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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "A Woman in a Lizard's Skin" or "Una lucertola con la pelle di donna" or "Schizoid" or "Le venin de la peur" or "Una lagartija con piel de mujer" )

 

directed by Lucio Fulci
Italy/France/Spain 1971

 

Carol (Florinda Bolkan, FOOTPRINTS) has been having disturbing dreams of a lesbian encounter with her neighbor Julia (Anita Strindberg, YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY) who has a habit of throwing drug-laden orgies in her next door flat. Carol's psychiatrist (Jorge Rigaud, ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK) believes that Julia symbolizes Carol's unconscious envy of the woman's liberated lifestyle. When Carol has a dream in which she murders Julia (under the watchful eyes of two hippies) and the woman turns up dead in the exact manner, Carol becomes the prime suspect; but is someone trying to frame her? Could it be her lawyer husband Frank (Jean Sorel, PARANOIA/A QUITE PLACE TO KILL) who is having an affair with Carol's best friend Deborah (Silvia Monti, QUEENS OF EVIL)? Perhaps Frank's teenage daughter from a previous marriage Joan (Ely Galleani, BABA YAGA)? Inspector Corvin (Stanley Baker, THE CRIMINAL) and Sgt. Brandon (Alberto de Mendoza, PERVERSION STORY/ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER) are on the case, Carol's judge father (Leo Genn, DIE SCREAMING, MARIANNE) is eager to prevent a scandal even if it means drawing attention away from Carol onto Frank, and the two hippies from Carol's dream (Penny Brown and Mike Kennedy) are stalking Carol firstly with blackmail on their minds and then seemingly murderous intent.

Although not the gorefest that was his ZOMBI 2 (a hugely successful cash-in on George Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD which was known as ZOMBI in Italy), Fulci added some graphic gore to the formula he had already established with ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER (another Italian/French/Spanish co-production which featured Sorel and De Mendoza). The titular LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN is a clue more in line with Argento's FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET than a BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE. Luigi Kuveiller's cinematography is beautiful (more so in the new transfer) but does suffer from a couple ill-chosen shaky handheld shots (he would team up with Fulci again on NEW YORK RIPPER). Ennio Morricone's score fits the Giallo template (a rhythmic main theme with vocals by Edda dell'Orso, a gentle "love theme", and druggy, psychedelic jazz noodlings) but is also an outstanding example of his work in the genre. Carlo Rambaldi's mechanical bats convince more than the attacking swan (which one could argue is supposed to be fanciful as its image also appears in a painting over Carol's bed) but the not-entirely-convincing-yet-utterly-disturbing vivisected dog puppets got Fulci and Rambaldi hauled into court on charges of animal cruelty where they had to demonstrate the effects. Bolkan gives the standout performance (fumbling with a nude Strindberg, weaving through a sea of coupling bodies, getting terrorized by bats, chased through an abandoned cathedral and the corridors of a clinic to discover bizarre experiments) while the rest of the proficient cast are subject to the twists of the script but most of them already knew their place in the Giallo template only a a few years in. Fulci followed up LIZARD with the fine gialli
DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING and THE PSYCHIC but LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN has remained the most interesting of this subset of his career (partly due to the fine cast as much as its unavailability in the states due to the AIP rights situation and its availability only in cut form in Europe until the DVD era).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 20 March 1973 (USA)

Reviews                                                                                  More Reviews                                                                         DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Shriek Show 2005 Edition (2005 2-disc Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Federal Video - Region 2 - PAL vs. Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL vs. Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (2005 2-disc Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP LEFT

2) Federal Video - Region 2 - PAL - TOP MIDDLE

3) Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP RIGHT

4) Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM LEFT

5) Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Shriek Show 2005 Edition

Region 1 - NTSC

Federal Video
Region 2 - PAL
Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition
Region 1 - NTSC
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

Studio Canal in France has an English-friendly Blu-ray edition:

 

Distribution

Optimum Releasing

Region 2 - PAL

Mondo Macabro
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Distribution

Shriek Show 2005 Edition

Region 1 - NTSC

Federal Video
Region 2 - PAL
Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition
Region 1 - NTSC

Optimum Releasing

Region 2 - PAL

Mondo Macabro
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:30 1:38:12 (4% PAL speedup) 1:43:44 1:39:33 (4% PAL speedup) 1:43:51.099
Video

1.81:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.41 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.86:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.18 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size:1.86:1 24,162,020,186 bytes

Feature Size: 21,902,935,104 bytes

Total Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Shriek Show 2005 Edition (2005 2-disc Edition)

Bitrate:

Federal Video

Bitrate:

Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition)

Bitrate:

Optimum Releasing

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

LPCM Audio English 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles none Italian, none English, none English, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shriek Show 2005 Edition

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.81:1

Edition Details:
DISC ONE:
 *The Film - US Version (16:9; 1:35:30)
Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 2:12)
Radio Spots
 Lucio Fulci Trailer Reel
Death Trance Promo

DISC TWO:
 *The Film - Italian Version (4:3; 1:37:48)
'Shedding the Skin' featurette (4:3; 33:45)
Photo Gallery
Easter Egg: two deleted scenes

DVD Release Date: 22 February 2005
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Federal Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.86:1

Edition Details:
Deleted Scene (4:3; 0:24)
 La Censura e le Version del Film (4:3; 6:00)
Original Italian opening credits (4:3; 1:04)
Deleted Scene (4:3; 0:24)

DVD Release Date: 4 March 2006
Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
Introduction with Professor Paolo Albiero (4:3; 31:00)
History of the Film's Censorship (4:3; 6:13)
Italian Credits Sequence (4:3; 1:22)
 Lucio Fulci Trailer Reel
 Shriek Show Trailers

DVD Release Date: 13 March 2007
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
U.S. Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 2:14)

DVD Release Date: 7 June 2010
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Mondo Macabro

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.86:1
Disc Size: 24,162,020,186 bytes

Feature Size: 21,902,935,104 bytes

Total Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with Pete Tombs and Kris Gavin
• Dr Lucio Fulci's Day for Night - directed by Antonietta De Lillo - interview with Lucio Fulci (32:06)

Shedding the Skin documentary (33:47) with optional commentary

When World's Collide (29:10) interview with writer Stephen Thrower
From Burton to Baker - interview with actor Tony Adams (12:29)
• Two original trailers (4:54)

Alternate Opening Italian Credits (1:25)
• Radio spots (1:35)

Acknowledgements text page
 

Blu-ray Release Date: 9 February 2016

Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray February 16': This is not the Limited Edition (red cover - 999 units) release that sold out almost before it was issued at the end of 2015. While we couldn't get a copy of that, and hence don't know the differences between it and this release, we suspect it is the same transfer - with possibly a few different supplements. This is solid and Fulci's most stylish film is a healthy improvement in 1080P over the, varied and inferior, SD treatments of the past. This is only single-layered but the HD image improves in every category - it is tighter, more layered contrast, richer colors, and there is a frequent sense of depth. The grain textures are consistent and very film-like. It provides a very pleasing presentation - even more so beside the old DVDs, although it loses a slight amount of information in the left edge, but gaining a sliver on the right edge over the 2007 remastered Shriek Show and the PAL Federal Video editions.

Mondo Macabro give us the option of linear PCM mono tracks (16-bit) in both English or Italian with optional English subtitles. It is flat but carries some depth not present in the previous digital releases. The Giallo-esque score is by the great Ennio Morricone (A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) and it runs perfectly beside the film sounding atmospheric in the uncompressed. Fulci fans worldwide should be pleased that this is a region FREE Blu-ray.

We get plenty of extras including an audio commentary with Pete Tombs and director Kris Gavin as found on the out-of-print 'Limited Edition' Blu-ray. It's mixed a shade quietly with the film occasionally overpowering the comments, but the details and information are excellent - referencing the cuts (trimming), performers and Lucio Fulci among many topics covered. There are also some videos - Dr Lucio Fulci's Day for Night is directed by Antonietta De Lillo appearing as a 1/2 hour interview with Lucio Fulci. It is in Italian with English subtitles. Shedding the Skin is a 33-minute 2005 documentary with optional commentary from Kris Gavin (also the director of the featurette.) It provides a brief history of Giallo and the background to the film A Lizards in a Woman's Skin - featuring interviews with Florinda Bolkan, Franco Di Girolamo, Mike Kennedy, Carlo Rambaldi and Jean Sorel. When World's Collide spends and enjoyable 1/2 hour with writer Stephen Thrower author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci. From Burton to Baker is a 12-minute interview with actor Tony Adams (who plays a policeman in the film.) There are also two original trailers, an alternate opening Italian credits sequence, three radio spots and a text page of production acknowledgements for the Blu-ray.

This is a very desirable release, especially for all those who missed the LE. It has strong a/v - easily the best of those compared - and is stacked with quality extras. The Blu-ray gets our highest recommendation for those keen on this seminal film in the genre.

***

ON THE DVDs: Optimum's UK DVD is the first DVD presentation of the film to be sourced from the film's negative (in the ownership of Studio Canal). The transfer is anamorphic, progressive and single layer but the negative-sourced transfer offers a superior picture (you can now notice that the Carlo Rambaldi-built swan that attacks Carol in her dreams is present in a painting above her bed). The English title sequence on this version matches that of the Italian sequence with sliding/zooming credits and title card (the previous DVDs featured a different English credits lettering and title card). The English and Italian tracks are listed as stereo but they are mono (and just fine compared to the 5.1 remix present on both of Shriek Show's editions which only comes to life during the musical passages). The original Shriek Show 2 disc featured the cut U.S. version (supplied by MGM who owns the AIP elements for the US version as Studio Canal was apparently less than cooperative at the time) and the Italian version sourced from videotape (with 2 small deleted scenes as an Easter Egg from the French SECAM tape). The US version runs 95 minutes at 24 fps and is missing not only gore and nudity (along with some wavy opticals over some of the other nude scenes) but is also short some expository scenes (note that there is no equivalent cap 3 - part of an entire excisted 4 minute sequence - on the old Shriek Show disc 1 transfer).

The remastered Shriek Show disc from 2007 and the Italian DVD were composites of the AIP version and an Italian print source. While the remastered Shriek Show ported over the Italian extras, the transfer was not a simple port, it improved on the Italian transfer. The colors are also slightly different across transfers. The colors and contrast look best on the bulk of the Optimum transfer (the Italian color looks too pumped up while the remastered Shriek Show looks brighter than the Optimum but not pleasingly so). The UK negative-sourced transfer has been further augmented (by Marc Morris) with footage from other sources to make the longest composite (thus there are snippets that look inferior). The UK disc would run 104:20 at 24 fps which is 44 seconds longer than the remastered Shriek Show edition (once you subtracted the 8 second AIP logo on the Shriek Show disc). Peripherally, the Optimum DVD favors the offers more information on the right side of the image while the Italian and remastered Shriek Show discs offer a sliver more on the left side. Shriek Show's original disc provided a great documentary with several participants from the film and the Shriek Show reissue translated the Fulci scholar extras from the Italian disc while the latter provided English and Italian tracks on the composite with English subtitles. 

While the old 2 disc Shriek Show is recommended for the documentary and pressbook insert, the Optimum disc is a worthy purchase not only for the negative-sourced transfer but also because the presence of the Italian and English tracks as well as English subtitles and the insertion of shots not present in the negative (the quality shift is not as great as seen on the Italian disc and the further improved remastered Shriek Show version) make the Italian and remastered Shriek Show discs less essential. A listing of the footage missing from both Shriek Show editions can be found HERE. 
 

 -Gary Tooze and Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
 

1) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (2005 2-disc Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Federal Video - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT


 

 

   

 

Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL
 

 

Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 1 [English version]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 2 [Italian Version]) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Federal Video - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 1 [English version]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 2 [Italian Version]) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Federal Video - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 1 [English version]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 2 [Italian Version]) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Federal Video - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

This shot was missing from the AIP version which is what Shriek Show used for their 2005, English-language, release.


1) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 1 [English version]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 2 [Italian Version]) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Federal Video - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 1 [English version]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 2 [Italian Version]) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Federal Video - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 1 [English version]) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shriek Show 2005 Edition (Disc 2 [Italian Version]) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Federal Video - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition (2007 Remastered Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Optimum Releasing - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Mondo Macabro - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


More Blu-ray Captures


Report Card:

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Shriek Show 2005 Edition

Region 1 - NTSC

Federal Video
Region 2 - PAL
Shriek Show 2007 Remastered Edition
Region 1 - NTSC
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

Studio Canal in France has an English-friendly Blu-ray edition:

 

Distribution

Optimum Releasing

Region 2 - PAL

Mondo Macabro
Region FREE -
Blu-ray

 




 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...