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The Horrible Dr. Hichcock aka "L'orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock" [Blu-ray]
(Riccardo Freda (as Robert Hampton), 1962)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Panda Film
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,370,850,266 bytes
Feature Size: 22,218,885,120 bytes
Video Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 13th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1817 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1817 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• English, None
"From director Robert Hampton, (Lust Of The Vampire)
comes The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (L'orrible segreto
del Dr. Hichcock), the twisted and terrifying tale of
Dr. Bernard Hichcock (Robert Flemyng,
The Quiller Memorandum) whose secret desires and
perverse passions lead to the death of his wife, Margaret
(Teresa Fitzgerald, Class of Iron).
Genre cinema has never suffered from what Harold Bloom likes to call the
anxiety of influence. On the contrary, horror filmmakers have taken
great delight over the years in pilfering unabashedly from their
predecessors. The Horrible Dr. Hichcock is, in many regards, an
ideal case in point, though director Riccardo Freda and screenwriter
Ernesto Gastaldi take equal pleasure in delivering their nods with a
wink. As its very title indicates, the film engages with Alfred
Hitchcock's work in overtly referential manner, but it also explores
Hitch's pet themes and obsessions in profoundly disturbing ways.
Raptus, the alternative title of Riccardo Freda's L'Orribile
segreto del dottor Hichcock (The Horrible Secret of Dr Hichcock,
Italy, 1962) is certainly apt, as its effect on individuals attracted to
the macabre is not unlike a rapture or delirium of cinematic pleasure.
The atmospheric visuals of Riccardo Freda's masterpiece of sexual
alienation and necrophilia stands without precedent in the Golden Age of
Italian Horror that virtually seized the Roman film industry from 1956
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Horrible Dr. Hichcock arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered but has a max'ed out bitrate. The print used has plenty of speckles and minor scratches. There is no real depth but this is all certainly watchable in the bastardized 1.78:1 aspect ratio but the weaknesses are noticeable. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and grain textures are pleasing but the source may be less effective than some might anticipate.
NOTE: This Blu-ray, unfortunately, is not the 84 minutes original version and was cut to 76 minutes, re-arranged scenes, added dissolves and was not faithful to Gastaldi's original script.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is transferred to a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1817 kbps (24-bit). This is the English version of the film with no option for the Italian language edition. Effects are common place for the genre - screams and an effective score by Roman Vlad (The Law, Beauty of the Devil) but there are audible dropouts and some hiss - in accordance with the weak condition of the source. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.
September 13th, 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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