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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Doll of Satan aka "La bambola di Satana" [Blu-ray]

 

(Ferruccio Casapinta, 1969)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Cinediorama

Video: Twilight Time

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:29:51.844 

Disc Size: 25,240,370,571 bytes

Feature Size: 25,203,253,248 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: February, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1077 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1077 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2031 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2031 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2032 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2032 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Derek Botelho
Isolated Score Track

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo

Limited to 3,000 Copies!

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: La Bambola di Satana (Satan’s Doll, 1969), directed by Ferruccio Casapinta, is a classic Giallo tale putting a pretty young woman (Erna Schurer) in jeopardy in a gothic-style castle. Throw in a handful of nutty relatives, a black-gloved murderer, a ghost, and a bit of dungeon torture: that’s entertainment!

 

 

The Film:

Similar to 1967's Assassino Senza Volto in its melding of classical Gothic trappings with the Giallo thriller elements just coming into renewed vogue, this castle-set horror mystery from Italian filmmaker Ferruccio Casapinta benefits from a slicker look and a better sense of humor. Casapinta lays on the atmosphere thick and heavy, with thunderstorms, howling wolves, and a Hammer Films-inspired score by Franco Potenza to heighten the mood. It all seems a bit overwrought, but fans of Italian horror don't come to it for subtlety. Indeed, the nearly operatic histrionics on display are immensely enjoyable, for their camp value if nothing else.

Excerpt from AllMovie.com located HERE

Louis Paul, author of Italian Horror Film Directors stated that the film is "certainly rooted within the classic gothic atmosphere of early Italian horrors, but the addition of considerable nudity and a black-gloved killer clearly places La bambola at the cusp of the new age. It is an indication of the changing aspects of the Italian horror film to come."

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

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

The Doll of Satan (I've also seen titles as 'Satan's Doll' or 'Satan's Bimbo') comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray in a dual-layered, 1080P transfer with their usual high bitrate. The visuals are reasonable with bright colors and a clean image with occasional depth. Contrast has some decent layering and it is modestly tight in the HD transfer. Visuals are consistent in-motion but I wouldn't say it's an overwhelming1080P  presentation - although an accurate one.  I see no evidence of manipulation or noise. This Blu-ray gave me the opportunity to see the film in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio - and those familiar with the film will be impressed with how much better this looks than old VHS copies.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

There is a DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel track at 1077 kbps (24-bit) in the original Italian. It sounds a bit shallow but is probably accurate to the original. The score by Franco Potenza has some odd riffs but is competently supported by the uncompressed. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Extras :

Twilight Time add a new, impressive, audio commentary with film historians David Del Valle and Derek Botelho (author of The Argento Syndrome). It's quite rewarding - I love the discussion and history - Del Valle is becoming a favorite. There is also the usual Isolated Score Track. The package has some liner notes by Julie Kirgo and is limited to 3,000 copies.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Doll of Satan is one of the more forgettable attempts at defining the Gothic- Giallo genre. It's weak... in many areas, but it has an indefinable quality that can tend to be appealing - dark, castle-heavy atmosphere, sexy gals and some horror elements.  An odd choice for Twilight Time Blu-ray but the commentary certainly adds value and to a lesser-degree so does the isolated score and liner notes. While I didn't find it a very tight production - it is something I might revisit, simply for the setting and milieu. The commentary augmented this appeal.

 

NOTE: The raven-haired, green-eyed, actress credited in 'la bambola di Satana' as Claudine is 'Aurora Batista' (from Italy) not the more famous 'Aurora Bautista' (from Spain). In other words, I think IMDb and the Twilight Time page are wrong. 

 

Gary Tooze

February 24th, 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.

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
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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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