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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Crypt of the Living Dead aka "Young Hannah, Queen of the Vampires" aka "La Tumba de la isla maldita" [Blu-ray]

 

(Julio Salvador, Ray Danton, 1973)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Coast Industries Inc.

Video: Vinegar Syndrome - Exploitation.TV

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:25:20.115 / 1:27:43.174  

Disc Size: 44,829,817,002 bytes

Crypt of the Living Dead Size: 22,201,365,120 bytes

House of the Living Dead Size: 21,487,621,824 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.90 Mbps / 29.96 Mbps

Chapters: 5 / 5

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 HotLD: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

CotLD:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1076 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1076 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

HotLD:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1065 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1065 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

• Original theatrical trailer for CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1:54)
Alternate title card for CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD (0:15)
Bonus feature film: HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD
• DVD

Limited Edition of 2,000 units

 

Bitrate:

CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD

 

 

HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD

 

Description: CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD: After arriving on a remote island to bury his father, a young American engineer (Andrew Prine) opens the crypt of a vampire queen. He inadvertently unleashes a terrible and violent force of evil on the unsuspecting townspeople, making them fight for their lives, while a few townsfolk aren't who they appear to be. Vinegar Syndrome brings the U.S. theatrical version to blu-ray, scanned and restored in 2k from a newly exhumed 35mm negative. Open the tomb and re-discover CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD!

HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD: In the seemingly peaceful and rural colonial vineyards of South Africa, a mad scientist plots to steal people's souls and place them into jars for eternity. To complete his twisted experiments, he begins to undertake a bloody rampage in the nearby countryside. Who can stop this madman, and what other terrible secrets does he hide? Who knows what other horrors you will discover in HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD!!

 

 

 

The Film:

CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD: This meandering, low-budget horror tale explores the vampiric origins of Hannah (Teresa Gimpera), once the wife of Louis VII, who rises from her crypt in the 20th century thanks to the meddling of an archaeologist (Andrew Prine) and his weird son (Mark Damon). Actually, it takes more than an hour for the filmmakers to get around to Hannah's awakening and remarkably brief reign of terror; the interim is wasted with a silly subplot involving a "Wild Man" who dispatches several superstitious villagers to ensure the vampire queen's safety. The film's atmosphere benefits from exotic locations (the film was originally produced in Turkey, then augmented with new footage by U.S. distributors), but the threadbare production values make for tedious viewing. Also known as Hannah, Queen of the Vampires and Vampire Woman.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD: This low-budget horror production from South Africa features mad scientist Mark Burns conducting hideous occult experiments at the family estate of Brattling Manor, monkeying about with things man was not meant to know, including the transfer and containment of living souls. It's only a matter of time before he begins to experiment on the souls of human beings -- including just about every member of his family. The transference process enables him to assume his brother's identity, allowing him to continue his nefarious activities in secret. This hokey horror melodrama is replete with subplots about ancient magic and family curses, and features a villain who prances around in a cape for no good reason.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Crypt of the Dead and, as a bonus, "House of the Living Dead" come to Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome / Exploitation.TV - advertised as "Restored in 2k from 35mm negatives". Crypt looks pretty good - decent detail, bright colors - texture. This is dual-layered with strong bitrates for both films. Unfortunately, House of the Living Dead, is pretty weak visually looking very thin and frail plus there are plenty of speckles. It's watchable - but only barely to any Home Cinema owner with a discerning eye. This Blu-ray image for Crypt of the Dead is the star producing a strong 1080P image and a pleasing visual presentation.

 

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

 

CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Both films audio is transferred in a DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel mono track at around 1000 kbps. Crypt might be more passive that you would anticipate. There is a score by Phillip Lambro and it does a decent job of support. House has acceptable sound too - better than its video. That score is by Peter J. Elliott. They both sound, authentically, flat but the horror effects are exported with some depth.  There are English subtitles offered for both. My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

With the inclusion of HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD, as a 1080P supplement there aren't a lot more extras. We get an original theatrical trailer for CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD plus a glimpse of the alternate title card for that film and the package has a second disc DVD included. It is stated as being a limited edition of 2,000 units.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I can be very forgiving if a film has decent production values. Skimping in this area can immediately, turn me right off (cough, cough, Jess Franco). Crypt of the Living Dead actually has decent effects, cinematography and some semblance of a plot. Although it is weighed down by other factors - I was at least attentive and it didn't seem like an obvious exploitive cash-grab. Someone really tried to make a film here and you can see it if you look hard enough. House of the Living Dead is a bit more of a mess - and the poor video doesn't help matters. The Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray is a an enjoyable way to spend time with these films - if you are one who likes the genre and doesn't mind the production/story imperfections. Crypt is, definitely, worth a spin if you lean this way. House - well, maybe if you are drunk. I doubt the 2,000 limitation will make this a collector's item, but you never know. Their link is only the title (although they have had many incarnations). Bad films can make for a fun film night. I think the price here still offers value to a certain crowd. 

Gary Tooze

October 13th, 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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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