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Cold Eyes of Fear aka "Gli occhi freddi della paura" aka "Desperate Moments" [Blu-ray]
(Enzo G. Castellari, 1971)
NOTE: At the writing of this review this out-of-print at both Amazon.com and B+N but I purchased it at Amazon CANADA for the equivalent of 18.82 US Dollars.
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Redemption / Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,865,554,951 bytes
Feature Size: 19,224,266,112 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 21st, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit)
• Trailer (3:09)
• 5 Redemption trailers
Description:One man’s evening with a prostitute takes a turn for the worse when a pair of hardened criminals show up at the home of the man’s uncle, a judge who unfairly convicted one of the criminals years before. Tensions mount as the victims try to turn their captors against one another and save the judge's life, as well as their own.
Italian filmmaker Enzo G. Castellari is perhaps best known for a series of violent spaghetti Westerns and post-nuclear action films, so this cleverly crafted Giallo-thriller may come as something of a surprise to cult audiences and genre followers. Appropriating some of the form's penchant for cool production design and bizarre cinematography (one scene is shot through ice cubes in a glass), Castellari's film tells the tale of Judge Horatio Badell (Fernando Rey, also in the director's La Polizia Incrimina: la Legge Assolve), whose son, Peter (Gianni Garko), is abducted while trysting with a hooker (Giovanna Ralli). It's all the handiwork of Arthur Welt (Frank Wolff), an ex-convict who wants revenge on the judge for his prison sentence and another, deeper betrayal. The situation eventually leads to bomb threats, scuffles in darkened rooms, and sexy cult actress Karin Schubert being threatened at knifepoint in a kinky S&M stage show which, despite occurring at the start of the film, remains its most memorable sequence. The rest of this loopy Italian-Spanish co-production isn't bad, however, crisply edited by Vincenzo Tomassi (who went on to edit many of Lucio Fulci's most popular horror films) and well scored by Ennio Morricone. Leonardo Scavino (appearing as Leon Lenoir) and Julian Mateos co-star.
A stylish and pulpy thriller, The Cold Eyes Of Fear is short on sex (there’s a brief nude scene but that’s about it) and on gore but high on atmosphere and visual flair. There’s some nastiness shown fairly graphically towards the finale of the film but outside of that, much more is implied here than actually shown. This’ll probably throw some Giallo fans for a loop upon first viewing but it’s a movie that grows on you with repeat viewings thanks to the fantastic camera work, the exceptionally bizarre but completely great score by Ennio Morricone, and a solid cast delivering good work.
There’s a little bit of the ‘home invasion’ theme running through here but unlike something that takes that concept and really exploits it (think Last House On The Left), this picture takes a more psychological route. Here we witness a battle of wits in a sense, a cat and mouse game between Quill’s terrorist occupier and the two ‘victims,’ being Peter and Anna. The plot twists keep this interesting – characters show their true colors as the danger inherent in the scene intensifies and as loyalties shift and people do what they feel they must to survive, selfishness and deceit become the order of the day adding an interesting layer of subtext to the movie.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Cold Eyes of Fear looks decent and consistent in 1080P. The source is in good shape with no damage or speckles. Detail is impressive in the film's many close-ups. Contrast is quite strong and colors bright with some richness. I noticed no noise - not even in the predominant night sequences. It is in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This Blu-ray gave me a watchable, and worry-free, viewing in regards to the picture quality.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps (16-bit) in the DUBBED English language. I found the audio had fluctuations - one notable drops out and variable volume levels with the music, often, very loud in relation to dialogue. There are minor effects in the film - mostly the club scene.The free-form jazz score is by the iconic Ennio Morricone (Short Night of Glass Dolls, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) and the music is credited as 'directed' by Bruno Nicolai (All the Colors of the Dark, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Face to Face, The Perverse Countess, Torso, Ten Little Indians, Pasolini's Hawks and the Sparrows). It adds a desperate atmosphere of tension in a 70's vein to the film experience. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Only an English trailer and some Redemption trailers.
NOTE: At the writing of this review this out-of-print at both Amazon.com and B+N but I got it at Amazon CANADA for the equivalent of 18.82 US Dollars.
June 26th, 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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