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The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein [Blu-ray]
(Jesús Franco, 1972)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: C. Fénix Films
Video: Kino / Redemption
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,356,282,015 bytes
Feature Size: 21,643,683,840 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.92 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 28th, 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
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps /
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
• Feature Length Commentary by Tim Lucas
• Trailer (3:23)
Description:After the death of Victor Frankenstein (Dennis Price), two figures vie for control of his metallic-skinned monster (Fernando Bilbao) and the radical technology that created him: the scientist's daughter, Vera (Beatriz Savón), and the immortal wizard Cagliostro (Howard Vernon), who is assisted by a blind bird-woman with an unquenchable thirst for blood (Anne Libert).
With THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN, controversial filmmaker Jess Franco merged his fondness for old-school horror with his unique and perverse tastes in sex and violence, partly inspired by the garish adult European comics of the early 1970s.
This sexually explicit version of the Frankenstein story was based on erotic Italian comic strips. Dr. Frankenstein (Dennis Price) and his servant Morpho (Jesus Franco, who directed) are at work in the lab when a carriage pulls up carrying a bird-woman named Melissa (Anne Libert). Sneaking into the castle, Melissa and her driver Caronte (Luis Barboo) kill both the doctor and Morpho, then abduct the monster (Fernando Bilbao). They really serve an evil count, Cagliostro (Howard Vernon), who wants the monster for his own nefarious ends. Only the late doctor's daughter Vera (Beatrice Savon) can stop Cagliostro, but whether or not she does is unimportant. Several versions of the film exist, but all linger on the sexual possibilities of the story. Ranging between 80 and 90 minutes, each version differs only in the amount and frequency of graphic couplings. Britt Nichols and Alberto Dalbes co-star, and one edit contains the first screen appearance of cult icon Lina Romay.
Doctor Frankenstein (Franco semi-regular Dennis Price) is working on his hulking, silver-skinned monster (Fernando Bilbao) with his assistant, Morpho (Franco himself). What Franco film would be without a character called Morpho, or cameoing Franco as a snivelling bit part, for that matter? Frankenstein gains a moment of triumph as his monster lurches to howling, painful life. No sooner does he experience success than he receives two unusual visitors to his laboratory. A carriage has pulled up at his castle, and a middle-aged man, Caronte (Luis Barboo) leads a beautiful, blind woman into Frankenstein's abode. This woman is Melisa (the stunning Anne Libert) who has patches of feathers on her naked-but-for-a-cape body, sharp talons and makes bird noises as she enters the castle. Caronte and Melisa burst in on the shocked Frankenstein and Morpho. Melisa attacks Frankenstein and tears his throat out. Morpho is stabbed to death by Caronte. And we're all of five minutes in!Excerpt from GirlsGubGouls located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Redemption Blu-ray of The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein has some inconsistency, but it seems far more a function of the production, and different film usage/style, than a transfer error. Most of the 1080P visuals look fairly tight appearing impressive in close-ups. There is some softness at times - usually out-of-focus shots or extreme grain visible (sample below) - often due to poor lighting. I don't suspect any digital manipulation - the source has a few speckles but no significant damage beyond the occasional light scratch. This Blu-ray gave me a watchable viewing, that occasionally impressed, in regards to the picture quality.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbpsin the original French-language and there is a similarly robust English DUB. There are some odd-sounding effects in the film and they come through relatively flat but with a pinch of depth. The score is by veteran Daniel White (The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus, The Man with the Severed Head) and has some erratic flashes but is appropriate for the scattered film. It all sounds fine with clear a bit of, production-related, scattering in the dialogue. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Perhaps the best thing about watching the film is listening to Tim Lucas' commentary, aside from a trailer - the only extra. Lucas continues to impress with his breadth of knowledge in the horror genre. Aside from my disinterest in the film, Lucas does advance my appreciation - elevating Franco a shade higher in my, personal, estimation.
July 21st, 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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