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House of the Long Shadows [Blu-ray]
(Pete Walker, 1984)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: London-Cannon Films
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,878,147,336 bytes
Feature Size: 21,037,344,768 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.90 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 15th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1564 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1564 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
• Audio Commentary with Director Pete Walker
Description:Newly Re-mastered in HD! Horror legends Vincent Price (The Oblong Box), Christopher Lee (The Crimson Cult), Peter Cushing (Madhouse) and John Carradine (The Sentinel) star as the screen s greatest gruesome foursome! When a young novelist, Kenneth Magee (Desi Arnaz, Jr., The Night the Bridge Fell Down) spends a night at Baldpate Manor to win a bet that he can turn a best-selling novel in 24 hours, he gets more than he bargained for. The grizzly Grisbane clan arrives to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a ghoulish family secret. And their dinner party has murder on the menu. Lightning! Thunder! Torrential rain! Clattering shutters! Creaking doors! A locked attic! A sinister secret! Murder! All the ingredients of the classic Old Dark House tale come together in this top-notch horror film by cult filmmaker Pete Walker (Frightmare). Co-starring Richard Todd and Sheila Keith.
In this umpteenth remake of the George M. Cohan-Earl Derr Biggers play Seven Keys to Baldpate, Desi Arnaz Jr. plays Kenneth Magee, the young writer who bets that he can bat out a mystery play in one evening. Magee squirrels himself away in a forbidding old mansion where, unbeknownst to him, a bizarre family reunion is scheduled to commence. As the participants begin dropping like flies, Magee finds himself in the middle of a genuine mystery. At least, he thinks he does. At least, the audience thinks he thinks he does. Of historical importance is the fact that House of the Long Shadows represents the only co-starring effort of those titans of terror Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and John Carradine. The highlight is the cozy tete-a-tete between Price and Cushing during the climactic party scene.
Cushing's performance is brilliant as ever as the lisping drunk, Lee
actually bothers to act in this one rather than just looking menacing,
and Price is mellower and more reserved than usual, but still a force to
be reckoned with.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of House Of The Long Shadows looks quite consistent in 1080P. The image quality is acceptable for HD although not stellar. There are a few very light vertical scratches but they are mostly unnoticeable. It's neither crisp nor overly soft - it has some decent balance to the visuals - no noise - no real depth - some grain textures. It may be a shade faded but overall the Blu-ray provides a decent, watchable, presentation.
NOTE: There is also an MGM (made-on-demand) DVD available HERE, although the AR is described as 'Full Frame'.
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 1564 kbpsin the original English language. There are effects in the film - although not much beyond, rain, screaming and occasional violence in the conclusion. The score is by Richard Harvey (Lady Chatterley) and it sounds adequate and supportive to the film's suspense. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Kino Lorber add two commentary tracks. A first with director Pete Walker and a second with film historian David Del Valle - expert in horror/science-fiction/cult and fantasy film genres. I enjoyed the latter - very educational - and will indulge in the first commentary at a later date. There is also a 15-minute interview with director Walker and trailers for House of the Long Shadows, Madhouse and The Oblong Box. I understand there is a 2012 documentary entitled House of the Long Shadows... Revisited that might have been a good addition.
August 25th, 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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