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Daughter of Dracula aka "La fille de Dracula" [Blu-ray]
(Jess Franco, 1972)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Kino Lorber / Redemption
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,108,077,697 bytes
Feature Size: 20,974,374,912 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 4th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
• Audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas
Description:In the early 1970s, cult filmmaker Jess Franco inspired by the Hammer horror films being made in the UK revisited the iconic monsters of yesteryear, placing them in the castles and crypts of the Spanish countryside, and bracketing the thrills with scenes of frank eroticism. Daughter of Dracula was inspired by Sheridan LeFanu's Carmilla (which was also the source of Hammer's lesbian vampire trilogy - The Vampire Lovers (1970), Lust for a Vampire (1971), and Twins of Evil (1971) ), but as one might expect, Franco s version was unlike any treatment the story had yet received. When the nude body of a murdered woman washes onto the beach, a police inspector (Alberto Dalbés) and a reporter (Fernando Bilbao) focus their attention on the castle of Count Max Karlstein (composer Daniel White) and his niece (Britt Nichols, The Demons), a beautiful woman who appears to be wrestling with an ancestral curse.
This uneven erotic horror film from cult director Jesus Franco stars Britt Nichols as Luisa Karlstein, who visits the family mansion in Portugal to see her dying grandmother, the Baroness (Carmen Carbonell). Luisa soon learns that the family is cursed with vampirism, but moves into the mansion regardless, only to encounter strange and sexual phenomena. But murders have been occurring in the adjacent seaside village, bringing Inspector Ptuschko (Alberto Dalbes) to investigate. Anne Libert, Daniel J. White, Fernando Bilbao, and Howard Vernon (as Dracula) co-star. Despite some well-handled murder scenes and surreal eroticism, the film's disorientingly cheerful photography and lack of genuine menace prevent it from being truly effective.
A narrator tells us about how Castle Karlstein is rumored to have been the former home of Count Dracula. Then a woman takes off her top, walks around sipping wine and gets into a bath, where a female vampire attacks her. Afterward, Luisa (Britt Nichols) shows up just in time to have one last conversation with her elderly mother before she passes away. The dying woman tells her daughter that’s she the last descendant of the Karlstein family, then gives her a key to a tower in the family castle, tells her to prepare to see horrible things and then lets her know some of her descendants were vampires. Luisa goes to the tower and finds two coffins inside. The lid blows off one of them and a still-living Count Dracula (Howard Vernon) is inside, shows his fangs and puts the bite to his distant relative.Excerpt from The Bloody Pit of Horror 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 Daughter of Dracula looks to be from a source with occasional imperfections - which show in the form of grouped light scratches. They are a little heavier than some might appreciate but then there are also times the image seems relatively free of them. It varies from scene-to-scene. Overall the quality is acceptable with some impressive detail in the film's many close-ups. decent and consistent in 1080P. Colors seem true (flesh tones - of which there are frequent examples) without digitized intensity. Contrast is middling but in-motion the presentation is modest but very watchable. There is a high bitrate and I put the image down to the source elements. I noticed no noise - not even in the darker sequences. This Blu-ray gave me a decent viewing in regards to the picture quality.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Redemption use a linear PCM 2.0 channel mono track at 1536 kbps (16-bit) in the French language. Effects carry some depth. The score is by veteran Daniel White (The Sadistic Baron von Klaus, The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, The Man With the Severed Head) who is also acting in the film, and the music has some odd flashes but seems appropriate for the film. There are optional English subtitles on the and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
One of the highlights of this package is another exemplary audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas - who is certainly my favorite for the genre. There is a lot to discuss with Mr. Franco, hotties Britt Nichols and Anne Libert plus the production details - duplicated sets and shots etc. Kino also include about 3-minutes of alternate safe footage (less sexually explicit) of the Lesbian love scene and an original theatrical trailer.
September 27th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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