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Burnt Offerings [Blu-ray]
(Dan Curtis, 1976)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Dan Curtis Productions
Video: Kino Lorber / Arrow Video (UK)
Region: 'A' / Region 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:56:01.913 / 1:56:00.954
Disc Size: 35,410,538,879 bytes / 39,634,147,474 bytes
Feature Size: 24,670,064,640 bytes / 32,121,556,992 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.79 Mbps / 29.98 Mbps
Chapters: 9 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 6th, 2015 / October 17th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1566 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1566 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps /
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps /
English (SDH), none
•Audio commentary with director/co-writer/producer Dan Curtis, actress Karen Black, and co-screenwriter William F. Nolan
• Audio Commentary with Film Historian Richard Harland Smith
• Interview with actor Anthony James (17:33)
• Interview with screenwriter William F. Nolan (13:21)
• Interview with actor Lee Montgomery (16:30)
• Trailer From Hell with Steve Senski (3:21)
• Animated Footage of images (3:21)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:29)
Audio commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith
Description:Evil Has A New Home! Step inside a vacation house of horror in this terrifying thriller that does for summer homes what Jaws did for a dip in the surf. Karen Black (The Pyx), Oliver Reed (The Brood) and Bette Davis (All About Eve), star in this riveting haunted-house chiller that delivers hidden terrors mounting creepily as the film builds to a climax of pulverizing fright. Marian (Black) and Ben (Reed) find it hard to believe that for only $900 they've rented a sprawling country mansion for the entire summer. But as they settle into their isolated estate with their son (Lee Montgomery, Ben) and Ben's aunt (Davis), they find themselves surrounded by an evil, hypnotic living presence that feeds on torture, fear and murder. The stellar cast includes Burgess Meredith (The Sentinel), Eileen Heckart (The Bad Seed), Dub Taylor (Gator) and Anthony James (High Plains Drifter). Co-written, produced and directed by horror legend Dan Curtis (Dracula).
Dan Curtis, director of TV's Dark Shadows series, directed this eerie haunted-house thriller about a house which draws energy from its inhabitants and selects its own "keeper" from the family of Ben and Marian Rolf (Oliver Reed & Karen Black), who rent the strangely-affordable house one fateful summer then find themselves slowly succumbing to its creepy powers. The photography is suitably moody, and many of the standard haunted-house cliches are used to decent effect -- particularly a violent scene in which the surrounding woods form a barrier to prevent the family station wagon from escaping the area -- but the pace is too leisurely overall, climaxing with the type of grim ending employed by nearly every mainstream horror film in the late 70's. Black's spooky looks are used to maximum effect, but are never quite as chilling as the final shot of Curtis's TV movie Trilogy of Terror from the previous year.
As the Supernatural Honey, I’ve seen my fair share of haunted house
movies. Some are good, some are bad, and some are downright deplorable,
but every now and again, one will exceed every expectation. For me, one
of the best is Burnt Offerings.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Burnt Offerings has come to Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. I wouldn't say it's a stunning image via the dual-layered 1080P transfer. Skin tones (especially Reed) are quite warm but the visuals are consistent. Nothing is dynamically crisp and there is only a touch of depth. Other than that the image is quite clean and watchable just showing few of the strong attributes of HD. It is fairly bright and I noted no noise. This Blu-ray gave me a reasonable, but far from stellar, viewing in regards to the picture quality.
For most consumers there won't appear to be a huge difference... but I'd give a slight edge to the Arrow, in-motion, despite it shows a sliver of less information in the frame, but it is more technically robust. Anyway, pretty much the same image quality.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1566 kbpsin the original English language. There are some effects in the film - both subtle and aggressive. The score is by Bob Cobert (Dan Curtis' TV version of Bram Stoker's Dracula, plus his The Night Strangler and The Night Stalker) and it tends to support the film quite well sounding very decent in the lossless. It all sounds clear and audible with consistent dialogue. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Arrow go linear PCM (also only 16-bit) and I am not capable of detecting much difference. Effects still carry some weight - overall it may export the higher-end a bit tighter - but I cannot say that with any certainty. Arrow does take the trouble to include optional English (SDH) subtitles and their disc is region 'B' encoded.
Kino really stack this release with over 10 Gig of supplements. We get two audio commentaries - a first with director/co-writer/producer Dan Curtis, actress Karen Black, and co-screenwriter William F. Nolan and a second, good one, with Film Historian Richard Harland Smith. Both quite entertaining with interesting facts on the film. There are also three interviews totaling about 45-minutes with actor Anthony James, screenwriter William F. Nolan and actor Lee Montgomery. More reminiscences plus a short Trailers From Hell piece with Steve Senski, some screen shots of images from the film and an original theatrical trailer.
Well, exact same extras - same commentaries (Arrow uses uncompressed audio), same three interviews and 'Portraits of Fear' animated gallery and a theatrical trailer. We lose the, short, 'Trailer From Hell' piece with Steve Senski only found on the Kino but, with the Arrow, add a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love and the first pressing only, gets a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Kat Ellinger. Again, Arrow nudge ahead.
Kino- Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Arrow- Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Although I don't know - it sure seems like either a joint effort or Arrow leased the extras from Kino (or the other way around). Bottom lime for consumers is that this is pretty much the same package with Arrow inching ahead with a few more bells-and-whistles and I like their cover better! I loved seeing the film again - especially for Bette Davis. Dan Curtis made some memorably creepy stuff! Recommended!
September 26th, 2015
November 18th, 2016
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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