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Aenigma aka "Ænigma" [Blu-ray]
(Lucio Fulci, 1987)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: A.M. Trading International S.r.l.
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 42,343,716,620 bytes
Feature Size: 27,801,163,776 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: March 13th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
• Aenigma: Fulci and the 80s - Feature length documentary looking at the twilight period of Lucio Fulci’s legendary career. Featuring interviews with Claudio Fragasso, Antonio Bido, Michele de Angelis, Massimo Antonello Geleng, Antonio Tentori (1:16:32)
Italian Opening and Closing Credits (6:50)
• Trailer (3:00)
Special Thanks (1:38)
• 4-page liner notes essay by Dr. Calum Waddell
Description: "When a group of popular kids at St. Mary's
College play a cruel prank on the unattractive school
weirdo, Kathy, they leave the poor girl in a permanent coma.
When beautiful new girl Eva (Lara Lamberti, A Blade in
the Dark) arrives at the school she's given Kathy s old
room and it isn t long before strange occurrences are afoot
and bodies are piling up. Kathy has possessed Eva and is
using her as a pawn in her quest for bloody revenge.
Lucio Fulci was always the low-rent cousin of Dario Argento and his works seem to go tattily where Argento had broken ground. Aenigma is fairly much a copy of Argento’s Suspiria (1977) – a near plotless film about a series of outlandish novelty deaths occurring in a girls’ boarding school. Fulci borrows the same set-up here and as rationalisation, this has been bizarrely married to the premise of Richard Franklin’s Patrick (1978) about a coma patient who psychically reaches out to exact revenge from a hospital bed. (Patrick is a film that seems to have had a following in Italy, which also produced Patrick Still Lives (1980), an unauthorised sequel).Excerpt from Moria located HERE
This latter Fulci film takes Stephen King’s design of Carrie and puts an Italian spin on things. Made just one year prior to the Fulci film Touch of Death, Aenigma showcases the downward spiral of Fulci as the bigwig maestro of the Italian Horror industry he once was. Though his filmmaking years prior to his death still provide some great movies such as the brutal horror black comedy Touch of Death, or even the gory A Cat in the Brain, one can only sit and watch the end of a horror legend through Aenigma. Notably a lesser horror effort from Fulci, can Aenigma still hold its own next to some of his more notable directorial projects?
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Aenigma gets a new transfer to Blu-ray from 88 Films, cited as "Restored in 2K From the Original Camera Negative". It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It offers both the English and Italian versions - seamless (exact same transfer.) The 1080P supports blandish colors but decent detail, notable in the close-ups (plenty of eyeballs,) via the 1.66:1 frame. It's very clean but not particularly dynamic. This Blu-ray exports a consistent HD presentation although can look flat through most of the viewing.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Both English and Italian tracks on the Blu-ray of Aenigma offer uncompressed liner PCM transfers. The DUB'ing is obvious when utilized and the effects quite bold packing some surprising power now and then. The score is by Carlo Maria Cordio (Pieces), plus the annoying repetition of Douglas Meakin's inappropriate Head Over Heels (misspelled as "Head Over Meels") that, at least, sounds clean via the uncompressed. There are English subtitles for the Italian track and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE Blu-ray disc.
There is a significant bonus feature on 88 Films' Aenigma Blu-ray - the feature length, 2017, Italian (with English subtitles) documentary, directed by Eugenio Ercolani; Aenigma: Fulci and the 80s looking at the twilight period of Lucio Fulci’s legendary career. It features interviews with Claudio Fragasso, Antonio Bido, Michele de Angelis, Massimo Antonello Geleng, Antonio Tentori and others and fans will relish the varied content. There is also an original trailer and the Italian opening titles and closing credits.
March 28th, 2017
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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