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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "El Conde Dracula" or "Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht" or "Il conte Dracula" or "Count Dracula" )

 

directed by Jesús Franco (as Jess Franco)
Spain/West Germany/Italy/Liechtenstein 1970

 

In 1970, cult director Jess Franco and screen legend Christopher Lee collaborated on what they promised would be the most faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel ever filmed. From its remarkable performances – including Lee as the Count, Herbert Lom (MARK OF THE DEVIL) as Van Helsing, Soledad Miranda (VAMPYROS LESBOS) as Lucy, Maria Rohm (VENUS IN FURS) as Mina, and authentic madman Klaus Kinski as Renfield – to its lush locations and atmosphere of sinister sensuality, it remains perhaps the most spellbinding version of Dracula in movie history. Fred Williams (SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY) and Paul Muller (NIGHTMARE CASTLE) co-star in this “thrilling” (Twins Of Evil) and “fascinating” (Arrow In The Head) horror classic, now fully restored, loaded with all-new Bonus Features including Pere Potrabella’s experimental ‘making of’ feature CUADECUC, VAMPIR, and re-mastered in high-definition for the first time ever.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1973 (USA)

Reviews                                                                    More Reviews                                                             DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Divisa - Region 0 - PAL vs. Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Divisa

Region 0 - PAL

Dark Sky Films
Region 1 - NTSC
Severin Films
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:32:27 (4% PAL speedup) 1:36:48 1:37:14.286
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.52 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 Disc Size: 43,677,445,188 bytes

Feature Size: 19,487,834,112 bytes

Total Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

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

Bitrate:

 

Divisa

 

Bitrate:

 

Dark Sky Films

 

Bitrate:

Severin Blu-ray

 

Audio Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles none English, none None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Divisa

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� Photo Gallery
� Filmographies
� Biographies

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Dark Sky Films

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� 'Beloved Count' featurette (16:9; 26:33)
� Christopher Lee reads Bram Stoker’s Dracula (16:9; 84:00)
� Actress Soledad Miranda text essay by Amy Brown
� Photo gallery

 

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 11

Release Information:
Studio:
Severin Films

 

1.37:1 Disc Size: 43,677,445,188 bytes

Feature Size: 19,487,834,112 bytes

Total Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with David Del Valle and Actress Maria Rohm
• Beloved Count - An Interview with Director Jess Franco (26:24)
• A Conversation with Jack Taylor (10:00)
• Handsome Harker - An Interview with Actor Fred Williams (26:14)
• Christopher Lee Reads Bram Stoker's Dracula (1:24:08)
• Stake Holders - An Appreciation of Jess Franco's COUNT DRACULA by French Director Christophe Gans (7:32)
• German Trailer (3:06)
• BONUS DISC: Cuadecuc Vampir- Pere Portabella's Expressionistic Behind-The-Scenes Feature
 

Blu-ray Release Date: December 15th, 2015
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 20

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray January 16': The new 1080P doesn't look dramatically appealing although it is the best of the three. I'd be speculating but it's possible that an HD master wasn't struck for this release, and this may be the television source. As Eric points out: "It does look softish even considering the zoom-happy photography. The framing seems almost identical if a little tighter to the earlier master they provided to Dark Sky. It looks like the Spanish source reveals a bit more in a few shots." I would have expected more grain but it actually has a waxier appearance than a textured one.

Audio goes the linear PCM format (2.0 channel, 16-bit). There may be a slight sync issue in dialogue that I would say is only noticeable - not distracting. The score is by Bruno Nicolai (Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Face to Face, The Perverse Countess, Torso, Ten Little Indians, Pasolini's Hawks and the Sparrows) which, as typical of his work with Giallos and spaghetti westerns suffers marginally from a weak higher-end. It actually adds some nice flavor to the film - always riding and edge. There are no subtitles offered on the Blu-ray

Extras start off with a brand new commentary by actress Maria Rohm (wife of producer Henry Alan Towers) moderated by film historian David Del Valle (a friend of both Christopher Lee and Herbert Lom). Del Valle contextualizes the film as highly anticipated for touting itself as the most faithful screen adaptation of Stoker's novel and for Lee appearing as Dracula outside of the Hammer productions. Rohm discusses her husband's career starting in radio (with the Orson Welles Harry Lime series), his interest in literary properties - Towers produced three screen adaptations of Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians - including the reviewed 1965 and 1974 version with Rohm, as well as adaptations of De Sade for Franco, Oscar Wilde with THE SECRET OF DORIAN GRAY, and the Sax Rohmer Fu Manchu series - and his tumultuous relationship with Franco, and hers with Kinski (who she considered suing for libel for statements he made about her and actress Margaret Lee in his first autobiography). Del Valle also puts forth interpretations of Stoker's novel gleaned from a class he took with The Annotated Dracula scholar Leonard Wolf and Franco's lack of interest in a "straight" retelling of Stoker's novel (both Del Valle and Rohm agree that VAMPYROS LESBOS was Franco's preferred interpretation). Ported over from the Dark Sky DVD is an interview with Franco in which he discusses his working relationship with Towers (who was concerned audiences would lose interest in the film during Dracula's monologue about his heritage) and his admiration of Lee. He refutes Towers' story that Kinski was kept ignorant that he was in a Dracula film because he did not want to do one (although he would later headline Werner Herzog's), suggesting the actor was too well-read to not realize he was playing Renfield. Also ported over is the eighty minute "Christopher Lee reads Bram Stoker's DRACULA" recording. New to the disc is an interview with American actor Jack Taylor who discusses the ten films he did with Franco and the resurgence of fan interest in his career. He does not discuss his behind the scenes work for Franco as set decorator and dialogue coach, but this is touched upon in the interview with German actor Fred Williams who is less charitable in his recollections about Franco and Towers. The appreciation of the film by French filmmaker Christophe Gans is no hollow tribute but an informed analysis of how Franco's interest in jazz translated to film (likening Kinski to a musical instrument rather than a performer). The disc also includes French, Italian, German, and Spanish title sequences as well as the German theatrical trailer. During the shooting of the film, Spanish experimental filmmaker Pere Portabella was filming behind the scenes. Rather than a conventional documentary, CUADECUC: VAMPIR is a delirious shuffling of behind the scenes glimpses and alternate angles of scenes as they were filmed that is avant-garde enough to suggest what Franco himself might have preferred in an adaptation. The film was released in English-friendly twenty-two film, seven DVD sets of Portabella's works by Blaq Out in France and Intermedio in Spain (Blaq Out also released the single disc with its accompanying short subjects Play Back and Accio Santos). Severin will be releasing CUADECUC: VAMPIR on a separate DVD-only edition, but the COUNT DRACULA Blu-ray is the only way to see it in high definition.

Admirable supplements and an obtuse vampire film with Lee, Soledad Miranda and Klaus Kinski add to the appeal. I still have trouble embracing some of Jess Franco's films - this was another but I will revisit it one day!

 -Gary Tooze and Eric Cotenas

 


 Menus
(Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Divisa - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Dark Sky Films - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Divisa

Region 0 - PAL

Dark Sky Films
Region 1 - NTSC
Severin Films
Region FREE -
Blu-ray

 

 


 

 




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