting with Pete Walker and we also get a fairly in-depth profile of Sheila Keith running closer to a 1/3 of an hour. She was frequently seen in 60's TV series series such as The Saint, Public Eye and Sherlock Holmes. Fans will appreciate these additional supplements. There are also some Pete Walker film trailers which are usually quite intense/exploitive.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm no expert on Pete Walker's oeuvre but I think this is the best of his films that I have seen. I have a soft spot for Die Screaming Marianne (probably because of the pouty Susan George). Frightmare has a nice balance, but eventually extends beyond it (I'd be disappointed if hit didn't!) This style of 70's Brit horror is quite appealing - in a more modern vein of stories to the Hammer 'classic monster' variety. I was pleased with this Redemption Blu-ray. I only wished I had saved my viewing for a late Friday night! This presentation was world's away from the SD I watched years ago - with a stronger film-sense and visceral impact (what this film evokes!). We certainly recommend to those keen on the genre. If you are going to give Pete Walker a chance - take Frightmare as the first option! 

Gary Tooze

February 26th, 2014

House of Mortal Sin aka 'The Confessional' [Blu-ray]

 

(Pete Walker, 1976)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia-Warner Distributors

Video: Redemption / Kino

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:44:39.147

Disc Size: 35,698,755,621 bytes

Feature Size: 30,131,733,312 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.93 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 17th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Pete Walker and Jonathan Rigby

• An Eye For Terror (Part2 of an interview with Pete Walker) (11:00)

• Pete Walker Trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

Description: Acidic black comedy, or typically crass 70s horror flick brought out with the sole aim of shocking a jaded public? The jury's still out on House Of Mortal Sin (aka The Confessional), but you can't deny that it's entertaining.
 

Excerpt from British Horror Films located HERE

 

 

The Film:

The macabre tale of a priest who records his parishioners' confessions and uses the tapes to blackmail his victims. Those unable or unwilling to meet his demands soon discover they must pay the ultimate price. After several parishioners turn up dead, a housekeeper begins to have her suspicions about him.

Excerpt from ShriekShow DVD located HERE

Director Walker claims that some of his films were "a deliberate attempt to try and get some controversy." Such was clearly the case with this one, which uses the premise of a deranged, degenerate priest as a platform to point a finger at the hypocrisies and secretive nature of the Catholic church.

Excerpt from The Bloody Pit of Horror located HERE

Jenny, (Susan Penhaligon) a troubled young girl, seeks help at her local church. Unfortunately for her, the sexually frustrated priest Father Meldrum (Anthony Sharp) she confesses to, becomes obsessed with her. He begins to stalk her, however as his increasingly unhinged mindset continues to unravel, it becomes obvious he will stop at nothing, including blackmail and murder, just to get close to Jenny.

Excerpt from Watching Horror Films from Behind the Couch located HERE

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

Primo Pete Walker - House of Mortal Sin - has made it to Blu-ray from Kino's Redemption label.  The image seems a little loose in the opening credits but soon settles in to, what we have come to expect from this production company - as a strong, consistent presentation. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate and any imperfections will directly relate to the source and not the 1080P transfer. Colors (blood!) are deep and tight and the image's inherent softness is reflective of a film-like appearance. This 1.66:1 AR doesn't show much depth but contrast seems reasonable and there is impressive detail in close-ups. This Blu-ray is no demo but appears to do its job effectively in replicating the film's more positive visual attributes.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps does a competent job of exporting the film's sound requirements - which include some aggression. There is a bit of weakness in the high end but I can only anticipate that this is a function of the, almost, 40-year old production's audio limitations. The score is atmospheric by Stanley Myers - who, besides doing a coupe of other Pete Walker films - composed for Cimino's The Deer Hunter and Nicolas Roeg's amusing Insignificance. The audio is probably as good as it will get via the lossless. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Value is added with a commentary by Pete Walker and Jonathan Rigby (author of Studies in Terror: Landmarks of Horror Cinema) as more of the film's production and subversive tones are revealed. We also get part two of the An Eye For Terror interview with the director - sunning about 11-minutes. There are also the obligatory 5 Pete Walker trailers.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The more I indulge in Pete Walker films, the more I am impressed. His undercurrent of disdain and criticism is at its most acerbic in House of Mortal Sin where the target of his attack is religion - more pointedly 'Catholicism'. Protagonist Susan Penhaligon sure reminds me of the consummate Brit-Comley-Blonde, pouty, Susan George. House of Mortal Sin has it all - social commentary, horror, gore and a little sex-appeal. I was, again, pleased with the Redemption Blu-ray. I'd kinda like to see this again, for the first time. This presentation was solid and we can recommend as one of the superior efforts from this enigmatic and multi-layered director. 

Gary Tooze

May 22nd, 2014

Home Before Midnight [Blu-ray]

 

(Pete Walker, 1979)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Peter Walker (Heritage) Ltd.

Video: Redemption / Kino

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:51:26.373

Disc Size: 36,706,661,246 bytes

Feature Size: 30,195,543,552 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.78 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 17th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Promiscuous Behavior - Interview with Pete Walker (11:10)

• Theatrical Trailer (2:02)

• 5 Pete Walker Trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

Description: A successful rock lyricist becomes romantically involved with a girl he picks up hitchhiking only to learn that she is only fourteen. Her parents take action against him.

 

 

The Film:

The rock music business... Money, Fame, Girls... and whole lot of trouble! This exploitationer from British low-budget specialist Pete Walker Frightmare, the Flesh and Blood Show tells of a songwriter for a rock band who is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl. Although he is innocent of the crime, he finds his life being destroyed by the girl's vengeful parents and a legal system that he believes gives him no rights at all.

Excerpt from ShriekShow DVD located HERE

Home Before Midnight is one of Pete Walker's more controversial flicks in terms of subject matter, although it's dealt with in a very Pete Walker way (if you know what I mean). Mike Beresford (James Aubrey) is a successful 28-year-old lyricist for one of the big bands of the moment. He's rich, successful and cruising the highways in his Jensen Interceptor. He spots a young girl in the cafe, then gives the hitchhiker a lift home to London. Things develop and before too long, they're out on a date, spending time together and in a relationship. But there's just one thing that Ginny Wilshire (Alison Elliott) has forgot to mention to her new partner - she's just 14 years old and still at school. Not that you'll guess - the actress playing her must have been in her 20s when she took the role (thankfully).

Excerpt from Cinedelica located HERE

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

Pete Walker's fans are treated to more of this work with Home Before Midnight coming to Blu-ray from Kino's Redemption label.  The image is another strong one considering the production limitations.  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 a tightness and depth - but the most appealing attribute are the grain textures. This is transferred in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Colors seem authentic exporting some richness. Pretty solid all around. This Blu-ray provides a consistent and clean 1080P presentation, most likely, replicating the original theatrical appearance to a very high degree.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Redemption transfer the audio via a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 1536 kbps. There isn't much go9ing on effects-wise but what is kind of amusing is the period rock/pop music written by Clive Scott and Des Dyer written tunes, mostly performed by 'Jigsaw'. I found it quite irritating but suitable to the protagonists profession. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

No commentary, this time, but we do get 11-minutes with the director in an interview entitled Promiscuous Behavior. He's always interesting to listen to. There is also a theatrical trailer for the film and 5 other Pete Walker film trailers.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is quite an odd-duck in Pete Walker's oeuvre but, regardless I found it effective as a treatise warning of the reproductions of statutory rape. What is unusual are the nudity and sex scenes - which, seem quite creepy in retrospect. I think the director's forte is certainly horror but this showed promise although not a film we can strongly recommended despite an excellent Blu-ray transfer from Redemption. It may be most suitable to 'Pete Walker completists'. 

Gary Tooze

May 22nd, 2014


 Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Redemption
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray



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