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The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus aka "La mano de un hombre muerto" [Blu-ray]
(Jess Franco, 1962)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Albatros C.P.C.
Video: Redemption / Kino
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 20,285,260,253 bytes
Feature Size: 19,434,283,008 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.95 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 9th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
• Trailer (4:08)
Description: This plodding, sadistic horror film from director Jesus Franco concerns an Austrian legend about a ghostly Baron who supposedly rises from the swamps and murders women. When real murders are discovered, Inspector Borowsky Georges Rollin is immediately suspicious of the Baron's descendant, Max von Klaus Howard Vernon, who lives in a creepy castle with his nephew Ludwig Hugo Blanco and sister Elisa Maria Frances. Ludwig whips a pretty woman named Margaret Gogo Rojo and burns her with a heated poker in the film's only remotely shocking sequence, which has been excised in several of the release prints. A slow-moving story based on Franco's novel La Main d'Une Homme Mort leaves Godofredo Pacheco's cinematography and a deft performance by Howard Vernon as the film's only attractions.
In this follow-up to his ground-breaking horror film
The Awful Dr. Orlof, Jess Franco (Female Vampire,
A Virgin Among the Living Dead) continued to lay
the foundation of a career defined by fetishistic
imagery and transgressive violence.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Jess Franco's intriguing-sounding title The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus aka "La mano de un hombre muerto" has come to Blu-ray from Redemption. Aside from some early vertical scratches the image quality is superior to what I was anticipating. The source has some weaknesses but overall the 1080P shows the 2.35 widescreen, black and white film looks decent. This is single-layered with a modest bitrate for the 1.5 hour film but I expect this is as good as the film has ever looked on digital. The contrast layering and texture may be the most appealing visual attributes. There is some softness but nothing I wouldn't relate to the French print. The more X-rated sequences are in rougher shape - looking almost like they have come from 16mm example HERE. I don't know.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Redemption use a linear PCM 2.0 channel mono track at 1536 kbps (16-bit) in the French language. I believe the film was originally shown in Spanish - but there are DUBs no matter which language it is presented in. The DUBs in this Blu-ray transfer are poor but reading the subtitles you don't seem to focus on the sync issues as much. The score is by veteran Daniel White (The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, The Man With the Severed Head) and has some odd flashes but seems appropriate for the film. There are optional English subtitles on the and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Only a rough-looking trailer as a supplement.
June 2nd, 2015
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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