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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Twice-Told Tales [Blu-ray]

 

(Sidney Salkow, 1963)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Admiral Pictures

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:00:04.864 

Disc Size: 23,488,096,212 bytes

Feature Size: 21,719,795,712 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.94 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 1st, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1559 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1559 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary by Film Historians Richard Harland Smith and Perry Martin
"Trailers From Hell" with Mick Garris (3:06)
Trailers For Twice Told Tales (2:43), Tales of Terror (2:21) and Black Sabbath (2:30)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A Terrifying Trilogy of Passion, Poison and Possession! It's spine-tingling terror in triplicate virtuoso of horror. Vincent Price (Tales of Terror, Madhouse) dials up the depravity in this spellbinding trilogy of Nathaniel Hawthorne's (The Scarlet Letter) chilling classics! Dripping with demented genius, poisonous plants, oozing blood and a corpse in a wedding gown, Twice-Told Tales spins three gripping, diabolical nightmares of madness, mayhem and murder most foul. Price stars in all three stories, including "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", about a scientist who finds the fountain of youth... and lives to regret it; "Rappaccini's Daughter", the twisted tale of a demented father whose love for his daughter turns poisonous; and "The House of the Seven Gables", the ghostly legend of an ancient cursed family who lived for power... and died for greed. The stellar cast includes Sebastian Cabot (The Time Machine), Brett Halsey (Return of the Fly), Beverly Garland (The Neanderthal Man) and Joyce Taylor (13 Frightened Girls!).

 

 

 

The Film:

This three part horror story is taken from the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Vincent Price stars in all three tales starting with Dr. Heidegger's Experiment." Heidegger (Sebastian Cabot) attempts to restore the youth of four elderly friends. In a ghastly and ghoulish scene, a bride in her wedding gown returns to life after being dead for forty years. Although her spirit is alive, her body is ravaged by forty years of grave rot. "Rappaccini's Daughter" finds Price as a demented, overprotective father inoculating his daughter with poison so she may never leave her garden of poisonous plants. Part three, "The House of the Seven Gables" has Beverly Garland, Richard Denning, and Jacqueline de Wit accompanying Price, who retains his horror hero status that alternates between villain and victim. The characters portrayed by Price are a natural continuation of the Edgar Allen Poe stories produced by Roger Corman. Sidney Sallow directed this feature in which the cinematic apple falls far from the literary tree.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

 

After completing Tales of Terror (1962), Vincent Price took a break from Roger Cormen's low-budget but atmospheric adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories and tried something different with another studio. The result was the United Artists production, Twice-Told Tales, which featured three macabre tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne: "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" about a formula that retards aging, "Rappaccini's Daughter" in which the title character has a poisonous touch, and "The House of Seven Gables" featuring a haunted house that bears a family curse.

By a strange coincidence, Price was also in the 1940 version of The House of Seven Gables where he played the young hero who was framed by his brother (George Sanders) for the murder of their father. The abbreviated version that appears in Twice-Told Tales plays up the supernatural angle and also co-stars fifties scream queen Beverly Garland as his wife. Garland was a familiar face in Roger Corman drive-in fare such as It Conquered the World (1956) and Not of This Earth (1957) but eventually escaped the B-movie factory to find a permanent role in the TV sitcom, My Three Sons (1969-1972).

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Twice Told Tales has a supportive bitrate for the 2-hour film.  It can look surprisingly sharp at times and contrast is impressive. Colors also seem quite tight, depth is frequent and the transfer exports many of the desirable qualities of 1080P. The source is clean, and the only image inferiorities surround the effects - which are a factor in the modest budget - and, no doubt, appear authentic to the original 1.66:1 production. This Blu-ray gave me very pleasing presentation. No negative issues that I could see.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1559 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are effects in the film - notable screams etc. and some depth in the score by Richard LaSalle who has some auspicious genre TV credits on his resume (The Night the Bridge Fell Down, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Wonder Woman, The Amazing Captain Nemo, Fire!, Flood!, The Swiss Family Robinson). It all sounds fine with clear consistent dialogue. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Kino provide an excellent audio commentary by film historians Richard Harland Smith and Perry Martin who dig deep to unearth some interesting factoids and research relating to the production. There is a brief "Trailers From Hell" segment with Mick Garris and trailers for Twice Told Tales, Tales of Terror and Black Sabbath.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Twice Told Tales is an above-average horror portmanteau effort. And Vincent Price stars in all three selections. Hawthorne isn't Poe but it's hard to deny the resemblances to Corman's AIP horrors (with this film having both Price and Beverly Garland.) Personally, I enjoyed Dr. Heidegger's Experiment and The House of the Seven Gables the best. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray
looks and sounds strong in 1080P and it adds immense value with the commentary. I was thoroughly entertained and give this a recommendation to those fans of the genre and era. 

Gary Tooze

November 25th, 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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