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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Hollingsworth Morse
USA 1972

 

Be careful what you witch for with this spellbinding thriller that delves into the realms of ancient covens and the conquistadors who loathe them. Tom Selleck delivers a commanding performance as James Robertson, an antique dealer living in Manila. James buys a Spanish painting dating back to 1592 from an art gallery ... because the painting depicts three witches being burned at the stake and one of the witches has an uncanny resemblance to James’ wife, Chris. But the similarity turns out to be much more than a coincidence when Chris becomes possessed by the spirit of her evil doppelganger. She soon meets two local women who resemble the other two witches from the painting. The three decide to murder James, as he may be a descendant of the conquistador responsible for the burning of the original coven.

***

This fairly mediocre, Manila-lensed occult thriller is probably only noteworthy to Tom Selleck fans, who can see him here in his first starring role as an art collector whose latest find is a painting of three witches being burned at the stake... all of whom bear an uncanny resemblance to his wife and her two friends. Weird events abound shortly after the painting is installed in their home, and when a demonic canine begins snooping around the premises, Satanic signs appear, and people start dying. Selleck slowly becomes aware (much more slowly than the audience) that the resemblance in the picture is more than mere coincidence. Aside from the attractive location scenery, this is far too plodding and talky to sustain any devilish creepiness.

***

A collector of unusual art, James Robertson (Tom Selleck) purchases an old painting of witches being burned at the stake and hangs it up in his home. While James notices that one of the women in the painting looks remarkably like his wife, Chris (Barra Grant), he dismisses the resemblance as a coincidence. However, strange occurrences start to plague him, and James slowly uncovers his family's macabre connection to the scenario depicted in the artwork.

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 1st, 1972

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:25.294        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,339,586,880 bytes

Feature: 22,602,608,640 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1632 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1632 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Shout! Factory

 

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,339,586,880 bytes

Feature: 22,602,608,640 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Theatrical Trailer (1:38)

Gallery (3:36)


Blu-ray Release Date:
April 24th, 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

Shout! Factory bring Daughters of Satan to Blu-ray package. It's on a single-layered disc in 1080P with a high bitrate. It looks better than I would have thought with impressive detail in close-ups although there are some less-consistent scenes with weak contrast. It is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and the high resolution does support a surprisingly strong image for most of the presentation. 

The film's audio is transferred in a 2.0 channel 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio track with some of the occult-related effects (fire, screams, car crash etc.) coming through with modest depth.  There is a
score by Richard LaSalle (Cave-In, Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!, The Night the Bridge Fell Down, Twice-Told Tales, Ambush Bay) and it adds a bit to the viewing experience enhancing the mystery-angle of the film in regards to the painting. The audio quality is a product of the original production with some weaknesses that I didn't find overly distracting. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles (see sample below) on this Region 'A' Blu-ray.

Shout! Factory keep this bare-bones with only a trailer and image gallery as supplements.

This has Tom Selleck... which is its biggest appeal. However, I wasn't ready to totally dismiss this Philippine-shot modest budget horror. It has some decent elements - carried adeptly by Selleck with a couple of unnecessary and awkward torture scenes - that seem tacked on. The
Blu-ray transfer is better than you might have anticipated and I can say the same about the film. Selleck fans are the most obvious niche to indulge (I loved his Jesse Stone series) but I would just make sure with its bare-bones status to get it cheap. It's not as bad as you may read in reviews but the plot weaknesses are accentuated by the minimal production.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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